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USPS Lifts Battery Ban in Time for Holiday Season

Service to resume shipping lithium batteries internationally on Thursday.

Sellers who ship lithium batteries, or products like cameras and MP3 players that contain them, will soon be able to use the U.S. Postal Service again to deliver those products to international buyers.

In time for the busy holiday season, USPS will resume shipping electronics containing the batteries—and the batteries themselves—on Thursday to several international locations as well as to army, fleet and diplomatic post offices. The postal service banned lithium shipments outside the U.S. in May.

Fully charged lithium batteries pose a fire hazard and can explode under certain conditions, according to news reports. When the ban was initially announced, officials said it would be lifted sometime next year. However, Christmas came early for sellers affected.

“The Postal Service is pleased to be back in the business of shipping gifts containing lithium batteries internationally and to our service members overseas,” says Giselle Valera, USPS’ vice president of Global Business.

USPS to deliver 365 million packages

Valera adds that USPS employees are getting ready for the busy holiday season, when the service’s package business expects to handle more than 365 million packages. That’s a 20-percent increase compared the 2011 holiday season.

In all, USPS will deliver 18 billion cards, letters and packages between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve, officials say, adding that Dec. 17 will be the busiest shipping day for cards and packages. On that day, USPS mail carriers will drop off 655 million items.

On a typical day, workers deliver 538 million items, USPS reports.

“This is one of the most exciting and busiest times of the year for the Postal Service, whether you’re sending a holiday card to Kentucky or military care package to Afghanistan, our employees do what it takes to process and deliver every single one,” says Patrick Donahoe, postmaster general and chief executive officer of USPS.

About the author

Olga Munoz
Olga Munoz is editor of In addition to writing news and feature articles about e-commerce, selling trends, online marketing and other topics of interest to online sellers, Olga manages the site's social media efforts. A journalism graduate of Chico State, Olga says her favorite part of being a journalist is learning interesting facts that help put stories into perspective, attending industry events and meeting interesting people "that leave you smiling, even in tough situations." Opinions expressed here may not be shared by The Online Seller and/or its principals.

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