Top 40 Container Carriers

2016 is shaping up to be a difficult year for the JOC's Top 40 Container Carriers. Container lines are struggling against overcapacity and slack demand that they seem unable to shake. While container ship scrapping is set to reach record levels in 2016, the impact on overall global capacity is unlikely to provide ocean carriers any sustained relief.

Acquisitions have also reshaped the industry this year, with CMA CGM completing its takeover of NOL and its APL brand. Cosco Shipping and China Shipping Container Lines in February completed their merging into China Cosco Shipping and Hapag-Lloyd and United Arab Shipping Company have also agreed to a merger.

2016 is also noteworthy because of the redrawing of vessel-sharing agreements that have come to dominate the industry. In 2016 shippers learned that from April 2017 the 2M Alliance will now have three members, Maersk Line, Meditteranean Shipping Co., and Hyundai Merchant Marine. The Ocean Alliance of Evegreen Line, Orient Overseas Container Line, China Cosco Shipping, and CMA CGM, including its recent NOL acquisition, will be the largest on east-west trades. The last major VSA is known as THE Alliance and is made up of Yang Ming Line, Hanjin Shipping, MOL, "K" Line, NYK Line, Hapag-Lloyd, and UASC.

 

Previous rankings

Top 40 Container Carriers U.S. Import and Export Trades, January-June 2016

Top 40 Container Carriers, U.S. Import and Export Trades, January-December 2015

Top 40 Container Carriers in U.S. Export Trade, January-December 2014

Top 40 Container Carriers in U.S. Import Trade, January-December 2014

Top 40 Container Carriers in U.S. Export Trade, January-September 2014

Top 40 Container Carriers in U.S. Import Trade, January-September 2014 

Top 40 Container Carriers in U.S. Export Trade, 2013

Top 40 Container Carriers in U.S. Import Trade, 2013

Top 40 Carriers in U.S. Containerized Trade in the First Half of 2013

Top 40 Carriers in U.S. Containerized Trade in 2012

Special Coverage

Data from PIERS, a sister product of JOC.com within IHS Markit, show 16 of the JOC Top 40 container carriers posting volume declines in the first half of 2016.

News & Analysis

01 Dec 2016
Maersk Line ended weeks of speculation with an announcement that it had reached an agreement to buy Hamburg Süd.
14 Nov 2016
A global shippers group is questioning whether the savings container lines enjoy through the deployment of mega-ships, alliances, slow steaming, and consolidation are being fairly shared with importers and exporters, urging for a new commercial contract between shippers and liners.
14 Nov 2016
Hapag-Lloyd posted a higher net profit in the third quarter, but the German container line’s operating result dipped.
09 Nov 2016
Ocean Alliance, THE Alliance, and 2M Alliance will compete fiercely for market share in the North American trades.
08 Nov 2016
THE Alliance on Tuesday announced details of its network of routes and port calls.
07 Nov 2016
Doubts that Hanjin Shipping wouldn’t join the THE Alliance began once the liner was placed in receivership Aug. 31, fueling speculation that HMM might take its place.

Commentary

Recent industry comments suggest carriers are being cautious in ordering new capacity — new ship orders are down substantially versus 2015 — and also will be cautious on capacity as alliances roll out their service networks. This is leading a number of observers to suggest that the container market gradually may be returning to equilibrium.

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