Largest Container Ships

Largest Container Ships
4.85 (97.06%) 34 votes

Here you will find the list of the largest cargo ships in the world (tankers are excluded, for now) and their owners – the world’s largest container shipping lines. The live container ship tracking is a new feature at CruiseShipPosition.com. Just like our cruise vessel tracking, this is free of charge service based on real-time AIS data provided by VesselFinder.

This page provides you with the unique opportunity to track the current location of all biggest marine cargo ships in the world. They belong to the humongous fleets of the world’s container shipping alliances (G6, CKYHE, 2M, Ocean 3) and largest cargo container shipping companies,  the list of which includes MAERSK, MSC, CMA-CGMEVERGREENHAPAG-LLOYD, COSCO, CSCL, HANJINMOL, HAMBURG-SUD, OOCLAPL, YANG MING, NYK, UASC, K-LINEHYUNDAIPIL.

Note: All news reports and updates here are based on the VesselFinder’s Maritime news.

And before everything else, watch this impressive YouTube video collection of the world’s largest ships currently in service. Along with container ships, their list also features crude oil tankers, pipe-laying vessels, cruise ships, yachts and sailing ships.

The largest ship in the world today is named “Prelude FLNG” (abbrev from “floating liquefied natural gas”). This is the world’s largest offshore platform ever constructed. Among the marine platform’s particulars are:

  • LOA length 488 m (1601 ft)
  • width 74 m (243 ft)
  • deadweight tonnage (DWT) 260,000 tons
  • displacement tonnage 600,000 tons (when fully loaded)
  • Shipbuilding cost was over USD 10 billion.
  • The shipowner is Royal Dutch Shell.

Cargo Ships

Cargo ships represent a huge category of marine vessel types, including container ships, tankers, bulkers (bulk carriers) and specialty vessels (like ro-ro, livestock, refer, etc). You can see the list of all ship types in the below infographic (click image to enlarge).ship types infographic

On container ships, every member of the crew fills a precisely determine role. These are primarily divided between the vessel’s two main departments: the Navigation Bridge and the Engine Room. At the top of the ship’s crew hierarchy is the Captain, followed by the Chief Officer and the Chief Engineer. They conduct the marine vessel’s commercial shipping operations – sailing and mechanical. The other crew takes care of the onboard daily routine and the vessel’s maintenance. Among those are the ship’s Chef and Steward, and all the seamen (aka seafarers).

On each and every cargo ship, main priorities are keeping the crew and cargo safe and protecting the environment. Our list of largest container ships available for tracking here includes all the newest, most technologically advanced marine cargo vessels in the world, each equipped with the marine vessel industry’s latest innovations.

“TEU capacity” definition

Below is frequently mentioned the term TEU (short from “Twenty-foot equivalent unit”) as a container vessel capacity measure. TEU is a cargo capacity unit used to describe the container ship capacity and also the capacity of container port terminals. TEU is based on the volume of 20 ft (6,1 m long) cargo container. Such standard-sized unit (metal box, actually) can be easily transported on different types of vessels (ships, also on trains and trucks). The TEU container’s height, however, can range from ~4 ft (1,3 m) to ~10 ft (2.90 m). Most common container height is ~9 ft (26 m).

Note: The additional info (in brackets) shows the container vessel’s year built and max TEU capacity. So, the world’s largest container ship MSC Oscar (2015) TEU capacity 19224 means the vessel can carry up to 19224 standard containers.

“Panamax ships” definition

“Panamax” is a term related to the vessel’s size limit if passing through Panama Canal. “Panamax” (and the “New Panamax”) vessel size limits are officially published by ACP (“Panama Canal Authority”) as part of its “Vessel Requirements” (also describing seasonal transition limits, marine propulsion and communications, ship designs, etc.

The Panama Canal transition’s ship size (width and length) limit is due to the canal’s current lock chambers sizes. The draft limit is due to the canal’s water depth. The height limit is due to the Bridge of the Americas’s height. Panamax/New Panamax vessel dimensions influence greatly the design of cargo vessels, but also of navy and passenger/cruise ships.

The “Panamax” ship limits are since 1914. Vessels that don’t fall within these limits are in the “Post-Panamax” category. It denotes larger vessels, among which are supertankers, battleships, the largest cargo ships and the biggest cruise ships today.

