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USPS To Ban International Shipping On Lithium Ion Powered Gadgetry

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  • Good job not reading (Score:5, Informative)

    by damn_registrars (1103043) <damn.registrars@gmail.com> on Friday May 11, 2012 @12:24PM (#39968207) Homepage Journal
    The very USPS page that is linked to from this summary says that batteries that are in devices are generally exempt from this. Essentially you can ship all the iPods/iPads/iPhones you want. It is external (ie not built-in) batteries that have additional restrictions, though those are not very severe.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 11, 2012 @12:34PM (#39968333)

      "Until January 2013, the Postal Service will not be able to accept packages containing lithium batteries and electronic devices containing lithium batteries addressed to international destinations"

      I bolded the part you chose not to read.

      • by Idbar (1034346) on Friday May 11, 2012 @12:43PM (#39968455)
        Also, you should read... the fact that there's a differentiation between Lithium and Lithium-Ion. Where the latest, the rechargeable ones seem to be allowed, contrary to the non-rechargeable ones.
        • by dgatwood (11270) on Friday May 11, 2012 @01:10PM (#39968819) Journal

          Which is fascinating, because I've never heard of a watch battery bursting into flame during normal operation, yet this would appear to ban the international shipping of nearly all watches. Lithium ion batteries are a fire risk because of overheating, but probably 99% of the time, the overheating is caused by charging, which lithium primary cells do not do. I understand why you would not want to pack cartons of a hundred lithium primary cells (because if a fire occurs external to the batteries, they tend to intensify it), but a single cell here or there would seem to pose little risk.

          • Actually, no. Lithium ion batteries are at risk of fire/explosion when they discharge. If you bridge the terminals you end up with a small incendiary device. There's also a risk of fire from poorly made batteries. I believe the Sony exploding laptop batteries that were in the Dell/Apple/etc devices had iron filings mixed in with the battery media in the cells.

            No idea why USPS is banning this, we've had restrictions here in Australia for about 5 years now, but no sign of a ban.

          • by drinkypoo (153816)

            Which is fascinating, because I've never heard of a watch battery bursting into flame during normal operation, yet this would appear to ban the international shipping of nearly all watches.

            Haha, watches? So what? It also bans the international shipping of nearly all computers, most digital cameras, many telephones... More devices than you might have imagined have lithium batteries for preference retention instead of some kind of NVRAM, and/or to operate a RTC.

          • by makomk (752139)

            Nope, lithium primary cells are quite capable of failing explosively [candlepowerforums.com]. In fact, I think in some ways they're more dangerous than lithium ion batteries because they contain elemental lithium in normal operation. Button cells are probably small enough and rigid enough to be reasonably safe, other lithium cells not so much.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      So, what keeps the shippers from sticking a huge resistor and a low-current LED into a plastic housing, shoving the battery in (hey look, it's a low-power long-life flashlight!) and using that to ship? You could make them extra-huge to store backup batteries, even.

      • So, what keeps the shippers from sticking a huge resistor and a low-current LED into a plastic housing, shoving the battery in (hey look, it's a low-power long-life flashlight!) and using that to ship? You could make them extra-huge to store backup batteries, even.

        Why go to the trouble. There's plenty of other shipping companies out there with better reputations and better services. I think if there's any real impact from this change it is that more products will make it to their destinations since they'll be shipped by reputable carriers.

    • by Idbar (1034346) on Friday May 11, 2012 @12:39PM (#39968409)
      Not also that according to the table (Exhibit 10.20.8 Lithium Battery Mailability Chart [usps.com]). The ones non-mailable are the called primary, which seem to refer to the lithium batteries, not "Secondary" which seem to refer to the Lithium-Ion (rechargeable) batteries.

      Am I confused about this?
      • by Idbar (1034346)
        Arrgghh... where did that "Not" came from. Was "Note" or just "Also".

        Preview... preview... preview...
        • by mcgrew (92797) *

          Arrgghh... where did that "Not" came from.

          From relying on your spell checker rather than proofreading to notice if you hit the "e" hard enough.

      • by yuhong (1378501)

        "Mailing batteries internationally, or to and from APO, FPO, or DPO destinations is prohibited regardless of mail class."

    • The very USPS page that is linked to from this summary says that batteries that are in devices are generally exempt from this. Essentially you can ship all the iPods/iPads/iPhones you want. It is external (ie not built-in) batteries that have additional restrictions, though those are not very severe.

