Shipping Batteries by Air/Sea May Cause Some Challenges

Posted by Charntel Petersen on

Shipping batteries for mobile phones can be a challenging task due to their nature as hazardous materials. These batteries contain chemicals that can pose a threat to both the environment and human health if not handled correctly. Therefore, there are specific regulations and guidelines that shippers must follow when shipping batteries for mobile phones by air or sea.


Air Shipping Challenges


Air shipping is a popular choice for shipping batteries for mobile phones due to its speed and efficiency. However, it also presents specific challenges that shippers must consider.


  1. Restrictions on Lithium-ion Batteries

Lithium-ion batteries, which are commonly used in mobile phones, are classified as dangerous goods due to their potential to ignite and cause fires. As a result, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has implemented strict regulations for shipping these batteries by air.

For example, lithium-ion batteries must be shipped at a state of charge not exceeding 30%, and they must be packed in such a way that they cannot short-circuit. Additionally, they must be labelled and marked as dangerous goods, and shippers must provide the airline with a dangerous goods declaration.


  1. Transportation Security Measures

Airports have stringent security measures in place to prevent acts of terrorism, which can cause delays for shippers. Therefore, shippers must ensure that their packages comply with all security regulations and arrive at the airport in a timely manner.


  1. High Costs

Air shipping is generally more expensive than sea shipping, which can be a challenge for shippers on a budget. Additionally, shipping batteries for mobile phones by air can be even more costly due to the extra precautions required to transport dangerous goods safely.


Sea Shipping Challenges


Sea shipping is a popular alternative to air shipping due to its lower cost and higher capacity. However, it also presents specific challenges that shippers must consider.


  1. Slow Transit Times

Sea shipping is much slower than air shipping, which can be a challenge for shippers who need to get their products to their destination quickly. Additionally, sea shipping is subject to weather conditions and other external factors that can cause delays.


  1. Environmental Concerns

Sea shipping can have a significant impact on the environment, particularly if hazardous materials like batteries are not handled correctly. Therefore, shippers must ensure that their packages are properly labelled, marked, and packaged to prevent leaks or spills.


  1. Limited Availability

Not all shipping companies offer sea shipping services for dangerous goods like batteries, which can make it challenging for shippers to find a reliable carrier. Shippers may also need to navigate complex regulations and paperwork when shipping batteries by sea, which can add to the complexity of the process.


Best Practices for Shipping Batteries for Mobile Phones


To ensure that batteries for mobile phones are shipped safely and efficiently, shippers should follow these best practices:


  1. Use Proper Packaging

Batteries for mobile phones must be packed in UN-certified packaging that meets the specific requirements for the type and quantity of battery being shipped. This packaging should be able to withstand impacts, pressure changes, and temperature fluctuations that may occur during transit.


  1. Provide Adequate Documentation

Shippers must provide the carrier with a dangerous goods declaration that includes information about the type and quantity of batteries being shipped, the UN number, and the proper shipping name. Additionally, they should provide a packing list that includes details about the packaging used.


  1. Ensure Proper Labelling and Marking

Batteries for mobile phones must be properly labelled and marked to indicate that they are dangerous goods. This includes placing a Class 9 label on the package, marking it with the UN number, and including the proper shipping name.


  1. Follow Regulations and Guidelines

Shippers must comply with all regulations and guidelines set forth by the relevant authorities, including ICAO, the International Maritime Organization (IMO), and the Department of Transportation



Contact us for any enquiry you have relating to shipping batteries or if you need any specific assistance. Mobile Source Group is here to help! You can call us on (07) 3139 1559 or email us at

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