The “New Panamax” vessel sizes were defined in 2009, but will take effect when the 3rd locks-set (the largest) become operational. Then, Panama Canal transits will be allowed to container ships up to 366 m / 1200 ft in length, with beam (width) of 49 m / 161 ft, draft of 15 m / 50 ft, air-draft (height) of 57,9 m / 190 ft, and TEU capacity up to 12000.Panamax/New Panamax size cargo ships infographic

The above infographic shows the Panamax/New Panamax size (cargo ship) requirements, along with other canal transit limits, including:

  • Chinamax (maximum ship size when fully loaded /used when entering harbours, cargo ports, terminals)
  • Suezmax (Egypt’s Suez Canal limits /connecting Mediterranean and Red seas). Since the canal has no locks, the length is unlimited, and the requirements are only for the vessel’s draft (below waterline max depth) and height (Suez Canal Bridge / aka Al Salam Bridge).
  • Q-max ( Qatar-Max /LNG carriers maximum size for docking in Qatar)
  • Seawaymax (St Lawrence Seaway canal locks limits /connecting the Atlantic Ocean and the North America’s Great Lakes).

World’s biggest LNG-powered containerships

The first LNG-powered containership in the world is Isla Bella (launched on October 16, 2015). Isla Bella and a second sister-ship (currently under construction) were ordered in December 2012. They are the world’s biggest container ships powered by LNG (“liquefied natural gas”) of the so called Marlin Class (length 233 m / 765 ft, TEU capacity 3100 containers).

  • Both vessels are owned by TOTE Maritime (US-based shipping line).
  • Shipbuilder is General Dynamics NASSCO (Norfolk VA / US-based shipbuilding company).
  • The ship design is by DSME (“Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering”) South Korea.
  • The new LNG-power maritime technology allows a drastic increase in fuel efficiency. The green contanership Isla Bella, as reduced air-pollution, is the equivalent of removing from the road of over 15700 automobiles.

Both new LNG-powered container cargo carriers will operate between Florida (US) and Puerto Rico, with departures from Jacksonville and San Juan.

Types of container ships

In the 50s-70s period, general cargo vessels and tankers were refitted to carry containers. Today, container vessels are designed to maximize TEU capacity.cargo container ship 3D

  • (from 1956 to 1970) converted cargo ships (length 443 ft / 135 m; TEU 500)
  • (from 1956 to 1970) converted tanker ships (length 656 ft / 200 m; TEU 800)
  • (from 1970 to 1980) container ships (length 705 ft / 215 m; TEU 1000-2500)
  • (from 1980 to 1988) Panamax container ships (introducing the “bulbous bow”; length 950 ft / 290 m; TEU 3000-4000)
  • (from 1988 to 2000) Post-Panamax container ships (length 1000 ft / 305 m; TEU 4000-5000)
  • (from 2000 to 2005) Post-Panamax Plus container ships (length 1100 ft / 335 m; TEU 5000-8000)
  • (from 2006) New Panamax container ships (length 1300 ft / 396 m; TEU 11000-15500)
  • (from 2013) EEE-class container ships (length 1310 ft / 400 m; TEU 18000).

For all ship types, see the top-page infographic. Next photo is of the biggest ship in the world today (as GT weight) CSCL Globe (click to enlarge).CSCL Globe - the largest ship in the world now

Unmanned cargo ships

The unmanned (drone) technology industry continues to grow and advance – on land, in the air, at sea. Just think of the aerial drones, or the self-driving Google cars. Now the time has come for the unmanned (self-steering) marine cargo vessel designs. It means crewless, autonomous container ships run from land-based facilities – safer, cheaper, revolutionizing the world’s marine shipping industry. As seen on the photo, this container ship is fully loaded (from front to back) with containers.unmanned container ship design by Rolls Royce

The new design combines ship-based sensors (providing data for the vessel’s computers) and land-based (office/home?) navigators, which will replace the traditional captain’s service. A network of onshore control centers has to be set up, where the “shipless” crew will command hundreds of autonomous marine cargo vessels worldwide. Main advantages of this new ship technology are:

  • One person can monitor and operate many ships.
  • Fuel-efficiency requires slower cruising speeds, which increases the time at sea / crew costs. For example, reducing the cruising speed from 16 to 11 knots (18 to 13 mph, or 30 to 20 kmh) reduces fuel consumption by 50%.
  • Remotely controlled cargo ships also means better safety. It replaces the threat of crew being held hostage by pirates, no risks of staff injuries or deaths.
  • Seafarer professions are generally perceived as “hard jobs” – unattractive. This causes shortage of seamen and higher wages. Conditions on land, on the other hand, are preferred, meaning its way more easy to find and retain qualified and competent staff to work ashore.

