Container Lines

Container Lines

At a time when the container shipping landscape is constantly evolving, and market dynamics present increasingly complex challenges for the shipping industry, the JOC provides up-to-the-minute news, analysis and business intelligence about the container lines that transport most of the world's trade including Maersk, COSCO, Hapag-Lloyd, CMA CGM, MSCONE, Yang Ming, Zim Integrated Shipping Services, and many others.

JOC’s comprehensive coverage ranges from the latest information about new shipping lines to major changes in company leadership, to in-depth analysis of the pricing and volume trends that directly impact shippers' bottom lines and supply chains. The consolidation of the container shipping sector has resulted in increasingly divergent strategies, with some firms focusing solely on ocean transport while others opt for a more "end-to-end" approach. The JOC’s comprehensive, in-depth coverage probes the consequences of these various strategies for shipping lines, shippers, and other stakeholders of container lines.

Top 40 Container Carriers US Import and Export Trade 2018


Maersk Line and CMA CGM have gotten a lot of press for their plans to offer services many see as “new,” while others say this is just the next iteration of something carriers have tried to do for decades.

News & Analysis

10 Jul 2020
Cosco Shipping's partnership with Alibaba and the group’s finance arm Ant Financial, which will primarily focus on using blockchain to track containerized goods globally, fits into China’s larger goal of creating a digital silk road threading through its Belt and Road initiative.
09 Jul 2020
Imports from Asia and China rebounded in June as a number of US retailers reopened, but consumer demand could pull back later this summer if stores are forced to close again due to the spike in COVID-19 cases.
08 Jul 2020
Container lines can either keep up the capacity discipline they showed in the first half and be on track to end the year with $9 billion in profit, or lose $7 billion if they can’t, according to SeaIntelligence Maritime Consulting.
07 Jul 2020
The Digital Container Shipping Association is targeting standard vessel schedule publishing to allow ports and cargo interests to get more real-time arrival and departure data.
06 Jul 2020
The move, bringing an end to APL’s 170-year legacy as a commercial trans-Pacific carrier, is part of the Marseille-based shipping group’s broader effort to clarify its offering to customers since a series of major acquisitions.
06 Jul 2020
Freight forwarders say they have reduced payment deadlines to 30 days, with some firms only accepting up-front payment for new shipper customers even if they pass credit checks.
06 Jul 2020
The pandemic has shown how adaptable carriers’ land-based employees are in a time of crisis, but switching a large part of the operation to home offices almost immediately also means the underlying systems are getting closer to automation.
03 Jul 2020
Forwarders tell that with GRIs, peak-season surcharges (PSSs) and bunker-fuel adjustments all taking effect this week, freight rates in the eastbound trans-Pacific vary from shipper to shipper.
02 Jul 2020
US retailers in May stepped up their imports from China, as factories there were better prepared to increase production than factories in Southeast Asia.
30 Jun 2020
Retailers and forwarders say July 1 general rate increases (GRIs) could send spot container freight rates in the eastbound trans-Pacific to record levels.
29 Jun 2020
A renewed push to reduce port stay times, driven by larger decarbonization goals, represents a rare scenario in which carriers, terminal operators, and cargo owners could all benefit.
26 Jun 2020
Individual container carrier mergers and acquisitions, as well as a reconfiguring of vessel sharing alliances has created an environment in which members could begin to coordinate intermodal rail and trucking transport.
25 Jun 2020
NVO market share of US imports from Asia increases as dozens of blank sailings push cargo owners to seek capacity their core carriers are not providing to them.
24 Jun 2020
Mexican businesses and their US and Canadian partners are focused on rebuilding supply chains shattered by COVID-19 and the recession, but they shouldn’t forget USMCA.
22 Jun 2020
Carriers’ container volumes in the US-Asia trades declined in the first four months of 2020 and are expected to remain below last year’s volumes through the peak season.
19 Jun 2020
HMM will be switching from BNSF Railway to Union Pacific Railroad in August, a move that allows it to prioritize efficient inland movement of containers within THE Alliance.
17 Jun 2020
Maersk said it expected the slightly milder volume decline would result in Q2 operating earnings “slightly above” its first-quarter 2020 results and better than its second-quarter 2019 performance.
16 Jun 2020
Carriers and NVOs agree that tight capacity management contributed significantly to last week’s spike in spot rates, but carriers say they are demonstrating good faith by reinstating sailings when volumes turn around.
15 Jun 2020
The federal grants will go to waterborne freight services in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, New York, New Jersey, Oregon, Tennessee, Washington, and American Samoa.
15 Jun 2020
The National Industrial Transportation League said its members do not rely on the publication of essential contract terms, eliminating the need for carriers to make such filings.
15 Jun 2020
Container shipping, for the moment, has broken the self-destructive cycle of the post-financial crisis decade that saw carriers resorting to pulling cost levers like building mega-ships and slow steaming that benefit them, but not their customers.
12 Jun 2020
Eastbound container spot rates from Asia to the US West Coast rose to their highest point in a decade this week as an unexpected spike in volumes collided with blank sailings by carriers.
12 Jun 2020
Focusing on differentiated services will help container lines weather the unpredictable demand cycles of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, liner industry veteran Ron Widdows told JOC Uncharted.
10 Jun 2020
Despite the gradual reopening of the US economy, retail sales, which are the main driver of import volumes in the trans-Pacific, are forecast to decline 11.3 percent this year, according to IHS Markit.
09 Jun 2020
Double-digit decline in US imports from Asia in May continues what is expected to be a second consecutive year of negative container volumes in the eastbound trans-Pacific.
08 Jun 2020
“The impact of COVID-19 at major US retail container ports appears to be easing slightly, with projected imports remaining below last year’s levels but not as much as previously forecast,” according to the National Retail Federation's latest Global Port Tracker report.
08 Jun 2020
An unexpected surge in imports in late May, which caused cargo rolling at Asian ports and a spike in spot rates, is spawning tension between forwarders and carriers in the eastbound trans-Pacific.
05 Jun 2020
Jeremy Nixon, CEO of Ocean Network Express (ONE), says he’s more optimistic of a rebound in trans-Pacific container volumes as Chinese factory production builds and some importing sectors such as retailers bringing in summer items begin restocking inventories.
02 Jun 2020
ZIM’s new eCommerce Xpress service offers 12-day transit times from South China to Los Angeles with expedited cargo handling and inland transportation connections at West Basin Container Terminal.
29 May 2020
Spot container rates spiked from the previous week as retailers replenished diminished inventories and after capacity has been reduced through dozens of blank sailings in May.
28 May 2020
Carriers say container booking cancellations, and the failure of importers and exporters to notify them of the cancellations, are contributing to supply chain disruptions during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
28 May 2020
The addition of DP World to Maersk and IBM’s blockchain platform TradeLens is a feather in the cap of the still nascent container logistics network, bringing a string of more than 80 terminals and associated business into the fold.
27 May 2020
Containerized agricultural exports surged in the first quarter over the year-ago period when China’s tariffs on many US commodities crushed ag exports to China.
27 May 2020
A wave of government support measures and the rising threat of overcapacity speaks to the pain on the way, even if carriers have shown they’ve learned from the 2008-2009 global financial crisis not to pull punches when it takes to cutting capacity quickly.
26 May 2020
PIL, which raised more than $550 million from the sale of box ships earlier this year, said it has agreed on a debt repayment holiday until the end of this year with most of its main lenders.