The lion's share of cargo worldwide is transported through shipping companies. According to the International Chamberofshipping, the shipping industry transports over 90% of world trade. There are thousands of shipping companies in the world that provide this essential service.
However, only a few of them can operate on a global scale. Over the years, some of these companies have distinguished themselves as global leaders in the shipping industry. This post will explore the 20 best shipping companies in the world.
Unifeeder is a leading shortsea shipping Danish company that was founded in 1977. It provides container tracking, online booking, and real-time information to its customers. And despite its strong Danish roots, it has become a world-renown company that prides itself on providing sustainable shipping solutions.
The company covering has a presence in over 45 ports in Europe. This shipping line has earned the trust of some of the world's biggest companies, such as IKEA, H&M, and Nestle. Its door-to-door shipping solutions separate it from the competition and have made it a preferred choice for many companies.
19. Regional Container Lines
Bangkok is known for many things, but one of its most defining characteristics is its bustling port. The Chao Phraya River flows through the city and empties into the Gulf of Thailand. This makes Bangkok an ideal location for a regional shipping company like Regional Container Lines (RCL).
RCL was founded in 1979 and has since become a recognized leader in the shipping industry. It operates a fleet of over 30 ships and serves over 60 ports in Southeast Asia, China, India, the Middle East, and Africa. And with headquarters in Bangkok, RCL is well-positioned to take advantage of the city's strategic location.
18. Arkas Line
Arkas Line might not be the most popular shipping line globally, but it is a well-run company based in Turkey. It was founded in 1902 and is one of the oldest shipping lines in the Mediterranean region. However, it first served as an import agency. In the 1960s, it started to develop its shipping line and now has a strong network in Turkey and the Black Sea. It currently ranks worldwide among the leading shippers of Ro-Ro (Roll-on/roll-off) vessels leading shippers.
17. Antong Holdings
As the Chinese economy continues to thrive, more shipping companies are being founded. Antong Holdings is one of these companies. The company was founded in 1998 and has since become a leading shipping company in China. Antong Holdings manages a fleet of over 100 ships that ply different global routes. Its services include freight forwarding, warehousing solutions, logistics, and ship management.
16. Zhongghu Logistics Corporation
The main focus of Zhongghu Logistics Corporation is container shipping. It owns about 60 shipping vessels and over 140,000 standard containers. Its ships ply over 120 international shipping routes and transport different types of commodities. With an impressive growth rate of 30% per year, this corporation is one of the leading shipping companies in China. Zhongghu Logistics Corporation is headquartered in Shenzhen and has over 300 service points located all over the world.
15. Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Line
Headquartered in Tehran, the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Line (IRISL) is one of the biggest shipping companies in Iran. It was founded in 1967. It operates a fleet of over 100 vessels. These ships ply routes to Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and the Americas. The company also has an extensive network of offices and agents located in different parts of the world. Services offered by IRISL include container shipping, bulk cargo shipping, and general cargo shipping.
14. Korea Marine Transport Company
KMTC is arguably one of the oldest and most well-managed state-owned shipping companies in Korea and the world. It was founded in 1954 as a part of the Ministry of Transportation. Over the years, this corporation has expanded its horizon. It controls over 60 shipping vessels and enjoys a significant global shipping market share.
Its ships ply routes between Korea and other parts of Asia, Europe, Africa, and North America. Services offered by KMTC include container shipping, bulk cargo shipping, and general cargo shipping.
13. Wan Hai Lines
Wan Hai Lines is a shipping company based in Taiwan. It has been operational since 1965. Although it started as a log transporter, the company has since grown. And it now operates a fleet of over 72 ships. Wan Hail now ships cargo to the U.S, Canada, Middles East, and Africa. Its wide array of services includes buying and selling containers and vessels, marine transportation, shipping agency services, and container freight stations. The corporation also focuses on investing in greener ships and practices that reduce its carbon footprint.
12. Ocean Network Express
Whether it's refrigerated cargo, dangerous goods, or oversize cargo, Ocean Network Express can transport it all. The Japanese shipping company was founded in 2018 as a joint venture between three major shipping companies in the country. These included Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha, and K-Line.
The company has snowballed and is constantly innovating to reduce its environmental impact. And its excellent services have earned it a loyal customer base. Ocean Network Express has its regional headquarters in strategic locations worldwide, including Singapore, the USA, Brazil, and the UK. And its fleet of over 200 ships plies different routes across the globe.
11. Hyundai Merchant Marine Co Ltd
Hyundai Merchant Marine Co Ltd is a shipping company based in South Korea. It was founded in 1976 and has since become a well-respected shipping company across the globe. The company has, over the years, built an admirable reputation in the global shipping industry. Hyundai Merchant Marine Co Ltd has a fleet of over 150 ships that ply different routes across the globe.
And with over 76 offices and 27 subsidiaries, this company has a great connection to all major ports. Hyundai Merchant Marine Co Ltd is also one of the most sustainable shipping. It offers a wide range of shipping services, including container transportation, bulk cargo, and dangerous goods.
