This article is an overview of the top worldwide shipping lines, covering the main areas of operations, number of ships, etc. The international shipping industry represents around 90 percent of the movement of cargo in global trade, for that reason, shipping is a relevant issue for the global economy.
There are around 50,000 merchant ships trading globally, and the world fleet is registered in over 150 regions. The cost of producing ships is really high, for example, larger hi-tech vessels can cost over US $200 million, and the operation of merchant ships can generate a trillion US Dollars estimated annual income in freight rates.
The main worldwide shipping lines are listed below.
Let’s see some facts about fleets and TEU capacity of the main worldwide shipping lines.
APL is one of the world’s leading shipping lines, founded in 1848. It is based in Singapore. This shipping company offers more than 90 weekly services and calls at ports in over 50 countries worldwide. APL provides container transportation through its international shipping network which combines intermodal operations with state-of-the-art information technology, equipment and e-commerce. It has 181 offices and agents around the world and employs more than 4,600 employees.
APL main trade routes are Asia-Europe, Intra-Asia, Intra-Europe, Latin America, Middle East, Oceania, Trans-Atlantic and Trans-Pacific. It has 92 vessels and the container fleet capacity is more than 1.1 million TEUs. APL operates eight terminals around the world.
CHINA SHIPPING (CSCL)
China Shipping Container Lines Co. (CSCL) is a division of China shipping Group. This shipping line was founded in 1997 and is based in Shanghai, China. CSCL provides marine transportation and intermodal freight transportation and storage. This company serves Asia, Australia, Europe, Mediterranean, North and South America, Persian Gulf and South Africa.
China Shipping has a fleet of over 141 vessels and a total capacity of 724,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU). Its fleet operates in more than 60 countries and over 180 ports across the world. CSCL owns eight major ports: CSCL Hong Kong, South Africa Holdings, South America Holdings, Pu sea shipping, Wuzhou shipping, Dalian information, Xinhai shipping, a Haitong, and Dalian Wan Jie.
China Shipping is ranked as the seventh container company in the world.
CMA CGM group is a French container shipping line, founded in Marseille in 1978. CMA CGM is based in Marseille and operates in more than 160 countries through its network of over 655 agencies around the world, with more than 20,000 employees worldwide.
Its fleet consists of more than 445 vessels and serves 400 of the world’s 521 commercial ports. Through its 170 shipping lines the company operates on every one of the world’s seas. CMA CGM ships a volume of 12.1 million TEUs each year. The company calls at 400 ports in 160 countries. Its fleet’s slot capacity is 1.789 million TEUs.
CMA CGM is the third container shipping company in the world.
COSCO Container Lines Co. is a Chinese shipping line and logistics services provider and one of the world’s leading providers of container shipping services. Its headquarter is in Beijing, China. COSCO has a total of 166 container ships with a capacity of 866,260 TEUs and owns more than 130 vessels. The shipping container company calls at more than 192 ports in over 64 countries and regions over the world. COSCO service in China connects Dalian, Tianjin, Qingdao, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Xiamen, and Wuhan. This international shipping company is the largest dry bulk carrier in China and shipping operators worldwide. Cosco is ranked as the sixth largest container ships and ninth largest in container volume.
Evergreen Marine Corporation is a Chinese shipping line founded in 1968 and its headquarter is in Taiwan. Its service covers 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 also ports in Asia to the Middle East, Persian Gulf and the Red Sea. Its fleet consists of 201 container ships and calls at 240 ports over the world in more than 80 countries. Evergreen is the fourth largest container company in the world.
Hamburg Süd Group is an international German shipping company and was founded in 1871. It has many offices over the world and its headquarter is in Hamburg, Germany. In container shipping it is represented by two brands: Hamburg Süd as a German carrier and Aliança as a Brazilian shipping company. In addition, Hamburg Süd is present on the world’s oceans in bulk and product tanker shipping under the names Rudolf A. Oetker (RAO) and Aliança Bulk (Aliabulk).
Hamburg Sud employs more than 5,360 employees around the world and it has over 132 container ships with a slot capacity of 616,866 TEUs.
Hanjin Shipping is a Korean container company and was founded in 1977. Its main headquarter is in South Korea but it has 4 regional headquarters in the U.S., Europe, Asia and South East & West Asia. Hanjin Shipping operates some 60 liner and tramper services around the world transporting over 100 million tons of cargo annually. Its fleet consists of 170 containerships and bulk carriers, as well as 12 container terminals in the main ports around the world. This shipping company transports around 3.7 million TEU container a year. Hanjin Shipping is one of the world’s top ten container carriers.
Hapag Lloyd is a German global liner shipping company and was founded in 1970. Its main headquarter is in Hamburg, Germany, and has around 600 locations in 113 countries. Hapag Lloyd transports approximately 7.5 million TEU in a year. Its fleet comprises a total of 180 container ships with a total of one million TEU, as well as, container stock of more than 1.6 million TEU including one of the world’s largest and most modern reefer container fleets.
Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) is a Korean integrated logistics company and was founded in 1976. Its headquarter is in Seoul, South Korea but has four international headquarters, 27 subsidiaries, 76 branches, five overseas offices and 10 liaison offices. HMM operates around 130 state-of-the-art vessels with a global service networks. Hyundai Merchant Marine is one of the world’s top integrated- logistics companies with its targeted market prospects, efficient organization, top personnel, and advanced internet systems.
