Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) a privately-owned organisation driven by the Aponte family was founded in 1970 and has evolved from a one-vessel operation into a globally-respected business. After 51 years in the business of container shipping, MSC has become the world’s largest container shipping line as of the 5th of January 2022.
MSC owns, charters, and operates 4,284,728 TEUs and 645 ships calling at 500 ports on 230+ trade routes, carrying around 23 million TEUs annually using a modern fleet, equipped with the latest green technologies.
MSC overtook Maersk in terms of TEUs on the back of their big order book of 999,808 TEUs and 60 ships.. MSC and Maersk’s individual share in the global container shipping industry now stands at 17% each, with MSC up from 16.9% when we did our Annual Review of 2021. Maersk currently has 4,282,840 TEUs and 738 ships with 255,100 TEUs and 25 ships as per Alphaliner.
Although in terms of the number of ships, Maersk has the edge, in terms of container capacity, MSC will have a good lead over Maersk. MSC’s container order book is 23.3% of their existing fleet compared to 6% of Maersk.
MSC has been hot on the heels of Maersk since June 2021 and eventually pipped Maersk in 2022. The 2M partners jointly account for around 34% of the global container shipping market out of 2M’s total 35.4% market share.
As per JOC, MSC was the top US import carrier on the trans-Pacific trade lane, in their Top 40 Container Carrier rankings with its trans-Pacific import volumes rising 65% compared to a market average of 33%. MSC also introduced 11 new mainline services in 2021 and deployed extra-loaders and ad-hoc vessels into its network.
JOC reports that for MSC, reaching a fleet of over 630 container ships was the result of adding ultra-large vessels and more purchases of second-hand vessels. JOC has reported MSC CEO Søren Toft as saying “Size isn’t an objective for us. Growth, profitability, and supporting customers are what have driven us, and what will continue to drive us forward. We will continue to introduce new services and solutions to support the customer and, consequently, remain competitive.”
Announcing the new number 1, Alphaliner stated “For a period of some weeks, the capacity gap between MSC and Maersk Group is expected to remain tight, so that daily fleet fluctuations from charter on-hires and off hires could – theoretically – see Maersk Group move ahead again for short periods of time. MSC is however expected to become a permanent number one in the first half of 2022, when numerous large newbuilt container ships are scheduled to be delivered to the carrier.“