The COA has published the 6th Revision to its Report on Alternative Systems for Container Floors.
In his introduction, the Report’s author, Nigel Stribley, notes that during the 12 months since the previous Report, the container market has continued to be challenging for shipping lines, leasing companies and the container manufacturing industry. Dry container production remains at a relatively low level and total production for the year 2013 is estimated at being about 2,400,000TEU which is down on the 2,460,000TEU built in 2012. The profitability of container owners and manufacturers has been under considerable pressure because of competition and oversupply; so when containers have been purchased, it is quite likely that the primary focus has been on obtaining the lowest price rather than improving the specification or improving the environmental impact of their production.
It is against this background that container owners have been considering what materials to specify for their container floors. The production volume of containers fitted with floors using materials other than tropical hardwood plywood has continued to rise slowly but the forecast of what might happen in the future has changed significantly since last year’s report was issued.