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Lithium Batteries Transport

Mainfreight is experienced in handling and transporting lithium batteries in a safe way.

(Defective) lithium batteries transport

Transporting defective batteries is not always easy. That is why our experienced team is happy to assist you! The production and use of lithium batteries has grown explosively in recent years. Lithium batteries are used in electric bicycles, cars, telephones and electronic toys, among other things. The batteries have the advantage that they are environmentally friendly, can be charged in the meantime, and therefore have a longer lifespan. However, it is and remains very important to pack and qualify lithium batteries correctly.

Defective. What do I do?

It is possible that a lithium battery no longer works properly and needs to be returned. Special packaging must be used for the transport of these batteries. As the sender of the batteries, you are always responsible for sending the batteries correctly. As defective batteries are classified as 'unstable', they should be sent under packing instruction P908. If the battery is not properly packed and something happens to it, you as the sender are responsible and will have to compensate for the damage caused. The insurer will also check how the battery has been shipped, and if this is not done correctly, this can result in unpleasant situations.

Mainfreight Special Services as your solution

To prevent situations like these, Mainfreight Special Services is equipped with the right fire-resistant cases and containers that ensure that defective batteries can be safely transported to the supplier. Because the batteries are in the non-flammable and non-conductive cushions, the batteries are sufficiently sealed, meaning that the flames will not spread to adjacent batteries. Our cases comply with packing instructions P908 and P909, and our trained drivers always carry out a pre-check before loading the battery.

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Does lithium classify as ADR?

Yes! Lithium-ion batteries classify as UN code 3480, 3481 and/or 3536. According to the regulations, lithium-ion batteries must be provided with packaging instructions and labelling. The packaging must also be given a UN number with an associated battery symbol.

How does a fire-resistant case and/or container work?

The suitcases and containers are fire retardant: the flame will not spread to the cargo or the vehicle in which it is transported. This greatly reduces the chance of fire expansion.

How does Mainfreight Special Services collect a defective battery?

We will be the first to contact the pick-up location to schedule an appointment. Once confirmed, we will send a trained driver to pick up the battery. Upon arrival, the driver will inspect the battery and place it in a case that complies with packing instructions P908 & P909. For large numbers, it will go in a container that also meets these packaging regulations. After collection, the driver will unload the batteries.

What does the driver do if smoke comes out of the suitcase and/or container?

As soon as the driver detects something unusual, they will immediately pull over the vehicle. They will then check the load, and if necessary, alert the emergency services. By packing the battery in the correct packaging, the driver has more time to act in case of ignition.

What is the difference between P903 and P908/P909?

Packaging class P903 means that the battery is packed in a sturdy outer packaging. These could be used for batteries that are still in good condition. Unfortunately, it is not possible to judge the state of the inside from the outside. Packing class P908&P909 means that each battery must be individually enclosed in a non-flammable/conductive and shock-absorbing material. This packaging must also be tested to ensure that no heat development can take place.

What risks can arise with the shipment of lithium batteries?

A major risk when shipping lithium batteries is that the batteries have a short circuit and/or unwanted activation during transport. The lithium can react with other materials, which can result in a chemical reaction resulting in overheating and/or ignition. The smoke that is released is a chemical that is harmful to humans and animals.

What responsibilities do I have as a sender of lithium batteries?

The sender is legally responsible for complying with the law. The sender must properly pack the battery with the accompanying documentation. The sender is also responsible for the safe transportation of the defective batteries.

Does Mainfreight Special Services have trained drivers for these type of shipments?

Yes! By sending trained drivers, an inspection will first be carried out on the battery to see how it is damaged. Is it convex and/or does it have holes? Inspecting the battery will reduce the chance of loading a critical battery that is on the verge of burnout.

For all your questions about transport of lithium batteries. We are here to support!

Antonie Moonen | Team Leader
T: +31 314 678 237

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