10 Biggest Shipping Companies

Nov 02, 2023 By Susan Kelly

More than 11 billion tonnes of merchandise are transported via shipping each year by the sea, that's an average of around 1.5 tons per person in the world in the world's present population. The globalization of the world has increased more than ever before, and products produced from America are in demand elsewhere, goods made from the USA are in high demand by China as well, and the demand for consumer power has also grown dramatically, shipping is the apex of our globalization. Let's look at only the European Union in terms of volume. Around 80 percent of its imports and exports are made via sea, mostly because its capacity is greater than aircraft and is also a lot less costly. In terms of value, imports and exports within the European Union account for about 50 percent of the total value. In 2019 the value of the global shipping industry was in excess of $ 14 trillion.

A.P. Moller-Maersk

A.P. Moller-Maersk is a world-leading integrated shipping firm with an overall capability of 4.1m TEU. It owns 708 vessels, including 307 of its container vessels, and the 401 container vessels chartered at the end of December 2019. The Danish company is also planning to add 11 401m long container vessels with 19,630 TEU each capacity to the fleet in 2022. These new vessels will be the biggest container vessels within Maersk's fleet. 2 18500 TEU Triple-E vessels and 7 Baltic feeder vessels will be joining the Maersk fleet. Maersk operates a variety of business areas, including shipping logistics, terminals, logistics manufacturing, towage, and many more. The company's container logistics platform, digital TradeLens, provides the ports directly and terminals.

China Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO)

COSCO is well-known as one of the largest conglomerates container shipping firms. COSCO operates across 40 countries, with a fleet of approximately 490 container ships that carry a capacity of 2932,779 TEU. The company's order book has an additional 5,85,000 TEU that is expected to be added to the company's capacity over the next year.


German container shipping company Hapag-Lloyd has 248 vessels that have a total capacity of around 1.7m TEU. Hapag-Lloyd has a 7% market part of the capacity of the world's vessel fleet of container ships. Hapag-Lloyd has placed orders for the construction of 77 container vessels which will total around 0.8m TEU capacity for transport in 2019. The vessels are designed to carry a variety of cargo, including oversized and hazardous cargo. The headquarters are in Hamburg; the shipping line employs over 13,000 people and has 392 sales centers in more than 129 countries across the globe.

Evergreen Line

A shipping conglomerate with its headquarters in Taiwan. The company currently has offices around the world and has an operational ability of more than 204 container vessels and a container carrying capacity of 1,477,644 TEU. It is considered one of the biggest cargo shipping companies around the globe. Presently, Evergreen Line has the largest container ships within its fleet.

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines is a marine transport, storage, and handling company with its headquarters in Japan. The company can transport a wide range of products, including coal logs, grains, cement and metals, automobiles, and chemical and paper products. Mitsui O.S.K. Lines operates container vessels and ferries, oil tankers, and specialized vessels.

Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd

Japanese firm Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha is both a marine cargo company and an operator of passenger transportation services. The company is a transporter of goods, such as grains, petroleum, cars, and iron ore. In addition, Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha provides logistics, land transportation, and insurance services.

Kirby Corp

Kirby runs an inland tanker fleet of barges specializing in the transport of agricultural and industrial chemicals and petroleum and oil products. Kirby also provides services for diesel engines used in rail, marine, and power generation.

Matson Inc

Matson is a logistics and transportation company that serves customers in the North American market. Matson concentrates on international and domestic intermodal rail services and highway brokerage. It also offers less-than-load transport, supply chain solutions, and third-party logistics.

Zim Integrated Shipping Services Ltd

Zim Integrated Shipping Services Ltd. is commonly referred to by the name ZIM, an Israeli cargo shipping company that operates internationally. It was established in 1945 under the name of ZIM. Today, it has a fleet of 111 vessels capable of carrying a total of containers in the range of 419,064 tonnes. ZIM has added over 30 vessels to its fleet by 2021, which makes it among the most prestigious container shipping companies around the globe.

Pacific International Lines

The company based in Singapore was established 53 years ago and employs more than 18,000 people. It was established by Chinese businessman Chang Yun Chung, the world's most famous billionaire, before he passed away at 102 in September 2020.

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