Here we present the top 30 international shipping companies as ranked by Alphaliner¹ which provides data by tracking the capacity of word containerships based on twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs). We have also provided a brief company profile for each shipping line. The following rankings are based on Alphaliner’s data as at 02 September 2021. The list represents the largest cargo freight shipping companies in the world.
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The A.P. Moller-Maersk Group is a Danish business conglomerate and the largest supply vessel- and container ship operator in the world. The company has several core subsidiaries (including Maersk Line, APM Terminals, and Maersk Container Industries) that provide transport and logistic services. Subsidiaries that serve the energy sector include Maersk Supply Services, Maersk Oil, Maersk Drilling, and Maersk Tankers.
A.P Moller-Maersk operates in 130 countries and ships around $675 billion worth of goods per year. The company has a fleet of five Maersk Triple E-class container ships. Each one can carry more than 18,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU). This container ship was the largest in the world before the CSCL Globe surpassed it in 2013.
Mediterranean Shipping Company is a privately owned and global provider of shipping and logistics solutions. With their fleet of more than 500 container vessels and a capacity of approximately 3 million TEU, MSC facilitates international trade between the world’s major economies and emerging markets.
The company stops at 500 ports on 200 trade routes around the world and delivers dry cargo as well as reefer cargo. MSC also offers intermodal transportation services that include door to door, factory to consumer, and a combination of transport solutions to fulfill their delivery obligations.
MSC’s services include overland transportation logistics, and the company has a growing portfolio of port terminal investments.
China Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO Group) is a government-owned shipping and logistics supplier company of the People’s Republic of China. COSCO’s subsidiaries include COSCO Shipping Co Ltd, OOCL, Shanghai Pan Asia Shipping, and New Golden Sea and Coheung.
COSCO Group owns more than 360 dry bulk vessels and 10,000 ships. The COSCO fleet stops at more than a thousand ports around the world. The company is the largest dry bulk carrier and liner carrier in China and one of the most prominent dry bulk shipping operators in the world.
CMA CGM Group derives its name from the French acronym “Maritime Freighting Company – General Maritime Company” and is a shipping company that offers a wide range of international services.
The company offers solutions that include vessel- and container fleet management, freight delivery, cargo cruises, and logistics. CMA CGM Group serves more than 420 of the world’s 521 commercial ports, and its fleet of 509 vessels operates on more than 200 shipping lines.
CMA CGM Group is based in France but is present in 160 companies through 755 agencies and 750 warehouses. The largest ship in the company fleet is the CMA CGM Georg Foster that can carry up to 18,000 TEU.
Hapag-Lloyd is based in Germany and is the country’s largest ocean liner with five regional headquarters in Piscataway, Hamburg, Valparaiso, and Singapore. The company serves 128 countries through 399 offices, and it has a total capacity of just under 1,7 Million TEU.
With its modern reefer container fleet of 237 ships, Hapag-Lloyd offers a total of 118 liner services throughout the world.
The Hapag-Lloyd fleet stops at 600 ports on all continents to provide fast and reliable international trade connections. The company is also an ocean carrier for Latin America, Intra-America, Middle-East, and Transatlantic trades.
Ocean Network Express started trading in April 2018 and is a joint venture between Nippon Yusen Kaisha, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, and K-Line. Despite being a relatively young company, ONE has a sizable fleet that consists of 240 container vessels and 31 container ships. Each has a capacity of 20,000 TEU. Currently, ONE has more than 14,000 reefer containers.
ONE’s global headquarters is in Singapore, and it has a holding office in Tokyo, Japan. The company’s regional headquarters are in London, Richmond, Hong Kong, and Sao Paulo. ONE also has local offices in 90 countries that take care of corporate and sales activities.
The Evergreen Marine Corporation is an established Taiwanese shipping and container transportation company. Evergreen Group’s divisions include Uniglory Marine Corporation, Evergreen UK Ltd, and Italia Marittima S.p.A.
The company’s primary trade routes are between the Far East and countries in the southern hemisphere, the Americas, and northern Europe and the East Mediterranean. Additional routes are between Europe and the east coast of North America and between Asia and the Middle East.
Evergreen’s fleet consists of more than 200 container ships, and the company calls on 240 ports throughout the world.
8. Yang Ming Marine Transport Corporation
Yang Ming’s fleet consists of 101 vessels and has an operating capacity of 7.74 million deadweight tonnage. The fleet covers more than 70 nations over 170 service points. The company also has a logistics unit and container terminals in Taiwan, Belgium, the Netherlands, and the United States.
Pacific International Lines (PIL) is an international shipping company that focuses primarily on container shipping. The PIL fleet consists of 153 ships and serves more than 500 locations around the world.
The company’s primary routes are between Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, but it also stops at North America, the Black Sea, Australia, New Zealand, and India.
In addition to container shipping, PIL also offers solutions pertaining to container manufacturing, supply chain management, logistics, and ship recycling.
Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) is an international shipping company with a fleet that consists of more than 130 vessels. The company covers around 50 sea routes to more than 100 ports around the world. In addition to international shipping solutions, HMM also offers its clients customized supply chain solutions for dry, refrigerated, and specialized cargo.
