Category Archives: Shipping Industry Leading Companies

A collection of information and images about industry leading shipping companies from around the world.

american president lines apl

American President Lines (APL)

Head Office: Singapore

Founded: 1848

Revenue: $7.9 Billion USD (2011)

Employees:  4,300 (2012)

Stock Market: Parent company, Nepture Orient Lines (NOL), is listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange.


American President Lines (APL) was founded in 1848 under the name Pacific Mail Steamship. The company main cargo lines go between the Pacific and the western coast of the United States. They are the 7th largest shipping container company. The company is currently a subsidiary of Neptune Orient Lines, a global transportation and logistics company

Ship Capacity: APL has 153 containership vessels with a capacity of 589,924 Twenty Foot Equivalent Units (TEU). The APL Temasek is a 14,000 TEU ship, which technically puts it over even the new expanded Panamax size of 13,000 TEU, which comes out next year.

The ship is the first of ten ships currently in production for APL.

Main Trade Routes: APL has 95 established trade routes, which include weekly services to 160 ports of call. The major ports are in the United States Dutch Harbor (Alaska), Oakland (U.S.), and the port of Seattle (U.S.).

They also have a number of ports in Asia, including Kaohsiung (Taiwan), Kobe (Japan), Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam), Laem Chabang(Thailand), and Qingdao (China)

Memberships/Alliances: APL is also part of the G6 alliance. The members of the G6 alliance are Hapag-LloydHyundai Merchant MarineMitsui O.S.K. LinesNippon Yusen Kaisha and Orient Overseas Container Line.

Claim to fame:

APL was once part of the Dollar Steamship Line in the United States. The Dollar Line was a famous run between the West coast of the United States and Asia. The company was seized in 1937 because of back taxes, and the United States Maritime Commission renamed the company to American President Lines.

Final Thoughts:

Over 150 years after the first trans-pacific routes, APL is still strongest in the trade between the United States and Asia. Given all the changes in the world’s economy, this seems like a remarkable achievement.

germany shipping industry hapag-lloyd


Head Office: Hamburg, Germany

Founded: 1970

Revenue: €6.567/ $8.22 Billion

Employees:  7,000

Stock Market: Private Company (37 percent owned by city of Hamburg)

Summary:  Hapag-Lloyd has a long and colorful history. One of its predecessor companies, the North German Lloyd company, helped carry the wave of immigrants to the United States after its founding in 1856. The current company officially started in 1970, after the merger of the Hapag and Lloyd companies.

They also have a cruise line under the Hapag-Lloyd Cruises brand

Ship Capacity: Currently, Hapag-Lloyd has 135 ships with a total capacity of 600,000 Twenty Foot Equivalent Units (TEU).

The largest ship in the container fleet is the Colombo Express with a capacity of 8700 TEU.

Main Trade Routes: Hapag-Lloyd has trade routes in over 130 countries through Europe, Asia, Americas, and Africa.

Memberships/Alliances: The Company is part of the G6 Alliance. Other members are: APLHyundai Merchant MarineMitsui O.S.K. LinesNippon Yusen Kaisha and Orient Overseas Container Line.

Claim to Fame: While this is not exactly a claim to fame, Hapag-Lloyd had to rebuild their fleets from scratch, after each World War.

Final Thoughts:

Hapag-Lloyd’s recent merger with Compañía Sud Americana de Vapores (CSAV) makes the company the fourth largest container shipping company in the world.

cosco container shipping company

COSCO Container Lines Company Limited COSCON

Head Office: Beijing, China

Founded: 1961

Revenue: $7.42 Billion

Employees:  130,000

Stock Market: Shanghai Stock Exchange CCLZ:CH Market Cap: $37.44 Billion


Owned by The People’s Republic of China, COSCO Container Lines Company Limited (COSCON) is the largest dry bulk carrier in China, and the sixth largest container shipping company in the world. They are also one of the largest dry bulk carriers in the world. owns the company.

Ship Capacity:  COSCO Container has a fleet of 117 container ships with a total capacity of 256,171 Twenty Equivalent Units (TEU). When you include the vehicles that they own and lease, the number increases to 535,000 TEU. They also have 191,687 Forty Equivalent Units (FEU) and 22,862 temperature controlled containers.

COSCO has 5 new ships that each have the capacity of 5,250 TEU each. These are the largest ships in their fleet.

