Top 40 Container Carriers

Maersk Line, Mediterranean Shipping Co. and CMA CGM together held a 27.1 percent share of the U.S. laden container trade in the first half of 2013, or 4.1 million 20-foot-equivalent units, slipping 0.5 percent year-over-year. Overall U.S. container volume, excluding empties, rose 1.5 percent year-over-year to 15.1 million TEUs in the first half of 2013. First half U.S. imports increased 2.2 percent to 8.7 million TEUs, and represented 57.9 percent of total U.S. trade.

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

Differing trends for the leading carriers saw Maersk Line narrow Mediterranean Shipping Co.’s lead as top of the JOC’s annual ranking of the top 40 container carriers in the U.S. trade. Overall, Maersk’s U.S. volumes grew, while MSC’s edged down.

Rounding out the Top 40 for 2012 were many carriers of varying size, including one, Hainan PO Shipping, that no longer serves the U.S. market. Combined, the shipping lines in the JOC’s rankings handled 98.4 percent of U.S. containerized oceanborne exports and 99.1 percent of U.S. containerized oceanborne imports in 2012.

Special Coverage

MSC vessel
They’re not all increasing their U.S. trade volumes, but the carriers making up the proposed P3 Network are boosting their combined traffic, an indication of the big ships they’re cascading to the major U.S. east-west trades.

News & Analysis

10 Dec 2013
From January-September 2013, U.S. container trade was up 2.3 percent year-over-year, while rising 3.3 percent above pre-recession 2008 results.
MOL Comfort container ship at the Port of Gothenburg
17 Jun 2013
The hull of the MOL Comfort, a 7,041 20-foot-equivalent unit container ship operated by Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, split in two about 200 nautical miles from Yemen during inclement weather.
14 Jun 2013
A.P. Moller-Maersk will pay about $100 million less than expected for its 20 Triple E vessels ordered from South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, The Economic Times reports.
Hyundai container ship at the Port of Hamburg
14 Jun 2013
Ocean carriers are bracing for a make-or-break summer in the Far East-North Europe trades as they attempt to push through general rate increases of up to $1,000 per 20-foot container on the key westbound leg on July 1 against a backdrop of free-falling spot rates and stalling cargo flows.
30 May 2013
It may be too soon for Zim Integrated Shipping Services to say the improvement it showed in its most recent financial res



Although many in the industry have been waiting and wondering when the inevitable consolidation of ocean carriers would happen — presumably via the historical processes of buyouts, mergers or absorbing bankrupt companies — the consolidation has been happening in a much more organic process.