About the Container Owners Association (COA)

The Container Owners Association was established in November 2004 as an international organisation representing the common interests of owners and operators of intermodal freight containers. The principle aims of the COA are to provide a global forum and expertise, to promote common standards, safety and the environmental benefits of freight containers.

Current Projects, Work Groups and Events

The principle aims of the COA are to provide a service to its Members, including the following:

  • Development of Industry Standards – with the aim of promoting industry efficiency
  • Dissemination of information through Conferences, Training and Education
  • Lobbying relevant regulatory authorities and co-operation with industry groups
  • Promotion of Safe Operation of Containers
  • Promoting Environmental Awareness


The COA organises two Members Meetings each year – one in Europe and one in Asia. It is a chance for COA Projects to be discussed and reviewed; and also for other industry initiatives to be established.


The COA is working on a number of Industry Projects and Guidelines. These presently include the following:

  • Waterborne Coatings Information Document
  • Recommended Cargoworthy Criteria
  • SOC Acceptance Guidelines
  • Testing Procedure for Container Flooring for Depots
  • Reefer Containers and Container Refrigeration
  • IT Systems and Telematics for the Container Industry
  • International Specification for Flexitank Manufacturing and Material Testing
  • Industry Guidelines for Cleaning of Containers

Recent Publications

Recent COA Guidelines include:

  • Best Practice Guidelines for the Carriage of Cargo in Non-Operating Reefers
  • Annual Report on Alternative Flooring Systems
  • Annual Report on Waterborne Paint Systems
  • Guide to Container Tracking and Telematics Technology

COA Board

Paul Johnescu, Matson Line – Chairman
Brian Darnowski, Triton International
Benjamin Bricout, CMA CGM
Brian Rysz, Seaco Global
Daniel Perez, Maersk Line
Frank Nachbar, Hapag Lloyd
Dirk Vande Velde, MSC – Mediterranean Shipping Company
Nigel Stribley, Blue Sky Intermodal
John Colabello, SeaCube Container Leasing

COA Members

The COA was established to bring like-minded businesses in the container industry together to be part of a global association.

The main aims of the COA are to provide global expertise, promote common standards and facilitate international lobbying. Members have a wider variety of interests within the container industry, including flexitanks, reefers, depots, the environment and other topics that are relevant to the shipping and freight sector.

Visit our Members Directory to see who our members are.

Member Types

Full Membership of the COA is open to all owners of freight containers whose primary business is container operation and leasing. This includes container shipping lines, leasing companies and intermodal container operators.

Associate Membership of the COA is open to companies supplying container-related equipment and services, including:

  • Container Manufacturers
  • Container Depots
  • Equipment and Component Suppliers
  • Flexitanks
  • Flooring Manufacturers
  • Insurance Groups
  • Logistics Service Suppliers
  • Paint Suppliers
  • Refrigeration Machinery Manufacturers
  • Surveyors and Classification Societies
  • Systems and Management Companies
  • Group Membership of the COA is open to other industry groups related to the container business

Partner Membership of the COA is open to other industry organisations.

To learn more about becoming a member of the COA, contact us directly.

Membership Benefits

By joining the COA, companies can become part of a global association, whose members are at the forefront of the container shipping business. Benefits include:

Access to COA studies, reports and conference presentations

Recent reports include:

  • Publication of an Annual Report on Alternative Flooring Systems
  • Publication of an Annual Report on Alternative Paint Systems

Participation in COA Working Groups and Projects

Current projects include:

  • The “Reefer Technical Forum”, aimed at sharing information about the recent problems caused by counterfeit refrigerants. A Directory of Reefer Service Centres and their testing facilities is being developed
  • Management of the Cargo Incident Notification System (CINS) project permitting shipping lines to share information about cargo incidents and accidents
  • Development of a PAS (Publicly Available Specification) based on the COA Recommended Code of Practice) for the manufacture and operation of Flexitanks
  • Opportunity for COA Members to participate and benefit from the IICL’s Audit Progam of Plywood Floor Factories
  • Establishment of a Container Depot Division, permitting Depots to share industry best practice
  • Access to information and technical bulletins published by ICHCA International

Members-only newsletters

Special rates at COA Members Meetings

Contact us for more information about joining.

Meetings and Seminars

The COA organises a number of Meetings and Seminars each year.
Visit the COA events page for further information about COA events.

Click here to visit COA events page