5 Things to Bear in Mind Regarding Shipping Lithium Ion Batteries by Air

Anyone who has ever shipped anything through any method of transportation knows how strict the rules and regulations of shipment are. Goods must be packed in a sturdy, enclosed box; must have a correct, clearly-written label that’s located on a specific area of the box; and you must follow certain weight and size restrictions when packing.

However, there are certain items, like lithium-ion batteries, that have additional shipping restrictions. This is because according to the Clean Energy Institute, lithium-ion batteries, while advanced and effective, pose safety risks as they are prone to overheating and damage at high voltages, which can trigger a fire.

In fact, shipping regulations for lithium-ion batteries have become even stricter as of early this year. Due to the risks of lithium-ion batteries and the strict regulations they hold, keep the following things in mind before shipping these batteries via air transportation.

1. Medium cell batteries and medium batteries are only able to be shipped via ground transport.

At this time, lithium-ion batteries considered medium cell or medium battery are unable to be shipped by air or vessel transport. Unlike small cells and small batteries, their medium counterparts can only be shipped through ground transportation.

2. Damaged or defected lithium-ion batteries can’t be shipped by air.

Like medium cell and medium batteries, any type of lithium battery that is damaged or defective is not able to be shipped by air as they pose a risk of producing a flame or releasing toxic, flammable gases. This shipping regulation applies to damaged batteries of all sizes. Although not able to be transported through air, these batteries can be transported via vessel or ground.

3. Lithium-ion batteries cannot be shipped by air at full charge.

When traveling via aircraft, lithium-ion batteries packed by themselves are only able to be shipped if they feature no more than a 30 percent charge. Fully charged lithium-ion batteries are considered a risk as they can lead to an explosion or fire. Cells and batteries with a charge greater than 30 percent can only be shipped with special approval.

4. There are exceptions for shipping lithium-ion batteries if used in medical devices.

Some of the latter rules and regulations can be overlooked if the lithium-ion battery or batteries being shipped are being used to power medical equipment.

5. You can hire someone to correctly pack your lithium-ion batteries for you.

Because of the heavy regulations on lithium-ion batteries, many feel overwhelmed with shipping them at all. However, you can be confident that your lithium-ion batteries will be packed safely and properly according to all shipping requirements when you have a professional hazardous material packer do the work for you.

Contact clsmith.com today if you need to helping packing lithium-ion batteries to travel by air or via another form of transportation.


Due to the safety risks of lithium-ion batteries, it’s imperative to strictly follow all guidelines and regulations if you plan on shipping these batteries, especially via air transport. If you’re unsure if your lithium-ion batteries are packed properly, the good news is that there are companies out there who specialize in correctly packing your batteries for you to ensure safe, legal travels.

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