Shipping Lithium Batteries requires an experienced proven cargo airline

Shipping Lithium Batteries requires an experienced proven cargo airline

DATE: 03/15/18

Shipping Lithium Batteries requires an experienced, proven cargo airline

In a sign of how serious the issue of shipping batteries has become, many airlines no longer allow smart luggage on planes, either as checked baggage or carry-on.

Those high-tech suitcases operate on lithium-ion batteries, which are considered a potential fire risk. And airlines no longer want anything flammable ending up in the main hold.  Anyone who accidentally brings smart luggage to the airport could be asked to remove the battery inside it at the gate – or purchase new luggage at the airport. Because shipping lithium batteries has become a bigger concern for airlines.

As technological advances keep improving, consumers today have more options than ever before to purchase devices ingeniously designed to make their lives easier, and manufacturers are eager to offer them the latest innovations.

At the same time, the federal government wants to ensure that the airline industry maintains the highest safety standards. That’s why airlines like American Airlines, KLM, Virgin Atlantic, Delta, United and Southwest no longer allow passengers to fly with smart bags containing non-removable lithium batteries. Between 1991 and 2017, the Federal Aviation Administration documented 160 incidents involving problems in airlines with lithium batteries being transported as cargo or baggage.

The same applies for businesses that need to ship electronics. Transporting electronics has become more challenging as the rules governing shipments of anything that is battery-operated get more complex. Lithium batteries, used in a wide range of electronics, have been classified as dangerous goods because the electrolyte they contain is a flammable liquid.

Concerns about the risks posed by these batteries has prompted the International Air Transport Association to issue new lithium battery shipping regulations. The guidelines cover shipping equipment with lithium batteries and how to ship lithium ion batteries by air.  And they cover a wide range of items, including tablets, power tools, and even electric toothbrushes.

And these rules about what can and cannot get shipped have become confusing for some businesses, who are not sure what gets classified as dangerous goods.

If you are planning to ship electronics, Amerijet International Airlines has certified hazardous material agents who can answer all your questions and take away the confusion about these shipments.

To learn more, you can visit the Amerijet website at, click on Shipping, then click on Dangerous Goods. Our website provides detailed information on the rules and regulations governing the shipment of anything that could get classified as potentially hazardous materials.

Why are batteries now considered a possible risk?

Lithium-ion batteries have been under the microscope for several years now. The Federal Aviation Administration conducted a safety assessment, then changed the rules for shipping lithium-ion and lithium-metal batteries. All shipments with these batteries need to be declared in advance to ensure they’re packaged, labeled and documented correctly.
Often times, when people hear the phrase “shipping hazardous materials,” they may think this only applies to large chemical companies.

But that’s not the case. There are quite a few common household items considered to be hazardous, due to the chemicals within them.  Simple items like a can of paint, which requires special shipping containers before they can be safely transported, and lighters containing flammable lighter fluid, make the list. So do hair spray cans that contain contents which, under extreme pressure, can make them highly combustible. Even a box of matches can be considered hazardous materials for the purpose of shipping. Perfume is another example, since it contains flammable liquids.

The same concerns now apply to laptops, smart phones and other digital devices because of the batteries inside them.  If you have any questions about shipping hazardous materials, let an Amerijet hazmat agent help you through this process.

The bigger challenge, of course, comes for businesses that need to start shipping multiple items containing lithium batteries. Those shipments could be considered hazardous, depending on the quantity.

How are technological advances impacting this situation?

As technology keeps advancing at a rapid pace, electronics are no longer products that people buy and hold onto for a decade or more. Manufacturers are often in such a rush to get out the latest model that consumers sometimes end up purchasing updated versions of their laptops, smart phones, and other devices within months of buying the last one.

That means a high volume of these devices is constantly being packaged and shipped for delivery to retailers. Electronics distributors and importers are moving products much more rapidly these days to meet that high consumer demand.

They are increasingly turning to air freight as a fast and efficient method of getting their high-value goods first to market, then consumers. Whether it’s cell phones, laptops or even the parts used to manufacture them, electronics require the most professional air freight service to ensure fast and efficient delivery.

With the high consumer demand for these products to get into stores as quickly as possible, airlines want to ensure that transporting these devices won’t pose a safety risk.

The bottom line is if you plan to ship electronics, you need a reliable partner in the air cargo industry that can guarantee your products arrive safely – and on schedule.



At Amerijet, we handle commercial shipments of electronics containing lithium batteries.  If you need to ship electronic products and are concerned about shipping regulations, we can help you make informed decisions about keeping your packages in compliance.
Amerijet is one of the few air cargo carriers qualified to transport hazardous materials, and the company’s well-trained team of certified hazardous-material shipping agents can assist you with all your shipping needs and answer all your questions about packaging, safety rules and what gets classified as dangerous goods.

Amerijet has more than 40 years of air cargo experience handling all types of freight and offers all-cargo scheduled and charter air service to leading destinations in the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America and South America.

The experienced Amerijet team will provide you with services that include pick-up, customs clearance and world-class security procedures.

To learn more, call Amerijet at 1-800-927-6059.

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