Our time’s technology already provides unmanned (remotely controlled) machines serving a variety of tasks, including engine monitoring, various equipment monitoring, controlling from a distance underwater offshore ship operations. The leader in this new field is the Rolls-Royce company with its maritime division (marine engineering and technology) designs. The below schematics show three types of cargo ships with no crew compartments and bridge structures.unmanned cargo ships designs by Rolls Royce

Eliminating all the crew manned systems and facilities on the cargo ship (like sleeping quarters, furniture, electricity, food supplies, airconditioning, water/sewage, etc) means more space for containers and lowering crew costs, which are around $3300 PP a day. According to the industry’s latest statistics, ~45% of the ship’s total operating costs go towards crew maintenance services. Still, the sad question remains – how will our society react when the robots take hold and drive millions out of work?

The following video shows what it is like to work/live on a containership. It reviews the daily life and activities of the crew on the CMA CGM vessel Vela.

Largest Container Shipping Companies

Follows the list of top-ten largest container shipping companies in the world. TEU (container capacity) data is based on 2015 statistics. The other included (to “top 20 largest”) container ship lines are companies with above 1% market share.Largest Container Shipping Companies infographic

  1. APM MAERSK (or simply MAERSK) is the largest container company in the world. The MAERSK line company is a Denmark-based business conglomerate, with over 100,000 employees, offices in 135 countries and annual TEU capacity of over 3,048 million (for comparison 2,54 million in 2012). MAERSK line’s market share is 15,2%.
  2. MSC shipping – an Italian company known globally as container shipping (and logistics) line, but also as a cruise ship line (MSC Crociere). The MSC company has over 24,000 employees, offices in 150 countries, annual TEU capacity of over 2,678 million. MSC line’s market share is 13,4%.
  3. CMA-CGM – a French company, which merged two shipping lines – CMA (Compagnie Maritime d’Affretement) and CGM (Compagnie Generale Maritime). The CMA CGM company has ~20,000 employees, over 650 offices worldwide, annual TEU capacity of over 1,794 million (for comparison 1,34 million in 2012). CMA CGM line’s market share is 9%.
  4. EVERGREEN Marine – a Taiwan-based Corporation. The EVERGREEN line company has over 4,000 employees, operations in 80 countries, annual TEU capacity of over 953,000 (for comparison 607,060 in 2012). EVERGREEN line’s market share is 4,8%.
  5. HAPAG-LLOYD shipping – a German company, which merged two shipping lines – HAPAG (Amerikanische Packetfahrt-Actien-Gesellschaft) and NDL (Norddeutscher Lloyd). The HAPAG-LLOYD company has ~11,000 employees, and annual TEU capacity of over 944,700 (for comparison 645,460 in 2012). HAPAG-LLOYD line’s market share is 4,7%.
  6. COSCO – a Chinese state-owned company with annual TEU capacity of over 864,200 (for comparison 648,160 in 2012). COSCO line’s market share is 4,3%.
  7. CSCL – a Chinese marine shipping company with annual TEU capacity of over 700,000 (for comparison 553,230 in 2012). CSCL line’s market share is 3,5%.
  8. HAMBURG-SUD (also includes Alianca and CCNI) – a German company (part of Oetker Group) with over 4,500 employees and annual TEU capacity of over 628,750. Hamburg Sud line’s market share is 3,1%.
  9. HANJIN shipping – a South Korean company with operations in 60 countries and annual TEU capacity of over 619,550 (for comparison 472,690 in 2012). HANJIN line’s market share is 3,1%.
  10. OOCL – a Hong Kong-based subsidiary of OOIL (Orient Overseas International Ltd investment company), with annual TEU capacity of over 592,380. OOCL line’s market share is 3%.
  11. MOL – a Japanese company with ~10,000 employees and annual TEU capacity of over 574,240 (for comparison 434,340 in 2012). MOL line’s market share is 2,9%.
  12. APL – a Singapore-based subsidiary company of NOL (Neptune Orient Lines). The APL company has ~4300 employees, and annual TEU capacity of over 541,150. APL line’s market share is 2,7%.
  13. YANG MING Marine – annual TEU capacity of over 530,400. The line’s market share is 2,7%.
  14. NYK shipping – a Japanese company (core of the Mitsubishi Corporation) with annual TEU capacity of over 507,700. NYK line’s market share is 2,5%.
  15. UASC – Dubai-based joint venture company (state-owned by UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and Iraq), with annual TEU capacity of over 470,400. UASC line’s market share is 2,4%.
  16. K-LINE – annual TEU capacity of over 394,100, market share is 2%.
  17. PIL line – annual TEU capacity of over 380,200, market share is 1,9%.
  18. HYUNDAI shipping – annual TEU capacity of over 380,400, market share is 1,9%.
  19. ZIM line – annual TEU capacity of over 355,450, market share is 1,8%.
  20. WAN HAI Lines – annual TEU capacity of over 209,100, market share is 1%.
  21. Statistics regarding the world’s largest containership fleet (as of March 2016) show that the number of boxships owned by Greek companies is 4092 (DWT tonnage 321 million) or 2% of all. The number includes also 347 ships on order (based on 2016 data from shipbuilding yards around the world).

