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

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.
25 May 2020
Blank sailings are making it difficult for ag shippers and truckers to make appointments for delivering export containers to marine terminals, and they are experiencing additional supply chain costs as well.
25 May 2020
The Marseille-based startup technology incubator’s newest cohort features a duo of companies aiming to automate the trade compliance and administrative work done by logistics providers on behalf of shippers.
20 May 2020
Digitally-oriented freight broker Loadsmart, backed in part by Maersk’s venture fund, has begun offering a product that stitches together drayage, transload, and truckload operations.
19 May 2020
Cargo interests report a surge in cargo rolling at Chinese ports, which they attribute largely to unprecedented capacity reductions by carriers for this time of year.
19 May 2020
A container line consortium that has tackled a range of shipping standards since launching in April 2019 now plans to drive adoption of electronic bills of lading, a standard that has long evaded adoption.
18 May 2020
Expectations for capacity, demand, and pricing across transportation modes in 2020 have been shattered by the COVID‑19 pandemic, resulting in recession.
15 May 2020
The impact of the US–China trade war and COVID-19 has resulted in a 7.8 percentage point drop in China’s market share of US imports from Asia through the first four months of 2020.
12 May 2020
Retailers’ forecasts of US import volumes for the third quarter appear to indicate that the peak-shipping season this fall will be disappointing.
08 May 2020
European ports have been hit harder by blank sailings than other regions, according to a survey by the World Ports Sustainability Program and the International Association of Ports and Harbors.
08 May 2020
Extending penalty waivers is expected to put an end to disputes over Indian import containers that BCOs failed to collect in a timely manner because of what they say are reasons beyond their control amid the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown.
05 May 2020
As they near completion of annual service contract talks, carriers and their customers in the eastbound trans-Pacific appear to have successfully navigated potentially contentious issues involving cargo forecasting, freight rates, and volatile oil prices.
01 May 2020
The accumulation of containerized cargo in some recession-hit economies could hamper equipment availability when demand begins to return over the next few months.
01 May 2020
Given all the factors that could have led to confrontational trans-Pacific service contract negotiations this cycle, the lack of a clash points to a different future that can enable the container shipping industry to move forward.
01 May 2020
Decades of upscaling vessel sizes and consolidation has created a landscape where the barriers of entry into the main deep-sea trades are now so high that it is next to impossible for any newcomer to truly break into those trades on a material scale.
30 Apr 2020
The COVID-19 crisis will push the freight transportation industry closer to a future where digitalization is nearly omnipresent, automation is ingrained, and logistics has adapted to slower trade as the economic windfalls of globalization fade further.
28 Apr 2020
Just as airlines have been able to price passenger seats by demand, carriers see similar potential in adjusting slot rates based on seasonality, supply and demand on a specific sailing, and costs associated with a specific shipment or customer.
27 Apr 2020
Containers shipped from China after factories reopened in March have now arrived at European ports, but there is little volume that will follow, at least for the next three months.