Largest Container Shipping Companies in the World

This is a list of largest container shipping companies as 1 January 2022, according to Alpha liner, ranked in order of the twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) capacity of their fleet. For the first since 1996, Maersk has been overtaken by MSC, which has become the container line with largest shipping capacity.

1.MAERSK

The Danish company Maersk ranks first in the list of largest shipping companies in the world. It is the largest shipping company in the world since 1996 and it looks like it has no intention of giving up its crown as its throughput surpassed 4 million TEU in 2020. Although listed in Denmark, the company is a family business and is controlled by the Möller family.

The company was founded 116 years ago in 1904 and generated more than $ 39 billion in revenue in 2019, while operating profit alone was about $ 3.8 billion and employed at least 79,000 people. Although it is headquartered in Copenhagen, it has subsidiaries and offices in most of the countries of the world, of which there are more than 125 at last count.

2.Mediterranean Shipping Company

Mediterranean Shipping Company is an Italian Swiss company founded half a century ago in 1970. The company operates in all ports of the world and for some time has been the second largest shipping company. The company has revenues of over $ 28 billion and a staff of over 30,000 people. MSC was founded in Naples in 1970 as a private company by seafarer captain Gianluigi Aponte, when he bought his first ship, Patricia, and then Rafaela, with which Aponte opened a shipping line between the Mediterranean and Somalia. Subsequently, the line expanded with the purchase of used cargo ships. By 1977, the company was serving Northern Europe, Africa and the Indian Ocean. Expansion continued until the 1980s; by the end of the decade, MSC was serving ships to North America and Australia.

3.CMA-CGM

France’s leading container shipping company, CMA-CGM was in the 4th spot last year (2021). With new mega-ships being added to its fleet, it is now the 3rd largest company in terms of TEU capacity. CMA CGM came into existence in the year 1978 as a result of a series of mergers between previously established shipping corporations. Jacques Saade, the head of the company, was the instrumental force behind its coming into active operation. At present, the company has a fleet of over 568 ships operating in over 150 routes globally. It has a carrying capacity of around 3,198,217 TEU.

4.COSCO – China Ocean Shipping Company

The China Ocean Shipping Company or COSCO, as it is popularly known, is one of the leading conglomerates in terms of container shipping companies. COSCO, pushed down in 4th position by CMA CGM this year, has it’s operations spread over 40 countries with a fleet of around 480 container ships with a container carrying capacity of 2,932,779 TEU. However, its order book contains additional 5,85,000 TEU which will be added to the company capacity in the coming year.

5.Hapag-Lloyd

The German-based Hapag-Lloyd is one of the most renowned and well-featured companies in terms of international shipping companies. The company was established in the year 1970 due to a merger between the Hamburg-American Line and the North German company Lloyd. Today the shipping corporation has over 250 ships catering to about 1,743,983 TEU container carrying capacity worldwide.

6.Evergreen Line

A shipping conglomerate based in Taiwan, the Evergreen Marine Corporation was founded in 1968 by Dr Yung-Fa Chang, a visionary in his own right. At present, the company has offices established worldwide and with an operational capacity of more than 204 container ships and a container carrying capacity of 1,477,644 TEU.

7.Yang Ming Marine Transport Corporation

The Taiwanese company is 48 years old and has about a hundred vessels. The company was founded in 1972 as a shipping line but has historical ties through the merger with China Merchants Steam Navigation Company (1872–1995), which dates back to the Qing Dynasty.

8.Hyundai Merchant Marine

One of the largest shipping companies in the world is South Korean Hyundai Merchant Marine, which was founded 44 years ago and launched two of the largest container ships in the world. HMM has formed a global business network with four international headquarters, 27 subsidiaries, 76 subsidiaries, five overseas offices, and 10 communications offices.