COA October 2022 Newsletter

“Welcome to Amsterdam” Networking Reception: Register Now
Arrangements are now in place for the Container Owners Association at Intermodal Europe 2022, Amsterdam. After a break of three years, the COA Secretariat is looking forward to getting back together again with our Members and Industry Contacts. It should be a busy and enjoyable week!

The COA is organising a “Welcome to Amsterdam” Networking Reception on Monday 7 November (5pm to 8pm). Taking place at the Hilton Hotel Apollolaan, drinks and canapes will be served.

Practical Information – Registration Required
The Reception is free-of-charge for COA Members, with a fee for non-Members. As we need to know the numbers of people attending, pre-registration for the Reception is required.

To register, please click on this link: COA AMSTERDAM RECEPTION

COA Container Pavilion at Intermodal Europe
Intermodal Europe will feature a wide range of companies exhibiting their products and services – you can find full details about the Exhibition on: Visitors can pre-register for event, using this link: Intermodal Visitor Registration.

The COA will once again be organising the COA Container Pavilion – an important meeting-place for Members and all Visitors.  Please come and visit us on Stand F50.

Sponsorship Package: There is still time to benefit from being a Sponsor of the Stand. For further details about the Sponsorship Package – contact

Forthcoming COA Webinars announced
The COA will be organising two further Members Webinars this year, as follows.

  • Container Innovation: Thursday 17 November 2022
  • Flexitanks: Thursday 8 December 2022

Details and registration link will be circulated in due course

We invite members that are able to present one of the agenda items, to make contact with the secretariate

IICL Reefer Bulletin – mitigating the effects of anti-Covid chemicals
The IICL has issued an addendum to the Reefer Technical Bulletin RTB-009 .

The Bulletin includes recommendation to mitigate the corrosion damage caused by chemicals being improperly sprayed on to the internal surfaces of the reefer container, apparently as part of a process to disinfect the surface.  Further research and investigations are being conducted.

To download the Bulletin, click on this link: RTB 009 Addendum 11 October 2022

Reducing pest introduction through the Container Pathway
There is continued International concern that shipping containers are possible pathways to the spread of pests. The COA is engaging in the IPPC consultation process to mitigate the effects. The adopted procedures could have a significant effect upon the container industry.

The International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) is  intergovernmental treaty signed by over 180 countries, aiming to protecting the world’s plant resources from the spread and introduction of pests, and promoting safe trade. IPPC is withing the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations

The IPPC held an international workshop on reducing the introduction of pests through the Sea Container Pathway from 19-20 September in London, United Kingdom.

The workshop was attended by 120 participants from 35 countries representing National Plant Protection Organizations, Regional Plant Protection Organizations, international organizations and industry stakeholders such as container owners, shipping lines, container manufacturers, freight forwarders, packers, port authorities, marine terminal operators, shippers, importers, and exporters.

The workshop is a part of the continuous effort of the IPPC Community and its partners to identify the challenges and opportunities to reduce the movement of pests in the sea container pathway. In 2016, the SCTF was established with the task to collect existing data from countries to analyse existing measures and consider the potential challenges.

To download the Workshop programme, the documents that were presented and the list of participants – click on this link: IPPC Meeting.

Improvements to Container Design
The COA is one of the four industry organisations – (COA, World Shipping Council, the IICL and BIC) which have joined the IPPC Task Force. The container industry group is investigating possible improvements to the container design that by the modification some features might  deter the harbouring of pests.

The issues relating to changing container design – and possible options – were presented by Mike Downes. Philip Eastell explained the potential problems – from both a scientific and regulatory viewpoint – of incorporating insecticides or biocides into a paint coating to reduce the chances of survival of eggs/larvae/bacteria.