      Was the "good job not reading" a reference to yourself? Oh, the irony!

      From the linked article [fastcompany.com] (emphasis mine):

      According to the USPS, they will prohibit shipping of lithium batteries and any device containing them effective May 16.

      And on the USPS page [usps.com] for the restriction, the USPS anticipates that after 1 January 2013 people will be able to resume mailing devices containing lithium batteries to overseas destinations. And that shipping such devices is banned from May 16 this year.

    • by sl4shd0rk (755837) on Friday May 11, 2012 @12:49PM (#39968525)

      The very USPS page that is linked to from this summary says that batteries that are in devices are generally exempt from this

      Not sure what article you're reading so will paste it verbatim here from TFA. I don't interpret the "rechargeable" and "nonrechargeable" to explicitly mean "removed from the device":

      "primary lithium metal or lithium alloy (nonrechargeable) cells and batteries or secondary lithium-ion cells and batteries (rechargeable) are prohibited when mailed internationally"

      and then the part about being installed in the device - that's not until 2013:

      "on January 1, 2013, cusÂtpmers will be able to mail specific quantities of lithium batteries internationally (including to and from an APO, FPO, or DPO location) when the batteries are properly installed in the personal electronic devices they are intended to operate."

    • by mk1004 (2488060)

      The very USPS page that is linked to from this summary says that batteries that are in devices are generally exempt from this. Essentially you can ship all the iPods/iPads/iPhones you want. It is external (ie not built-in) batteries that have additional restrictions, though those are not very severe.

      Read it again. It says that the USPS is prohibiting international shipments of lithium cells this year. They anticipate that the UPU and ICAO will allow lithium cells that are enclosed within personal electronic devices, starting 2013. Right now, you are not allowed to ship either the bare cells or cells contained within electronic devices.

      IIRC, there have been several incidences in years past where fires have occurred after containers of bulk cells have been damaged by forklifts at airport terminals. Betwe

      • by Skapare (16644)

        So USPS thinks they will be able to solve the problem of damaging shipments by 2013? I have very serious doubts.

        • by mk1004 (2488060)

          It's not the USPS but the UPU/ICAO that's banning international shipments of all lithium cells. The USPS is saying that they expect to be able to ship cells that are contained within consumer products in 2013, indicating that UPU and ICAO intend to allow that type of shipment. The USPS still allows some types of shipments within the US.

          I doubt that they (UPU/ICAO) will allow bulk shipments of cells. When I worked for an IC manufacturer a few years back, we had some products (modules) that contained an IC an

    • by cpu6502 (1960974)

      A slashdotter told me a week ago that Li-Ion battery is "safe", and no longer spontaneously releases stored energy. Is that no longer the case?

      • by mcavic (2007672)
        Li-Ion batteries are generally safe if they're manufactured well and undamaged. But as far as I know, they all have the potential to catch fire if something goes wrong.
      • Only stupid people think a device that stores useful amounts of energy can be inherently "safe". Stupid people are dangerous! If you understand that energy storage has hazards, and take steps to understand and control those hazards, you can be perfectly safe.

        Lithium Ion cells can burn or explode during the charging cycle or when shorted. This is simple fact, easily verified (don't breath the smoke!).

        This is not normally a problem. In your laptop, the individual cells that make up the battery pack are co

    • by suprcvic (684521)
      Not saying you're wrong as I didn't read the link, but the USPS seems to be contradicting themselves on this one according to the letter I received from them. http://www.scribd.com/doc/93249053/USPS-LiOn-Battery-Letter [scribd.com]
  • It's not my fault! (Score:5, Informative)

    by ColdWetDog (752185) on Friday May 11, 2012 @12:25PM (#39968229) Homepage

    This is an issue with International Postal Union and aviation authorities:

    MEDIA STATEMENT ON Outbound International Mailing of Lithium Batteries

    REACTIVE ONLY — FOR IMMEDIATE USE

    Until January 2013, the Postal Service will not be able to accept packages containing lithium batteries and electronic devices containing lithium batteries addressed to international destinations. This includes mail destined to, or from, APO (Army Post Office), FPO (Fleet Post Office) and DPO (Diplomatic Post Office) locations.

    This change is required by the standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the Universal Postal Union (UPU), both of which currently prohibit lithium batteries in mail shipments that are carried on international commercial air transportation.

