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World's Largest Top Ten Shipping Company

Updated on July 27, 2013

Globalization and growth of shipping industry

My small stint with one of the reputed and biggest shipping companies in the world gave me an idea of writing a hub about largest shipping companies in the world. In today’s world of globalization and e-commerce shipping industry and infrastructure has become a back-bone of the trade and commerce. Today you can easily find best quality alphonso (Haapus) mangos from India or premium quality handmade swish chocolate from Switzerland at a WAL-MART or TESCO supermarket. This has become possible only due to globalization and shipping industry plays a pivotal role in it. Container shipping has grown in leaps and bounds in the last five decades. Today containerized shipping accounts for almost 60% of the sea trade. This would not have been possible without the improvements in carrying capacity of ships and developments of ports and terminals all over the world. From 250 container carrying capacity in 1966 to more than fifty fold increase in the carrying capacity of ships (Emma Maersk being the largest container vessel in the world with a total carrying capacity of around 15500 TEU), shipping industry has seen very significant improvements in the carrying capacity and volumes of container handled in all these years.


Before proceeding further there are some terminologies of shipping industry which we should know to get a better understanding of the business model.

LINER SHIPPING –In liner shipping, routes and timing of the voyage are fixed just like in case of tramp or airline service.

TEU – (Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit) A measure of container capacity. How well the shipping industry is doing is also measured through TEU volume. This is one of the parameters of measuring the performance of the company.

FEU - Forty-foot Equivalent Unit. This is a container that is the same height and width as a TEU but twice the length.

CHARTERED VESSEL- Vessel taken on lease from other companies

OWNED VESSEL- Vessel owned by the shipping lines

VLCC - Very Large Cargo Containers

Queen of sea
Queen of sea | Source

At present there are more than 100 liner shipping companies all over the world competing for biggest share of the pie. Out of which top six liner shipping companies control more than 50% of the world shipping business.

Below is the list of top ten liner shipping companies in the world.

1) Maersk Line

Maersk line is a part of AP MOLLER group, one of the reputed conglomerates of Denmark which has wider presence in diversified business from oil exploration to shipping and from ports to retail. In last decade or so Maersk line made two biggest acquisitions, first being of Sealand Inc of USA in 1999 and second being of P & O Nedlyod of United Kingdom, which took all the shipping industry by storm and helped it to maintain its undisputed numero uno position. With a total number of 646 vessels (231 owned and 415 chartered), today Maersk line controls more than 15% of the containerized business. From being the undisputed king of sea, now maersk line also holds the records of having 7 very largest vessels (VLCC) in the world.

List of largest vessels of Maersk

Built
Name
Maximum TEU
2006
Emma Maersk
15,500
2006
Estelle Maersk
13,500
2008
Eugen Maersk
13,500
2007
Edith Maersk
15,500
2007
Ebba Maersk
14,770
2007
Evelyn Maersk
11000
2007
Eleonora Maersk
15,500
2007
Elly Maersk
15,500


2) Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A. (MSC)

Founded in 1970 MSC (Mediterranean Shipping Company) is a geneva (switzerland) based company which has made significant progress in last 40 years. Main line of business of the company includes liner shipping and cruise shipping. With a vast pool of vessels (194 owned vessels & 278 charted) MSC holds the second position in the world’s top ten shipping lines list. It enjoys around 13 % of the world market share of liner shipping business.


List of largest vessels of MSC

Built
Name
Maximum TEU
2010
MSC Melatilde
14,000
2010
MSC Paloma
14,000
2009
MSC Danit
14,000
2009
MSC Alexandra
14,000
2009
MSC Camille
14,000
2009
MSC Kalina
13,798
2009
MSC Bettina
13,798
Click thumbnail to view full-size
Source
Source
Source


3) CMA CGM

In a span of almost 150 years this french major has seen many hands change, from being the state run company to one of the largest privatized shipping and transportation company of france. CMA CGM was formed in 1996 by the merger of Compagnie Générale Maritime (CGM) , state run company with privately held company Compagnie Maritime d'Affrètement (CMA). It’s one of the major acquisition of another french rival company DELMAS made it the third largest shipping company of the world. Company’s main area of business includes shipping , transportation and logistics business. The company operates in more than 150 countries and has a network of 406 vessels , out of which 88 vessels are owned by the company and rest are chartered. Currently company retains its number third position with a market share of almost 9 %.

List of largest vessels owned by CMA CGM

Built
Name
Maximum TEU
2009
CMA CGM Andromeda
11356
2008
CMA CGM Vela
11040
2008
CMA CGM Thalassa
10980
2009
CMA CGM Musca
10980
2009
CMA CGM Hydra
10980
2008
CMA CGM Ivanhoe
9661


4) COSCO Container Line

China Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO) is one of largest shipping company of people republic of china and is owned by government of china. Since its inception in year 1961 company has grown significantly in terms of its business and global reach. With operations in more than 160 countries COSCO is the fourth largest shipping company in the world. Company has total owned vessels of more than 95 and has 32 terminals all over the world. Apart from shipping and transportation company is also into shipping building and repairing. Today company has six subsidiaries whose shares are traded on bourses in different countries from Singapore to USA.

