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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Top Ten Shipping Companies

17 January 2020

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. Hyundai M.M.

Based in South Korea, Hyundai M.M. was founded in 1976. The company initially established a container service between the Far East and Middle East, and has since grown to become the world's tenth largest shipping company. It has a capacity of 391,403 TEU (1.7% market share) with 67 container ships.

9. Pacific International Line (PIL)

Incorporated in Singapore, PIL is a privately held company that operates 120 vessels with a TEU capacity of 392,410 (1.7% market share). Founded in 1967 by Chinese entrepreneur Chang Yun Chung, it is the world's ninth largest shipping company.

8. Yang Ming Marine Transport Corporation

Based in Keelung, Taiwan, Yang Ming was founded in 1972 and is the world's eighth largest shipping company. It has a capacity of 646,347 TEU (2.7% market share) and a fleet of 101 container ships.

7. Evergreen Marine Corp.

Evergreen Marine is the seventh largest shipping company in the world, with a capacity of over 1.3 million TEU (5.4% market share). Founded in 1968, it has a fleet of 200 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 222 vessels and a TEU capacity of 1.6 million (6.7% 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 236 vessels, and a capacity of 1.7 million TEU (7.4% market share).

4. CMA CGM Group

CMA CGM S.A. is a French shipping company which was founded in 1996 following the merger of Compagnie Maritime d'Affrètement (CMA) and Compagnie Générale Maritime (CGM). It has a rich history which can be traced back to 1851, and is now the fourth largest shipping company in the world. CMA CGM has 492 vessels and a TEU capacity of 2.7 million (11.4% 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, acquiring Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) in July 2018 to become the world's third largest carrier. COSCO has a market share of 12.5% with a combined TEU capacity of 2.9 million across 503 container ships.

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 566 strong fleet with a capacity of 3.8 million TEU (16% 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 76,000 employees across 130 countries, the behemothic carrier has an armada of vessels (707) which call on 343 ports worldwide. Founded in 1904, Maersk has a TEU capacity of 4.2 million (17.7% 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: 23.6 million.