    So it is a) hopefully temporary b) because the hazardous little bombs are hazardous little bombs and c) everything is complicated these days.

    So, just cram those AAA batteries into you iPhones and wait it out.

  • by i_ate_god (899684) on Friday May 11, 2012 @12:25PM (#39968233) Homepage

    As long as our currency is on, near, or above par with the US dollar, most sensible canadians will order stuff from the US and use USPS to deliver it, since UPS and the like are really just crooked extortionists. How their extortionist techniques are legal, I just don't know.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      As long as our currency is on, near, or above par with the US dollar, most sensible canadians will order stuff from the US and use USPS to deliver it, since UPS and the like are really just crooked extortionists. How their extortionist techniques are legal, I just don't know.

      Amen to that !!!! And even worse then Rogers !!!

    • by tlhIngan (30335) <slashdot@worfMOSCOW.net minus city> on Friday May 11, 2012 @12:43PM (#39968465)

      As long as our currency is on, near, or above par with the US dollar, most sensible canadians will order stuff from the US and use USPS to deliver it, since UPS and the like are really just crooked extortionists. How their extortionist techniques are legal, I just don't know.

      Yeah, USPS is probably one of the best shippers around - it's trackable through Canada (USPS stops at the border, but Canada Post tracks it through). It's also cheap. It will cost more to ship via USPS, but you don't pay UPS' extortionate fees to receive the package.

      DHL is probably another good one - their fees are pretty reasonable (similar to Canada Post's), but very few American companies support DHL as a shipping option (probably because it sucked inside the US - despite being close or is the #1 worldwide carrier).

      After that comes FedEx, because they do flat rate $25+taxes.

      UPS - it's probably their cash cow - total bill can be anywhere from 30-200% of the item value. It's so bad that many US stores stopped shipping to Canada because people were refusing packages ($50 for a $40 item?) over the extortionate and gouging fees.

      Now, there is ONE saving grace - there's something called "UPS Mail Innovations" that uses UPS within the US, who then hands it off to the local post office or USPS to carry across the border. Costs more than USPS and few know about it, but it's an option.

      And it looks to be an ICAO rule, which means every country is affected (but only internationally - local laws can override ICAO if it stays in-country). Though, I suppose USPS just has to innovate and use ground crossings - fly it to the border gateway city, drive it across, and have Canada post continue with it. After all, the only time ICAO really applies is across countries (it's a set of de-facto rules). Though, nothing stops the US and Canada from forming an agreement to allow air transport across the border of batteries.

      • by cpu6502 (1960974)

        You can track U.S. Post Office mail to Canada. It's called Global Express and lets you know when the item has been delivered. I started using that after a number of Canadians started claiming "I never got the item". Now that I use tracking, the complaints have disappeared. Hmmm.

      • by toastyman (23954) <toasty@dragondata.com> on Friday May 11, 2012 @12:51PM (#39968559) Homepage

        DHL is probably another good one - their fees are pretty reasonable (similar to Canada Post's), but very few American companies support DHL as a shipping option (probably because it sucked inside the US - despite being close or is the #1 worldwide carrier).

        DHL ended US-to-US delivery in 2009. They have a service where they'll use the USPS for local delivery, but it's expensive and slow. They also don't do pickup service (for any destination country) in many parts of the US now, so they've made it really hard for US companies to use them. Not all of it is their fault, but it's hard to use DHL if you're in the US now.

      • by madhi19 (1972884)
        Actually Amazon.com via their Global service is using DHL to ship to Canada now instead of UPS.
      • >>And it looks to be an ICAO rule, which means every country is affected (but only internationally - local laws can override ICAO if it stays in-

        I wonder what this will mean for things like Li-poly batteries used in R/C vehicles, etc that are often airmailed from China. Now they will have to go by boat?

      • by bosef1 (208943)

        I've always preferred UPS for US-Canada shipping (small packages) because their fees are reasonable and they expedite clearing customs. With USPS, it seems like you can get: Global Priority, pay a ridiculous fee, but have the package arrive in a couple of days; or pay a reasonable fee regular parcel post, and have the package get held up for a week or two at the border.

        Is there a trick or something I'm missing?

    • How their extortionist techniques are legal, I just don't know.

      Republicans have made theft legal for their business buddies. It's axiomatic. It's widespread.