5) Evergreen Line

Founded in 1968 in taiwan , today evergreen line operates in more than 75 countries and its vessels calls at more than 240 ports in the world. Company has a total fleet size of 180 of which 87 vessels are owned by the company. Total market share of the company in containerized shipping business has increased over the years and currently stands at 4%

6) Hapag-Lloyd

One of the largest shipping company of germany and sixth largest shipping company of the world came into existence in 1970 when two shipping companies, Amerikanische Packetfahrt-Actien-Gesellschaft (HAPAG) and North German Lloyd (NDL) were amalgamated into one. In 2005 by acquiring canadian liner CP SHIPS it cemented its sixth position in the industry. As of today company has a vast fleet size of around 147 (60 owned ) vessels which helps the company in retaining their market share of 4% of the market share of shipping business.


7) American President Lines(APL)

APL (American Presidency Line) has very rich heritage and it has been in existence for around 160 years. Currently it is wholly owned by NOL (Neptune Orient Line) of Singapore.APL has offices in more than 100 countries and it provide transportation and logistics services in more than 150 countries.

8 ) Hanjin Shipping

Hanjin is one of the largest shipping and transportation company of Korea. Its core business includes shipping, ship repair and maintenance and providing terminal and third party logistics services. With a dedicated staff of around 6000 all over the world it operates its business in more than 120 countries. Company holds eight position, in the list of largest shipping companies of the world, with a total pool of around 108 vessels (42 owned vessels) and 13 terminals built at world’s major hub ports.

9) MOL (Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd.)

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines or MOL has been providing shipping and logistics services for more than 110 years. Apart from shipping and logistic business company is also into cruise liner business.

10) OOCL (Orient Overseas Container Lines)

This hong kong based company ranks at number 10 position with a total capacity of 92 owned plus chartered vessels.

Comments

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    • profile image

      rubert 

      4 years ago

      HI,This is rubert,and it is very useful data ,that you give above information is very usefulness; to me ,and additionally i know about shipping lines and any related information ,it will useful to my carrier.......further any materials are information send to my mail id also.....(rubertnizil16@gmail.com)......

      Thanks &Regards

      Rubert..

    • profile image

      Danny 

      4 years ago

      That's great ,now I ''ve known wich the best,,but how about received system for cadet on each of them?

    • maheshpatwal profile imageAUTHOR

      maheshpatwal 

      5 years ago from MUMBAI

      Mel...its good to know about new things which is happening around us..Maersk is no one shipping company which has offices in more than 230 countries around the world and operate in almost every port of the world..... Hanjin is korean shipping line which has good hold on west coast... Thanks for dropping by and for your inputs....

    • maheshpatwal profile imageAUTHOR

      maheshpatwal 

      5 years ago from MUMBAI

      Bcassidy...... I'm happy that you enjoyed reading the hub.... Thanks again

    • profile image

      Lakmal Wickramasekara 

      5 years ago

      Your post should have been very interesting but unfortunately not! 'cause the most of the stats are totally wrong. For a simple example, CMA CGM also has 14000 teu's class ships like CMA CGM Amerigo Vespucci, or Magellen which had been delivered well in advance your post. Other than top three liners, rest of the order also not accurate. Its worth if you can update your post. Good Luck!

    • profile image

      bcassidy 

      5 years ago

      Cool to know about leaders of such an important industry, thanks!

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 

      5 years ago from San Diego California

      This is great info for those of us that are habitual observers of every mundane detail on the planet. Out here on the west coast I have seen a lot of Hanjin and a lot of Maersk, but not too many of the other shipping lines you discuss. I for one thought it was a fascinating analysis. Good job.

    • maheshpatwal profile imageAUTHOR

      maheshpatwal 

      5 years ago from MUMBAI

      Marlene Thanks for stopping by and going through my hub.. I'm really glad you liked it

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 

      5 years ago from USA

      Just a couple of days ago, my brothers and I were watching a long line of cargos pass by on a train. While we were stuck behind the train tracks, we were fascinated by the various types of cargo containers. Your hub is very informative. I learned a lot. Thanks for the detailed information.

    • profile image

      ajay shankar 

      5 years ago

      hi Mahesh, VLCC means Very Large Crude Carriers and not Very Large Cargo Containers

    • profile image

      abdulrazzaq 

      5 years ago

      rent of shipping

    • maheshpatwal profile imageAUTHOR

      maheshpatwal 

      5 years ago from MUMBAI

      LadyE Thanks for dropping by and appreciating the work.

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 

      5 years ago from London, UK

      Very useful to know. Thanks for taking time to share the TEU Statistics etc.

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