As of early 2015, there were 5985 container ships in active service, operating on the world’s main marine cargo shipping trade lines. These vessels were with combined TEU (containers capacity) 19,356,387 (compared to 2012’s TEU of 15,899,687), and combined TDW (displacement) 243,145,464.

Largest Chinese containership companies NEWS

The China’s biggest shipping companies (both state-owned) – Cosco Group and CSG (China Shipping Group) – could be merged. Advanced negotiations between the two companies were officially announced in mid October, 2015.

Rumors of a possible merger deal first surfaced in August 2015. Such a huge deal would definitely require the Chinese government’s approval. If granted, the merger deal will create the fourth largest container company in the world by TEU capacity (moving down EVERGREEN Marine from that position now). It will combine the containership fleets of COSCO (world’s 6th line with 175 vessels /as of 2015) and CSCL (world’s 7th line with 156 vessels /as of 2015). If merged, COSCO and CSCL will become a new container shipping line with a global TEU capacity share of ~8%.

  • As of 2015, the China’s maritime market undergoes a significant consolidation, which includes not only shipping companies, but also shipyards and cargo ports.
  • On December 11, 2015, was officially announced the China’s State Council approval for the merger of Cosco Group and China Shipping Group. The new company will be named “China Cosco Shipping Group”. This is the world’s 4th largest container shipping line (by TEU capacity) headquartered in Shanghai China.

In Feb 2016 was announced that COSCO will raise its TEU capacity to over 2 million by the 2018’s end. As Chinese shipping companies operate container shipping services mainly on Asia-Africa and China-Southeast Asia routes, the competition will focus on bigger capacity shipping routes like Asia-Europe and Asia-America. Currently, COSCO owns 1,58 million TEUs ranking the line 4th largest on the world’s container shipping market. COSCO’s rivals Maersk, MSC and CMA CGM currently hold ~40% of this market.

For the 1st quarter of 2016 was reported that freight shipping rates for container transportation from Asia to Northern Europe plummeted 78% (to USD 271 per TEU, compared to USD 1232 at the 2016’s beginning). These historical low rates combined with the increasing TEU capacity could result in over USD 6 billion global shipping industry losses.

In April 2016, China officially started to encourage China-flagged ships to use Northwest Passage route to cut shipping times between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Northwest Passage is a sea route through the Arctic Ocean (along North America’s northern coastline). In 2014, the icebreaking bulk carrier was the first cargo ship that made an unescorted voyage on that route.

NEWS – world’s largest container ship fleet

In November 2015 was announced the creation of a new freight container shipping line named “Triton International”. The new company will be soon New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) listed.

