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Here are the 10 biggest global container shipping companies

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Roughly about 90 percent of the goods moving around the globe are transported via sea routes, with the majority being shipped in containers.

Shipping is a major transport mode and container shipping is an important as well as a safe means of transporting cargo from one port to another.

Because it is a capital-intensive business, not too many people are in the business of container shipping. Here are the 10 largest container shipping companies in the world and their carrying capacity:

Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC)

MSC is a Swiss international shipping firm established in the year 1970. It is the shipping line that broke Maersk Line’s 25 years of domination and it has 800 ships. The conglomerate is rated as the biggest container carrier globally, with a twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) capacity of around 5,614,057.

AP Moller-Maersk Group

Maersk is a Danish shipping company that has been in operation since 1904 and is headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark. It is the second largest vessel and container ship operation in the world and has several subsidiaries providing transport and logistics operations.

It operates in 130 countries, shipping approximately $675 billion worth of goods yearly with 76,000 workforces in its payroll.

Currently, the company has a fleet of around 675 container ships with a capacity of around 4,117,136 TEUs.


CMA-CGM is a French leading container shipping company and the 3rd largest company in TEU capacity. It came into existence in the year 1978 after a series of mergers between previously established shipping corporations.

At present, the company has a fleet of 624 ships operating in over 150 routes globally. It has a carrying capacity of around 3,578,494 TEUs.

China Cosco Group

COSCO stands for China Ocean Shipping Company, a government-owned shipping and logistics concern for the People’s Republic of China. It has several subsidiaries including OOCL, COSCO Shipping Co Ltd, New Golden Sea, and Shanghai Pan Asian Shipping.

With more than 10,000 ships and 360 dry bulk vessels, COSCO visits over a thousand ports globally and has 130,000 employees. It has a revenue of 7.2 billion RMB (renminbi) and ships more than 2.5 million TEUs.


The German-based Hapag-Lloyd is one of the most renowned and well-featured companies in terms of international shipping companies. It is the fifth in the world with 266 ships catering to about 1,963,934 TEUs container carrying capacity worldwide.

It was established in 1970 due to a merger between the Hamburg-American Line and the North German company Lloyd.

Evergreen Marine Corporation 

Evergreen is the sixth in the world with primary trade routes between the Far East and countries in the Americas, the southern hemisphere, northern Europe, and the East Mediterranean. It has its mainstay in Taiwan.

It has a fleet of over 200 container ships with a capacity of 1,668,555 TEUs that travel to 240 global ports.

Headquartered in Taipei, Taiwan, the company employs over 10,000 people.

ONE (Ocean Network Express)

ONE is the seventh largest container carrier in the world, which was established on July 7th, 2017. ONE integrates three major shipping companies including MOL, “K”-Line, and NYK.

Setup in Japan and headquartered in Singapore, ONE was founded to strengthen services in Asia, Latin America, and Africa. The alliance currently has a combined fleet of 231 vessels with a container carrying capacity of 1,799,818 TEUs, making it one of the largest container shipping alliances in the world.

Hyundai Merchant Marine 

Hyundai Merchant Marine is the eighth-largest shipping line in the world. It offers supply chain solutions for refrigerated, dry, and special cargo. It is headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, and has been in operation since 1976.

The company operates a fleet of over 160 vessels. Hyundai Merchant Marine serves more than 100 countries and has container terminals in South Korea, China, and the United States.

It has revenue of $4.6 billion; a shipping capacity is 816,365TEUs and employs 1,200 to 5,000 people.

Yang Ming Marine Transport Corporation

Based in Keelung, Taiwan, Yang Ming Marine Transport is one of the oldest and the ninth-largest shipping companies globally.

Established in 1972, the company provides services across Asia, Europe, America, and Australia with a fleet of 94 vessels. It has a container carrying capacity of around 708,593 TEU.

Zim Integrated Shipping Services

ZIM Integrated Shipping Services is a container shipping company headquartered in Haifa, Israel. It was founded in 1945 and has since grown to become the tenth world’s leading container shipping company.

It offers international logistics and shipping services, with a focus on containerised cargo. The company operates a fleet of over 90 vessels, with a total capacity of about 700,000 TEUs.

ZIM has a strong presence in Asia, Europe, and the Americas, serving over 100 countries and operating at more than 180 ports worldwide.