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Sending batteries? Not so easy, anymore. To ensure safety in the skies even better, the IATA (International Air Transport Association) established new rules for sending batteries. Violation of these rules may result very well in the destruction of your shipment. To keep this scenario from happening, we’d like to offer some instruction on sending batteries.

What do I need to know?
In short: If you are sending batteries, PLEASE CONTACT US. This will save your shipment from delivery delays, gathering surcharges or even destruction. Not exaggerating.

What kind of batteries?
• Individually packaged lithium batteries
• Individually packaged lithium batteries that are in the same box with a device (phone, laptop, flashlight, all other products that use batteries)
• Integrated lithium batteries. Batteries that are integrated with a device and cannot be replaced by a user.
• Leaking batteries, of course.

How are lithium batteries dangerous?
Lithium batteries are only potentially dangerous when used improperly, when they are manufactured poorly or when they are damaged. Any sort of misuse can start a chemical process in the battery, potentially ending in a) fire, b) unhealthy gas formation c) explosions or, d) all of the previously mentioned. In the past five years the American Aviation Authorities (FAA) recorded around thirty incidents involving lithium batteries.

Who designed these rules?
Contemplating all of the above, it is no surprise that the IATA established these new rules. Goal of the IATA: making air transport safer and more reliable. This is not saying that the regulations of overland battery transport remain unaffected. In short: Sending batteries? Let us know. Also: read our section on restricted goods, and watch this nice informative video on the risks of sending batteries.


It is easy to look at Customs as a necessary, opaque and potentially painful hurdle.  So, what is even Customs? Is it an institution? A location? Taxes? Plural or singular? Some clarification:

Recipe for bad weather

So, what is customs? A lot. The existence of many meanings result in frequent misuse and confusion. Which is sad and unfortunate for all the Customs officials, who get blamed for whatever goes wrong. To add to this: there are Customs brokers and customs officers, and there are Customs brokers who are actually state employees.

A definition offers some clarification with a somewhat manageable

Customs, an authority in a country responsible for collecting customs duties and controlling the flow of goods. 

In other words,Customs is not immigration. Or police. Or  quarantine. 

Function of Customs

Customs duties are being organised in a so-called Customs Tariff. In most cases, the government imposes the Customs Tariff on imported or exported goods. Another function of customs, the institution, is to provide budget-makers with statistical data to manage Customs Tariff. 

Just a start

This is only the tip of the giant Customs-uncertainty mountain. Trying to conquer this mountain would be a never-ending expedition.  However, what you can do when shipping internationally is to inform yourself with the rules regulations of the destined country.

Another step towards sustainable shipping: 

The ongoing search for sustainable shipping yields a daily amount of new, innovative and more or less succesful initiatives. However, current supply chain management is still one of the biggest challenges to more green practices.


Supply chain managers

Gaps, challenges and opportunities. Difficult pieces of the puzzle for supply chain managers. Current issues that keep managers from switching gears? Current fads and a lot of opinions. In addition to that: traditional contractual models, a hesitant approach of changing conventional procedures and a lack of collaboration with the supply chain. 



In the meantime, public demand on sustainable shipping is growing. This demand will also ask supply chain managers to think about greener and more sustainable ways to organise supply chains.


Enjoying simple measures

The Internet is full of tips. Some great. Since being pedantic is never a great way to get a message across, we have just collected some vere easy to implement sustainable supply chain tips. 


Switching lights and PC’s off when left idle

Recycling paper

Taking the bicycle

Use virtual file cabinets in stead of printing out everthing

And, our favourite tip: Give time in stead of presents! A great piece of advice is worth more than whatever mall-bought present.


History. Too much to read, too much to learn. To keep everyone entertained as well as informed, we’de like provide you every now and then with a bitesize piece of logistical background info. 


Great feet of ancient Logistics: The Amazing Roman Logistical Supply Chain

The ancient Roman military had a complex logistical supply chain. Since the Roman Empire never acquired the knowledge to construct motorized airplanes, most shipments were organized over land. Military supplies were supplied via fixed supply chains. One legion consists of roughly 6000 infanterists, requiring 13,5 tonnes of food per month. 

Speed of transport: 15 miles (24 kilometers) per day.  The Roman Army did not have logistical overseers, supply chain managers or electricity. In other words, brilliant shipping.


There are the daily small fixes. Upscaling the small fixes: global logistic developments. Trumpets and timpani. The big stuff. Checking in with this year’s international developments.


I Basic Border Management
The speed of improvements in developing countries is decreasing, meaning they now have to face bigger, and more complex issues. Quick fixes, in this case, are mostly about improving infrastructure. Building roads and raillines. Filling up pothole roads. However nice it is to not having to dig your truck out every twohundred meters, improvement is still hard to realize if there is no  basic border management. A difficult and multi-layered challenge, asking patience, creativity, organisational skills. And perseverance. 


II Increasing sophistication
Hopping over to mid-income countries contrast. Most of them have a basic and well-functioning border management. Next step and biggest gain: expanding logistics services.  Setting up specialized functions, like warehousing or freight-forwarding. Growing knowledge.


III Environmental awareness
When everything works properly and every legal nook and cranny is neatly plastered, environment awareness is kicking in. The demand for “Green logistics”. Planes flying on recycled cooking oil.  If the growing demand on green logistics continues, logistic providers will need to take steps in order to keep existing.


And now?

It’s hard to tell what development in logistics will be next. Collaborative consumption, access vs ownership, online systems taking over, old and new business models changing places. Changes, trends, current fads and, of course, a bit of that same old.

Want to know more? Read more about global trends in logistics in Connecting to Compete, a publication of the World Bank. 


A perfect and never-failing way to decrease the futureeffectiveness of your shipping operations is to indulge you and your organisation with current fads. Wrong labels, missing information, miscommunication, supply chain malfunctions. Eight days a week, little or no progress. A small thought on Logistics and Short Term Thinking.



However ‘conservative’ the world of logistics and shipping might be, there is no standstill to innovations and changes. It is easy to understand that fixing yourself on current logistical issues and problems is a not a great way to have your organization future-ready.

It is a whole different matter to keep your self from the pitfall of short-term thinking.




Most (all) people are fixed on getting their happiness as soon and fast as possible. The consequence is that the solving of a minor issue, say, a shipping label with some incomplete information, yields way more gusto than busting your brain on a wide-scope, structural and systematical issue. Of course, there is way more too it, but to keep things managabele, we’ll stick to this small piece explanation first.



The creeping and uncomfortable feeling of there’s something systematically wrong, but i’ll investigate that later is not a great way to make your shipping organization future proof. It’s a start, though. Our small advice: Bet on the long term. 

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