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Developed for safety and efficiency

Dangerous goods packaging for BMW lithium-ion batteries

Lower weight, compact dimensions, far fewer components and time savings in the packaging process: these were the BMW Group’s requirements for the optimisation of an existing packaging set for shipping high-voltage batteries for electric and hybrid vehicles.
Working with DS Smith, we developed a three-piece packaging set made from environmentally friendly corrugated cardboard, which replaced the previous 22-piece multi-material packaging. The new packaging significantly simplifies the shipping of the high-voltage batteries. As approved dangerous goods packaging, it is also designed for worldwide individual and collective transport using all transport routes – land, sea and air.

The packaging set therefore offers both a cost-efficient and process-safe solution for transporting and storing the lithium-ion batteries.

The customer

The BMW Group is one of the pioneers in electric mobility. In 2017, the Munich-based car manufacturer sold more than 100,000 electric cars and plug-in hybrids. The key drive components of the vehicles are the high-voltage batteries. These are shipped worldwide. Lithium-ion batteries are classified as dangerous goods because of their components. This presents special challenges for the transport packaging.

Dangerous goods packaging for batteries

Drawing of three-part components of the single-material corrugated cardboard packaging for high-voltage batteries

The brief

Until the end of 2016, the BMW Group used dangerous goods packaging made up of 22 packaging components and four different materials for shipping spare parts for its high-voltage batteries.

However, the large number of components sparked demand for optimisation of the existing packaging solution into a single-material solution while maintaining reliable transport protection.

The requirements

  • Develop a single-material solution made of corrugated board
  • Reduce the number of individual packaging parts
  • Reduce handling time, weight and packaging size
  • Packaging can be loaded with a gripper system or manually
  • Shipping carton with undergrip aid (old packaging without undergrip aid)
  • For worldwide individual and collective shipping on all transport routes (old packaging only designed for collective shipping).

The solution

Process optimisation

  • Fixed strap connected to the inner pad for effortless removal of the pad from the box
  • Packaging can be loaded with a gripper system or manually
  • Shipping carton with undergrip aid (corrugated skid base)
  • 65% time saving in packaging from 2 minutes to 45 seconds per piece
  • 0% error rate since the start of use at the end of 2016 in terms of the transport protection of the high-voltage batteries due to the high process reliability and simple handling
  • Use for additional BMW high-voltage battery types


Packaging material savings

  • Single-material corrugated cardboard packaging rather than four different packaging materials
  • Reduction from 22-piece to 3-piece
  • 35% weight saving from 5.8 kg to 3.7 kg
  • 60% reduction in shipping volume from 0.057 m³ to 0.034 m³, packaging is only slightly larger than packaged goods
  • No additional packing aids apart from cardboard sealing tape: plastic pallet, edge protector and strapping tape eliminated
Dangerous goods packaging for batteries
Dangerous goods packaging for batteries

Minimised logistics effort

  • Designed for shipping individually without a pallet and collective shipping on a pallet (previously just collective shipping) with reduced transport volume
  • Packaging guarantees simplified and safe worldwide spare parts shipment on all transport routes



  • Cost reduction of packaging purchase price by 25% as a result of packaging material savings as well as production with lower manufacturing costs.