In this list showcasing the 11 biggest shipping companies in the world, we look at one of the world’s oldest means of goods transportation available today, cargo shipping, once a rewardingly profitable multi-billion dollar industry.
This decades-old driver of global trade meets the burgeoning needs of worldwide businesses in need of carriage, transfer, and distribution of their products. It has domestic and global contracts that bring fruits from Asia to the United States, sporting equipment from Europe to the Middle East, and everything (and everywhere) in between. They can carry barrels of oil or loads of ore and reach continents at the tip of the world through thick sheets of ice or traverse the largest oceans to help commerce thrive.
While it’s true that the sector has experienced some years of drought, it had a quick breathing gap from 2010 to 2015. Later on, concerns of supply and demand began troubling the ecosystem once more. Profits went from slim to nonexistent given the oversupply of ships and higher fuel prices. Freight services are expected to bounce back, but if you intend to invest, pick companies with consistently strong revenue amid the cycles of depressed markets.
There was a time when the commodities markets were at high ground and the shipping industry invested heavily on new fleets and upgrades. Then the recession came, and both industries saw long periods of turmoil, with the shipping industry dragging along without profit. To a majority of long-term investors, shipping stocks are never an option. But if you want to enter the market, this is a good time to buy stocks that are awfully cheap in an environment when the industry is finally seeing signs of rebound.
To create this list, we looked at the giants of the industry and ranked them according to their fiscal 2016 revenue. While some may rank shipping companies according to their weight-carrying capacity or number of container vessels, ranking them based on revenue shows off the company’s efficiency and its ability to gain and retain customers.
This list considers direct shipping companies that may not be trading on public stock exchanges. It also includes holding companies that are mostly engaged in shipping for the energy sector. To come up with this list, we looked at Hamburg-headquartered Statista, the statistics portal, which utilizes a team of over 450 statisticians, database experts, and analysts to gather its data.
Based on 2016 revenue, the top 11 global leaders in shipping include CH Robinson Worldwide Inc.(NASDAQ:CHRW), China Merchant Holdings, Hyundai Glovis, MISC, Mitsui O.S.K Lines Ltd., CMA CGM, Mediterranean Shipping Co., A.P. Moller-Maersk Group, Nippon Yusen KK, Kuehne + Nagel International AG, and China COSCO Holdings (China Ocean Shipping Company). Check out the list of the 11 biggest shipping companies in the world beginning on the next page.
If you love this list, check out our list of the The Ocean’s 10 Biggest Shipping Companies.