In addition to a shipping fleet, HMM also has an international network of terminals, railroads, trucks, and offices to provide integrated and efficient logistics services.
11. ZIM Integrated Shipping Services
ZIM Integrated Shipping Services is Israel’s largest shipping company and a prominent international carrier. The shipping and logistics provider’s headquarters are in Haifa, Israel; Norfolk, Virginia; and Hamburg, Germany. ZIM also has 170 offices and representatives around the world.
The company has a state-of-the-art fleet that consists of 80 vessels and serves 180 ports of call throughout the world. ZIM’s services include dry and reefer cargo shipping as well as inland transport.
Wan Hai Line Ltd is a privately-owned company that provides a wide range of solutions. These services include international shipping and logistics, port container terminal operations, ship, and container rental services, and ship and container trading.
The company is the only Taiwan-based carrier that has exclusive terminals Keelung, Taichung, and Kaohsiung. Of Wan Hai’s 20 international routes, 15 routes stop at major international commercial ports.
Wan Hai operates a fleet of 72 owned vessels and 24 chartered vessels. As part of the company’s latest fleet renewal plan, they have a shipbuilding contract in place for 20 new ships. This development will ensure that the company stays on top of growing demand.
13. Zhonggu Logistics Corporation
Official website: www.ykzcwl.com
Zhonggu Logistics Corporation is a Chinese coastal logistics company that focuses on container shipping. The company has a fleet of 60 vessels, more than 150,000 standard containers, and operates international routes. The company also stops at more than 100 major commercial routes.
Zhonggu Logistics’ parent company has been active in the coastal container industry since 2003 and maintains a growth rate of 30% per year.
14. Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL Group)
Official website: www.irislgroup.com
IRISL Group is Iran’s national maritime carrier. The company’s primary activities include container transport, cargo transportation, ship management, and shipping services in the Caspian Sea. Other areas that IRISL Group serves include the Persian Gulf, Mediterranean Sea, Indian Ocean, and the Yellow Sea.
The company owns a fleet of 87 ocean-going vessels. An additional fleet of 28 ships is owned by IRISL Group’s subsidiaries, namely Khazar Sea Shipping Lines, Multi-Modal Transportation, and Valfajr Shipping Company.
15. Korea Marine Transport Company (KMTC)
KMTC is one of the largest container shipping solution providers in South Korea and has offices in Busan, Incheon, and Ulsan. The company services 30 ports in Japan and 16 ports in China. Additionally, KMTC has 22 global networks in Southeast Asia, including Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia.
The company’s container terminal in the Port of Ulsan also increases its ability to carry out efficient container handling and vessel operations.
16. Antong Holdings (QASC)
Official website: N/A
Antong Holdings Co Ltd is a China-based company that primarily carries out freight transportation services, logistics, ship management, freight forwarding, and warehousing solutions. The company mainly operates in the domestic market and doesn’t call on international ports and locations.
Antong Holdings was formerly Heilongjiang Heihua Co and is the largest domestic container shipping company in China. The company is also the parent group of the Chinese local shipping operator Ansheng Shipping.
17. Shandong International Transportation Corporation (SITC)
SITC provides international clients with integrated logistics and transportation solutions. The company has two service segments. The first is sea freight logistics that provides marine transportation services. The second segment is land-based logistics that provides integrated freight forwarding, warehousing, depot, and trucking solutions in Asia.
SITC’s other activities include investment holding and vessel holding and chartering. The company also provides shipping agency services through its subsidiaries.
18. X-Press Feeders Group
Official website: www.x-pressfeeders.com
X-Press Feeders is an independent common carrier that provides international logistics and shipping services. The company operates routes in the Middle East, Asia, the Caribbean, Central America, the Mediterranean, and Europe.
X-press Feeder has a fleet of 110 vessels. The company owns 25 of these vessels, and all of them are up to post Panamax size. The company doesn’t own any container equipment, so it is not a competitor to its clients.
The company has its headquarters in Singapore, but it has offices in Dubai, Hamburg, Barcelona, Southampton, and Panama as well.
19. TS Lines
After its formation, TS Lines operated chartered vessels. Currently, the company is expanding its self-owned fleet, and they expect to own 20 vessels within five years. TS Lines currently operates a total of 36 chartered and owned ships. The company is the world’s 20th biggest shipping liner and Taiwan’s fourth-largest ocean freight company.
Freightliner operations are the basis of TS Lines’ primary operating model. As a result, the company can operate its container ships according to scheduled timeframes and routine ports.
20. SM Line Corporation
Official website: www.smlines.comSM Line Corporation is a South Korean transpacific shuttle service that uses Busan as a hub port. The company offers a cost- and time-effective connection between Busan and Long Beach with immediate response to customer demand as an independent carrier.SM Line Corporation also separates vessel ownership and operation to improve its financial structure and ensure rapid response to changes in the market demand. The company is also considering a partnership with COSCO for joint activities on routes within Asia.
