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Bamboo Top Alternative Material for Container Flooring

Bamboo is now being utilized in container floors as the rail and intermodal industry continues its drive to improve the environmental and economic efficiency of its operations. A report by the Container Owner's Association has found that the production volume of containers fitted with floors using materials other than the traditional tropical hardwood plywood has gradually risen over the past two years.

Most of this volume is bamboo and, the report says, it is now the only alternative to tropical hardwood plywood being produced in any significant volume.

In 2012, despite dry container production being at a relatively low level and the total production for the year 2013 estimated at being about 2,400,000 TEU (twenty foot equivalent unit), in 2012, 650,000 TEU of dry freight containers were fitted with bamboo floors and the estimate for last year is some 720,000 TEU. 

This figure represents 30 percent of the year’s total dry container production.

The benefits of bamboo floors over other alternative flooring systems for intermodal containers, such as plastic-wood composite and larch/birch hybrid, include availability and price. It is also kinder to the environment due to its biodegradability and is in abundance compared to wood from trees.

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