Largest Shipping Companies

As the global movement of goods continues to grow, so too does the scale and size of shipping companies that lead the industry.

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Champion Freight

Top Ten Shipping Companies

11 May 2018

Counting down from number ten, view the world's largest shipping companies by TEU (Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit), and their vast fleets of container ships.

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10. Pacific International Line (PIL)

Incorporated in Singapore, PIL is a privately held company that operates 135 vessels with a TEU capacity of 427,624 (1.9% market share). Founded in 1967 by Chinese entrepreneur Chang Yun Chung, it is the world's tenth largest shipping company.

9. Yang Ming Marine Transport Corporation

Based in Keelung, Taiwan, Yang Ming was founded in 1972 and is the world's ninth largest shipping company. It has a capacity of 646,393 TEU (2.9% market share) and a fleet of 106 container ships.

8. Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL)

Based in Hong-Kong, OOCL was founded in 1947 and was originally known as the Orient Overseas Line. It later changed its name to the Orient Overseas Container Line in 1969, and is now the eighth largest shipping company in the world. It has a capacity of 694,597 TEU (3.1% market share) and 100 container ships, which includes the OOCL Hong Kong, the world's largest cellular vessel (by TEU).

7. Evergreen Marine Corp.

Evergreen Marine is the seventh largest shipping company in the world, with a capacity of over 1.1 million TEU (5% market share). Founded in 1968, it has a fleet of 197 container ships and headquarters in Taoyuan City, Taiwan.

6. Ocean Network Express (ONE)

With headquarters in Singapore, ONE is a Japanese company which was founded on the 7th July 2017 following the amalgamation of Nippon Yusen Kaisha (38% stake), K Line (31% stake) and Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (31% stake). It has a fleet of 232 vessels and a TEU capacity of 1.5 million (7.1% market share).

5. Hapag-Lloyd

Founded in 1970, Hapag-Lloyd originally formed following the merger of Amerikanische Packetfahrt-Actien-Gesellschaft (HAPAG) and Norddeutscher Lloyd (NDL). It has since merged with Compañía Sud Americana de Vapores (CSAV) in 2014, to become a German-Chilean owned conglomerate and the world's fifth largest shipping company. Today the company has 227 vessels, and a capacity of 1.6 million TEU (7.3% market share).


An acronym for China Ocean Shipping (Group) Company, COSCO is a state-owned Chinese carrier with headquarters in Beijing. In February 2016, the company merged with China Shipping Group and is now the world's fourth largest carrier with a market share of 8.9%. COSCO has a fleet of 354 container ships and a capacity of 2 million TEU.

3. CMA CGM Group

CMA CGM S.A. is a French shipping company which was founded in 1996 following the merger of Compagnie Générale Maritime (CGM) and Compagnie Maritime d'Affrètement (CMA). It has a rich history which can be traced back to 1851, and is now the third largest shipping company in the world. CMA CGM has 493 vessels and a TEU capacity of 2.5 million (11.5% market share).

2. Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC)

MSC is a Geneva based Italian shipping company, known across the globe as a container shipping heavyweight and cruise liner operator (MSC Cruises). Founded in 1970, the company has expanded from a single vessel called Patricia, to a 517 strong fleet with a capacity of 3.3 million TEU (14.8% market share).

1. A.P. Moller–Maersk Group

Also referred to as Maersk, or Maersk Line, the A.P. Moller–Maersk Group is a Danish business conglomerate and the world’s largest container shipping company. Boasting a global workforce of 35,600 employees across 574 offices, the behemothic carrier has an armada of vessels (773) which call on 343 ports worldwide. Founded in 1904, Maersk has a TEU capacity of 4.1 million (18.7% market share).


All figures are consolidated. Carrier TEU and industry share has been sourced from Alphaliner. Fleet statistics sourced from Statista.

Combined global TEU capacity: 22 million.