    • by bws111 (1216812)

      Please explain how UPS are extortionists.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        When they arrive with the package at the Canadian destination, they don't just drop it off, they hold it hostage for a previously-unmentioned "brokerage fee", which is often more than the price of the item and the shipping combined.

        They don't tell you about it before you order and pay for the item and the shipping. They just show up and, "Nice package we're supposed to deliver to you... be a shame if something happened to it. Seems like if I had a package like this coming to me, I'd pay plenty extra to th

    • by Richy_T (111409)

      You misunderstand how currencies (most particularly the exchange of) work.

  • by LehiNephi (695428) on Friday May 11, 2012 @12:27PM (#39968245) Journal
    I don't recall hearing much in the way of incidents involving lithium-containing batteries combusting during shipping. This leads me to wonder which of the following is going on. Is it:
    1) A response to actual incidents?
    2) An over-reaction to the potential of an accident, much like the no-electronic-gadgets rule on airplanes?
    3) Something more sinister involving patents and/or protectionism?

    Given the USPS's boneheaded management style (e.g. you still can't buy first-class postage on their site, only the much more expensive Priority and Express), I'm thinking option #2, but that's just speculation
    • by bws111 (1216812)

      It is not a UPS rule, it is an international civil aviation rule. No lithium batteries in mail shipments on international commercial flights.

      • by sjames (1099)

        Yes, those bombs in the guise of a power source should stay in the passenger section where they belong!

        • by jonwil (467024)

          Dealing with an incident in the passenger cabin is much easier than dealing with an incident in the cargo areas.

    • Just because you didn't hear of it doesn't mean it didn't happen.

      Although official conclusions are not out yet, it is strongly believed that UPS Air flight 6 crashed due to a lithium battery fire.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UPS_Airlines_Flight_6 [wikipedia.org]

      There are also other flights where lithium ion fires are suspected but not anywhere near conclusively proven, like Asiana Air 991 linked in that article.

      Talk about paranoia. Why do people find it so hard to believe someone is doing their job instead of just being ou

      • Why do people find it so hard to believe someone is doing their job instead of just being out to inconvenience them?

        Because it's a lot cheaper to take reasonable care and lose a few planes and/or buildings every so often, than it is to panic and overregulate to the tune of countless billions of dollars per year in job losses and other economic damage.

        Think how much farther ahead we'd all be if the Bush administration had taken this advice to heart after 9/11. We may have saved a few Boeings, but we created

    • 3) Something more sinister involving patents and/or protectionism?

      It is an ICAO rule. That means that a body of technical people, from dozens of different countries all agreed on that rule. Yeah, you won't find the proceeds published, as some members don't like that, but it is quite hard to get dozens of different countries to unanimously agree on some protectionist procedure.

    • by Grishnakh (216268)

      You can buy First-Class postage on Paypal and print labels from there.

    • by nurb432 (527695)

      I say its the ratcheting up of protectionism against cheap imports.

  • The article focuses on the shipment of items out of the U.S., but doesn't mention whether the same ban will apply to purchasing these items on eBay from overseas sources

    I'm sure every eBay seller and buyer will notify the USPS of the exact contents of their border-crossing packages. And the USPS can tell if they don't. And the TSA is a worthwhile use of taxpayer dollars.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    If vendors have to airfreight electrically powered items without their batteries, this is a good thing.

    Why?

    Because it means the batteries will have to be shipped separately, which means:

    they will need to be user-installable, which means:

    they will be user replaceable.

    No longer will you have to replace kit simply because the battery no longer recharges.

  • by SlippyToad (240532) on Friday May 11, 2012 @12:51PM (#39968551)

    . It seems like this would drive more business away from the already floundering USPS financial situation.

    The USPS is struggling because they've been required by a vindictive right-wing to maintain an absurd 75-year pension plan commitment, basically they are being forced to fully fund pension plans for employees who haven't even been born yet.

    If they were simply required to do business under the same rules as their competitors, they'd be kicking UPS' punk ass raw.

    So, just for clarity let's make sure everyone understands that the USPS is being deliberately engineered to fail by the same vandals and saboteurs who are deliberately engineering our economy to fail.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Can someone explain to me why "vandals and saboteurs" are deliberately crashing the system?

      I mean are these Chinese infiltrators or what? Otherwise I can't see a reason unless someone is making a profit (not sure what that has to do with pensions though).

