Statista, the leading provider of statistics on the Internet, has published data on the largest container lines in the world, including such important indicators as the share of the global container shipping market, the number of ships and their capacity in TEU *.
Below is a ranking of the world’s leading container ship operators as of 5 August 2020 based on TEU *. It is noteworthy that now, as of early August 2020, the positions of companies in this rating based on TEU * are the same as if they were ranked depending on their share in the global maritime container shipping market.
2. Mediterranean Shipping Company
3. COSCO Group
4. CMA CGM Group
6. Ocean Network Express (ONE)
7. Evergreen Line
8. HMM Co Ltd
9. Yang Ming Marine Transport Corp.
10. Pacific Int. Line (PIL)
In recent years, there have been a number of mergers and acquisitions, a number of shipping lines have been enlarged by taking over smaller ones. In the top 10, six shipping lines are Asian and four are European shipping companies. In total, the TOP-10 largest container lines in the world occupy 82.3% of the world market for container shipping.
The world’s leading container ship operators, based on TEU capacity
1. APM-Maersk took first place with a total volume of about four million TEUs. A.P. Moller – Maersk Group is a Danish business conglomerate. It operates in various business sectors, mainly in the transport and energy sectors. The company was founded in Denmark in 1928.
Maersk is a leader among the largest container shipping companies. In December 2017, the shipping line Maersk took over the container operator Hamburg Süd. Today the company owns 668 container ships with a total capacity of over 3.9 million TEU. Maersk controls 16.6% of the global container shipping market and is a world leader.
2. Mediterranean Shipping Company is the second largest shipping company after Maersk, which operates 569 ships with a total capacity of over 3.7 million TEU. MSC is headquartered in Switzerland, where the company was founded in 1927. The service area of this operator includes more than 200 ports located on all continents. Mediterranean Shipping Company holds 15.7% of the container shipping market.
3. COSCO Group is a Chinese shipping company founded in 1961. In 2018, COSCO bought the Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL), which placed the combined company in third place behind APM-Maersk and the Mediterranean Shipping Company, while overtaking France’s CMA CGM Group. Today, COSCO’s fleet includes 487 ships with a total capacity of over 2.9 million TEU. COSCO’s share of the global maritime container shipping market is 12.3%.
4. CMA CGM Group is a French shipping company founded in 1977. It is the fourth container line in the world. In 2016, CMA CGM acquired American President Lines (APL). The company has 522 ships with a total capacity of over 2.7 million TEU. CMA CGM Group occupies 11.5% of the container shipping market and serves over 80 directions of transportation between ports of various countries and continents.
5. Hapag-Lloyd is a German shipping company founded in 1970. She is one of the five largest sea carriers in the world. In 2017, Hapag-Lloyd finally acquired the sea line of the United Arab Shipping Co. (UASC). Today, the Hapag-Lloyd fleet includes 237 ships with a total capacity of over 1.7 million TEU. The company’s share in the global container shipping market is 7.2%.
6. Ocean Network Express (ONE) is a Japanese company that was formed in 2017 as a result of the consolidation of the three largest Japanese shipping companies – K Line, NYK and MOL – into a joint stock company. Thanks to this, Ocean Network Express was ranked sixth in the ranking of the largest sea container lines. The operating fleet of the company includes 212 ships with a total capacity of more than 1.5 million TEU and has 6.5% of the global container shipping market.
7. Evergreen Line is a concern of the Taiwanese conglomerate of container shipping companies of the Evergreen group, formed in 2007. This concern includes the following companies: Evergreen Marine Corp. (Taiwan) Ltd., Italia Marittima SpA, Evergreen Marine (UK) Ltd., Evergreen Marine (Hong Kong) Ltd. and Evergreen Marine (Singapore) Pte Ltd. It originates from the shipping company Evergreen Marine Corporation (EMC), which was established in 1968.
Evergreen Line has 194 ships with a total capacity of over 1.7 million TEU, covering 5.2% of the global maritime container shipping market.
8. HMM Co Ltd – Hyundai Merchant Marine is Korea’s number one national container carrier. HMM moves most of South Korea’s exports. This giant began its journey with the founding of Asia Merchant Marine in 1976. Initially, the company created a container service between the Far East and the Middle East.
As of 2020, HMM has built and launched the two largest container ships in the world by TEU capacity: HMM Algeciras with a maximum capacity of 23,964 TEU and HMM Copenhagen with a maximum capacity of 23,820 TEU.
The total capacity of all vessels of Hyundai Merchant Marine is more than 620 thousand TEU, and the share of the world market of container shipping is 2.6%.
9. Yang Ming Marine Transport Corp. is a Taiwanese shipping company founded in 1972. The company’s fleet consists of 92 ships with a total capacity of over 600 thousand TEU. Share of Yang Ming Marine Transport Corp. in the world market of container shipping is 2.5%.
10. Pacific Int. Line (PIL) is a Singapore-registered shipping company that was founded in 1967 by a Chinese entrepreneur. It operates 108 ships, the total capacity of which exceeds 340 thousand TEU, and has 1.5% of the global maritime container shipping market.
*TEU (Twentyfoot Equivalent Unit) is a unit of measure equal to the volume of one 20-foot container. Volume of one 40-foot container = 2TEU.
The world’s leading container ship operators, based on number of owned and chartered ships
Leading ship operator’s share of the world liner fleet