[ID] => 11040
[post_author] => 34
[post_date] => 2019-05-29 10:01:59
[post_date_gmt] => 2019-05-29 09:01:59
[post_content] => Thirty years ago, HCB readers were presented with a bumper 100-page issue, not unlike that we sent out last month, which weighed in at 112 pages. Both issues had one thing in common: a focus on tank containers.
Back in 1989, we reported that the tank container industry had emerged from a brief slump and, after two years of double-digit growth, the world fleet had reached an estimated 45,000 units. Little did we suspect then that, thirty years on, the fleet would have expanded to more than 600,000 tanks.
And there are other common factors between 1989 and 2019: back then, some commentators felt that the growth in the tank container fleet was more to do with finance than with underlying trade demand; similarly today, it is widely taken to be the case that leasing companies are taking advantage of over-production by Chinese manufacturers and the resulting low newbuild prices to build their fleets.
What is perhaps most surprising, given that the global tank container fleet has expanded by more than 13 times since 1989, is that among the major lessors and operators we listed in the June 1989 issue, several are still among the front runners: the two biggest tank leasing companies thirty years ago were Eurotainer and Sea Containers (now still numbers two and three in the list) and among the major operators were Hoyer and Stolt Tank Container, although Trafpak, then the third largest operator, is no more: it was originally part of Pakhoed, which merged with Van Ommeren to form Vopak and subsequently span off all its non-tank storage activities.
Elsewhere in 1989’s June issue, there was a lot of talk about the new UN packaging certification requirements which, after a seemingly endless transitional period designed to allow industry to get tooled up, were about to start coming into force. Pira International’s Martin Castle provided readers with a very lucid explanation of the whys and wherefores of the new scheme – and explained why industry was going to have to start to pay for it.
There was at the time confusion about the approval of combination packagings, something that some users still seem to struggle with, and also the certification of IBCs, at least in part because these packagings had not yet been permitted for use in international transport (although that was also about to change).
Another article, from Robert Schaeffer of DelValCo Consultants, explained the rather different approach being taken by the US authorities, which allowed packaging manufacturers and users to undertake their own tests. A major issue here was getting those companies to understand the rationale behind the tests and to have in place the necessary facilities. Schaeffer was, though, adamant that the UN system, however it was to be applied, did offer a sound basis for the assessment of container quality, even if it could not be described as the finished product.
We remember 1989 now not least for the oil spill in Alaska caused by the grounding of the tanker Exxon Valdez on 24 March. Our June 1989 issue noted that Exxon Shipping’s calendar for the year, which had been circulated to clients and contacts, had for the month of March a glossy picture of … you’ve probably guessed it … Exxon Valdez herself.
[post_title] => 30 Years Ago: June 1989
[post_status] => publish
[comment_status] => open
[ping_status] => open
[post_name] => 30-years-ago-june-1989
[post_modified] => 2019-05-20 14:04:43
[post_modified_gmt] => 2019-05-20 13:04:43
[post_parent] => 0
[guid] => https://www.hcblive.com/?p=11040
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