New Waterborne Shipping Container Paint Regulations

From 1st April 2017, all manufacturers of shipping containers in China will have switched or be switching over to a new waterborne shipping container paint instead of the traditional solvent paints used in the past. This article explains a little about what this means for customers and retailers in the UK, and for the market in general.

20ft container for shippingWhat is Waterborne Paint?

Waterborne shipping container paint is a water based paint instead of a solvent based paint used in the past. In short its much more environmentally friendly, but it also takes approx 20 hours to dry naturally as opposed to circa 4 hours for a solvent based paint. This means that the container factories will be taking on additional costs to their manufacturing process to accommodate these new regulations, and in turn this will add to the cost of all shipping containers produced from April 2017. Good news for the environment, not so good for everyone’s pocket!

What does this mean if I buy a shipping container?

If you wish to buy a new shipping container the production price, from April 1st 2017, will be going up in the region of US$150-200 per 20ft which will get passed forward to end users.

If you are based in the UK and want to buy a shipping container, April production will likely only be available for sale from June or July onwards, so there is some leeway in the supply chain to bag a deal early. However we are experiencing increased demand and remaining stocks on their way from China are going quickly.

If you buy used shipping containers, you will have approx 12 years before waterborne paints will start being used on the containers you buy in, and as these containers should have already paid for themselves during their serviceable life, we would expect any price increase on used containers to be less significant.

What does this mean if I want to convert containers, or if I buy converted containers?

If we are converting used shipping containers, again shipping containers with Waterborne shipping container paint will only feed through into the used market after their life in service, so near to 2030. When buying used containers which have been in service for circa 12 years we expect this will have a reduced or minimal impact on the overall price on the containers, the general overall movements in the commodity price will likely have a bigger effect on prices in 12 years time.

For new (one trip) containers that get converted, this will also likely cause ongoing price increases to any work undertaken in the conversion yard. You can’t spray over a waterborne paint with a solvent based paint so many of our conversion operations are planning to run 2 painting systems in parallel with each other. This has a slight impact on increased overheads, but moreover the additional drying time for the shipping containers will make a big difference to the charges our yards need to make for the the job to pay for itself.

At this time exact figures are hard to confirm, but as a “guesstimate” we suggest this will likely add circa £100 to the price of a 20ft repainted container in the coming months.

In any event, for the UK retail market we expect shipping containers to remain very cost effective as secure storage units versus any other options available on the open market (such as similarly sized sheds, or building your own outbuilding) At present container prices look as though they may soon hit high prices that will roughly equal prices from circa 2010 or shortly after the start of the recent credit crunch and recession (when there was a supply shortage of shipping containers which resulted in a price spike). offer the UK’s largest online range of shipping containers for sale with a nationwide network of storage and conversion yards and crane equipped delivery vehicles.

If you need a shipping container feel free to browse our online range of shipping containers for sale, which also includes our ranges of flat pack sheds, container canopies and more. You can also call us on freephone 0808 1234 215 any time 9am – 7pm weekdays and our team will be happy to discuss your requirements. Alternatively, you can use our online shipping container quote form or request a telephone callback. In both cases we aim to get back to you within 1-2 working hours (may take longer for more detailed quotes).

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