Main Trade Routes: COSCO has 1000 ports worldwide in over 160 countries. They have 20 main-line services that reach additional ports of call.

The primary routes for the company are to: USA East and Gulf Coast to Asia; USA East Coast to Europe; USA and Canada West Coast to Asia; and Intra-Asia routes.

Memberships/Alliances: COSCO is a member of two alliances to help reduce costs and improve efficiency. They have partnered with China Shipping Container Lines Co. for shipping within the country. They are also part of the international CYKHE alliance that includes Evergreen“K” LineYang Ming, and Hanjin Shipping.

Final Thoughts:

COSCO is listed on the Shanghai stock exchange, but the People’s Republic of China owns a controlling stake in the company. Therefore, as China goes, so does COSCO.

evergreen marine container shipping

Evergreen Marine Corporation

Head Office: Luzhou, Taiwan

Founded: 1968

Revenue: NTD 137.93 Billion (2013)/ $4.5 Billion

Employees:  3,389

Stock Market: Taiwan Stock Exchange (TPE)

Summary:  Evergreen Marine Corp. is the 4th largest container shipping company. They are a Conglomerate that grew through strategic acquisitions over the years, including Uniglory Marine Corp (1984), Hatsu Marine Ltd.(2002), and Italia Marittima (1993).

Evergreen Marine’s fleet of ships are part of the Ever class (Ever Spring, Ever Ultra, Ever Dainty, Ever Lasting, etc.).

Ship Capacity: Evergreen has 190 container ships with over 850,000 TEU. Their largest ship is the Panamax LT Cortesia with a capacity of over 8,100 TEU. They are in the process of scrapping old ships, and replacing them with new crew.

Main Trade Routes: They have 240 ports world in 80 countries. Their trade routes extend from the Far east to N. America, Central America, and Caribbean (busiest route); Far East to northern Europe and east Mediterranean; Europe to North American east coast; Far East to Australia, Mauritius, south Africa, and south America; and finally intra-Asia service.

Memberships/Alliances: Evergreen Marine is part of the CKYH container shipping alliance. The alliance includes Taiwan’s Yang Ming Marine, Chinas’ Ocean Shipping Group of China, Japan’s Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, and Hanjin Shipping Co. of South Korea.

Claim to fame: The vast majority of Evergreen shipping containers are painted green with the word “Evergreen” in white letters. This makes their containers stick out from the competitors.

Final Thoughts

Evergreen is the fourth largest container shipping company in the world, and the largest in Taiwan. Their presence in Asia, while the rest of their competitors are from Europe, give them an advantage for the future where China and the East global economy continue to rise.

cma cgm marco polo container shipping


Head Office: Marseilles

Founded: 1978

Revenue: €15.9 billion (2013)/ $20.08 billion

Employees: 18,000

Stock Market: Compagnie Maritime d’Affrètement Compagnie Générale Maritime is a private company controlled by the Saade family. Jacques Saade is the founder, chairman, and CEO of the company.

Summary: CMA CGM has a number of subsidiaries to help them with freight shipping and logistics. All of the subsidiaries help make this a complete freight company that can handle shipping from start to finish. This separates them from a number of their competitors that solely focus on one aspect of shipping.

Ship Capacity: CMA CGM has 414 ships with a capacity of 10.6 million Twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) to carry cargo around the world.

The largest ship is the 13,800 TEU Christophe Colomb ship that is equipped with the latest environmental technologies that they purchased in 2009. In 2012 they introduced the sister ship the Marco Polo, which had a capacity of 16,020 TEU.

Main Trade Routes: The third largest shipping company has over 170 shipping routes. This includes trade between 400 ports in 150 countries around the world.

Memberships/Alliances: Last month, CMA approved a route-sharing alliance with China Shipping Container Lines (CSCL) and United Arab Shipping Company (UASC) called the Ocean Three. The idea behind this shared trade route is to eliminate costs on duplicate routes for container companies.

Claim to Fame: They are also one of the leaders in environmental innovation. They have reduced CO2 emissions by 26 percent since 2007. They have a goal to reduce CO2 emissions by 50 percent by 2015.

