News Archive – 2000

October 10, 2000
IICL Releases Results of Its 2000 Leased Container Fleet Survey: Four Reports posted on Institute's Website

Statistics from the 2000 Leased Container Fleet Survey were posted on the Institute of International Container Lessors' website today (click here to view survey). The information on the fleets of survey participants as of January 1, 2000 is published as five short reports, with the reports posted today covering specials, chassis, purchases, and domestic containers/European swapbodies. In light of changes to the number of companies reporting, limited comparisons with other years are offered.

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August 7, 2000
IICL Publishes On Line; Issues Technical Bulletin on Web

The Institute's first technical publication to go on-line, Technical Bulletin S2, an addendum to the Repair Manual for Steel Freight Containers, Fifth Edition can be downloaded free of cost. The Bulletin contains key information on surface preparation and painting condensed from the Specifications for Steel Container Refurbishing, which has been discontinued. This addendum issued as Appendix E, supplements material already included in less detail in the Repair Manual.

Visitors to the IICL website can download and print out the Bulletin, punch three holes and insert the pages into their copies of the Repair Manual, which was printed in binder format to allow for just such an addendum. Printed copies of Technical Bulletin S2 are also available and can be purchased from IICL for $12 (USA/Canada) and $13 (elsewhere).

"Publication of the Technical Bulletin on the web continues IICL's on-going effort to provide worldwide access to information impacting the container industry," stated Mr. White. Mr. White noted that IICL is also exploring the feasibility of placing other technical publications on its website. In the interim, to increase accessibility to IICL criteria and technical information, IICL has reduced its prices for guides and manuals.

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Friday, August 4, 2000
IICL Test Deadlines Near; Three Scholarships Awarded

Registration for the Container and Chassis Inspectors' Certification Examinations is brisk as the September 8th early-fall deadline approaches.

The Institute has awarded three full scholarships for the Container Inspector's Examination to candidates from Kenya, India and Papua New Guinea. The scholarships, which have been awarded for four years, are chosen on the basis of financial need, the applicants' future plans and an essay on the role of inspection in the container industry. The award includes the registration fee and a full set of the manuals on which the examination is based.

Applications are up for the Asian Pacific rim, with registration from Latin America also strong; in addition to IICL's regular testing centers in Santiago, Lima and Sao Paulo, test centers were also expect offered in Montevideo, Buenos Aires, Guayaquil and Bogota.

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June 20, 2000
IICL Publishes New Container Cleaning Manual

IICL has issued a 2nd edition of the General Guide for Container Cleaning.

Dramatically different from the first edition, the Cleaning manual provides one table of all-purpose cleanliness criteria and features 78 color photos depicting a variety of conditions likely to occur on the interior or exterior of a container. The manual recommends whether conditions such as those shown require cleaning or not. Criteria for determining if conditions warrant cleaning have also been substantially revised since publication of the first edition of the Cleaning Guide in 1995. In addition, the recommended cleaning methods have been revised and simplified.

"The new edition of the Cleaning Guide is meant to illustrate real-life conditions encountered in the field," stated Jack Figueira of Textainer, Chairman of the IICL Cleaning Guide subcommittee. "Inspectors will be able to compare the conditions shown in the photos to actual situations. The committee felt that it would be easier to convey the criteria by means of photographs than words."

"One of the major objectives of the Cleaning Guide is to enhance lessee cost control. For instance, sweeping replaces hot-pressure washing as the primary cleaning method," said Hank Heacox of Triton, who assisted Mr. Figueira on the Cleaning Guide subcommittee.

In another change from the first edition, the new Cleaning Guide covers open-top and refrigerated containers as well as dry-vans. Photographs show incremental levels of the same condition, as for instance in the case of floor stains or wall scratches to dry-vans and open-tops, to help inspectors understand the level of cleanliness that would be acceptable to shippers and lessees. The difference in requirements for dry-vans as opposed to open-tops is given for each condition illustrated.

The 4" by 6" color photographs depicting conditions are printed one to a page in order to show each condition in as much detail as possible. Below each photograph is a description identifying the condition illustrated and a small table recommending whether any action is required and the appropriate cleaning method to use when cleaning is required. The manual has been printed in a 3-ring binder to allow for insertion of catalogues and other useful material for container inspectors.

The Guide can be obtained from IICL for $45.00 (delivery within USA and Canada) and $50.00 (delivery elsewhere).

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June 1, 2000
IICL Publishes on World Wide Web: Inspection Directory Posted On-Line

IICL has launched its first e-publishing venture with posting of the 2000 IICL Inspection Directory on the Internet. The 172-page Directory lists container and chassis inspectors currently certified by IICL (as well as the companies that employ them) in 65 countries, including newcomers Bosnia and Herzegovina, Costa Rica, Ivory Coast, Namibia, Tanzania, Uganda and Ukraine.

