TOP 10 largest container lines with biggest container ships in Maritime logistics

The slump in production and export orders globally led to moderate growth in container traffic in 2019, while the Covid-19 pandemic further impacted global demand in 2020. Ship Technology lists the top ten shipping companies by their combined twenty-foot equivalent (TEU) in 2019.
The slump in production and export orders globally led to moderate growth in container traffic in 2019, while the Covid-19 pandemic further impacted global demand in 2020.

Here is a list of the top ten shipping companies with the biggest container ships based on their total twenty-foot equivalent (TEU) throughput by May 2021

10. Zim Integrated Shipping Services

Zim Integrated Shipping Services
Total TEU: 409 810

Number of ships: 95

Market share: 1.7%

ZIM was founded on June 7, 1945, under the name ZIM Palestine Navigation Company Ltd. By the Jewish Agency, the Israel Maritime League, and Histadrut (General Federation of Workers of the Land of Israel). The first ship was acquired in partnership with Harris and Dixon (based in London) in 1947. This vessel was repaired, renamed SS Kedma, and sent to the future state of Israel in the summer of 1947. In 1948 the company was renamed ZIM Israel Navigation. Company Ltd. In the early years, its main task was to transport hundreds of thousands of immigrants to the developing state. Some of the other ships that were used for illegal immigration prior to the formation of Israel as a state were confiscated by the British Mandate and later joined the company's fleet. The company continued to purchase new ships, including SS Negba, SS Artza, and SS Galila.

Biggest vessel: Cape Sounio

TEU: 11 000

Cape Sounio

9. Yang Ming Marine Transport Corporation

Yang Ming Marine Transport Corporation
Total TEU: 628 463

Number of ships: 89

Market share: 2.6%

The Taiwanese container shipping company Yang Ming Marine Transport Corporation (Yang Ming) operates a fleet of 89 vessels with a total capacity of 628 000 TEU.

The company has started to streamline its fleet by adding 14 chartered vessels of 11 000 TEU and 10 new self-built vessels of 2 800 TEU in 2020. The new fleet with improved engine performance will enhance the company's long-term competitiveness.

Yang Ming provides container and bulk transport services as well as terminal and logistics services. It offers regular container shipping in Asia, Europe, America and Australia.

Biggest vessel: YM WARRANTY

TEU: 14200


8. HMM Co. Ltd.

HMM Co. Ltd.
Total TEU: 752 604

Number of ships: 75

Market share: 3.1%

The HMM fleet consists of 75 container ships with a total capacity of 752 000 TEU. It is Korea's largest national container carrier. The company has three container terminals.

The company is commissioning a modern fleet of 12 container ships of 24 000 TEU and eight container ships of 16 000 TEU, equipped with the latest intelligent ship solutions. The 24 000 TEU ships delivered between April and September 2020 are the largest container ships in the world. The 16 000 TEU vessels will be commissioned in 2021.

HMM is a global transportation and logistics company headquartered in Seoul, South Korea with over 60 shipping routes and 100 ports. It is one of the five largest carriers operating on the trans-Pacific trade route.

Biggest vessel: HMM Algeciras-class

TEU: 23 964 – 23 820

HMM Algeciras-class

7. Evergreen Marine Corporation

Evergreen Marine Corporation
Total TEU: 1 345 537

Number of ships: 202

Market share: 5.5%

Evergreen Line is a container shipping group of companies that includes Evergreen Marine Corp. (Taiwan), Italia Marittima, Evergreen Marine (UK), Evergreen Marine (Hong Kong), and Evergreen Marine (Singapore).

The companies operate 202 vessels with a total capacity of 1.3 million TEU. Evergreen has built and chartered 20 F-type vessels with a capacity of 12 000 TEU to reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. In 2019, he ordered ten 23 000 TEU and four 1 800 TEU container ships.

Evergreen Line has over 6 700 employees and serves over 315 locations in Asia, America, Europe, the Middle East, Australia, and Africa.

