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Intermodal Europe 2016 – Wrap Up

20.11.2016 - Posted by Updated On 20.11.2016    

Last week marked the fifth time that attended the Intermodal Europe convention, and while companies and people change, overall the industry as a whole hasn’t changed a lot; nor can it be expected to, at least not quickly. Some of the larger developments with regards to containers themselves are in paint, software and tracking, and folding containers.

Waterborne Paints for Shipping Containers

New legislation from the Chinese government has mandated that all shipping containers be painted with waterborne paint. Southern China has been using waterborne paint since mid-2016, and the rest of China will be using it starting in 2017. Waterborne paint is less toxic and better for the environment, and produces less dangerous fumes for those that paint with it; but what does it mean to the end user of new shipping containers? It’s more likely to produce a clearer and brighter color, but it’s also more expensive. The factories in China need to modify their production lines and this cost will be passed on to the consumers, at around $150-$200 per container. shipping container convention booth

Tracking and Monitoring of Containers

shipping container convention bar

Tracking devices and container monitoring software are continuing to make developments. Refrigerated shipping containers are the first to see the impact, primarily due to costs and the fact that cargo moved in refrigerated containers tends to be higher value (fish, pharmaceuticals, etc.). The higher value cargo means the cost of tracking the container has less an impact on the overall cost. Also, tracking the items allows customers to better manage their supply chain and use capital more effectively.

The tracking of dry shipping containers has made less progress simply due to the demand for the service at the price currently available to the market. It may be a few more years before we see the tracking of dry shipping containers on any widespread level.

Folding Shipping Containers

For several years now manufacturers have been trying to find a way to effectively manufacture folding shipping containers. Having a folding shipping containers means less space is required should the container need to be repositioned empty. For example, if five containers are shipped from China to the United States, it may only require the space of one container to ship the five back. The issue with folding containers is still in cost and durability. It appears that the manufacturers just haven’t gotten to the right price point to make them cost effective on a large scale.

Overall, the industry seems optimistic about the direction of global trade, changing government administrations, and improving market conditions. That’s not to say that there isn’t a fair amount of concern in the marketplace, but now that some of the cards have been turned over there’s at least some progress through the unknowns. 2017 will prove to be a challenging year for many, but the world economy should continue to improve. is an online software platform and marketplace for buying and selling new and used shipping containers. If you have any questions about how our custom trading platform can help increase shipping container sales efficiency and increase market reach please contact us to set up a convenient time to meet.

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