Discover the Greatest Shipping Companies in the World

Discover the Greatest Shipping Companies in the World

Did you know that 80% of the world’s goods are transported over sea? Have you ever wondered how many ships and containers are needed to transport all these goods? This article will look at some large firms dominating the shipping industry. 

Several factors determine the rankings of the ten companies below:

  • Their fleet: This is the number of ships that the company owns.
  • Total shipping capacity is measured in twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs). TEU is the volume of a twenty-foot-long shipping container.
  • Market capitalization: The total value of all a company’s shares of stock. Mega-ships are ships with a capacity of over 18,000 TEUs; given the scale of human consumption, container ships are growing bigger. For example, the Ever Ace, which Evergreen owns, has a capacity of 24,000 TEUs. It is the largest ship in the world.

We also examine how the ten companies below have been performing financially over the last five years.

# 10: Wan Hai Lines, Ltd

Headquarters:  Based in Taipei, Taiwan

Founded:   1965

Fleet:   147 ships 

TEU capacity:  412,204

Market share:   1.6%.

Market capitalization: 286.23B TWD

When they started, Wan Hai’s business was mainly logging transportation between Taiwan, Japan, and Southeast Asia. Now they offer services to Canada, the U.S., South America, Africa, and the Middle East. 

# 9: Yang Ming Marine Transport Corporation

Headquarters: Keelung City, Taiwan

Founded: December 16, 1972

Fleet: 93 ships

TEU capacity: 666,164

Market share: 2.6%

Market capitalization: 302.07B TWD

On June 4, 2018, the container ship Y.M. Efficiency lost 83 containers at sea due to extremely rough weather conditions close to Australia’s New South Wales coast. Although no dangerous goods were discharged into the sea, some medical and surgical items were noted floating and recovered ashore.

# 8: HMM Co. Ltd

Headquarters: Seoul, South Korea

Founded: March 25, 1976

Fleet: 76

TEU capacity: 820,320

Market share: 3.2%

Market capitalization: 11.67T Korean W

The company moves most of South Korea’s exports, making it the number one Korean national container carrier. It was formerly known as Hyundai Merchant Marine.

# 7: Evergreen Marine Corporation

Headquarters: Taipei City, Taipei, Taiwan

Founded: 1968

Fleet: 200

TEU capacity: 1,504,564

Market share: 5.9%

Market capitalization: 486.78B Taiwanese dollars

In March 2021, one of the company’s ships, Ever Given, made international news. It got stuck and blocked the Suez Canal for nearly a week, holding up an estimated $400 million an hour in trade.

# 6: Ocean Network Express Holdings, Ltd. (ONE)

Headquarters: Tokyo and Singapore

Founded: 2017

Fleet: 207

TEU capacity: 1,515,708

Market share: 6.0%

Market capitalization: 218.40m HKD

ONE is a member of THE Alliance long with Hapag-Lloyd, HMM Co. Ltd., and Yang Ming Marine Transport Corporation.  THE Alliance is a group of container shipping companies intended to provide 34 shipping services, directly calling at 81 different ports around the world.

# 5 Hapag-Lloyd AG

Headquarters: Germany, Hamburg, Germany

Founded: September 1, 1970

Fleet: 247

TEU capacity: 1,742,598

Market share: 6.9%

Market capitalization: 58.33B Euro

In September 2014, its ship, the 8,750-TEU Colombo Expresscollided with the 8,112-TEU Maersk Tanjong near the entrance of the Suez Canal at Port Said.

# 4: COSCO SHIPPING Holdings

Headquarters: Beijing, China

Founded: 2005

Fleet: 474 ships

TEU capacity: 2,927,413

Market share: 11.5%

Market capitalization: 208.80B CNY

The company continued transporting Russian crude oil to China while the world’s leading shippers stopped deliveries to and from Russia.

# 3: CMA CGM S.A.

Headquarters: CMA CGM Tower, Marseille, France
Fleet: 578
TEU capacity: 3,261,052
Market share: 12.8%

Market capitalization: 

In 2018, the container ship CMA CGM Norma collided with China’s flagged Yusheng366 vessel in Hong Kong waters. As a result, Yusheng366 sank while Norma suffered minor damages.

# 2: Maersk

Headquarters: Copenhagen, Denmark

Founded: April 16, 1904

Fleet: 729

TEU capacity: 4,245,962

Market share: 16.7%

Market capitalization: 342.44B Danish kronor

The hijacking of Maersk’s Alabama off the Somali coast in 2009 inspired the 2013 movie Captain Philip, starring Tom Hanks.

# 1: MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A.

Headquarters: Geneva Switzerland

Founded: 1970

Fleet: 1663 ships

TEU capacity: 5,339,852

Market share: 17.1%

MSC operates the world’s two largest container ships, MSC Gülsün and MSC Samar. The company remains independent and wholly owned by the Aponte family.

In 2021, the company’s container ship MSC Messina sank halfway between Sri Lanka and Malacca Strait.

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