      • by Uberbah (647458)

        Can someone explain to me why "vandals and saboteurs" are deliberately crashing the system?

        So they can blame it on the guy who's in charge. Here's your sign....

      • by doston (2372830)

        Can someone explain to me why "vandals and saboteurs" are deliberately crashing the system?

        I mean are these Chinese infiltrators or what? Otherwise I can't see a reason unless someone is making a profit (not sure what that has to do with pensions though).

        Sure, I'll explain it. Because business interests almost fully control the Republicans and Democrats and don't like any nationalized services or social services. It was decided in the 70s that social programs couldn't be destoryed in legislation, due to popular outcry, so they'd create so much debt for the county that it would be impossible to fund national programs that benefit people. http://thefbm.com/2012/04/16/starving-the-beast/ [thefbm.com]

    • The government refusing stamp increases because there was "zero inflation" also cost them billions of dollars
    • allow the UPSP to be more like a bank ala European countries.

      What? You think they would be more corrupt and incompetent than Wall Street bankers (that should be in freaking prison)?
    • by TubeSteak (669689) on Friday May 11, 2012 @01:39PM (#39969383) Journal

      So, just for clarity let's make sure everyone understands that the USPS is being deliberately engineered to fail by the same vandals and saboteurs who are deliberately engineering our economy to fail.

      It passed a unanimous voice vote in the Senate.
      Before that, it was also passed by voice vote in the House and the motion for a roll call vote was denied.
      The law that created this fiasco was passed after midnight on the last legislative day of Congress.
      Our lawmakers just wanted to get the hell out of there.

    • . It seems like this would drive more business away from the already floundering USPS financial situation

      ....If they were simply required to do business under the same rules as their competitors

      The United States Postal Service is not a business , therefore, it is not run like one. The United States Postal Service is the government. Even a bastard knows this.

      The USPS is struggling because they've been required by a vindictive right-wing to maintain an absurd 75-year pension plan commitment,

      My grandfather, a postmaster for decades and a life-long Democrat, was the Secretary-Treasurer of the National Association of Postmasters (NAPUS [tinyurl.com]) from 1953 to 1971, and set up that pension plan. That is his baby.

      basically they are being forced to fully fund pension plans for employees who haven't even been born yet.

      That's brilliant, actually. If only Social Security worked this way, everyone under 45 wouldn't be fucked for retirement, and Social

      • by baKanale (830108)

        The USPS is struggling because they've been required by a vindictive right-wing to maintain an absurd 75-year pension plan commitment,

        My grandfather, a postmaster for decades and a life-long Democrat, was the Secretary-Treasurer of the National Association of Postmasters (NAPUS) from 1953 to 1971, and set up that pension plan. That is his baby.

        No, that's not what they're talking about. Please see the last section of the Changes under the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 [wikipedia.org] section of the ar

    • by Mitreya (579078)

      If they were simply required to do business under the same rules as their competitors, they'd be kicking UPS' punk ass raw.

      There is more to this than just the pension plan issue
      USPS is required to serve all areas uniformly (i.e. rural routes that are not worth it). UPS will simply not service sparse rural areas and compete only in the plentiful areas. You can't talk about "capitalist" competition when USPS is forced to serve certain places. Any regular corporation would scale back from lossy areas.
      I guess my point is that they should be operated as a government service and not pretend that they are a regular company that can

    • by roman_mir (125474)

      No, that's not the reason.

      The real reason is that the price of stamps is mandated by the government, and since the government is doing everything it can to pretend that the inflation is low, they won't allow USPS to raise the prices to be able to survive.

      • by doston (2372830)

        No, that's not the reason.

        The real reason is that the price of stamps is mandated by the government, and since the government is doing everything it can to pretend that the inflation is low, they won't allow USPS to raise the prices to be able to survive.

        Yeah, it's all about stamp prices. Real weighty addition to the thread, moron.

        • by roman_mir (125474)

          You are in a thread, where I am replying to this comment:

          So, just for clarity let's make sure everyone understands that the USPS is being deliberately engineered to fail by the same vandals and saboteurs who are deliberately engineering our economy to fail.

          So you are the moron here.

          • by doston (2372830)

            You are in a thread, where I am replying to this comment:

            So, just for clarity let's make sure everyone understands that the USPS is being deliberately engineered to fail by the same vandals and saboteurs who are deliberately engineering our economy to fail.