Triton International (Bermuda-based) was created as a merger between “Triton Container International” (55% equity) and “TAL International Group” (45% equity). Its combined container fleet is nearly 5 million TEU, with revenue earning assets of USD 8,7 billion.

World’s largest container ship port

Statistical data for 2015 shows that port of Shanghai (China) remains the largest and busiest containership port in the world – with 36,54 million TEUs. This data was released by the port operator SIPG company (Shanghai International Port Group Co). This impressive number of processed containers is a 3,5% improvement from 2014 (35,29 million TEUs).

The port operator SIPG also reported a 2015 net profit of USD 988,7 million, which was a 4% decline compared to 2014. However, the 2015 port revenue rose by 2,5%.

Only in December 2015, Shanghai cargo port moved 3,07 million TEUs, which was an 5,9% increase compared to Dec 2014 (2,9 million TEUs).

Container shipping line alliances

Container shipping industry moves over 95% of all manufactured goods in the world. This lucrative business is largely controlled by 15 companies, the majority of them being European and Asian. Most of these line companies additionally accelerated their operations pooling by forming giant maritime cargo shipping alliances. These alliances, both as cargo capacity and lines number – have grown with the introduction of all the listed below largest boxships.

  1. The largest “G6 Alliance” includes the shipping lines Hapag-Lloyd, Hyundai, APL, MOL, NYK, OOCL. G6 is operating exclusively on the Far East-Europe route. It was formed in December 2011, merging the pre-existing “The Grand Alliance” (Hapag-Lloyd, NYK, OOCL) with the “New World Alliance” (NOL, MOL, Hyundai).
  2. The “CKYHE Alliance” includes the shipping lines Cosco, K-Line, Yang-Ming, Hanjin, Evergreen.
  3. The “2M Alliance” was formed in January 2015. It includes the shipping lines APM-Maersk and MSC. This proposed alliance was officially rejected by China.
  4. The “Ocean Three Alliance” was formed in January 2015. It includes the shipping lines CMA-CGM, CSCL, UASC. Ocean 3 allied ships operate on the following trade routes: Transpacific (weekly services), Asia-Europe (4 routes), Asia-Mediterranean (4 services), and Asia-North America – to East Coast USA (1 service via Suez Canal) and Asia-Gulf of Mexico(1 service, also with Suez Canal transition).
  5. The “P3 Alliance” (CMA CGM, Maersk, MSC) was proposed by CMA CGM, but failed.
  6. “THE Alliance” was created in May 2016 (starting operations in April 2017). It includes the shipping lines NYK, Hanjin, Hapag-Lloyd, K-Line, Mitsui OSK and Yang-Ming. It covers all major shipping trade lanes – Asia-Mediterranean, Asia–Middle East (Persian Gulf and Red Sea), Asia-North America (West Coast and East Coast) and Transatlantic (between Europe and the Americas). The new shipping alliance has combined capacity of approx 3,5 million TEUs, which is 18% of the global containership capacity. Its fleet has 620+ vessels. There is a possibility UASC also to join THE Alliance thus increasing its overall capacity to over 4 million TEUs. THE Alliance will also be joined by Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) in July 2016. Currently, HMM operates 124 vessels (85 of which chartered).

Among the benefits for the allied container shipping lines are cost savings, increased efficiency, lower prices of goods for the consumers, lower freight rates and cheaper services for partners and affiliated businesses. There is also a positive effect on cargo ports. Usually, the alliance-shared ships are the fleet’s largest container carriers. This poses challenges for many cargo ports, but also presents opportunities for growth. The volume of movement for large-capacity boxships can reach up to 10000 moves per vessel, and not every cargo terminal can manage such volumes. It means that only the most efficient ports are going to benefit from the industry’s restructuring.

News 2016 – CMA CGM and COSCO alliance

A new shipping alliance of mega proportions is in the making. CMA CGM and COSCO are leading efforts to set up a new container shipping partnership, also seeking to rope-in the lines Evergreen and OOCL. If successful, this plan could potentially split up 3 of the current 4 alliances and would radically alter the current marine shipping industry leaving in the lurch the 8 remaining container cargo carriers of the alliances G6, CKYHE and Ocean Three. CMA CGM stated it will pull APL out of G6 once the French company completes the APL’s acquisition in the 2016’s second half. CMA CGM hopes that COSCO-CSCL will join it in a new carrier alliance partnership.