10. Yang Ming Marine Transport Corporation
Yang Ming Marine Transport Corporation is a leading shipping company based in Taiwan. The company was founded in 1972. Today, it operates in all major ports around the world. Yang Ming operates a fleet of over 100 ships that ply different global routes. And with over 60 offices, this company is well-connected to all major ports.
It provides scheduled cargo transportation and online booking services to its customers. The company is well-known in Asia, Europe, Australia, and America. According to Forbes, Yang Ming also participates in other activities, such as raising awareness for maritime education and managing museums.
9. Zim Integrated Shipping Services
Zim Integrated Shipping Services is a brainchild of a Jewish Agency established in 1945. According to Zim, its early fleet included ships that had been used in the 1948 war of independence. The company has a rich history and has been through some tough times. But it has always come out stronger.
Zim's shipping line is based in Israel but provides its services worldwide. It has a fleet of over 100 ships that ply different global routes. And with over 60 offices, this company is well-connected to all major ports. Zim Integrated Shipping Services is known for its excellent customer service and on-time delivery.
8. CMA CGM
Over the years, CMA CGM has emerged as one of the most reliable shipping companies in the world. The French company was founded in 1978. And despite its humble beginnings, this shipping line has grown its fleet to over 566 ships. With 400 offices across 160 countries, CMA CGM provides services in over 160 countries. The company is known for its excellent customer service and innovative solutions.
And its values include respect, environmental protection, and social responsibility. CMA CGM provides a wide range of services to cater to all its customers' needs. With a robust container tracking system, the company ensures that all its customers can track their cargo in real-time.
7. Orient Overseas Container Line
Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) is a household name in the global shipping industry. The Hong Kong-based company was founded in 1969. And it enjoys a strong presence in all major ports worldwide. And it is mainly known for offering customized logistics solutions to its customers. OOCL has a fleet of over 300 ships and employs a team of the best logistics professionals in the industry.
With over 320 offices worldwide, this company is still expanding its reach to new markets. OOCL transports all kinds of cargo, including dangerous goods, perishable items, and oversize cargo. With a formidable policy in environmental protection, OOCL is undoubtedly one of the most sustainable shipping companies in the world.
6. Pacific International Lines
Pacific International Lines has been operational since 1967 and is headquartered in Singapore. The company has a solid global presence, with over 60 offices in 40 countries worldwide. Pacific International Lines specializes in the transportation of containers and bulk cargo.
It is constantly investing in modern logistics infrastructure to refine its services. And for this reason, it has been able to maintain its place as one of the leading shipping companies in the world. PIL also excels in niche trade routes such as transporting perishable goods and dangerous cargo.
5. Evergreen Marine
Evergreen is a well-respected Taiwanese shipping line with plenty to offer. The company was founded in 1968. And has a large fleet of over 200 ships that sails to every corner of the world. It continues to grow and attract new customers all over the world with its excellent services.
Its outstanding customer service and satisfaction set it apart from the others. Evergreen Marine has a team of dedicated professionals who are always ready to go the extra mile to meet the needs of its customers. They have also adopted environmentally friendly practices to reduce their environmental impact.
Interms of popularity, Hapag-Lloyd is not the most famous shipping company in the world. The German company was founded in Hamburg in 1970. However, it was formed through a merger of two older companies, Hapag, founded in 1847, and Norddeutscher Lloyd, or North German Lloyd, founded in 1856.
Hapag-Lloyd is the fifth-largest shipping company in the world, with a fleet of over 253 ships. Hapag-Lloyd specializes in container shipping and particularly reefer shipping. This shipping line serves about 600 ports in more than 130 countries worldwide. And its high-quality services have earned it a loyal customer base.
3. China Ocean Shipping Company
China Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO) is a Chinese state-owned shipping and logistics company headquartered in Beijing. COSCO operates the world's largest fleet of container ships and is one of the largest shipping companies in the world. The company was founded in 1961 and has become a global powerhouse. COSCO has a strong presence in all major ports around the world. The company has recently invested heavily in new technologies to improve its efficiency and services.
2. Maersk Line
Maersk Line is a Danish international container logistics and supply chain management company headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark. With enough ships to transport over 4,282,840 containers, Maersk Line is arguably one of the largest shipping companies in the world.
According to Companieshistory, Arnold Peter Moller founded this company in 1904; since then, it has gone from strength to strength. Besides its capacity to move large volumes of goods, Maersk Line is also known for its efficiency and reliability. The company strongly focuses on sustainability and has set ambitious goals to reduce its carbon footprint.
1. Mediterranean Shipping Company
Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) is a Swiss-Italian shipping line founded in 1970 by Gianluigi Aponte. The company is headquartered in Geneva and operates in all major ports worldwide. MSC has a large fleet of over 600 ships. Recently, it has surpassed Maersk Line to become the world's largest shipping company.
Its stellar services are also evident in its customer satisfaction ratings. MSC has been consistently ranked as one of the world's top shipping companies. According to MSC, the founder of this shipping company won the 2021 International Shipping Personality of the Year Award.
The global economy is ever-changing, so the shipping industry must adapt to new demands and challenges. Knowing these top 20 shipping companies provides many options. These businesses have proved their excellence through years of reliable service and customer satisfaction. If you need a shipping company that can get the job done right, considers one of these 20 best options.
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Written by Dana Hanson
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