21. Arkas Line / EMES
Arkas Holding is a multi-dimensional company that operates on several levels, including ship operations, port operations, and logistics services. The company is active in 23 countries through 59 offices, including Turkey, Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Marocco, Algeria, Egypt, and Ukraine.In addition to representing companies like PIL CCNI, OOCL, and UOL, Arkas has a partnership with DB Schenker, a European overland and rail transporter. Arkas has a merchant marine fleet that consists of 37 vessels. This fleet is also Turkey’s largest.
Official website: www.sinotrans.comSinotrans is a China-based company that focuses primarily on freight forwarding. The company’s freight forwarding segment involves the transportation of goods to consignees within specific timeframes. This service segment also includes shipping agency solutions. Sinotrans also has a logistics segment and a storage and terminal services segment. The latter provides warehousing, container yards, freight stations, and terminals services. In addition to freight forwarding and logistics, Sinotrans also offers truck transportation, express services, and shipping transportation.
23. Sinokor Merchant Marine
Sinokor Merchant Marine Company provides global container liner solutions that include container load services, shipping, logistics services, and consultation services.
Sinikor’s container liner services currently cover 16 countries through 60 ports. These countries include China, Japan, Russia, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Myanmar. Sinokor also has offices and subsidiaries in India, Vietnam, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and the UAE.
In 2001, the company entered the Dry Bulk & Tanker Carriage Sectors and now provides all associated services. Sinokor also has long-term contracts with 1st Class Charterers around the world.
24. RCL (Regional Container Lines)
Regional Container Lines is a Thailand-based company that carries out international vessel operations. The company owns a fleet of container vessels that calls on destinations in Australasia, Asia, and the Middle East.
RCL’s core business lines include carrier-owned-container, shipper-owned-container, and value-added logistics services. The latter involves services that range from custom house brokerage, domestic haulage, and contract logistics arrangements. Multi-country supply chain management and cross-country haulage also fall under this service category.
25. PT Salam Pacific Indonesia Lines (PT SPIL)
Official website: www.spil.co.id
PT SPIL is an inter–island freight forwarding company that is based in Surabaya, Indonesia. The company has a fleet that consists of 73 vessels, and it has 29 offices in several strategic locations across the Indonesian archipelago.
Salam Pacific Indonesia Lines’ objective is to grow its coverage area and meet the increasing demand for inter-island shipments. In 1996, the company increased its provision from handling breakbulk cargo to efficient transportation with unitized containers.
Unifeeder is a Denmark-based container company that operates routes between Gothenburg and Hamburg, Rotterdam, and Bremerhaven. According to Unifeeder, the company has the largest network in northern Europe. Unifeeder covers 45 ports in western Europe, and they offer door-to-door solutions to land-locked countries like Switzerland and Austria.
Unifeeder focuses on cost-effective and safe container transport solutions, especially over long distances. Many businesses in countries like Ireland and Russia prefer Unifeeder’s container services to rail and road transport.
27. Matson Inc
Matson Inc is a holding company that offers logistics services and ocean transportation solutions. Matson Navigation Company (MatNav) is a subsidiary of Matson Inc, and it carries out all services related to ocean transportation.
Matson provides freight transportation services to domestic economies, including Hawaii, Guam, and Alaska. The company’s fleet consists of 20 owned vessels and three chartered vessels.
All logistics services are provided by Matson Logistics, which is a subsidiary of MatNav and an asset-light business.
The company has been active in the region for more than thirty years and has an established network of agents and offices. NileDutch is also familiar with the African market and can respond rapidly to changes in the economies of these countries.
Official website: www.swireshipping.com
Swire Shipping is the trade name for the shipping services that The China Navigation Company operates. The company’s shipping services cover the Asia and South Pacific regions, Australia, New Zealand, North America, Europe, the Indian Subcontinent, and the Middle East.
Swire Shipping has a fleet of multipurpose vessels that can carry a wide range of cargo types. The goods Swire Shipping can carry include heavy project lifts and containerized cargoes.
30. Grimaldi (Napoli)
Official website: www.grimaldi.napoli.it
The Grimaldi Group is an Italian conglomerate of companies that offer a wide range of logistics and shipping solutions. These subsidiaries include Grimaldi Lines, a cargo and ferry company, Atlantic Container Line, a container-based cargo service, and Minoan Lines, a ferry company that operates between Italy and Greece.
Grimaldi Lines is the primary shipping company in the group and specializes in the maritime transport of shipping containers, automobiles and other vehicles, and machinery. Grimaldi has a special fleet of car carriers to support Italy’s automobile industry.
- https://alphaliner.axsmarine.com/PublicTop100/ (Accessed 02 September 2021)
Matt is a veteran of the moving industry, a recognized moving expert and is the founder of MoverFocus. Matt holds a Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) majoring in Finance and Marketing and Bachelor of Arts (BA) majoring in Economics and History. He also has completed the EiM (Essentials in International Moving) course from the FIDI Academy. His advice has been featured in Reader’s Digest, Yahoo Finance, MSN Money, Business News Daily and The SpareFoot Blog Go. Read more.