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Lithium batteries

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UN compliant packaging solutions

Shipping lithium batteries is a complicated process, and as a lithium battery sender, you are responsible for safe shipments of your products — a job that should be taken seriously. If done wrong, the lithium batteries might quickly become a threat to the safety of anyone in their vicinity. With a long and proven track record in dangerous goods and lithium batteries, Nefab holds a position to serve all flows and statuses of batteries while supporting our customers with regulation guidance.

The most common means of selecting a packaging for dangerous goods is based on packaging that has already been approved for the product in question. However, this is not always feasible due to various factors, such as the product’s weight, dimensions or handling requirements. If this is the case, we can also develop a new type of packaging for you. At Nefab, we can guide you through the process to help find which method fits best with your application.

Reliable Solutions for Repeated Flows

Situation

One of our customers, a battery producer, was having issues managing two different flows of battery packs. One was the regular flow of battery packs to their car assembly sites and the other was the distribution of spare battery packs to end user's garages in multiple regions of the world. Due to these two flows being vastly different from one another, our customer faced many challenges with maintaining a lean supply chain. To reduce complexity on their end, it was preferred that the new packaging solution could be used for both flows. 

Solution

Nefab chose the RePak TC, a returnable packaging solution, for this application. This solution is a strong, lightweight plywood box that is suitable for bulky or heavy shipments. A huge advantage of the RePak TC is that it is collapsible within the pallet dimensions, significantly reducing space required and costs in return freight. Inner fittings were added on the lid and base to secure the battery in position.

The box is Packing Group I certified, with gross weight 411 kg.

Benefits

This adaptable solution is one that is suitable for various destination and logistics flows. It manages to effectively fit both flows' needs; on one hand, it is a strong, durable box which can handle heavy and bulky loads, allowing it to be used for the regular bulk shipments of battery packs to assembly sites. On the other, it is a lightweight solution that can be used for the individual distribution to end users. The RePak TC is reusable and returnable, allowing it to be highly cost effective while reducing product waste. It is also collapsible, allowing for low return freight costs, and its intuitive construction allows for easy packing and unpacking of batteries. 

Our Solutions

Pre-Approved Packaging
Pre-Approved Packaging

Nefab has a multitude of certificates for lithium ion batteries and other dangerous goods, covering over 600 different boxes, all of which are accredited according to UN standards. All of these boxes, as outer packaging, or together with internal packaging, make up complete packaging solutions for batteries. To determine if our approved solutions can be used with your product, we will first investigate what packaging types are approved to use with the dangerous goods class of your product and your intended method of transportation. Then, we will calculate the gross weight of the shipment and see if we have an approved dangerous goods certificate that matches your product.

Designing New Packaging
Designing New Packaging

If there is no pre-approved packaging which fully accommodates your product, Nefab can develop a new packaging. Due to the stringent requirements stipulated by the UN for dangerous goods packaging, the developed solution must go through a type approval test before it can be used to ship these goods. International agreements for the carriage of dangerous goods require packaging to be of a design-type, certified by a national competent authority. This involves testing the packaging according to the appropriate UN specifications to ensure its suitability for the carriage of certain dangerous goods. Our engineers have the skillset and experience to take new dangerous goods packaging through this process.

Our Knowledge

UN Marking and Certification
UN Marking and Certification

On the side of boxes that are certified to transport dangerous goods, you will see a number which designates certain characteristics of the packaging itself. This is awarded by the authority as a result of a passed certification test. This system was put in place in order to account for a multitude of different variations in packaging for dangerous goods to get a better idea of what each part of the number represents.

Dangerous Goods Classes
Dangerous Goods Classes

Due to the volatile nature of lithium ion batteries, the United Nations has declared them a dangerous good. Below are the different classes of dangerous goods that the UN has assigned:

  • Class 1 – Explosives
  • Class 2 – Gases
  • Class 3 – Flammable liquids
  • Class 4 – Flammable solids or substances that may spontaneously combust or that may emit flammable gases when in contact with water.
  • Class 5 – Oxidizing substances and organic peroxides
  • Class 6 – Toxic or infectious substances
  • Class 7 – Radioactive materials
  • Class 8 – Corrosives
  • Class 9 – Miscellaneous dangerous goods not classified.

Lithium ion batteries fall under Class 9, as they are not adequately represented by the other classes. It must be marked and represented as such whenever it is being shipped.

Regulations
Regulations

UNECE Regulations
The United Nations Economic Comission for Europe, or UNECE, is an important regulating body by which dangerous goods are classified and measured. Though there are variations in the applicable rules and regulations in each country, the UN Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods serves as a standard template for member states to follow. The Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) is a system which lays out the standard for hazardous classification criteria and communication tools, while the Transport of Dangerous Goods (TGD) lays out standards for each mode of transportation. For more information on dangerous goods and its governing body, please visit UNECE's website.

IATA
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is an airline trade association which influences policies and regulations regarding air shipping. They have a wide breadth of documentation and have set many standards for the shipping of dangerous goods by air. To learn more, please visit IATA's website.

Contact Us

For more information about our solutions for Lithium Batteries please contact us