Sustainable containers

Maersk Container Industry Dongguan has produced containers with waterborne coating since mid-2014. And with more than 10,000 tons of paint used annually, Maersk Container Industry Dongguan and Maersk Line together have taken a gigantic step forward towards a more environmentally friendly product.

Each day at a factory in Dongguan, a light-grey freshly-minted container with the iconic Maersk star logo rolls out every few minutes. It is then stacked like a brick in the storage yard, ready to be transported to ports or factories to begin its global tour of duty aboard Maersk Line vessels.

It’s just another day at the office in Maersk Container Industry Dongguan, producing dry containers in Southern China.

MCI Waterborne 3

We have managed to achieve a substantial reduction of more than 70% in the use of thinner.

MCI Jacob

JACOB JENSEN, HEAD OF PROJECT DEPARTMENT AT MAERSK CONTAINER INDUSTRY IN DONGGUAN, CHINA

The containers may look the same but they have a different odour than they used to. That’s because Maersk Line has implemented waterborne coating with officially approved Valspar waterborne paint.

On a full-scale commercial basis
Managing Director of Maersk Container Industry Dongguan Irving Hultengren says: “Waterborne paint is nothing new, but we are the first company in the world to implement it consistently and on a full-scale commercial basis.”

In conventional container production with solvent borne paint, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are emitted into the air. VOCs include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have short- and long-term adverse health effects. In container production VOCs directly impact the work environment, affecting the air quality, and also posing a fire risk in the factory.

Many improvements
The newly introduced Valspar waterborne coating reduces VOCs significantly, thereby improving corrosion performance, reducing energy consumption and lowering emissions, all while improving the working environment.

Poster image
Watch how Maersk Container Industry use waterborne paint 1:53

Waterborne paint is nothing new, but we are the first company in the world to implement it consistently and on a full-scale commercial basis.

MCI Irving

IRVING HULTENGREN, MANAGING DIRECTOR OF MAERSK CONTAINER INDUSTRY IN DONGGUAN, CHINA

Maersk Container Industry Dongguan started production trials in spring 2014 and has produced containers with waterborne paint since mid-2014.

Since then and till June 2015, Maersk Container Industry Dongguan has produced more than 160,000 TEU containers with Valspar waterborne paint, basically covering the entire production from the factory.

“We’re sharing our learnings and experiences with the other Maersk Container Industry factories around the world. There are additional obstacles to address in connection with refrigerated containers, but we don’t believe we are at the end of the line yet with this technology,” says Hultengren.

A huge improvement
Perhaps the immediate benefits of this technology are best experienced by those working at Maersk Container Industry Dongguan. As Head of Project Department Jacob Jensen puts it:

“There has been a huge improvement in our working environment. It is obvious that the odour from solvent paint has disappeared and the air is much fresher.”

Irving Hultengren elaborates: “We have managed to achieve a substantial reduction of more than 70% in the use of thinner. And with more than 10,000 tons of paint used annually, Maersk Container Industry Dongguan and Maersk Line together have taken a gigantic step forward towards a more environmentally friendly product.”