Containerization refers to the process of transporting goods in cargo containers to distant places. It was an important milestone in the transportation industry, as it allowed goods to be transported in shipping containers via different means of transportation like rail, road, and sea. Since then, container shipping companies in the world have become a huge factor in facilitating the transportation of cargo safely and smoothly.
The cargo container industry is a major source of revenue for the entire world economy, as it facilitates world trade by allowing countries to transport cargo to each other.
The following are the world’s top 10 container shipping companies on the basis of their TEU capacity in 2021-
1. A.P Moller- Maersk
- TEU: 4,121,789
- HQ: Copenhagen Denmark
- Founded: 1904
- Revenue: $40.3 Billion (USD)
- Employees: 83,625
A.P. Moller-Maersk is a Container Logistics Company headquartered in Denmark. They have their operations spread across 130 countries internationally and offer ocean and inland cargo transportation services and many more. Maersk has been entitled as the largest container shipping line and vessel operator ever since 1996. They provide shipping and cargo services, transportation services, supply chain services, etc.
They are a publically traded family business, and according to Forbes magazine, was ranked as the 622nd largest public company in the world. This company works towards connecting and simplifying trade to ensure that their clients grow and thrive, while committed to sustainable trade practices in accordance with the United Nations guidelines.
2. Mediterranean Shipping Company
- TEU: 3,920,784
- HQ: Geneva, Switzerland
- Founded: 1970
- Revenue: $28.19 Billion (USD)
- Employees: 28,000
Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) is an international shipping line and operates in all major ports internationally. It is one of the world’s leading container lines, headquartered in Switzerland. It has access to a cohesive network of sea, road, and rail intermodal transportation all across the globe, and is well-known to offer global services with localized knowledge.
MSC is an independent and privately owned container shipping company with 493 offices located across 155 countries all over the world. They promise on bringing industry-specific proficiency, for any type of cargo that needs to be delivered in any container dimensions and types. They offer tailor-made solutions in containerized cargo, intermodal and dry cargo deliveries, logistics services, and many more.
3. CMA CGM Group
- TEU: 3,049,743
- HQ: Marseille, France
- Founded: 1978
- Revenue: $31.45 Billion (USD)
- Employees: 110,000
CMA CGM S.A. is a leading French container transportation and shipping company that was founded in 1978. Their name is a compilation of 2 predecessor companies, Compagnie Maritime d’Affrètement (CMA) and Compagnie Générale Maritime (CGM), which commonly translate as “Maritime Freighting Company” and “General Maritime Company”. It is headquartered in Marseille, France, and uses 257 shipping routes that are situated between 420 ports that are spread over 160 different countries.
They are acclaimed for global expertise in maritime and logistics, the CMA CGM Group promises its clients a unified container shipping experience while conjoining reliability, efficiency, with global expertise in unique cargo solutions to their client’s business needs.
- TEU: 3,007,421
- HQ: Beijing, China
- Founded: 1961
- Revenue: $10.2 billion USD
- Employees: 118,243
China Ocean Shipping Company Limited, formerly known as China Ocean Shipping (COSCO) is a Chinese Government-owned shipping and container logistics services Supplier Company. It is headquartered in Beijing, China, and owns 1114 ships with a large container fleet.
It is majorly concerned with domestic and international maritime container transport services as their core business sector. They have over 400 marketing offices present all over the world and have thus covered the entire global transportation market. COSCO shipping lines operate on approximately 400 shipping routes, covering major regions worldwide.
5. Hapag Lloyd
- TEU: 1,789,399
- HQ: Hamburg, Germany
- Founded: 1970
- Revenue: $14.5 billion USD
- Employees: 13,117
Hapag Lloyd is one of the world’s leading international shipping companies. It was established in 1970 in conclusion to a merger between the Hamburg- American Line and the North German company Lloyd. It is a German-based company and is ranked as the country’s largest ocean liner. The shipping corporation has over 235 ships that are used to deliver cargo via cargo containers all over the world.
