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The 20 Largest Container Shipping Companies In The World in 2024

Key Insights into Container Shipping Companies.

In the ever-changing realm of global trade, Container Shipping Companies have undergone a significant metamorphosis since the advent of containerized cargo. LeghornGroup, an innovative manufacturer of security solutions established in 1978, has been an instrumental part of this transformative journey. Our focus now shifts to the 20 most influential entities steering the container shipping industry in 2024.

In the initial stages of containerization, ships with modest capacities, often a few hundred TEUs, marked a substantial departure from conventional cargo handling methods. However, the escalating demands of global commerce prompted the development of larger, more sophisticated vessels. The 1970s witnessed the emergence of Panamax ships, boasting a capacity of approximately 4,000 TEUs and setting a new industry standard.

Successive eras saw the rise of Post-Panamax and New Panamax ships, consistently pushing the limits of container ship sizes. A pivotal moment arrived in the early 2000s with the introduction of Ultra-Large Container Vessels (ULCVs), surpassing 10,000 TEUs. These colossal ships revolutionized the logistics landscape, fundamentally reshaping efficiency and scale in maritime transportation.

In the contemporary landscape, the title of the largest container ship is held by the MSC Irina, an immense vessel capable of accommodating a staggering 24,346 TEUs. The change in vessel dimensions mirrors the relentless drive for efficiency and capacity pursued by container shipping firms on a global scale.

In the midst of this dynamic scenario, our examination of the top 20 container shipping companies globally in 2024 aims to spotlight the key players actively shaping the trajectory of worldwide trade.
Join us as we navigate through the intricate web of container shipping, meticulously examining the companies that stand out in this ever-evolving maritime panorama.

Explore the top 20 container shipping companies and discover a dynamic industry orchestrating global trade.

1. MSC – Mediterranean Shipping Company

As the world’s largest privately-owned Swiss international cargo shipping company established in 1970, MSC stands tall as one of the most extensive cargo companies globally. With a TEU capacity of around 4,287,000 TEU, MSC’s commitment to competitive rates and fast transit times is backed by a network of experts spanning more than 675 offices.

01 MSC Michelle Cappellini in sunset view
2. APM-Maersk

2. APM-Maersk

Denmark-based APM-Maersk, with roots dating back to 1904, boasts a fleet of approximately 738 container ships. Recognized for its container ships, the company holds a capacity of around 4,275,000 TEU, making it a formidable force in international container shipping.


The French international container shipping company, CMA-CGM, has risen to become the 3rd largest company in TEU capacity. Established in 1978, the company’s fleet of over 568 ships operates in more than 150 routes globally, with a carrying capacity of around 3,198,000 TEU.

4. COSCO – China Ocean Shipping Company

4. COSCO – China Ocean Shipping Company

Renowned as one of the leading conglomerates, COSCO operates in 40 countries. Despite being pushed to the 4th position, COSCO’s fleet of around 480 container ships, coupled with an additional 585,000 TEU in the order book, reflects its resilience and growth potential.

5. Hapag-Lloyd

Established in 1970 through a merger, Hapag-Lloyd, a German international container shipping company, boasts a fleet of over 250 ships. With a container carrying capacity of 1,983,000 TEU worldwide, Hapag-Lloyd stands as a key player in the container shipping industry.

5. Hapag-Lloyd
6. ONE – Ocean Network Express

6. ONE – Ocean Network Express

Founded in 2017, ONE integrates three major shipping companies, MOL, “K”-Line, and NYK. With a combined fleet of 209 vessels and a container carrying capacity of 1,531,000 TEU, ONE is a formidable alliance focusing on strengthening services in Asia, Latin America, and Africa.

7. Evergreen Line

Based in Taiwan, Evergreen Line, established in 1968, is one of the largest cargo shipping companies globally. With an operational capacity of over 204 container ships and a container carrying capacity of 1,478,000 TEU, Evergreen Line boasts the world’s largest container ships in its fleet.

7. Evergreen Line
8. Hyundai Merchant Marine

8. Hyundai Merchant Marine

HMM Co. LTD, based in South Korea, plays a pivotal role in the country’s economic development. With a fleet of 75 vessels and a cargo-carrying capacity of over 820,000 TEU, HMM Co. LTD is a top integrated logistics company globally.

9. Yang Ming Marine Transport

Founded in 1972, Yang Ming Marine Transport, based in Taiwan, provides services across Asia, Europe, America, and Australia. With a fleet of around 90 vessels and a container carrying capacity of around 662,000 TEU, Yang Ming Marine Transport is among the oldest and largest shipping companies globally.

9. Yang Ming Marine Transport
10. Zim Integrated Shipping Services Ltd

10. Zim Integrated Shipping Services Ltd

Commonly known as ZIM, this Israeli international cargo shipping company has a fleet of 111 ships with a total container carrying capacity of 419,000 TEUs. With significant expansion in 2021, ZIM secures its position among the top 10 container shipping companies globally.

11. Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL)

Established in 1969, OOCL, based in Hong Kong, is both a container shipping company and a logistics services provider. With over 320 offices in more than 70 nations and a fleet operating over 300 vessels, OOCL’s TEU capacity reaches approximately 565,000 TEUs. The company manages crucial container terminals, including the Long Beach Container Terminal and Kaohsiung Container Terminal.

11. Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL)
12. Pacific International Lines (PIL)

12. Pacific International Lines (PIL)

Headquartered in Singapore, PIL is a major shipowner in the Southeast Asian region. Since its founding in 1967. PIL has operated around 164 container and multipurpose ships, calling at more than 500 locations in 100 countries globally. With a TEU capacity of about 347,000 TEUs, PIL’s extensive reach spans from the Far East to Europe and various other regions.

13. Wan Hai Lines

Originating as a log transportation company, Wan Hai Lines evolved into a renowned container shipping company. With a fleet of 90 ships and a carrying capacity of 260,000 TEUs, Wan Hai Lines operates 20 routes, including major international commercial ports. The company’s strategic transformation highlights its adaptability in the ever-changing shipping industry.

13. Wan Hai Lines
14. SITC International Holdings Co.Ltd

14. SITC International Holdings Co.Ltd

Founded in May 1991 and based in Hong Kong, SITC is a key player in shipping logistics. With 108 ships, including 84 owned vessels. The company operates in 75 service routes covering 17 nations and 76 major ports. SITC’s container transport volume exceeded 3.262 million TEUs in 2022, showcasing its significant role in global shipping.

15. Korea Marine Transport Co.Ltd

Established in 1954 and based in Seoul. South Korea, KMTC has grown to become one of the biggest container shipping companies globally. Equipped With container fleet consisting of 50 ships and a TEU capacity of 99,000 TEUs. KMTC’s services span across various regions, including India, Africa, Southeast Asia, Korea, Japan, China, and Russia.

15. Korea Marine Transport Co.Ltd
16. Zhonggu Logistics Corporation

16. Zhonggu Logistics Corporation

Operating from China, Zhonggu Logistics Co Ltd offers customized container logistics solutions. Empowered With a fleet of 100 ships and a total TEU capacity of 147,000 TEUs. Zhonggu primarily conducts business in China, holding a significant presence with a holding capacity of 400,000 containers across 200 ports.

17. X-Press Feeders

Headquartered in Singapore. X-Press Feeders/Sea Consortium is a container shipping group with a fleet of 110 vessels, of which the company owns 43. With a total TEU capacity of 144,000 TEUs, X-Press Feeders provides transshipment services and serves ports in various parts of Asia, the Indian Subcontinent, Europe, the Persian Gulf, and the Mediterranean.

17. X-Press Feeders
18. The Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Line Group (IRISL Group)

18. The Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Line Group (IRISL Group)

Based in Iran, IRISL Group operates 115 vessels with a TEU capacity of 137,000 TEUs. IRISL is Founded in 1967. IRISL is a major maritime carrier in the Caspian Sea, Persian Gulf, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, and the Yellow Sea. It contributes significantly to Iran’s maritime industry.

19. Unifeeder

Based in Denmark, Unifeeder offers efficient logistics solutions across Asia, Europe, the Middle East, the Americas, and Africa. Handling around 5.5 million TEUs annually. Unifeeder’s extensive fleet makes approximately 16,200 calls at over 200 ports and harbors.
Unifeeder acts as a crucial link for international shipping lines.

19. Unifeeder
20. SeaLead

20. SeaLead

Established in 2017 and headquartered in Singapore, SeaLead has global offices and handles 1.15 million TEUs annually. With a diverse route network covering the Far East, the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East, Africa, the Mediterranean, Oceania, the U.S., the Red Sea, and Southeast Asia, SeaLead is making its mark in the competitive container shipping industry

In conclusion, the 20 largest container shipping companies in the world in 2024 represent a diverse and dynamic industry. As globalization continues to drive the demand for efficient and reliable transportation of goods, these companies play a crucial role in shaping the future of international trade. Their commitment to innovation, sustainability, and customer satisfaction ensures that they remain at the forefront of the container shipping sector.

In the symphony of commerce, container shipping orchestrates the harmony of global trade, each vessel a note in the grand composition of interconnected economies.


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