Did you know that 80% of the global goods trade is transported over sea? Given the scale of human consumption, this requires an enormous number of shipping containers, as well as ships to carry them.
At an industry level, container shipping is dominated by several very large firms. This includes Maersk, COSCO Shipping, and Evergreen. If you live along the coast, you’ve probably seen ships or containers with these names painted on them.
Generally speaking, however, consumers know very little about these businesses. This graphic aims to change that by ranking the 10 largest container shipping companies in the world.
Ranking the Top 10
Companies are ranked by two metrics. First is the number of ships they own, and second is their total shipping capacity measured in twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs). A TEU is based on the volume of a twenty-foot long shipping container.
The data used in this infographic comes from Alcott Global, a logistics consultancy. Fleet sizes are as of June 2021, while TEU capacity is from January 2022.
In this dataset, Maersk and MSC are tied for first place in terms of TEU capacity. This is no longer the case, as news outlets have recently reported that MSC has overtaken the former.
Trailing behind the two industry leaders is a mixture of European and Asian firms. Many of these companies have grown through mergers and acquisitions.