There’s a new king in the shipping industry (sort of) 

Maersk is no longer the biggest container line in the world as MSC has officially surpassed it and now reigns as king of the global shipping rankings.

With the recent possession of a container ship in Singapore, the Swiss-Italian MSC which paid $50.5 million, has surpassed Maersk (Denmark) as the world’s biggest container line.

According to the Alphaliner Top 100, MSC’s ascension to the top happened on Wednesday (Jan 5, 2022), when the Swiss-Italian business took possession of a container ship in Singapore.

MSC’s fleet can now handle 4.3 million conventional 20-foot containers, which is around 2,000 more than Maersk’s.

According to Alphaliner, MSC and Maersk currently have a 17 percent market share in container shipping, ahead of CMA CGM, COSTCO, and Hapag-Lloyd. The top five container shipping firms in the world control around 65 percent of the market.

MSC’s rise to the top of the rankings follows a banner year for container shipping as the globe grapples with a supply chain crisis. It’s also the first time Maersk isn’t at the top of the list in decades.

“Contrary to most other major ocean carriers, which reached their positions in the top ten through a series of mergers and acquisitions, MSC’s rise to the top was entirely organic,” said Alphaliner.

MSC has been increasing its cargo capacity and has recently purchased 128 second hand container ships – “an unprecedented number in shipping history,” said Alphaliner.

Meanwhile, as Insider’s Emma Cosgrove revealed in October, Maersk has been actively expanding into land logistics and technology.

MSC, which has purchased more ships than any other carrier, is expected to maintain its status as the world’s top container shipping line through 2022, according to Alphaliner.

MSC Stats

How many 20 foot containers can MSC carry? 

Twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU)

Number of ships

Annual Revenue in 2021 (billion)

Number of employees