Cargo Integrity Group: promoting the CTU Code
The Cargo Integrity Group is an alliance of 8 international organisations: COA, WSC, ICHCA, WSC, GSF, BIC, FIATA, TT Club

The purpose of establishing the Group was to promote safety in the container shipping industry through greater adherence to – and application of – the “IMO/ILO/UNECE Code of Practice for Packing of Cargo Transport Units” (the so called “CTU Code”)

COA supports the promotion of safe operations. The work as it is relevant (directly and indirectly) to all of the COA’s Members.

ISO – TC104 Containers
The bi-annual (virtual) meetings of TC 104 take place this week (during the week commencing 16 October 2022)

The meetings are effectively a management oversight of the containers standards under review or proposed to be reviewed by the various work groups.

The report, when published will be available to COA members.

COA Environmental Strategy Document Published
“Sustainability” and “Environmental” are important challenges for the container shipping industry as a whole.  The COA Board recently agreed that the COA should have an Environmental Strategy in place, to reflect the COA support of initiatives which – in a cost effective manner – reduce the impact of container manufacture, use and disposal and thereby enhance its environmental sustainability.

A draft document has been published and is available for review. Feedback from Members is welcome.

To view the document, please click on this link: COA Environmental Strategy. Members who are interested in contributing ideas for this Strategy Document should contact Patrick Hicks, COA Secretary – .

COA Flexitank Quality Conformance (CQC)
The COA Quality Conformance (CQC) scheme provides for a list of flexitank manufacturers and operators that have successfully completed five independent audits including ISO 9001, ISO 14001, Installation, Use and Training Manual, Materials Batch Test and Rail Impact test.

The Flexitank Quality List (FQL) is available from COA website and is used by Ocean Carriers and Shippers as part of their risk assessment when evaluating flexitank shipments for safe and reliable transport.

Further information:

COA Technical Reports, Publications and Presentations
Members are reminded that they can download all COA Reports and Presentations from the COA website. The following have been published this year:

COA Reefer Telematics Interoperability Standard
The COA has published an open standard Reefer Data Classification Scheme, supported by an open source Unified Data Model (UDM), permitting interoperability of telematics device data from the industry’s leading container refrigeration machinery manufacturers.

To download a copy of the UDM, click HERE

COA Reefer Coatings Transition – Technical Briefing Report
The COA has published a Technical Guidelines Document (TG-07) for COA Members, providing information about the transition of coatings applied to reefer containers, commencing July 2021

To download a copy, click HERE.

COA Flexitank Code of Practice TG-07
The existing COA Flexitank Code of Practice for manufacturers and operators has undergone a review, incorporating updates and editing the format for ease of reference. The new version will be published later this month.

Webinar Presentations
Recent webinars on the following topics:

Flexitanks: Recycling and Testing – PDFs of the presentations – click HERE.
Reefer Coatings Transition – PDFs of the presentations– click HERE.

Interested in Container History? New Publication tells the story

The shipping container affects everyone – the global economy depends on the safe and on-time delivery of cargoes of every type on container ships.

“The History of the Shipping Container” ( is a new book, which tells the story of how the container was first conceived – and then designed and manufactured.

It is written by Ulrich Cramer – who was there in the very early days, as a container designer and manufacturer. He was involved in many container innovations, as well as the establishment of container factories in Europe. He was also the main consultant for the development and construction of China’s first container factory in the early 80s.

Covering the period from the 1950’s to the early 1980’s, this book is a personal history of the container, including:

– Intermodal systems – before the first container ship
– The first container shipping lines
– Standardising the container design
– Container materials and technology
– How container manufacturing started in the US, and then moved to Europe – and then Asia
– The development of the swap-body as a road-rail mode
– Container handling equipment – in the early days

Illustrated with over 200 photos, the 137-page book tells a fascinating story – and should be of interest to anyone involved – directly or indirectly – in the container business.

Available at a price of £45.00 (plus packing and postage), the book can be purchased online – click on this link:

On the Container History website, you can also view the film that was made in 2006, to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the sailing of the first containership. Click here to view the film:

Further information about ordering the book, email:

For further information on items in this Newsletter, please email the COA Secretariatl: