Lithium-ion Batteries

Discussion in 'UPS Discussions' started by airbusfxr, Sep 23, 2010.

  1. airbusfxr

    airbusfxr New Member

    What will happen if the NTSB bans these items from air service? Many electronic items use them but the danger of shipping them "incorrectly" has caused and will cause more incidents. I am hearing that the NTSB is looking into new rules but will UPS and FDX take a chance on more regulations? We all know that wine shipped as "olive oil", weed shipped as documents, etc, etc, breaks, leaks, bursts, so what needs to happen to make our employees safe?
  2. cachsux

    cachsux Wah

    I doubt that wine and weed, while illegally shipped in some instances, are a real danger to our planes and pilots. LI batteries are safe except for their fire risk if shorting. I`m sure some sort of safer packaging to prevent shorting and the accompanying guidelines will come along. For business that don`t follow or think they can ship on the sly then an appropriate " fear of Jesus" level of fine would make them think twice.
    Private individuals will still ship these items as general packages and unfortunately there`s no fixing stupid.
  3. drewed

    drewed Shankman

    Hopefully Mr FedEx can clarify this, but I read somewhere they use special ulds that are fire blocking or devious of O2.... I think the step UPS/faa will take is retrofitting the fleet with some sort of active fire suppression system. In connection with iata making lithium batteries adg requiring more work and paper trails
  4. DOT/FAA will not ban Li-batteries from transportation by air. What they intend to do as per their NPRM is to make all these batteries (>3.7 Wh, i.e. everything larger than the tiny button-type batteries for hearing aids) subject to HazMat regulations - which they are by the way, but they are exempted up to a power of 100 Wh (160 Wh in certain cases). In plain English this means that cellphones, laptops, netbooks, PDA, iPhone and company are subject to the entire set of HazMat regulations. What makes it so challenging is that ICAO/IATA have their own standards, which are currently less strict in this specific case (it might change in 2012 or earlier).
    The impact will be on the supply chain by limiting the amount of these little "beasts" per transport vehicle (e.g. aircraft).
    This NPRM (Notice of Proposed rule Making) has been issued a long time ago, comments were received, and the UPS-6 crash in DXB with an apparent emphasis on the load (quite a few indications lead to electronic items powered by Li-batteries) will definitively have an impact on this regulation.
    Practical impact will be more hidden dangerous goods (cellphones and company), higher rates for dangerous goods, returns of damaged or non-operational Li-battery driven "toys" will be made more than challenging for a private customer (which drop-off point will accept these "toys" unless declared improperly).
    Let us see what DOT/PHMSA/FAA will come up with.
    It is not entirely unexpected if you monitor the list of battery-related incidents in air transport (affecting both UPS & FX as well as other air carriers).
  5. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    Our aircraft carry "hard haz" (must be accessible to the crew) in a specially designed hazardous container with an attached fire suppression system. If someone had to enter the container from the cockpit, they could, because it's loaded in Position 1 (furthest forward) on the plane. "Non-accessible" hazardous materials (like lithium-ion batteries) can be loaded anywhere on the plane, so the battery threat exists on FedEx aircraft as well. If the batteries shorted-out on one of our planes, bad things could happen. In fact, we've had several planes burn completely that had in-flight fires due to undeclared hazmat. Luckily, all of them were able to land before the crew got hurt.

    I catch people trying to ship forbidden or hazardous items several times a year. Sometimes they just don't know any better, but often it's intentional because they don't want to pay the hefty hazmat surcharge or be bothered with special packaging and paperwork. When I used to drive CTV's (feeders) I'd often get stopped at the port of entry scale because their scanners would detect radioactive material that nobody had bothered to document (at FedEx). It was always "comforting" to know that our Dangerous Goods people were so sharp (like a bowling ball).
  6. RustyPMcG

    RustyPMcG New Member

    Manufacturers and distributors will figure out how to deal with any new regulations.

    But what about people who need a cell phone or laptop shipped quickly to some place? What are they going to do?

    It may take some work to hide a full-size laptop. Helen Keller could pick an undeclared laptop out of a load of Next Day Air. But what about cell phones? Regulate them out of the mix, and they're just going to get smuggled. Put some kind of surcharge on them, and they're just going to get smuggled. Why? Because people will still need to ship them, regulations or not. Their needs can't be regulated away.