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May 10, 2000
IICL and IANA Issue New Chassis Inspection Guide

IICL and IANA (Intermodal Association of North America) have announced publication of a new, third edition of the Guide for Container Chassis Inspection.

The Guide was prepared by a Joint Intermodal Task Force consisting of representatives from the two organizations and from the shipping lines, and was edited and published by IICL. The task force, chaired by Mark Merezio of Flexi-Van Leasing, revised the previous edition of the original IICL manual to include the latest USDOT regulations governing chassis inspection and to provide information on current chassis design and practice.

"We were happy to get participation from all sectors of the chassis industry in developing this new edition," stated Mr. Merezio. "The Guide will provide key aid to the industry in maintaining chassis in good condition and in complying with federal safety initiatives. If companies follow the Guide and ensure that equipment is delivered and remains in operable condition, costs and delays associated with out-of-service emergency repairs should be avoided."

The third edition includes information on the latest USDOT Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (formerly FHWA) regulations, including rules on conspicuity, automatic brake systems and automatic slack adjusters. Ten tables of inspection criteria provide the reader with criteria for determining if damage to various components of a chassis should be repaired. 25 pages longer than the 2nd edition, the new Guide features more than 50 new photos illustrating types of chassis in use today as well as typical examples of chassis damage. Procedures to follow when inspecting a chassis are described in detail. Nineteen technical drawings, most of them new to this edition, illustrate the different chassis types and individual chassis components covered. Appendices to the Guide include tables detailing Federal regulations on lighting devices, conspicuity and brake readjustment limits as well as a sample USDOT Inspection Report Form and a sample USDOT decal.

Participating on the Joint Intermodal Task Force that developed the Guide were, in addition to Chairman Mark Merezio of Flexi-Van: Ron Misorski of Maersk Sealand, Allan Goldstein and Jim Feneran of Transamerica Leasing, Tom Slattery of Flexi-Van, Tom Kelly of Burlington Northern Santa Fe and Mike Arrow, IICL Engineer. Also contributing to the Guide were Gerry Wolf of Transamerica Leasing, Russell Graef of ContainerPort Group and Neil Mark of CSX Lines.

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May 9, 2000
IICL Gains Three News Members

Three new companies - Gateway, Gold and Amficon - have joined IICL, boosting membership to fourteen companies. IICL now represents more than 95% of the international container leasing industry with a combined fleet of approximately 6.6 million TEUs.

"IICL is starting the new millennium with a strong and expanded commitment from the leasing industry," stated Mr. White, IICL President. "This commitment lends new strength to our mission of finding innovative and cost-effective solutions to issues facing the transportation industry today and demonstrating the advantages of container and chassis leasing as an integral link in the intermodal network."

Gateway Container International Ltd., a Bermuda company, was founded just three years ago by Raphael Che, former CEO of Genstar Container, and has quickly grown into a major player with approximatelym 240,000 TEUs as of January 2000. The company maintains thirteen service offices around the world, including its main administrative service office in San Francisco.

Paris-based Gold Container Corp., a subsidiary of Touax Group, also ranks among the world's top lessors of maritime dry freight containers with a fleet of some 135,000 TEUs. The Touax Group is continental Europe's leading lessor of intermodal equipment for waterway, rail and maritime transport and modular building. "The IICL offers its members the possibility not only to exchange ideas but also to join forces on various issues," stated Gold's Managing Director Fernand Kesteloot.

Amficon (Amphibious Container Leasing Limited), based in the United Kingdom, was founded in 1972 and currently operates a fleet of 80,000 TEUs consisting mainly of high cubes, open-tops and flat racks. The company has offices and agents in Germany , the U.S., the Far East, the Mediterranean, South America and Australia and offers a worldwide network of depots. "I am delighted to be joining IICL, and look forward to contributing in any way that I can towards its goals," Amficon Managing Director Basil Henley commented.

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May 5, 2000
The Reception is Warm in Chile for IICL Reefer Course

IICL's eighth annual course on refrigerated container inspection and repair took place in Valparaíso and nearby Viña del Mar, Chile. The course was given to 48 students divided into two sessions: one between April 10-12 and the other between April 12-14. The first IICL reefer course ever given in South America drew students primarily from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Peru, Uruguay, Guatemala and the USA.