Biggest vessel: Ever Ace

TEU: 24 000

Ever Ace

6. Ocean Network Express

Ocean Network Express
Total TEU: 1 600 531

Number of ships: 221

Market share: 6.6%

Ocean Network Express (ONE) operates a fleet of 221 vessels with a total capacity of 1.6 million TEU, making it the sixth-largest container carrier in the world.

ONE was created by integrating Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL), Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K-Line), and Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK) in July 2017.

Headquartered in Singapore, the company employs 8 000 people worldwide and offers over 130 services in 120 countries every week.

Biggest vessel: MOL Triumph

TEU: 20 170

MOL Triumph

5. Hapag-Lloyd

Total TEU: 1 789 399

Number of ships: 256

Market share: 7.3%

The German container shipping line Hapag-Lloyd operates a fleet of 256 vessels with a total capacity of about 1.7 million TEU. The company occupies 7% of the market of the total capacity of the global container ship fleet.

In 2019, Hapag-Lloyd ordered 77 container ships with a total transport capacity of about 0.8 million TEU. The new vessels will be able to carry various types of cargo, such as oversized and dangerous cargo.

The shipping line, headquartered in Hamburg, has over 13 000 employees and 392 sales offices in 129 countries.

Biggest vessel: Barzan

TEU: 18 800



Total TEU: 3 007 421

Number of ships: 498

Market share: 12.3%

China Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO) Shipping Lines, a subsidiary of the Chinese state-owned shipping giant COSCO SHIPPING Holding, operates 498 container ships with a total capacity of around 3 million TEU.

The COSCO fleet serves 401 international and domestic shipping routes and calls at 356 ports in 105 countries. The company operates 235 corporate offices, including 97 domestic and 138 international.

COSCO SHIPPING Holding has a stake in 59 terminals worldwide, including 51 container terminals. The annual capacity of container terminals is about 126.8 million TEU, making it the leading port operator in the world.

Biggest vessel: COSCO Shipping Universe

TEU: 21 000

COSCO Shipping Universe


Total TEU: 3 049 743

Number of ships: 557

Market share: 12.5%

The French container shipping company CMA CGM Group operates a fleet of 502 container ships with a total capacity of 3 million TEU.

In September 2020, the company rented a 23 000 TEU container ship CMA CGM JACQUES SAADE, named after its founder, Jacques Saade. This is the first of nine vessels ordered by the company. JACQUES SAADE is the largest LNG-powered container ship in the world.

The CMA CGM Group employs 110 000 people in 160 countries and serves 420 commercial ports, covering more than 80% of ports worldwide.


TEU: 23 000


2. Mediterranean Shipping Company

Mediterranean Shipping Company
Total TEU: 3 920 784

Number of ships: 589

Market share: 16.1%

The Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) container ship fleet has a total capacity of 3.9 million TEU. The company operates a fleet of 560 cargo ships carrying 21 million TEU per year.

MSC has a network of 493 offices and 70 000 employees in 155 countries, and its fleet serves more than 500 ports around the world.

The company operates a modern fleet of Gulsan-class vessels, a new class of eco-friendly container ships, to minimize environmental impact. The vessel's design provides the lowest carbon footprint - 7.49 g of CO2 to emissions to move 1 ton of cargo per nautical mile.

Biggest vessel: MSC Gülsün

TEU: 22 000

MSC Gülsün

1. Maersk Line

Maersk Line
Total TEU: 4 121 789

Number of ships: 708

Market share: 16.9%

A.P. Moller-Maersk is the world's largest integrated shipping company with a total throughput of 4.1 million TEU. The company has a fleet of 708 vessels, including 307 of its own container ships and 401 chartered container ships as of December 2019.

The Danish company also plans to add eleven 401 meter long container ships with a capacity of 19 630 TEU to its fleet. The new vessels will become the largest container ships in the Maersk fleet. Two Triple-E 18 500 TEU vessels and seven Baltic feeder vessels will also join the Maersk fleet.

The company operates various business segments including ocean, logistics, terminals, and towing, manufacturing, and others. TradeLens digital container logistics platform serves 98 directly integrated ports and terminals.

Biggest vessel: Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller

TEU: 22 000

Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller
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