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The world’s biggest shipping companies

Many people are not aware of how important the shipping industry is. Without it, globalization would still be a dream today. Companies, households, and individuals in one corner of the world get a steady supply of goods from the other corner. The following are the top companies that make this industry successful.

A.P. Moller Maersk Group

Based in Copenhagen, Denmark, the A.P. Moller Maersk is easily the world’s conglomerate in the shipping industry. Having been established in 1904, it is the largest supply vessel operator and container ship operator in the world. Today, it boasts of being the owner of the world’s largest container ship (Emma Maersk) and has presence in more than 135 countries.

Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A.

Although it was established only in 1970, its business is prominent on all ports around the world. It owns MSC Emanuela and MSC Beatrice, the former of which is considered the second largest container ship. Antwerp Port in Belgium is its most important port. The company is headquartered in Geneva Switzerland.


This is one of the few top shipping companies with two headquarters in different countries. One is in Marseille, France while the other is in Norfolk, Virginia. Having been founded in 1850, it is a result of a merger between Messageries Maritimes and Compagnie Generale Maritime. Today, the shipping company does 200 routes across 400 ports located in 150 different countries.

Evergreen Marine Corporation

Evergreen Marine Corporation was established in 1968 and is headquartered in Taiwan. It has presence in more than 80 countries representing 240 ports. Today, the company owns and operates150 ships. The green color and the word ‘EVERGREEN’ are prominent on all its ships and containers. The company also owns and runs Evergreen UK Ltd. in the United Kingdom and Italia Marittima S.P.A in Italy.

China Ocean Shipping Line (COSCO)

Having been established in China in 1961, this is a leading company in the provision of shipping and logistics. Unlike its other competitors, its core business is freight forwarding, shipbuilding, repairing, and terminal operations. It owns and operates more than 550 ships in 300 different subsidiaries, totaling to a carrying capacity of 30 million metric tons.

Hapag Lloyd

Based in Germany, Hapag Lloyd is a shipping company founded in 1970 and a beneficiary of a merger. Hapag and Norddetscher Lloyd came together and subsequently bought a Canadian Liner, CP Ships in 2005. For that reason, the shipping company boasts of 147 sea vessels.


The six leading shipping companies deliver millions of containers of goods to innumerable destinations of the world. Others in the top ten list are Hanjin Shipping Co. Ltd, Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd, and Orient Overseas Container Line.

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