Final Thoughts:

CMA CGM is the third largest shipping container company in the world, and the largest shipping company in France. The Ocean Three alliance nicely positions the company to ship items from Europe to the Middle East and Asia over the next few years. Additionally, their environmental and complete shipping options makes CMA CGM a company to watch over the next few years.

mediterranean shipping company sa msc

The Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC)

Head Office: Geneva, Switzerland

Founded: 1970

Revenue: $43 Billion (2012 financials)

Employees: 30,000

Stock Market: Privately held company

Summary:  Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) is the second largest shipping company in the world (by capacity) behind Maersk Line. They also own a separate division called MSC Cruises, which focuses on tourism travel. This division is separate from the main shipping company and the numbers listed in this are solely for the shipping side of the company.

Ship Capacity: MSC has 474 vessels with a capacity of over 2.4 million Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (TEU). Their largest ship is the MSC Emmanuela and her sister ship MSC Beatrice. Both have a capacity of 13,800 TEU. They also have orders for 11 new ships that will have a capacity of 15,000 TEU each.

Main Trade Routes: While MSC’s most important port is Antwerp, Belgium, they operate in every major port in the world. This is spread over 335 ports on the 6 major continents. They have business on every continent except Antarctica.

Memberships/Alliances: They have two specific memberships and alliances. The Transpacific Stabilization Agreement and the 2M partnership with Maersk Line.

The 2M alliance gives MSC and Maersk a 30 percent share of the entire container shipping industry.

Claim to fame: MSC became the second largest container shipping company in the world through organic growth. Aside from the purchase of the cruise line, they have not participated in any mergers or acquisitions to grow the company. The private company remains in the hands of founder Gianluigi Aponte and his family.


Due entirely to the organic growth they have created over the past 40 plus years, MSC has emerged as one of the largest shipping companies in the world.

maersk containers rail

A.P. Møller-Maersk

Company Name: A.P. Møller-Maersk

Head Office: Copenhagen

Founded: 1904

Revenue: DKK 322.52 Billion/ $55.26 Billion

Employees: 89,000 worldwide

Stock Market: Stock Ticker: MAERSKb.CO. The stock is currently listed at 12,410 DKK (October 2014).

Summary:  Maersk Line is the largest container shipping company in the world with a 15.2% share of the market. Their new Triple E class ships are the largest 8 ships in the world with a capacity of 18,000 containers each.

Ship Capacity: The Company has over 600 vessels and 4.1 Million Twenty Foot Units (TEU). To put this in perspective, if Maersk was to put all of their containers in a line it could reach around almost half the circumference of the Earth. Their order book for new ships as of 2010 totaled 857,000 TEU, which was more than the fourth largest container shipping company, Evergreen Line.

Main Trade Routes: Maersk has ships on every trade line in the world, including South America, Africa, Asia-Europe, Europe-America, and many of the other major trade routes around the world.

As the largest company in the world, they are involved in almost every major trade route.

Memberships/Alliances: Transpacific Stabilization Agreement, 2M Partnership with MSC.

The 2M alliance gives Maersk Line and MSC a 30 percent share of the entire container shipping industry.

Claim to fame: they are the largest container ship company in the world, and (for the time being) have the 8 largest ships in the world (Triple E class). Maersk just ordered 10 more of the 400-meter ships for the next few years.

Maersk Summary:

Maersk is well-positioned over the next few years to continue to grow as the shipping industry continues to consolidate with alliances and mergers.

The P3 Alliance – Maersk, MSC and CMA CGM

In June of 2013, Maersk Line – the largest container shipping company in the world, formed a shipping alliance with its two next largest industry competitors: the Mediterranean Shipping Company and CMA CGM; with the intention of sharing capacity on major shipping lanes. The alliance is being called the P3.

Of the 2.6 million TEU to be deployed in the P3’s partnership, 1.1 million will be provided by Maersk, 900,000 by MSC, and 600,000 by CMA CGM. The 2.6 million total TEU represents just under 15 percent of the entire global cargo container fleet.

p3 alliance by teu

Chinese Shipowners Association (CSA)

china shipowners association csaThe Chinese Shipowners Association (CSA) is a voluntary trade organization comprised of owners, operators and managers of merchant ships, who are registered in the People’s Republic of China and are engaged in maritime transportation and relevant shipping related entities. The organization is registered with the Ministry of Civil Affairs of the People’s Republic of China and has obtained legal corporate body status in accordance with the regulations on the Registration and Management of Social Organizations promoted by the State Council of the People’s Republic of China.