USPS To Prohibit Delivery of Smartphones, Tablets with Lithium Ion Batteries

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Beginning May 16th, the United States Postal Service (USPS) is banning all international shipments with lithium ion batteries, including many electronics. If you've got a friend or relative who's been nagging you to send them a new iPad, you may want to do it before next week.

The concern is that lithium ion batteries, under the right conditions, can supposedly explode or catch fire -- causing a massive catastrophe 30,000 feet in the air. In fact, lithium ion batteries are being blamed for "at least two fatal cargo plane crashes since 2006, including a UPS jet in Dubai," says Fast Company, the outlet that first reported on the story.

U.S. soldiers in particular will probably be affected the most, since other shipping alternatives like UPS, DHL and FedEx are more expensive and can't deliver to Army Post Office and Fleet Post Office mailboxes. The only way, then, to get a gadget stuffed with lithium batteries to an active soldier would be to mail it to a civilian address -- which would boost prices sky high.

The USPS says they may reconsider the ban by January 1, 2013, when they expect the International Civil Aviation Organiza­tion, the Universal Postal Union and the Postal Service to have figured out how to safely transport limited quantities of lithium, as well as what packaging or installation procedures are necessary in order to lower risks. But until then, you might want to start formulating your gadget shipment plan for people you know overseas, unless you want to get stuck using private delivery firms.

via FastCompany


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  • paul tullos Says:

    usps is doing the public a favor. the odds of actually getting a package delivered by usps is about 50/50 to begin with. those guys are worthless.

  • Robyn Says:

    The US Postal Service is more efficient than any other delivery service in the world, and they do it for a tiny fraction of the cost.

    ALL of their financial problems have been very deliberately caused by the Republican Congress, which is forcing them to fund their pension program 75 years into the future. A number that no organization, public or private, could ever rationally hope to achieve. Do you think FedEx is being forced to set aside retirement money for employees it won't even hire for another 45 years?

    But it makes the Post Office look uncompetitive, drives business to the private carriers, who turn around and make Republican campaign contributions. It is a cozy little arrangement that, by the way, makes it much more expensive for you, me, and everyone else to mail a package.

    Just another hidden tax increase, brought to you by the party that constantly complains about taxes.

  • Leon Reisner Says:

    Lithium batteries are too dangerous. If you read the warning stickers, they say not to charge the batteries with no one around, to place the batteries away from any flamible material and in a safe place plus have a fire extinguisher near by. Since Lithium batteries are so dangerous, WHY the h'el are they allowed to be sold??? Any other device or items deemed a fire /safety hazzard that have caused fires and injuries, they are recalled by the manufacturers and banned for sale by the US Government.

  • Oh Johnny Says:

    They are going under, those same batteries are in everthing from cell phones, droids, iPads, on and on, they could have any number of things that will self combust, close it down, get FEDX, UPS, or some other carrier the business, they are not that good of a service.
    They will be hitting congress up for a bailout, everything the government runs is a loser, we are broke.

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