Mediterranean Shipping overtook Maersk Line off as the top container line serving the U.S. in the first nine months of 2011 measured by container volume, and the Geneva-based carrier achieved a near balance of exports and imports along the way, according to The Journal of Commerce's ranking of Top 40 Container Lines in the U.S. import and export trades.
The world’s second-largest carrier saw U.S. exports jump 18.9 percent from January to September and outbound shipments rise 12.8 percent. Imports were up 1.3 percentage points over exports, giving MSC a rare equilibrium of trade.
Maersk, the world's largest global container line, saw exports rise 1.7 percent and imports fall 4 percent during the the same period. The Danish carrier handled 50 percent more imports than exports.
Total U.S. container trade in the first nine months of 2011 was up 5.1 percent year-over-year, thanks to an 8 percent surge in exports and a 3.2 percent jump in imports. Compared to the same period three years ago, however, trade was down 1.1 percent, or more than 250,000 20-foot equivalent units.