Largest MAERSK container ships

The Maersk company (founded 1928, official website link) is the largest shipping line in the world. The Maersk Line is a subsidiary company, operating as container ship division of the Danish conglomerate of corporations “AP Moller-Maersk Group”. The Maersk Line company operates worldwide via 374 offices located in 116 countries. The company employs ~7000 seafarers plus ~25000 land-based staff. Maersk container ships are over 600 now, with a total TEU capacity of 3,8 million.

APM-Maersk bought P&O Nedlloyd (the company’s largest member) in 2005. P&O Nedlloyd once operated the world’s 3rd largest fleet of boxships.

As of 2016, APM-Maersk controls around 20% of all containers transported from Asia to Europe.

The largest among all Maersk ships are:

  1. DSME order for 11 vessels of 19630 TEU (2nd generation Triple-E class)
  2. McKinney Moller (2013 / 18340 TEU) – Triple-E series
  3. Madison (2013 / 18340 TEU)
  4. Magleby (2014 / 18340 TEU)
  5. Majestic (2013 / 18340 TEU)
  6. Marchen (2015 / 18340 TEU)
  7. Maren (2015 / 18340 TEU)
  8. Margrethe (2015 / 18340 TEU)
  9. Maribo (2014 / 18340 TEU)
  10. Marie (2013 / 18340 TEU)
  11. Marit (2015 / 18340 TEU)
  12. Marstal (2014 / 18340 TEU)
  13. Mary (2013 / 18340 TEU)
  14. Mathilde (2015 / 18340 TEU)
  15. Matz (2014 / 18340 TEU)
  16. Mayview (2014 / 18340 TEU)
  17. Merete (2014 / 18340 TEU)
  18. Mette (2015 / 18340 TEU)
  19. Mogens (2014 / 18340 TEU)
  20. Morten (2014 / 18340 TEU)
  21. Munkebo (2015 / 18340 TEU)
  22. Emma (2006 / 15500 TEU) – E series
  23. Estelle (2006 / 15500 TEU)
  24. Eleonora (2007 / 15500 TEU)
  25. Evelyn (2007 / 15500 TEU)
  26. Ebba (2007 / 15500 TEU)
  27. Elly (2007 / 15500 TEU)
  28. Edith (2007 / 15500 TEU)
  29. Eugen (2008 / 15500 TEU)
  30. Danube (2014, 14000 TEU)
  31. Euphrates (2014, 14000 TEU)
  32. Indis (2014, 14000 TEU)
  33. Lome (2015, 14000 TEU)
  34. Tema (2015, 14000 TEU)
  35. Tigris (2014, 14000 TEU)
  36. Edinburgh (2010 / 13092 TEU) Rickmers charter*
  37. Edison (2011 / 13092 TEU) Zodiac Maritime charter
  38. Edmonton (2011 / 13092 TEU) Rickmers charter
  39. Eindhoven (2010 / 13092 TEU) Rickmers charter
  40. Elba (2011 / 13092 TEU) Rickmers charter*
  41. Emden (2010 / 13092 TEU) Rickmers charter*
  42. Essen (2010 / 13092 TEU) Rickmers charter*
  43. Essex (2011 / 13092 TEU) Rickmers charter*
  44. Eubank (2011 / 13092 TEU) Zodiac Maritime charter*
  45. Evora (2011 / 13092 TEU) Rickmers charter.

Note: The leading 20 vessels are all of the line’s biggest Triple-E class (“Economy-Energy-Environment”). Next 8 vessels are of the line’s E-class (all ship names begin with “E”) built in the period 2006-2008. The 13100 TEU series (“Edinburgh class”) includes only chartered container ships. The shipping market’s charter rates (per day) for cargo vessels of this size and capacity are between US$50-65 thousand.

As of 2015, the MAERSK line owns 254 and operates under charter 345 vessels. Current MAERSK new ship orders are 15 (TEU 138600, or 4,7% of the existing fleet’s capacity).

MAERSK line news

  • Following a contract signed in 2016 with Wartsila (marine engines and equipment manufacturer), all the MAERSK line’s largest ships (the old ones, and the new vessels under construction in China and South Korea) will be upgraded with the Wartsila’s advanced “Nacos Platinum” system. This is an integrated control and monitoring system covering the vessel’s navigation, automation, power plant and propulsion.
  • In May 2016 was announced the contract with GE’(Marine Solutions department / power conversion) for providing MAERSK Line with the GE’s latest PTO/PTI technology (abbrev from “Power Take Off/Power Take In”). It consists of 2 drives and 2 induction motors (instead of synchronous motors) plus power management system. This technology provides excess power on demand, in the same time reducing fuel consumption. When the vessel’s propel is not used, PTO/PTI directs the surplus energy to power systems and equipment on the ship. The equipment also includes a shaft generator motor (positioned between the propeller and the main engine) acting as either generator or booster. It generates electrical power by harnessing the drive shaft’s mechanical energy and converting it into electricity (from the slowest speed all the way up to the design speed). The contract is for equipping eleven MAERSK 2nd generation Triple-E ships (each with TEU capacity 19630). The GE’s power conversion equipment will be installed during the vessels construction at the DSME shipyard in South Korea.

Largest MSC container ships

The MSC shipping line (abbreviation from “Mediterranean Shipping Company SA”, founded 1970, official website link) is the SECOND largest shipping line in the world in terms of TEU / container capacity. The MSC shipping company has no presence on the stock market – an unique feature for such a huge corporation. As of the end of 2014, the MSC line operated a fleet of 471 container ships with TEU capacity 2,550,000. MSC is a Switzerland-based company operating in all major ports worldwide. Part of the MSC shipping company (a subsidiary division) is the MSC Cruises company.

The largest among all MSC ships are:

  1. Oscar (2015 / 19224 TEU)
  2. Oliver (2015 / 19224 TEU)
  3. Maya (2015 / 19224 TEU)
  4. Zoe (2015 / 19224 TEU)
  5. New York (2014 / 18270 TEU)
  6. Savona (2010 / 14000 TEU)
  7. Genova (2010 / 14000 TEU)
  8. Deila (2012 / 14000 TEU)
  9. Valeria (2012 / 14000 TEU)
  10. Fillippa (2011 / 14000 TEU)
  11. Danit (2009 / 14000 TEU)
  12. Camille (2009 / 14000 TEU)
  13. Melatilde (2010 / 14000 TEU)
  14. Paloma (2010 / 14000 TEU)
  15. Ravenna (2011 / 14000 TEU)
  16. Alexandra (2010 / 14000 TEU)
  17. Rosa M (2010 / 14000 TEU)
  18. La Spezia (2010 / 14000 TEU)
  19. Taranto (2011 / 14000 TEU)
  20. Daniela (2008 / 13798 TEU)
  21. Kalina (2009 / 13798 TEU)
  22. Bettina (2009 / 13798 TEU)
  23. Irene (2009 / 13798 TEU)
  24. Emanuela (2009 / 13798 TEU)
  25. Eva (2009 / 13798 TEU)
  26. Beatrice (2010 / 13798 TEU)
  27. Sonia (2010 / 13798 TEU)
  28. Livorno (2010 / 13798 TEU)
  29. Gaia (2009 / 13798 TEU)
  30. Cristina (2011 / 13102 TEU) – chartered from Navios Partners
  31. Altair (2012 / 13102 TEU) – chartered from SinOceanic.

As of 2015, the MSC line owns 193 and operates under charter 299 container cargo vessels. Current MSC new ship orders are 58 (TEU 730896, or 28,7% of the existing fleet’s capacity).

Largest CMA CGM container ships

CMA CGM line (official website link) is the THIRD largest container ship company in the world. The CMA CGM company operates on 170 itinerary routes between 400 ports in 150 different countries, with combined TEU of 1,750,000. The CMA CGM shipping line’s main headquarters are in France (Marseille), while its North American headquarters are in the USA (Norfolk VA). Each of the CMA CGM ships has 20-25 crew on board.

Curious fact is that the CMA CGM’s majority owner is the Saade family (Marseille, France). Mr Jacques Saade is the company’s founder, CEO and group chairman.

