Numerous companies worldwide today must safely and expediently transport damaged lithium cells and batteries or equipment containing them. Meeting current regulations for such shipments can be costly. Labelmaster now provides a new option that allows businesses to ship such products via ground at a reduced expense based on a special permit from the Department of Transportation (DOT) to offer an innovative packaging design solution.
The special permit grants relief from the DOT 49 CFR §173.185 requirements. These regulations, which cover damaged, defective or recalled lithium cells, do not permit the use of common and less expensive fiberboard packaging products. The special permit also authorizes small cells and batteries to be shipped in the fiberboard packagings without having to declare them as Class 9 fully regulated shipments.
“The current regulations leave companies with only two options for shipping such materials within their supply chains,” said Bob Richard, Vice President at Labelmaster. “Either they purchase very expensive packaging or choose not to move these batteries in transit. We now can offer a better solution.”
The Labelmaster alternative packaging allows companies to not only transport damaged lithium batteries by ground using less expensive materials but also gives them relief from shipping small cells and batteries as fully regulated taking into account that shipments needs to be sent by consumers and retail employees.
“Retail stores, distribution centers, manufacturing facilities and even consumers increasingly need to ship damaged or defective lithium cells, batteries and equipment for a number of reasons,” said Bill Barger, Senior Product Manager at Labelmaster. “Such situations can range from conducting product performance tests or analyzing product failure to implementing recalls or providing forensic evidence in litigation matters. The recent safety issues involving hoverboards are just one example of this growing need to ship these kinds of batteries.
“Businesses must assess potential causes of product failures to respond quickly and take necessary action to correct potential safety flaws,” Barger added. “Therefore, the need to ship these products is ever important, but current shipping regulations make the task challenging. The Labelmaster alternative packaging responds to this need.”
The company offers both custom and in-stock packaging for businesses to transport lithium ion cells under 20-Watt hour (Wh) and batteries under 100 Wh.
To meet regulations, the Labelmaster packaging is prominently marked with the appropriate hazard communication makings and labels, battery safety document and the phrase boldly marked, “Do Not Transport by Air – Ground Shipment Only, Damaged/Defective Lithium Ion Battery.”
In addition, detailed closure, packing and shipping instructions are provided that help shippers to properly package the damaged cells, batteries and equipment for transport.
The Labelmaster alternative packing product is available for ground and domestic sea transport only. Sea shipments are limited to applications where ground transport is not practical (e.g., shipments from and to Puerto Rico or Hawaii).