While the bulk of this issue of HCB harks back to the magazine’s founding in 1980, here we take our regular look at what was going on thirty years ago – and there was plenty to talk about. As we noted last month, things were hotting up among the UN Experts, who had come to realise that the provisions relating to the transport of gases did not really provide the necessary level of hazard communication. An in-depth article from Graham Evans, a teacher and consultant in the realm of fire safety, discussed the different hazards posed by the various gases transported in cylinders and the fundamental approaches to ensuring their safety.
Elsewhere in the realm of regulations, the UK had decided to discontinue publication of the ‘Blue Book’, which contained the rules governing the transport of dangerous goods by sea. It had been overtaken by the development of the IMDG Code (many years previously, it must be said), which had in part been based on the Blue Book. Meanwhile, IMO was hopeful that it would be able to agree the long-awaited HNS Convention, whose entry into force is now even more long-awaited.
The July 1990 issue majored on the tank container sector, where we noted that growth had been hampered by a slowdown in the increase in the level of demand from the chemical industry, after a rush to buy new tanks in 1989. It was noted at the time that owners and lessors had begun clearing out their old ‘first generation’ tanks, while focusing new construction on ‘specials’ for specific products (especially gases) and certain trade lanes.
A look at the list of tank container operators in that issue shows the extent to which the business has grown in the past three decades. The largest operator in 1990 was Hoyer, with just short of 3,800 units; ITCO’s fleet survey this year puts it in second place with 34,700 tanks. Second then was Stolt Tank Containers, boasting a fleet of some 2,800 tanks; today it is the largest operator with a fleet numbering more than 40,000. Other big names in the 1990 list have disappeared: Trafpak and Transport Coulier, for instance. Others are still in the game, but not at such significant levels, for example VTG, Rinnen and Wim Vos.
Among the tank container lessors, Eurotainer commanded the top spot, with 7,400 tanks under its wing (today it has 48,500). But we also noted the great upheaval that had taken place in the sector, with all four of the largest lessors having recently changed hands. In particular, we remarked on Tiphook’s acquisition of the tank container assets of Sea Containers, the Trafpak tank operation and the UBH tank container manufacturing plant in the UK. Its leasing business came under the Tiphook Tank Rental banner, with the second largest fleet in the world at the time. The leaders were also just about to be challenged by a new entrant: Transamerica Leasing (later TAL).
A small but significant item reported that the 1990 edition of the computerised Cefic Tremcards had become available from NCEC. At the time, this cost £750 plus VAT, with annual updates at £400. Today these have been replaced by the ADR Instructions in Writing, available free of charge in all EU languages. Sounds like progress.[post_title] => 30 Years Ago: July 1990 [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => 30-years-ago-july-1990 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-06-10 09:17:44 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-06-10 08:17:44 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://hcblive.com/?p=22379 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )