MSC closes in on Maersk as smaller carriers climb league table
THE world's No 1 container carrier Maersk shrunk in 2020 by two per cent, while No 2 Mediterranean Shipping Co (MSC) grew 2
THE world's No 1 container carrier Maersk shrunk in 2020 by two per cent, while No 2 Mediterranean Shipping Co (MSC) grew 2.4 per cent, narrowing the gap to 251,000 TEU, according to Paris-based consultancy Alphaliner.
While the Maersk fleet shrunk, Geneva-based MSC has 10 ships on order totalling 179,280 TEU, compared with Maersk's 21 smaller ships of 54,558 TEU.
Maersk is one of four carriers to have reduced its fleets in 2020, but will still finish the year with a 17 per cent market share.
MSC consolidated its position in second place with the addition of 89,879 TEU, taking it to 3.85 million TEU.
But its chartered fleet would grow further if four 24,000-TEU ships ordered recently by Chinese lessor BoComm Leasing were added to the list.
Eight carriers increased their fleet in 2020, with the largest capacity gains made by South Korean operator HMM and France's CMA CGM.
Cosco Shipping Lines is the third-largest liner operator by fleet capacity. HMM climbed from the number 10 slot into eighth place, after an 85 per cent capacity increase.
But French shipping giant, CMA CGM added the greatest number of ships at 64 units. CMA CGM remains in fourth place. It was overtaken by Cosco Shipping Lines in July 2018, when the China Cosco Shipping arm took over Hong Kong-based OOCL.
Cosco's fleet grew a further 2.9 per cent this year to just over three million TEU.
But CMA CGM is expected to regain third place from Cosco early next year with the delivery of the final five in a series of nine 23,115-TEU newbuilds.
South Korea's HMM (Hyundai Merchant Marine) was the only carrier to expand, showing impressive growth in newbuilds - 12 ships of 23,792 TEU in six months.
Israeli operator Zim and Taiwan's Wan Hai Lines saw their fleets grow by 22.8 per cent and 15.6 per cent, respectively year on year.
Alphaliner said the biggest loser was Singapore's Pacific International Lines (PIL) , which saw its fleet shrink by 28.9 per cent, falling from ninth to 12th place in the rankings.