e-bike hero

E-bike Shipping

E-bike Shipping Basics

Shipping an e-bike (electric bicycle) is similar to shipping a standard bike with a few exceptions:

  • Battery - Lithium-ion batteries that power e-bikes are dangerous if they are damaged because they can catch fire or explode.
  • Weight - An e-bike typically weighs two to three times as much as a standard bike. This means that an e-bike must be shipped in a sturdier box (or double box) with more dense padding to withstand the normal rigors of shipping.
  • Size - Due to their wiring, e-bikes are often disassembled less than standard bikes for shipping and thus get packed in a larger bike box or case.

Even though an e-bike's lithium-ion batteries can become dangerous, a special battery-powered vehicle classification known as UN 3171 makes shipping e-bikes in single packaging easier, cheaper and more convenient.

Per this classification, your e-bike is NOT considered to be hazmat; you don't need to be a hazmat-certified shipper; you don't need to pay a hazmat surcharge; and you can ship your e-bike to and from more locations.

Shipping e-bikes under this classification is limited to ground service within the contiguous U.S. We do not ship to Alaska or Hawaii because aircraft are often used to fulfill “ground service” shipments to those states.

Warning: Never ship your e-bike where it is prohibited, such as falsely stating that it is not an e-bike so that you can ship it via air service. It will result in a large fine and potential jail time. You could even cause a plane to crash and people to die if your battery were to get damaged en route (see video).

How to ship your e-bike with bikeflights

Our e-bike shipping service is for shipping single e-bikes with a fully functioning battery that is either contained within the bike's frame or installed on the bike.

Prior to shipping your e-bike, you must do these five things:

  1. Lower your battery charge to less than 30% to limit cell-to-cell combustion.
  2. Power off your battery, remove any keys, and ensure that your battery cannot turn “on” during transit.
  3. Protect your e-bike and its battery by using lots of extra-dense foam padding.
  4. Pack your e-bike into a large and sturdy box rated for e-bikes such as the Bikeflights Bike Box Large (BBL).
  5. Completely remove or completely cover ALL bulk shipping hazmat markings like these:
Sticker Example
Sticker Example

Why? Hazmat stickers are required for bulk e-bike shipments such as when a manufacturer or distributor ships many e-bikes together on a pallet, but these stickers are NOT required for single e-bike shipments. In fact, failure to remove Class 9 or UN 3480 markings on your single e-bike shipment will result in your e-bike being incorrectly considered a hazmat shipment, which means it will be stopped and tagged for disposal.

Size and weight restrictions

Limits on shipping size and weight for e-bikes going through the ground service network are the same as for standard bikes. Please see our Dimensions & Rates page for more information.

If your bike is over 70 pounds, we recommend that you apply a heavy package sticker like the one below. This helps to alert carrier drivers, staff and others that special care should be taken for safe handling.

Package box

Pick Up or Drop Off

We recommend you schedule a pickup when booking your e-bike shipment, and we'll send a carrier driver to come get your packed bike. You may also drop off your e-bike shipment at a UPS Customer Center; remember to always ask for a receipt.

We do not recommend that you drop off your e-bike at UPS Stores because they are individually franchised, and rules and restrictions about the size and weight of packages they will accept vary by location.

Battery-Only Shipment Options

Bikeflightsdoes NOT ship standalone e-bike batteries; we only ship fully functioning e-bike batteries that are contained within your frame or fully installed.

  • To ship a healthy spare or standalone battery, please contact the United States Postal Service (USPS).
  • To recycle a damaged or defective e-bike battery, please contact Call2Recycle.

Learn more about shipping e-bikes and e-bike batteries