Lithium Battery Shipping Began to Mandate the Use of Refrigerated Cabinets
Recently, due to the repeated occurrence of various dangerous accidents during the transportation of lithium batteries, Shandong Haifeng International Shipping Company SITC notified that from now on, goods like Class 9/UN 3480, UN3481 lithium battery packs and equipment containing lithium batteries must be shipped in refrigerated containers.
SITC announced that:
In view of the frequent occurrence of accidents in the lithium battery business, our company requires that the cargo of CLASS 9/UN3480, 3481 lithium battery packs must be loaded in a freezer to ensure the quality and the transportation safety of battery cargo.
- Freezers must be used for import and export at Southeast Asia ports throughout the year.
- Freezers must be used from the north of Xiamen (including Xiamen) to Japan and South Korea from May to November each year.
- Freezers must be used from South China to Japan and South Korea throughout the year, and vice versa.
- If customer specifies to use the freezer, then the freezer must be used.
All ports are requested to inform themselves of it and implement it immediately.
SITC is mainly involved in the container shipping routes in Southeast Asia, Japan and South Korea. It is greatly affected by the summer temperature. During this period, the high temperatures can easily induce thermal reactions in lithium batteries. It may even further cause the combustion and explosion of lithium batteries.
SITC is the first shipping company that requires Class 9/UN3480, UN3481 lithium batteries to be transported in refrigerated containers. It remains a question whether other shipping companies will follow up or put forward the same loading requirements in the future. But there is no doubt that in the face of frequent explosions and combustion accidents in lithium battery transportation, shipping companies and airlines are constantly improving lithium battery transportation requirements. This is bound to increase the shippers’ transportation expenses.
Recently, there have been continuous explosions of lithium batteries in the transportation warehouse and on the apron. At the beginning of this month, a fire broke out in the Hong Kong Meiwang warehouse, which burned more than 1,000 square meters of warehouses and stored goods, causing heavy losses. It is reported that the fire was caused by products containing lithium batteries. In addition, on April 11, while waiting for the installation of the air cargo from Hong Kong Airport to Bangkok, the mobile phone and accessories in the pallet suddenly caught fire. Fortunately, it has not yet been installed and no casualties have been caused. But the cargo has been destroyed and the flight got canceled. Hong Kong Cargo Airlines subsequently issued a statement to stop receiving all types of mobile phone freight services under the VIVO brand and blacklisted the two freight forwarding companies.
At present, the use of refrigerated containers to transport lithium batteries is voluntarily proposed by shippers. Taking into account the requirements of quality control, it is often used by internationally renowned companies on high-end mobile devices or electric vehicles (such as Apple, SAMSUNG SDI).
Since lithium batteries is in the list of the 9th category of dangerous goods, transportation control must be operated in a cold-dangerous manner. And that is more complicated and professional. In addition, due to the small and scarce source of freezer boxes, the power configuration of the ship’s stowage and the equipment limitations of the port yard, the container adjustment and transportation operations are more complicated. It greatly increases the difficulty and cost of transportation.