K-Line – Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd. is one the largest Japanese transportation companies and was founded in 1919. Its headquarter is in Tokyo, Japan. K- Line operates 54 liner routes between the Far East and Central Asia, South East Asia, Europe, Central and South America, Australia, Africa and North America. Its fleet consists of 449 vessels, which includes many new state-of-the-art containerships, tramp and specialized carriers, car carriers and tanker and gas carriers, and a fleet of more than 344,000 containers.
K-Line has a subsidiary named K- Line America, Inc. and K-Line Canada Ltd., they operate 21 offices throughout North America and offer service representation and support for K-Line’s North American customer-base.
K-Line is ranked as the sixteenth largest container transportation and shipping company in the world.
Maersk Line is the largest container shipping company in the world. It is a Danish conglomerate company and was founded in Svendborg in 1904. Maersk Line is established in Copenhagen, Denmark and serves through 374 offices in more than 130 countries. It employs roughly 89,000 people. Maersk company offers ocean transportation all over the world and operates around 607 container vessels with capacity of 3.1 million TEUs. Maersk operates 64 ports and terminal facilities and calls at 276 ports over the world.
Maersk transports approximately 11 million full containers in a year and covers ports in most countries around the world. Its worldwide customer base is around 59,000.
Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL) is a Japanese transport company and has the world’s largest ocean shipping fleet. MOL was founded in 1964 and is established in Tokyo, Japan. This international shipping company operates specialized bulk carriers, tankers and LNG, car carriers, cruise ships, ferries and coastal liners, and containerships. MOL Group operating fleets are 896 with a capacity of 62,980 thousand tons and the total number of MOL Group Companies are 441.
Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) is the world’s second largest shipping line of container vessel capacity and was founded in 1970. Its headquarter is in Geneva, Switzerland. MSC operates a network of over 480 offices in 150 countries and more than 24,000 employees. It has a fleet of 465 container vessels with an intake capacity of circa 2.6 million TEU. MSC covers 200 routes, calling at 315 ports around the world.
Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK LINE) is a Japanese shipping company established in 1885. Its headquarter is in Tokyo, Japan and has regional headquarters in London, New York, Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Sydney, and Sao Paulo. It is one of the largest shipping companies in the world. NYK has offices in 240 places in 27 countries and harbor operations in Asia, North America, and Europe. NYK employs around 55,000 employees over the world.
Its main service is global logistics based on international marine transportation, cruises, terminal and harbor transport, and shipping-related services. NYK fleets consists of 832 vessels, including container ships, bulk carriers, wood chip carriers, car carriers, tankers, LNG carriers, multi-purpose carriers and cruise ships.
Orient overseas Container Line (OOCL) is a Chinese shipping and logistics company, founded in 1969. Its headquarter is in Hong Kong, China. OOCL has more than 320 offices in 70 countries around the world. Its fleet consists of more than 300 ships with a capacity around 2,500 TEU to 13,000 TEU, and ice-class vessels for extreme weather conditions. OOCL network covers Asia, Europe, North America and Australia. It is also one of the leading international carriers serving China, as well as, an industry leader in the use of information technology and e-commerce to manage the entire cargo process.
Pacific International Lines (PIL) is a shipping company founded in 1967 in Singapore, where its headquarter is today. PIL operates a range of businesses spanning from shipping to container manufacturing and other logistics services. Pacific International Lines is one of the largest ship-owners in Southeast Asia with a focus on Asia-Africa and the Middle East.
This international company offers container liner services and multi-purpose services at over 500 locations in 100 countries worldwide and employs more than 18,000 people over the world. PIL service covers the whole of the Far East to Europe, Black Sea, Canada, the Indian sub-continent, Red Sea/Gulf, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Latin America and West Coast of USA. Feeder services cover range of ports in South East Asia, the Bay of Bengal, the East Coast of India, East and West African Coast and the Pacific Islands.
PIL Group owns or operates a fleet of 172 modern vessels with a capacity of 369,552 TEUs.
PIL is ranked 17th among the top containership operators in the world.
United Arab Shipping Company (UASC) is an international company founded in 1976. UASC is based in the Middle East and has more than 185 offices around the world. It is the largest container shipping line in the Middle East region, covering over 240 ports around the world. UASC offers containerized cargo transportation, temperature controlled and out of gauge cargo.
UASC operates a fleet of 60 ships with a total capacity of 450.495 TEUs, and it is implementing one of the industry’s largest and most technologically advanced new building programs, with seventeen new vessels on order.
Yang Ming Marine Transport Corporation (Yang Ming) is a Chinese Ocean shipping company and was established in 1972. Yang Ming’ headquarter is in Keelung, Taiwan. It offers top-notch services in Asia, Europe, Americas, Australia and Africa. Yang Ming operates in some exclusive terminals at Keelung, Kaohsiung and Taipei Harbors in Taiwan; Los Angeles and Tacoma in the U.S.; Antwerp in Belgium and Rotterdam in the Netherlands. Yang Ming’s fleet consists of 101 container vessels.
Its logistic service has set up offices in Shanghai, Shenzhen, Zhongshan, Xiamen, Ningbo, Tianjin, Wuhan, Hefei in China, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Los Angeles, Hamburg, Rotterdam, and Denmark as well as agency networks around the world.
Shipping portals are websites where shippers, consignees and forwarders can access to communicate with carriers to make bookings, track and trace, and documentation.
In the next table you can see in what main shipping portals you can find the main shipping lines:
|Carrier||Cargo Smart||GT Nexus||Inttra|
|Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC)||√||√||√|