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Ship Lithium-Ion Batteries

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  1. #1
    Scrap808 started this thread.
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    Ship Lithium-Ion Batteries

    I've scoured the forums and have exhausted my search of up to date details on how to ship Li-Ion batteries and cells. After searching around the internet, I found that the DOT requires all lithium and lithium ion batteries to be shipped via ground transportation unless it is installed in the device it operates. As per USPS:



    Quote Originally Posted by USPS Hazardous Materials Appendix C: Lithium Batteries
    Secondary (rechargeable) properly installed in the equipment they are intended to operate:
    -Mailable via air transportation or surface transportation domestically or internationally or to and from APO, FPO, and DPO locations.
    -No markings required provided the quantities are within the limits of 349.22 (for domestic items), or 622.5 (for international, and APO, FPO, and DPO items).

    Secondary (rechargeable) packed with the equipment they are intended to operate:
    -Mailable via air and surface transportation domestically. Prohibited internationally or to and from APO, FPO, and DPO locations.
    -The outside of the package must be marked on the address side “Package Contains Lithium-ion Batteries (no lithium metal).”

    Secondary (rechargeable) not packed with or installed in equipment (individual batteries):
    -Mailable domestic via surface transportation only. Prohibited internationally or to and from APO, FPO, and DPO locations.
    -The outside of the package must be marked on the address side “Package Contains Lithium-ion Batteries (no lithium metal).”
    It appears taping the terminals and throwing it in a flat rate box isn't good enough anymore. Maybe not such a big deal on the mainland, mailing things from Hawaii almost always requires air transportation. FedEx and UPS Ground services even use air freight leaving the only option for us USPS Parcel Post or Media Mail. Does anyone have any thoughts? Since we learned this "new" requirement from the DOT, we've been stockpiling our Li-Ion batteries until we found a solution (Parcel Post isn't worth it against the prices we are getting for the batteries).
    Last edited by Scrap808; 06-20-2015 at 04:27 PM.

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  3. #2
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    I believe you can disclose it is li ion batteries...will cost more to ship as dangerous, but I believe they handle it differently....I am not 100% sure however. The other option would be to stockpile until you get enough for at least a gaylord or become the buyer for the area and ship them out in a shipping container. You would at least be able to get bulk pricing, but you will have to do the research on the best place to sell that much to.
    PROFIT is made when you BUY/ACQUIRE NOT when you sell

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  5. #3
    Scrap808 started this thread.
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    We pretty much work with laptop batteries and the CMOS batteries in motherboards. If I am reading the pricing correct, ewasted required us to remove the battery cells from motherboards. And according to the USPS, shipping the batteries with the equipment they operate is okay via air. So putting them in the same box as the motherboards (but not installed) is alright? I am really so confused.

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    they really are looking more at the ones with terminals...if you cross li ion batt terminals with another one they will heart up and eventually catch fire (they get REALLY hot). You should be able to keep the motherboard ones separated (I do not think he buys those however) I think he buys laptop and maybe cell phones li ion only. the others are specialty li ion batteries....just like power tool batt packs are a specialty as well. Check with him to verify.

    You COULD get sneaky and use a vacuum sealer...put all the batteries spaced out and seal around them...it should create a pocket for each...you can cut into strips of batteries and stack them. I was thinking that would be be a great way to not have to tape terminals if you did a bunch of batteries. Quick and efficient.

    Again, it might be a service you could provide for others in the islands and ship out in bulk...something to think about as obviously it is a problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by webuyselltradestuff View Post
    You COULD get sneaky and use a vacuum sealer...put all the batteries spaced out and seal around them...it should create a pocket for each...you can cut into strips of batteries and stack them. I was thinking that would be be a great way to not have to tape terminals if you did a bunch of batteries. Quick and efficient.
    Now that is a great idea!!!

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    I actually called the post office with this very question, both the local and 800 number. It was really difficult to get an answer as it seems no one ever asked it before. Apparently if the battery is installed in the device, it can go air but needs to be declared. However, I was told that batteries alone had to go ground, and also declared. Anyway, this is what I was told...
    Have Fun,
    Harold

    I hate rules, but I love junk.

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  11. #7
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    I don't know how much help this would be but i live on an island off the coast as well. There's a causeway over to the mainland so everything coming in travels over the roads. That's not so for the outlaying islands though. They're served by the mail boat.

    Actually, everything that goes out to them is by boat. All of the waste is ferried back to our transfer station.

    Point being: There must be a lot of freight traveling back & forth between the islands & the mainland. Could you piggyback a parcel over to the post office on the mainland somehow ?

    It wouldn't necessarily be cost effective but everything costs more when you live on an island. You kinda have to take the bad with the good.

    Also .... would it be feasible to separate the individual cells from the plastic case ? If you didn't have to ship the plastic that would cut down on the weight (and cost.)

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    Suggestion: contact the buyers and find out from them how they are being shipped.
    Maybe one will chime in.....

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    right now no one knows. Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto rico are all in limbo since they have areas inaccessible by land. contact your state DOT an d ask for clarification so they can pester the federal DOT for the same.


    As to asking the buyers... they are holding or shipping "questionably" meaning without guidance.

    there is talk of waivers for recycling to avoid crushing the recycling effort but with all the airplane fires it may not happen, we might see LARGE disposal deposits at some point to cover the coast of recycling but for now all are in a holding pattern

    V/r HT1

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    Scrap808 started this thread.
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    From my understanding, the issue with lithium ion batteries is that the crushing alone isn't enough to cause a fire. The problem is that incorrectly manufactured or damaged lithium cells can actually cause the battery to burst at high altitudes (a cargo hold pressurized to 7000 ft. is still enough to burst a defective lithium battery).

    In Hawaii, the only ways to transport via ground are USPS Parcel Post or sea freight. And even then, you still need this label on your packaging:

    I'll stop by the post office either tomorrow or Friday and try to get a clear answer from the clerk (they've been really helpful with all the other questions I've had). And if there isn't anyway to send them economically, perhaps I've discovered a new revenue stream for myself!

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  17. #11
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    I'd like to revive this thread as I am currently in the process of trying to sell Li-ion batteries for the first time. Not a whole lot, but none of the yards near me take them. cashforcomputerscrap, (by the way is that ewasted?) is looking like the best price. Since I am on the mainland and can ship ground, can they just go in a flat rate box? And how many laptop batteries can I expect to fit in a large flat rate?

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    Yes that is Ewasted aka Mario. I suggest you contact him through his web site. Be prepared to give the weight and what dimensions to give the best chance for him to give you the best deal on shipping.

    Also note that the batteries need to have the contacts taped before shipping. 73 Mike
    "Profit begins when you buy NOT when you sell." {quote passed down to me from a wise man}

    Now go beat the copper out of something, Miked

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    I may be wrong but don't think you can ship them USPS. Ask them for a FedEx label. It's usually pretty cheap.

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  22. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by HipoGear View Post
    I may be wrong but don't think you can ship them USPS. Ask them for a FedEx label. It's usually pretty cheap.
    I asked them at the post office and they said yes and they would add a "Li-ion" sticker to the outside. This may be only for single batteries because that's what I was asking about. I don't recommend looking at the USPS web site for answers. 73, Mike

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