Many crowdfunding projects deal with funding products that require lithium batteries. These might be things like consumer products, eBikes, or speakers, for example. Once the campaign is over, these products must be shipped to backers. The majority of these crowdfunded goods will incorporate lithium batteries. That’s why, if your crowdfunding project deals in these goods, you must understand the ins and outs of shipping lithium batteries.
Batteries – especially lithium batteries, which are rechargeable – are considered dangerous goods because they’re highly flammable and sensitive to environmental changes. So, couriers are rightfully wary about shipping them. That’s why if you’re shipping lithium batteries, it’s essential that your shipment complies with government and courier regulations.
Important Things to Know About Shipping Products With Batteries
If you’re planning to run a crowdfunding campaign for products that contain batteries, you should remember to plan ahead for fulfilling your campaign. This is especially relevant because shipping your product – with its battery included – requires a little more finesse than shipping ordinary goods. Here are four things you should know about shipping lithium batteries installed in your product:
- You’ll have to comply with numerous regulations from government agencies, world organizations, and couriers.
- The product containing the battery must be carefully packed in line with guidelines provided by your courier.
- Your courier will need to see documents and certifications that prove that your product and battery can be safely shipped before they’ll accept the shipment.
- It can take significant time and effort to gather everything you need for a shipment that contains batteries, so make sure you build this into your campaign timeline.
The shipping of lithium batteries is tightly regulated, and for good reason. There can be serious consequences if shipments containing batteries are not handled carefully. The most minor consequence is that your courier might not accept your shipment and there will be a delay in getting your goods to your backers.
Additionally, If you don’t declare your shipment appropriately and get caught, your campaign could be forced to pay fines of up to tens of thousands of dollars, and your fledgling business could be blacklisted from shipping. Perhaps the most devastating consequence, though, is that the shipment could start a fire in transit causing significant damages with severe consequences.
How to Safely Pack Products With Their Batteries
So, you’ve run a successful campaign, got all your authorizations in order, and are ready to ship your product? That’s great. But, the fun’s not over yet! You’ll also need to be careful about packing your products if you’re shipping lithium batteries. Even if you have all the necessary documentation, if your shipment isn’t packed properly, it could cause problems in transit.
Here are a few things to remember while preparing your products for shipping with lithium batteries:
- Cover all battery terminals with insulating materials
- Ensure that the battery isn’t defective or damaged
- Pack batteries in fully-enclosed interior packaging
- Keep batteries away from other metal objects
- Make sure the device can’t be switched on while in transit – this may mean immobilizing switches
- Use padding materials to minimize movement while the product is being shipped.
- Label the shipment with regulatory agency-approved marketings to make it obvious that it contains lithium batteries or dangerous goods.
Using a 3PL Provide to Ship Products with Batteries
As you can see, there’s a lot to consider if you’re planning to ship products with batteries. It can be difficult to do everything yourself, especially if you’re a small startup that’s still focusing on your crowdfunding campaign. That’s when it might be useful to use a 3PL (third-party logistics) provider.
Working with a 3PL service can offer a range of benefits, such as:
- Expertise: They’ll have a detailed knowledge of best practices for shipping lithium batteries, and can easily take care of all the details of getting your products from A to B while you focus on other aspects of your business and campaign.
- Scalability: As a crowdfunder, you’d hope that your campaign is one that goes down in history as a major success story. But, if you’ve planned to ship 10,000 products and your campaign ends with you needing to ship 75,000 orders, you may have a problem. If you’re using a 3PL provider, though, they’ll easily be able to handle an unexpected surge in shipping.
- Network: Being able to ship well requires a good network through the supply chain, especially if you might be shipping lithium batteries overseas. As a crowdfunder, you might not necessarily have access to this network or the time and resources to build one. But, a 3PL provider will already have this in place, and they’ll be able to leverage their relationships to get discounts and optimal processes in place that give you the best fulfillment solution possible. Translation: you’ll save time and money.
How Easyship Can Help
They’re also a 3PL provider that can offer you all the benefits outlined above. During their time in the industry, they’ve built a network and reputation that give them the ability to create useful bespoke shipping solutions, even for clients shipping lithium batteries with their products. As well as finding cost-effective shipping solutions and giving you access to their platform that smoothes the fulfillment process with automated rules, Easyship can:
- Help you fill out the paperwork you need for shipping lithium batteries.
- Refer you to testing partners and resources
- Provide a preliminary analysis of whether your product will be accepted for shipping (if you can provide photos, product specifications, and other documentation).
- Provide advice and guidance for any stage of the fulfillment process
- Speak directly to couriers on your behalf to get answers for questions specific to your situation
- Offer cost estimates with their online shipping rates calculator
Mailing products with batteries installed can be tricky, especially if you’re shipping lithium batteries. But, this doesn’t mean it can’t be done. It just requires a little extra time, money, and effort to do it correctly. If you need any help or advice during the process, schedule a chat with the Easyship support team – they’ll be happy to help!