11 largest container shipping companies in the world account for a majority of the container traffic moving around the world’s major ocean routes. Today almost 90% of the cargo is transported by containers worldwide. Container ships are like cargo ships that carry goods and materials from one port to another. The container shipping business has revolutionized the cargo movements by sharply reducing shipping expenses and decreasing shipping time.
You might also like to see which are the 10 largest oil tanker shipping companies in the world. Just as oil tankers come in a variety of sizes, container ships also come in seven different sizes. These include small feeder, feeder, feedermax, Panamax, Post-Panamax, New Panamax and ultra-large. Container ship capacity is measured in twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU). Container ships under 3,000 TEU are generally called feeders, while container ships with capacity more than 14,500 TEU are known as ultra-large container vessels. A container ship may be geared with cranes for handling its cargo.
These container shipping companies are a critical link in the global supply chain of manufactured goods. Globalization and containerization had led to a surge in the number of large container shipping companies in the world. However, the container shipping business is facing slow growth since the 2008-09 financial crisis. This has resulted in a wave of consolidation amongst major container lines. Some of the container shipping companies have also formed alliances to improve efficiency and reduce costs. We have listed below the 11 largest container shipping companies in the world based on the data from Wikipedia which ranked these companies based on their container capacities.
11. NYK Line – 0.518 million TEU
Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (USA) (OTCMKTS:NPNYY) or NYK Line is one of the oldest and largest shipping companies in the world. The company has been in operation since the 1870’s and is a member of the Mitsubishi Zaibatsu. It is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. With a capacity of 518,897 TEU and 98 ships, the container shipping company ranks eleventh on our list of 11 largest container shipping companies in the world.
10. United Arab Shipping Company – 0.526 million TEU
United Arab Shipping Company (UASC) was established in July 1976 in Kuwait and is now headquartered in Dubai. UASC owns and operates a fleet of 55 ships and its network covers over 200 ports connecting the Middle East to Europe, the Mediterranean, Indian Sub-continent, Far East, West Africa and the Americas. With a total capacity of 526,858 TEU, UASC is 10th on the list of the largest shipping companies in the world.
9. Yang Ming Marine Transport Corporation – 0.57 million TEU
Yang Ming Marine Transport Corporation operates in over 70 nations. It was founded in 1972 and is based in Taiwan. With a fleet of 100 ships and a total capacity of 570,018 TEU, Yang Ming accounts for 2.8% of the global marketshare.
8. Orient Overseas Container Line – 0.575 million TEU
Orient Overseas Container Line is a subsidiary of Orient Overseas International Ltd. OOCL is one of the world’s largest integrated international container transportation with a total capacity of 575,563 TEU. It has a wide network that encompasses Asia, North America and Taiwan and has 97 vessels in its fleet.
7. Hamburg Sud -0.603 million TEU
Hamburg Sud, a shipping line based in Germany, was founded by several merchant houses in 1871. With a total fleet size of 115 vessels and 603,051 TEU in capacity, the shipping company ranks seventh on our list of 11 largest container shipping companies in the world.
6. Hapag-Lloyd – 0.95 million TEU
Hapag Lloyd is a German transport company. It is the sixth largest in terms of vessel capacity totaling 950,212 TEU and is also a member of the G6 Alliance. The company owns a fleet of 167 vessels and accounts 4.6% of the global marketshare. Hapag Lloyd is at an advanced stage to merge with United Arab Shipping Company. If successful, this will create the world’s fifth-largest container shipping line with a capacity of around 1.6 million TEU.
5. Evergreen Marine Corporation – 0.993 million TEU
Evergreen Marine Corporation (OTCMKTS:EVGQF) is a container transportation company based in Taiwan. It is the fifth-largest company in the world. Starting with a single vessel in 1968, the company has grown to own 188 vessels with 992,905 TEU.
4. China COSCO Shipping – 1.62 million TEU
With a capacity of 1.62 million TEU and a fleet consisting of 290 vessels, China COSCO Shipping ranks fourth on our list of 11 largest container shipping companies in the world. COSCO Container Lines has plans to expand its fleet size to over 2 million TEU by 2018. The integrated logistics company is a state owned enterprise that is headquartered in Shanghai. China COSCO Shipping was formed after the merger of COSCO Group and China Shipping Group in January.
3. CMA CGM – 2.13 million TEU
Next in line on our list of largest container shipping companies in the world is the CMA CGM, a French shipping company that operates in 150 different countries through 170 shipping routes. The company was formed as a result of various mergers between a number of major shipping companies. Currently, the company has a fleet of over 449 ships with a total capacity of 2.13 million TEU. Recently CMA CGM signed a memorandum of understanding with COSCO shipping that will improve cooperation between these two container giants around the world.
2. Mediterranean Shipping Company – 2.83 million TEU
Mediterranean Shipping Company or MSC is the second-largest container shipping company in the world in terms of container capacity. The Swiss international cargo company was established in 1970. MSC operates 480 offices across 150 countries worldwide. It is one of the largest companies in the world with total container capacity of 2.83 million TEU and with a fleet size of 481 vessels.
1. Maersk – 3.29 million TEU
A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S (OTCMKTS:AMKBF) (Maersk) is the largest company among the 11 largest container shipping companies in the world. The company’s fleet consists of 632 ships with a total container capacity of 3.29 million TEU. The company was founded in 1904 and is headquartered in Denmark. Today the company accounts for almost 16% of the global marketshare.