Delta & United Airlines Ban Bulk Shipments of Lithium-Ion Batteries

United Airlines has become the second major US airline to announce it will no longer carry bulk shipments of lithium-ion batteries.

Delta Airlines stopped bulk shipments of the batteries in February. American Airlines stopped accepting some types of lithium-ion battery shipments in February.

Aviation officials believe lithium-ion batteries contributed to fires that destroyed two Boeing 747 cargo planes, killing all four crew members. Federal Aviation Administration tests found overheating batteries could cause major fires.In its tests, the FAA filled a cargo container with 5,000 lithium-ion batteries and a cartridge heater, which was added to simulate a single battery overheating. The heat from the cartridge triggered a chain reaction in other batteries, with temperatures reaching about 600C. This was followed by an explosion, which blew open the container door and set the cargo box on fire. A second test, some months later, produced similar results, despite the addition of a fire-suppression agent.

New rules

The increasing focus on battery safety will put pressure on other airlines to follow suit, as well as on the technology industry to come up with safer ways of transporting them.

Lithium-ion batteries power mobile phones, laptops and other digital devices. An estimated 4.8 billion lithium-ion cells were manufactured in 2013 and production is forecast to reach eight billion by 2025.

Shipments of rechargeable batteries on passenger planes are supposed to be limited to no more than a handful in a single box, under safety standards set by the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organisation. But a loophole permits many small boxes to be packed into one shipment, meaning that thousands of the batteries may be packed into pallets and loaded into the cargo holds of passenger planes.

FAA tests also revealed that lithium-metal batteries, which are not rechargeable and power devices such as cameras and calculators, could catch fire much faster than other versions.

The UN banned shipments of these batteries on passenger planes last year, and the ban came into effect in January.

All three US airlines will continue to accept shipments when the batteries are packed inside or with equipment such as laptops or power tools.

BBC News,  4 March 2015

Customs Issuing ISF Penalties

US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recently announced its intent to begin issuing liquidated damages against importers and carriers for non-compliance with the ISF (Importer Security Filing) requirements effective from July 9, 2013.  Liquidated damages may be issued in the amount of $5,000/violation.  In addition to issuing monetary penalties, CBP will increase cargo exams and the use of manifest holds for “No ISF on File”.

If you are an a importer experiencing late or inaccurate filings, it is very important to increase  your diligence in complying with processing timely, accurate and complete ISF filings.   We are here to help…please contact Lindsay at 781-961-3540 for assistance!

 

Port of Miami to Offer On-Dock Rail Service

The port of Miami, also known as the Cargo Gateway of the Americas, is gearing up to assist importers with the coming Post-Panamax era with on-port, on-dock rail service and purchase of 4 new Super Post Panamax cranes.  The restored railroad tracks will connect the port to the Hialeah Railyard which in turn will link to the national rail system providing an efficient method of entry for goods destined for distribution in the southeast US.  The new Super Post Panamax cranes are scheduled to arrive this month.  They will enable the port to handle the new generation of super-sized cargo vessels.  Overall, the Port of Miami is investing over $2 billion in infrastructure improvements over the next several years.