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Shipping of DM Devices and Batteries

Some partners may want to ship devices to their customers with batteries and SIM cards inserted. This reduces the chance of end users mishandling the devices, or not provisioning the devices correctly. It can help to ensure devices will be working correctly when they are received - rather than relying on the correct process being followed. 

This article covers two areas of interest:

  1. How to configure device parameters to ship provisioned devices such that they don't excessively drain batteries while in transit
  2. General guidelines on shipping device batteries (based on experiences shipping within Australia)

Shipping Provisioned Devices

Things to consider when shipping devices with batteries installed are:

  • Shipping/airfreight regulations - check carefully! Many do not allow active devices
  • Excessive battery drain on battery powered devices
  • Data logged while in transit
Hard-Wired Devices
Generally it is fine to insert the SIM card, connect the internal battery, seal and ship the device. The internal battery may run flat in transit but the device will come online and charge the battery as soon as it is connected to external power.
Trips may be logged while in transit which could affect our ODO/Run Hour readings - but generally this can be corrected server side by taking a reading once the asset arrives.
Battery Powered Devices
Most devices by default are configured to track trips, updating more often and attempting more GPS fixes while in transit. Typically they might be in a truck, cargo hold etc where they are unable to get a fix - but they will still burn up battery capacity in attempting to get one.
There is no way to 'deactivate' a device when batteries are installed - but we can scale back the update rate to reduce excessive battery drain on battery powered devices. 

Scaling Back Updates

It generally makes the most sense to simply set the device to 1 or 2 x Daily heartbeats via a parameter template.

Once the asset arrives in it's destination (or slightly before) - we can reapply our desired operational parameters. Keep in mind they will take until the next heartbeat to take effect. 

Shipping Batteries + Regulations

Our devices rely different types of Lithium Batteries:

  • Lithium Metal batteries (like LTC or LiFeS2) for the battery powered devices like the Oyster or Remora
  • Rechargeable LiPo batteries for internal back up batteries on externally powered units such as the Dart2 or G62

Such batteries are usually subject to shipping regulations or restrictions.



This guide is generated using TNT/FedEx guidelines

Overview/Rules of Thumb

  • There are limits to how many batteries can be shipped via road or air without being declared - i.e. usually a few devices with batteries contained within (lithium ion batteries contained in equipment) can be shipped via air undeclared
  • Batteries on their own, or in large quantities generally need to go via Road. As long as the batteries are declared this doesn't need to travel as 'Dangerous Goods' - which is really a similar service but more expensive
  • Longer road transit times needs to be factored into the equation when providing devices
  • Potential 'dangerous goods' charges need to be factored in, but are often not applicable
  • Shipments must be properly labelled

Battery Power Details by Device

Device TypeType of BatteryVoltagemilliAmp hoursWatt HoursLithium ContentBattery Cell Weight
Lithium Ion battery contained in equipment3.6V2000.74<1g5g
Lithium Ion battery contained in equipment3.6V11004.07<1g20g
Oyster RangeLithium Metal - Green Energy -ER14505M3.6V22007.92<1g20g each
Lithium Metal - EVE - ER346153.6V1900068.4<1g110g each

 Battery MSDS Documentation

See attached to this article the relevant documentation on our battery types

Calculating Shipping Classification

Generally, shipping batteries in large quantities will automatically qualify that shipment as dangerous goods. If you're shipping batteries by themselves the shipment can not be shipped without declaring them.

If you are shipping batteries, Lithium Ion or Lithium Metal installed in, or packed with their devices, you can then consult the below table. Please note the Green squares mean you can ship via normal freight (at least with TNT) and the red squares mean you'll need to ship using a dangerous goods declaration. If in doubt, ship using road express.

How many is 5kg worth of Batteries?


If the total weight of lithium batteries for devices is over 5Kg, you cannot ship by Air and it must be booked in as Dangerous goods via Road.


Example 1: Shipping 75 Remora2 with Batteries installed in devices

75 Remora2s will take 150 batteries, with each battery weighing 110gs, this makes the total weight of the lithium batteries to be 16.5Kgs. This shipment will need to be shipped as Dangerous goods UN3091 via road freight.

Example 2: Shipping 10 Dart2s

10 Darts will have their lithium Ion darts enclosed, each battery weighs 5gs making the total weight of lithium batteries to be 50g. You can ship this in one box via Air without dangerous goods shipping or labels. If you use more than one box to ship you'll need to include the UN3481 label.

Example 3: Shipping 3 Oyster2s with Batteries packaged with devices

3 Oyster2s will take 9 LTC batteries weighing 20g each, bringing the total weight of lithium batteries to 180g. You can ship this via normal air freight with the UN3091 label on the box. be sure to pack the batteries inside a rigid box that prevents them from being moved around/bumped/crushed.

Shipping by Air:

Battery typePacking TypeWeight of Lithium Batteries
(exc devices)
UN Code to use for Dangerous Goods shipping
Labels neededExtra Documentation needed
Lithium Ion batteriesContained within devices<5kgnormal freightUN3481 Label Marknil

Lithium Metal batteriesContained within devices<5kgnormal freight(If more than 2 packages)
UN3091 Battery mark
Lithium Metal batteriesContained within devices>5kgUN3091 - Ship by Road Only
Lithium Metal BatteriesPacked with devices<5kgnormal freightUN3091 Battery markWaybill Statement:
"Lithium Metal batteries in compliance with Section II of PI969"
Lithium Metal BatteriesPacked with devices>5KgUN3091 - Ship by Road Only
Lithium Metal BatteriesBy Themselves<2.5kgDangerous Goods UN3090Cargo Aircraft only
UN3090 Battery Mark
Lithium Class 9
Dangerous Goods Declaration
Lithium Metal BatteriesBy Themselves>2.5kg
Dangerous Goods UN3090
Ship by road only

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