The shipping industry is a huge, multi-billion dollar business. This industry is the lifeblood of the world’s economy. It accounts to 90% of the world’s trade. Ships can carry goods in quantities that are impossible by any other mode of transport.
The below list of the top Ten Biggest Shipping Companies in the world are ranked in order of the Twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) capacity of their fleet and the number of container ships. The number of ships are the combined total of owned ships and chartered ships. They have a combined capacity of 17,274,462 TEU which represents 83.5 % of the world’s total capacity.
The biggest companies are based on data from Alphaliner, which keeps track of the capacity of world’s shipping fleets based on twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs). Following are the list of world’s biggest shipping companies.
10. NYK Line –
Image Courtsey: Maritime Executive
Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (日本郵船株式会社) Nippon Yūsen Kabushiki Kaisha, Japan Mail Shipping Line or NYK Line is one of the oldest and largest shipping companies in the world. It is a member of the Mitsubishi keiretsu. The company has its headquarters in Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan and a fleet of about 800 ships, that includes container ships, tankers, bulk and woodchip carriers, Ro-Ro car carriers, reefer vessels, LNG and cruise ships.
9. MOL –
Image Courtsey: FleetMon.com
MOL (Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd.) (Kabushiki-gaisha Shōsen Mitsui) is a Japanese transport company headquartered in Toranomon, Minato, Tokyo, Japan. The company’s main area of operations is international shipping. Its alligator logo can be seen on containers in ports around the world.
Founded as a key part of the Mitsui zaibatsu (family-owned conglomerate) during the early industrialization of Japan, the company is now independent of the zaibatsu, but remains part of the Mitsui keiretsu (group of aligned companies).
Many heads of this company have wielded considerable power in Japan and abroad. One of the latest is Masaharu Ikuta, who has been appointed to head the newly privatized Japan Post.
8. Yang Ming Marine Transport Corp. –
Image Courtsey: shipandharbours.com
Yang Ming Marine Transport Corporation (Chinese: 陽明海運; pinyin: Yáng Míng Hǎi Yùn) is an ocean shipping company based in Keelung, Taiwan (ROC). This shipping line was founded in 1972, but has historical links through its merger with the China Merchants Steam Navigation Company, which dates back to the Qing Dynasty (1872–1995). Yang Ming currently operates 84 container ships up to 8,250 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) and 17 bulk carriers.
As of mid-2012, Yang Ming operates a fleet of 85 vessels with a 4.2-million-D.W.T / operating capacity 346 thousand TEUS, of which container ships are the main service force. The Yang Ming Group includes a logistics unit (Yes Logistics Corp. and Jing Ming Transport Co.), container terminals in Taiwan, Belgium, Netherlands and the USA, as well as stevedoring services (Port of Kaohsiung, Taiwan). Yang Ming’s service scope covers over 70 nations with more than 170 service points.
7. OOCL –
OOCL is one of the world’s largest integrated international container transportation, logistics and terminal companies with more than 320 offices in 70 countries around the world. OOCL has 57 vessels of different classes, with capacity varying from 2,992 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) to 21,413 TEU, including two ice-class vessels for extreme weather conditions.
6. Evergreen Marine Corp. –
Image Courtsey: Maritime Executive
Evergreen Marine Corporation (Chinese: 長榮海運) (LSE: EGMD TWSE: 2603), is a Taiwanese container transportation and shipping company. Headquartered in Luzhu District, Taoyuan City, Taiwan, Evergreen Marine is a global containerized-freight shipping company. Its principal trading routes are: the Far East to North America, Central America and the Caribbean; the Far east to northern Europe and the east Mediterranean; Europe to the east coast of North America; the Far East to Australia, Mauritius, South Africa and South America; and an intra Asia service linking ports in Asia to the Middle East, Persian Gulf and the Red Sea. With over 150 container ships it is part of the Evergreen Group conglomerate of transportation firms and associated companies. Evergreen calls on 240 ports worldwide in about 80 countries, and is the fifth largest company of its type, ranked behind Maersk, Mediterranean Shipping Company, CMA CGM, and China COSCO Shipping (in order). The company’s activities include: shipping, construction of containers and ships, management of ports, and engineering and real estate development. Subsidiaries and divisions include Uniglory Marine Corp. (Taiwan), Evergreen UK Ltd. (UK), and shipping company Italia Marittima S.p.A. (Italy). In 2007, Hatsu, Italia Maritima, and Evergreen were merged into the single “Evergreen Line.”
