CHEP presents its reusable transport packaging solution for lithium-ion batteries

CHEP receives UN certification for Class 9 dangerous goods, premiered at the Battery Show Europe in Stuttgart.

CHEP makes the transport of lithium-ion batteries safe and sustainable.

At the leading European trade fair for battery technology in Stuttgart, CHEP Automotive presented a globally available, UN-certified reusable system for transporting class 9 dangerous goods.

The containers, which are based on CHEP standards, are specially tailored to the transport requirements of lithium-ion batteries in the automotive industry. The aim is to offer OEMs, battery manufacturers and Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers who produce or transport lithium-ion battery packs and cells a worldwide scalable, safe and efficient returnable transport solution.

“The switch to electromobility and the widespread use of lithium-ion batteries are making their transport a core topic for the automotive industry. The big challenge is to ensure that different national dangerous goods requirements are met along automotive supply chains, while at the same time working efficiently, safely and sustainably. Only in this way automobile manufacturers and their suppliers will be able to lay the foundations for stable series production of electric vehicles,” stresses Sanjiv Takyar, Head of Innovation, Solutioning & Implementation, Europe at CHEP.

Lithium-ion batteries have spread rapidly in recent years. They are not only to be found in electric cars but are also used in smart watches, mobile phones, notebooks, industrial trucks and even pacemakers. Their big advantage is high effectiveness and an almost completely missing charge memory effect.

However, transporting lithium-ion batteries is not without its dangers. They react with numerous substances, can overheat, catch fire or explode. Lithium-ion batteries are therefore classified as Class 9 dangerous goods and are subject to special transport regulations depending on the mode of transport.

“With the mass production of batteries, one-way solutions are approaching their limits,” says Taykar. An improperly packaged battery that catches fire can shut down the entire supply chain, causing not only enormous costs and endangering lives but also damage to the company’s image or loss of confidence, warns the expert.

To prevent such damage in the future, CHEP has adapted its existing container solutions to meet the stringent regulations of the United Nations for the carriage of Class 9 dangerous goods. The requirements for the new standard battery containers were previously specified by the Battery in Focus Group. The group of automotive industry experts established by CHEP aims to define sustainable, safe and scalable solutions for transporting lithium-ion batteries.

The hardware is based on the standard container types EuroBin FLC, which is used in Europe, as well as the IsoBin 33 used in international supply chains. Both containers are among the most widely used international transport containers in automotive supply chains. The containers were equipped with an additional, modified lid and an inner pocket/liner, as well as four banding straps and, are now certified according to EN standards for the use of dangerous goods in sea container transport and on the road.

The dimensions of the IsoBin 33 are 1,140×1,190×845 mm and provide a maximum load weight of 907 kilograms. The empty weight is 48 kilograms. The EuroBin FLC has a dimension of 1,200×1,000mmx980mm and weighs 47.7 kilograms empty. The load weight is 900 kilograms. Both reusable containers are made of 100 percent recyclable polypropylene (PP).

CHEP has been active as a packaging partner for the automotive industry since 1975. The company operates 62 automotive centers worldwide and a pool of 300 million fast moving containers and pallets in global supply chains.