    For any regulations to be practical, they must recognise the need, manage the risk, and do so without adding a huge disinsentive to comply (like a significant surcharge to ship a laptop or cell phone, or some packaging requirements that are too expensive.)

    People will manage their own risks. If the cost of complying with the regulations is too high, they'll consider the risk of being caught smuggling. Making the fine astronomical won't help if the maximum fine won't be dealt out.

    The focus needs to be on making it safer, not just regulating the hell out of it. And the cost, well, the cost is going to have to be spread-out, and subsidised, or else compliance will be a problem. And if compliance is a problem, enforcement becomes a problem, too. (Think the speed limit. Compliance is poor, and enforcement shoots only at the most egregeous offenders.)

    But the action will have to come from the government, and apply to all carriers. UPS, for example, isn't going to do anything that makes them less competitive with FedEx, and vice-versa. Niether wants to see all the cell phones and/or laptops being shipped by ordinary people go to the other just because of some added cost or packaging requirements, even if they do spread the cost as an overhead cost rather than a direct cost to the indivdual packages.
    Interesting article on who is for and against restrictions and the impact it will have, especially the myriad of private shippers not having any kind of training on hazardous material. Opens up new venues for some enterprising people.
    Another nugget regarding the accident in DXB (as otherwise no info is available) has been released by GCAA.
  8. airbusfxr

    airbusfxr New Member

    Yes and we all know the cause. This action will force air carriers to provide safety above service commitments.
  9. BadHABITS

    BadHABITS New Member

    We DO NOT know the cause... Whatever the cause, this is not the time to start rumors! Do you work for or with the airline?
  10. airbusfxr

    airbusfxr New Member

    We know the cause of the rule change Einstein. Never ass u me.
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2010
  11. fxdwg

    fxdwg Member

    Very irresponsible and disrespectful of people directly affected by the events.

    Airbusfxr...delete this thread
  12. drewed

    drewed Shankman

    How is he not affected by the events?
  13. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    Back to the original topic, which is a good one. Ever since the DBX crash, I've been noticing packaging with Lithium-Ion warning labels coming down the belt. They aren't considered hazardous unless the packaging is damaged, as is indicated on the label. Not very reassuring. I've heard nothing from FedEx, which isn't surprising since there is no official cause for the UPS accident yet. If, and i said if, it was determined that Lithium-Ion batteries caused the crash, I'd be willing to bet that they get re-classified as true Dangerous Goods, and will require certification papers, more labeling, and further safety precautions. I'd also speculate that fire-suppression systems will be re-evaluated and possibly required on the main deck in the future. FedEx has already started using an advanced smoke-vision system that allows pilots to "see" through smoke. I'm presuming this is along the lines of a CATIII system, where a hologram showing the glideslope is projected directly in front of the captain, allowing him to land the aircraft even though he cannot see out the windows. CATIII is also an auto-landing system, and I'm not sure the UPS 747-400 was so equipped.

    That said, nobody knows what happened yet, but this is a great topic for discussion. Shippers aren't going to like anything that increases their costs, and both UPS and FedEx are going to be careful that they retain the L/I business.
  14. fxdwg

    fxdwg Member

    The Families...

    EVERYTHING surrounding this tragedy is conjecture except that two good men lost their lives

    This thread is not appropriate at this time
  15. DS

    DS Fenderbender

    fxdwg I can see how you could take exception to some comments made in this thread.
    We all feel for the pilots that died,I do believe that all everyone wants if indeed it was caused by lithium batteries,
    is to make sure action is taken to avoid another accident.
    This is a valid and important thread.
  16. satellitedriver

    satellitedriver Moderator Staff Member

  17. airbusfxr

    airbusfxr New Member

    Big report today on all the media outlets, all SDF media its the top stoy.r
  18. fxdwg

    fxdwg Member

  19. Monkey Butt

    Monkey Butt Dark Prince of Double Standards Staff Member

    I think it is important to note that no one (who actually knows anything or is in a position to know anything) has associated the flight 006 fire with Lithium batteries.
  20. Anonymous 10

    Anonymous 10 Guest