The majority of Evergreen’s shipping containers are painted green with the word “Evergreen” placed on the sides in white letters. Uniglory containers are similarly painted and marked, but those containers are bright orange. Evergreen’s refrigerated “reefer” containers have a reverse color scheme (white containers with green lettering).
5. Hapag-Lloyd –
Image Courtsey: Hapag-Lloyd.com
Hapag-Lloyd is a multinational German based transportation company. It is composed of a cargo container shipping line, Hapag-Lloyd AG, which in turn owns other subsidiaries such as Hapag-Lloyd Cruises. The container transport arm of Hapag-Lloyd AG is currently the world’s fifth largest container carrier in terms of vessel capacity.
The company was formed in 1970 by the merger of two German transportation/maritime companies, Hamburg America Line (HAPAG), which dated from 1847, and Norddeutscher Lloyd (NDL) or North German Lloyd (NGL), which was formed in 1856. Currently, the company is owned by several public and private investors, with majority stake controlled by CSAV.
4. COSCO Shipping Co. Ltd. –
Image Courtsey: FleetMon.com
COSCO Shipping Corporation Limited, also referred to as the China COSCO Shipping Group or China COSCO Shipping, is a Chinese business conglomerate and state-owned enterprise headquartered in Shanghai. The group is engaged in a variety of business sectors, with a focus on integrated logistics, shipping, finance services, and equipment manufacturing. The company was formed by the merger of the COSCO Group and the China Shipping Group in January 2016. The merger was precipitated by an ongoing downturn in the containerized-ocean-freight and break bulk shipping industries that stymied the profits of both groups and motivated them to unite and endure the decline together. The merged entity is composed of several business clusters each of which is managed by one or more subsidiaries. Its core business cluster is container, dry-bulk, and petroleum transport services.
As of 2016, the group’s total fleet size ranks first globally, comprising 1114 merchant vessels and a total capacity of 85.32 million DWT. The dry-bulk shipping division ranks first globally, self-owning 365 vessels with a total capacity of 33.52 million DWT. The container shipping division; which is called COSCO Shipping Lines, has a capacity of 1.58 million TEU, making it fourth in the world. Moreover, COSCO Shipping Lines aims to expand its fleet size to over 2 million TEU by 2018, which would make it the third-largest container line in terms of total capacity.
3. CMA CGM Group –
Image Courtsey: cma-cgm.com
CMA CGM S.A. is a French container transportation and shipping company. It is a leading worldwide shipping group, using 200 shipping routes between 420 ports in 150 different countries. Its headquarters are in Marseille and its North American headquarters are in Norfolk, Virginia, United States.
The name is an acronym, which, spelled out, would translate as “Maritime Freighting Company – General Maritime Company”.
2. Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) –
MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A. (MSC) is the world’s second-largest shipping line in terms of container vessel capacity. As a private company it has no obligation to publish annual reports certified by independent parties; as a consequence, the data MSC releases about itself is not verifiable. As of the end of December 2014, MSC was operating 471 container vessels with an intake capacity of 2,435,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU). The Geneva-headquarteres company operates in all major ports of the world. MSC’s most important port is Antwerp in Belgium. MSC Cruises is a division of the company focused on holiday cruises.
1. A.P. Moller-Maersk Group –
Image Courtsey: World Maritime News
A.P. Moller–Maersk Group (Danish: A.P. Møller–Mærsk A/S, also known as Maersk, is a Danish business conglomerate with activities in the transport and logistics and energy sectors. Maersk has been the largest container ship and supply vessel operator in the world since 1996. The company is based in Copenhagen, Denmark with subsidiaries and offices across 130 countries and around 88,000 employees.
In September 2016, Maersk Group announced splitting into two separate divisions: transport & logistics and energy. The company market capitalization is US$ 35 billion (2017).
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