            So you are the moron here.

            That you bother commenting on issues you clearly don't understand makes you the moron, moron.

            • by roman_mir (125474)

              you must be at lest 3 years old, your UID and the manner, in which you express yourself. Shouldn't you put 'are too' in there?

              This thread - place where you don't belong, you need to go home and watch teleboobbies, or whatever they brainwash kids with nowadays.

              • by doston (2372830)

                you must be at lest 3 years old, your UID and the manner, in which you express yourself. Shouldn't you put 'are too' in there?

                This thread - place where you don't belong, you need to go home and watch teleboobbies, or whatever they brainwash kids with nowadays.

                Don't pretend to know something about which you know nothing. I guarantee, you've not put more than 15 minutes into studying the political shenanigans that are destroying the USPS, if you think it's fucking stamp prices. You sit back and armchair criticize a poster, who clearly has a decent grasp of the issue, and you're really just a know nothing. I'm embarrassed for you. You're no different than a Teabagger. An ignorant, loud mouthed schmuck (the three always go together). The best thing intellectua

                • by roman_mir (125474)

                  I guarantee, you've not put more than 15 minutes into studying the political shenanigans that are destroying the USPS

                  here, choke [slashdot.org] on your own words, you slow kid.

  • ... as it appears that, well, lithium batteries are in fact accidents waiting to happen.

    The gadgets industry is to be blamed here. They own us safer batteries!

  • by Animats (122034) on Friday May 11, 2012 @01:06PM (#39968745) Homepage
    • Plane crashes caused by lithum batteries, last 10 years: 2.
    • Plane crashes caused by terrorism, last 10 years: 0.

    And Fast Company is whining that the USPS is overreacting because they refuse to ship a product that randomly catches fire and blows up? And sets off other batteries in the same shipment?

    The FAA has a whole site on aircraft fires. [faa.gov] All their lithium battery documents appear there. Here are the current US battery rules for air transportation [dot.gov]. Phone batteries usually aren't big enough to be a problem, but as battery sizes move up from "small" to "medium" (laptop batteries) the restrictions get tougher.

    • by russotto (537200)

      Phone batteries usually aren't big enough to be a problem, but as battery sizes move up from "small" to "medium" (laptop batteries) the restrictions get tougher.

      Yes, but those were the old restrictions. The new restrictions are "No international shipments of primary or secondary lithium batteries. At all." A watch containing a lithium button cell is forbidden for international shipment under the new rules.

  • by kelemvor4 (1980226) on Friday May 11, 2012 @01:20PM (#39968977)
    The real news here is that someone somewhere was apparently shipping products OUT of the united states.
  • The article referred to was written by a journalist. Journalists tend to know nothing at all about almost everything.

    The USPS press release can be read here: Publication 52 Revision: Lithium Battery — Update [usps.com].

    In the intro it says:

    Effective May 16, 2012, the Postal Service will revise Publication 52, Hazardous, Restricted, and Perishable Mail, to indicate that primary lithium metal or lithium alloy (nonrechargeable) cells and batteries, or secondary lithium-ion cells or batteries (rechargeable), a

  • Electronics that don't have battery compartments and no standards for rechargeable batteries that they contain.

    • Which, of course, has absolutely nothing to do with the current problem.

      Hint: All of you happy Android devices with their oh so standard batteries can be shipped with the batteries either. So you can have your nice electronic device shipped to you safely. Too bad you can't use it though because the battery had to be sent via camel.

      Or do you really think the world would be better off if life consisted of D, C, AA and AAA cells?

  • read this:
    http://about.usps.com/postal-bulletin/2012/pb22336/html/updt_004.htm [usps.com]

    secondly note how this some how doesn't impact corporations.

    I suspect this is implemented because the USPS doesn't operate it's own fleet of jets. They contract with commercial airlines. And sine lithium batteries have been the cause of two airline crashes, they don't want to rick killing 100's of people.

  • It's all crap, a politically strategic move by the republicans in their unending attempts to allow their buddies to privatize each and every government function. They slammed thru a ridiculous edict forcing the USPS to PRE-FUND their retirement pool for almost a century called the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act [messagebase.net] — an incredible piece of ugliness requiring the agency to PRE-PAY the health care benefits not only of current employees, but also of all employees who'll retire during the next 75 y

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