Maersk Line’s recent order for 10 ships with capacities of 18,000 20-foot equivalent units apiece cements its position as the world’s largest container line, according to Alphaliner.
Maersk’s No. 1 position was briefly in doubt in recent weeks, because of what Alphaliner said were “inaccurate reports” that it had slipped behind Mediterranean Shipping Co. into the No. 2 slot.
The Paris-based container analyst said the confusion arises because of Maersk’s tendency to under-declare the actual loading capacity of its largest ships.
Maersk Line is No. 1 on the JOC list of Top 15 Container Fleet Operators
The A. P. Moller-Maersk Group currently operates total capacity of 2.18 million TEUs, compared to MSC’s 1.92 million TEUs.
Alphaliner said even without the consolidation of A.P. Moller-Maersk’s subsidiaries (Safmarine, MCC Transport and OACL), which operate a total of 215,000 TEUs, Maersk Line currently operates 1.96 million TEUs on its own, which places it ahead of MSC’s operated capacity by 54,000 TEUs.
Maersk’s order for the 10 18,000-TEU containerships increases the size of its containership orders from 317,000 TEUs to 497,000 TEUs, according to Alphaliner figures, with a further 360,000 TEUs in the pipeline if the options for 20 additional units are exercised.
Since its acquisition of P&O Nedlloyd in August 2005, Maersk’s market share has been gradually eroded. Over the past five years, its market share has fallen from a peak of 18.3 percent following the PONL acquisition to 14.5 percent currently.
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