Coating of shipping and transport containers - new manufacturing guidelines in China starting 2017


Why a new color for container coating?

Most standard sea containers are produced in China and to keep costs low, these containers have been painted with solvent-based paints for decades.

With grave consequences for people and the environment. When the solvent-based paints evaporate, so called VOCs (Volatile Organic Components) are released. Through the evaporation of volatile substances while applying the paint to the container, gases escape into the atmosphere and attack the ozon layer. For the workers in the factory, there is a health hazard because the gases produced from the solvents can irritate the eyes, the lung tissue and the mucous membranes. VOCs have also been proven to have carcinogenic, teratogenic and mutagenic effects. This is why container manufacturers and suppliers have committed to using water-based instead of solvent-based paints for their containers in the future.

When will the new color system come into use?

The switch was started by Southern Chinese manufacturers in 2016. By April 2017, all Chinese factories are obligated to have completed the switch. Water-based paints were first tested for container coatings in 1990 with very positive results

All manufacturers are obliged to make this change, there are no exceptions.

Changes for the manufacturers:

In Western countries, water-based paints have been in use for many years when producing industrial goods.

This is being applied in China as well. The CCIC (China Container Industry Association) has published guidelines which are binding for all market participants.

Consequences for the container market

The new color system is more demanding during the application process, which leads to an increase in manufacturing costs. To achieve the desired color quality, stricter guidelines regarding the control of the processing conditions have to be complied with (e.g. humidity and temperature). This may well lead to rising container prices.

How iCON will handle this

Of course, we at iCON International Container Service GmbH, support this change. This development has significant benefits for everyone involved. We place great value on a high quality, when it comes to the coating of our containers. That’s why we work with the Hempel company, one of the leading and most innovative manufacturers of protective systems for metal surfaces.

Our conclusion

We are convinced by the benefits. The new color is not only better for our health and the environment, but also provides a high quality finish on the container.

If you have further questions about the new color, just get in touch with us – we are happy to help! You can also request technical specifications, which we will gladly supply.

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