Instruction in IICL inspection and repair criteria for reefers was a focus of the classroom sessions, held at the Gala Hotel in Viña del Mar. Practical demonstrations of inspection and repair techniques, including machinery pre-trip inspection and foaming, were provided in the afternoons at the TESCO and SAAM depots in Valparaíso. Both class sections joined together at the hotel on April 12 for a day-long intensive study of cargo- and machinery-related topics. Student project teams tackled typical inspection situations both as a classroom assignment and in the depots.

IICL faculty members included Barry Benton, Senior Manager for reefers at Triton Container (UK); Colin Jacobs, M&R Manager for reefers at Cronos Containers (UK) and IICL Engineer and course coordinator Mike Arrow. They were assisted by Benjamin Hernández, Service Engineer of Carrier Transicold (USA) and Juan Jurado, President of TASESA Container Terminal (Ecuador).

Spanish-language classroom discussion and bilingual written materials were important features of the course, and Messrs. Arrow and Hernández made their presentations in Spanish. "Juan Jurado provided a valuable service not only in his industry knowledge, but also in his excellent consecutive translation of the English-language presentations, as well as the lively question-and-answer dialogues in the classroom and depots," said Mike Arrow. "Ben Hernández's native fluency was also extremely helpful. Because of this support, IICL was able to provide instruction and guidance in a local language other than English to an important emerging reefer industry market."

Instrumental to the course was the active support of the TESCO and SAAM depots. TESCO’s team, headed by Alejandro Plencovich (Managing Director) and José Navarro (Valparaíso Operations Manager), coordinated the inspection demonstrations. The SAAM group, headed by Gastón Bastías (Chief, General Operations and Depots Division) and Claudio Asenjo (Chief, Training), prepared the repair exhibits and the foaming demonstrations.

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May 2, 2000
New Chairman Takes Office at IICL

Dennis J. Tietz, CEO and Chairman of the Board of The Cronos Group, has been elected Chairman of IICL at the Institute’s recent annual meeting. Mr. Tietz, who will serve for the next twelve months, succeeds outgoing IICL Chairman Hiro Ogawa, Chairman of CAI. Also elected were Hugh A. Fehrenbach of Carlisle as First Vice President and R.S. Ward of GE SeaCo as Second Vice President. Henry F. White, Jr. of IICL and Flexi-Van’s George Elkas continue as President and Treasurer respectively.

In accepting the post, Mr. Tietz stated, "I am excited to become Chairman of IICL, and look forward to working closely with all the members to continue building the organization in a way that will benefit the container leasing industry throughout the world and strengthen relationships with the steamship lines who are our customers."

Chosen as Cronos' CEO in December 1998 and as Chairman of the Board of Directors in March 1999, Mr. Tietz brings many years of expertise in the container leasing industry to his new post as IICL Chairman. Joining Cronos Capital Corp. ("CCC", a company subsidiary) in 1981, he ran the U.S. and European container lease operations before taking over the organization and marketing of CCC investment programs in 1986. Previously, Mr. Tietz served as regional manager of leasing and operations activities for Trans Ocean Leasing in Houston, Texas. A licensed securities principal with the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD), Mr. Tietz holds a B.S. in Business Administration from San Jose State University.

Cronos is one of the world's major marine cargo container lessors, with a diversified fleet of over 365,000 TEUs of dry-van, refrigerated and other specialized containers.

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May 1, 2000
IICL Endorses Standard Floorboard Design for Containers

The IICL Technology Committee has endorsed a standard floorboard design for 20' and 40' dry van containers.

"Standardization of floorboard design has become a top priority in the container industry due to increasing shortages of hardwood plywood used for container flooring," stated Mr. White.

The new design, developed by IICL member companies led by Triton and Textainer, is aimed at addressing this issue by reducing the number of different types of floorboards currently specified by container buyers. The wide variety in floorboard dimensions required by leasing companies and shipping lines, combined with the short supply of the hardwood plywood material used for floorboards, has forced plywood mills and container manufacturers to stockpile large quantities of boards to meet every specification. The situation has not only impacted manufacturers, but has also limited the ability of leasing companies to meet market requirements by changing their size allocations on short notice.

"The IICL Standard Floorboard Design for 20' and 40' containers will reduce the average number of floorboards with different dimensions per buyer from 7 to 2," said Peter Ouborg, Vice President Engineering for Triton and Chairman of the IICL Technology Committee. "The design is fully tested, meets ISO floor tests plus 33% and allows owners to choose between C-cold-rolled or double-Z bottom side rails and designs with 28 or 29 crossmembers."

Mr. Ouborg reported that both container manufacturers and plywood mills have expressed interest in the new IICL standard design, and are planning to promote it to their customers.

To obtain a copy of the drawings of the standard floorboard design, contact IICL at, and provide a company name and full mailing address. The drawings cannot be sent electronically.

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