It has access to over 600 ports spread over all continents to provide fast and reliable international trade. Hapag Lloyd also has around 399 offices that are covered in 128 countries all across the globe. They specialize in container shipping, transport and logistics solutions, special cargo, reefer cargo, and many more.
6. Ocean Network Express
- TEU: 1,600,531
- Founded: 2017
- HQ: Singapore
- Revenue: 3,484 million USD
- Employees: 14,000
One Network Express (ONE) is a conglomerate of three major shipping companies, MOL, K-Line, and NYK. Founded in Japan and headquartered in Singapore, they were established to strengthen services in Asia, Latin America, and Africa. This merger gave rise to a combined fleet of 218 vessels, making it one of the largest container shipping companies in the world.
Established on 7th July 2017, ONE has local offices in around 90 countries situated all over the world. It is the seventh in the line of the biggest ship owners globally and the market leaders in the Asian reefer container market. Their services range towards container specifications like platform containers and tank containers, specialized and refrigerated cargo, global inland and intermodal solutions, and many more.
7. Evergreen Marine Corporation
- TEU: 1,345,537
- HQ: Taoyuan City, Taiwan
- Founded: 1968
- Revenue: 124.467 billion USD
- Employees: 10,496
Evergreen Marine Corporation is a Taiwanese container transportation and shipping company, headquartered in Taiwan. It covers principal trading routes across Asia, America, Australia, and even intra-Asia services linking ports all over the world. They possess over 150 container ships and are a part of the Evergreen Group Conglomerate of transportation firms.
It is the fifth-largest company of its type and provides services like shipping, construction of freight containers and ships, and management of ports worldwide. It is one of the world’s largest container shipping companies internationally and boasts of economical and convenient transportation services for global industries.
8. Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM)
- TEU: 752,604
- Founded: 1976
- HQ: Seoul, South Korea
- Revenue: 5.43 billion USD
- Employees: 1,592 – 5,000
HMM Co. Ltd., previously known as Hyundai Merchant Marine, is a leading global shipping company born and based in South Korea. It is a shipping container transportation company operating over 130 state-of-the-art vessels encompassing more than 50 sea routes across over 100 ports. The company has 4 international headquarters, 27 subsidiaries, 76 branches, and 5 overseas offices.
HMM has a global business network of vessels, terminals, railroads, trucks, and offices all around the world. They specialize in global container services, transportation and logistics, and customized supply chain solutions. They believe in the commitment to operational excellence by their team of industry professionals and experts.
9. The Yang Ming Marine Transport Corporation
- TEU: 628,463
- Founded: 1972
- HQ: Taiwan
- Revenue: 5.30 billion USD
- Employees: 5,883
The Yang Ming Marine Transportation Corporation is the largest Taiwan-based global shipping logistics company and was established on December 28, 1972. Their business includes domestic and overseas marine cargo as well as passenger transportation services. Their services include linking Taiwan with certain mainland Chinese ports like Shanghai, Ningbo, etc. The Yang Ming Marine Corp. ensures a connection between many of the top 10 busiest seaports in the world in Japan, South Korea, Southeast Asia, etc.
Yang Ming is also a member of The Alliance, in partnership with Hapag-Lloyd and Ocean Network Express. It is known for providing operations for warehouses, tug boats, container freight stations, repairing, leasing, and trading of ships, freight forwarding services, among many more.
10. Zim Integrated Shipping Services
- TEU: 409,810
- Founded: 1945
- HQ: Haifa, Israel
- Revenue: 3.717 billion USD
- Employees: 4200
Zim Integrated Shipping Services, commonly referred to as Zim, is a publically owned shipping company headquartered in Israel. It used to operate as ZIM Israel Navigation Company from the years 1948 to 2004. They are the largest container shipping company in all of Israel and also a prominent international freight carrier.
They have approximately 170 representative offices all over the world, they also have their offices in Virginia and Germany. They have a large and varied fleet with many different types of shipping containers suited for the needs of their customers and it comprises of 80 shipping vessels and goes through 180 ports located all over the world.