The largest among all CMA CGM ships are:

  1. Benjamin Franklin (2015 / 17722 TEU)
  2. Bougainville (2015 / 17722 TEU, renamed from “CMA CGM Charles Lindbergh”)
  3. Georg Forster (2015 / 17722 TEU)
  4. James Cook (2015 / 17722 TEU)
  5. Kerguelen (2015 / 17722 TEU)
  6. Vasco De Gama (2015 / 17722 TEU)
  7. Zheng He (2015 / 17722 TEU)
  8. Alexander von Humboldt (2013 / 16020 TEU)
  9. Marco Polo (2012 / 16020 TEU)
  10. Jules Verne (2013 / 16020 TEU)
  11. Laperouse (2009 / 13830 TEU)
  12. Corte Real (2010 / 13830 TEU)
  13. Amerigo Vespucci (2010 / 13830 TEU)
  14. Christophe Colomb (2010 / 13830 TEU)
  15. Magellan (2010 / 13830 TEU)
  16. Effingham (2011 / 13102 TEU) – chartered from Zodiac Maritime
  17. Enfield (2011 / 13102 TEU – chartered from Zodiac Maritime
  18. Erving (2011 / 13102 TEU – chartered from Zodiac Maritime
  19. Margrit (2012 / 13102 TEU – chartered from Zodiac Maritime
  20. Alaska (2011 / 12552 TEU)
  21. Nevada (2011 / 12552 TEU)
  22. Andromeda (2009, 11388 TEU)
  23. Aquila (2009, 11388 TEU)
  24. Cassiopeia (2010, 11388 TEU)
  25. Centaurus (2010, 11388 TEU)
  26. Columba (2010, 11388 TEU)
  27. Gemini (2010, 11388 TEU)
  28. Leo (2010, 11388 TEU)
  29. Libra (2010, 11388 TEU)
  30. Lyra (2010, 11388 TEU)
  31. Pegasus (2010, 11388 TEU)
  32. Titan (2010, 11388 TEU)
  33. Hydra (2009, 11040 TEU)
  34. Musca (2009, 11040 TEU)
  35. Thalassa (2008, 11040 TEU)
  36. Vela (2008, 11040 TEU)

As of 2015, the CMA CGM line owns 83 and operates under charter 380 container cargo vessels. Current CMA CGM new ship orders are 36 (TEU 370796, or 21,4% of the existing fleet’s capacity).

CMA CGM line news

  • In December 2015, the CMA CGM company started talks for financing for the Singapore-listed NOL (abbrev from “Neptune Orient Lines”) acquisition. The talks were with some of the world’s largest banks, including BNP Paribas, HSBC, JP Morgan. The NOL’s debt was close to USD 3 billion, while the company’s market capitalization was close to USD 2 billion. The deal is CMA CGM to buy off the stocks of the NOL’s largest shareholder Temasek Holdings (65% of all shares), eventually leading to an offer for the whole NOL company. On April 29, 2016, CMA CGM announced it has received the European Commission’s approval for the deal.
  • The Bougainville vessel is the world’s first ever boxship with implemented TRAXENS technology, transforming standard TEUs into “smart containers”. The system enables all container units to communicate with the line’s headquarters (via data centers), with the ship’s management and also among themselves using built-in antennas. TRAXENS collects in real time data about the TEU’s location, temperature and humidity, vibrations, any impacts or attempted unauthorized openings, customs clearance, etc.
  • In November 2015, the French companies CMA-CGM and VILAC (wooden toys manufacturer) created a cobranding partnership, launching the world’s first ever wooden container ship toy. The new toy is named “My First Containership” and will be available for purchasing at all VILAC-distributing shops and also online.

cma cgm "my first containership" toy by VILAC

Largest EVERGREEN container ships

The EVERGREEN MARINE shipping company (or simply EVERGREEN, founded 1968, official website link) is a Taiwan-based freight shipping line. This is a corporation conglomerate with many divisions and subsidiary companies, among which are the shipping lines Uniglory Marine (Taiwan), Hatsu Marine (UK), Italia Marittima (Italy). The company’s other markets are ship and containers construction, port management, maritime engineering. EVERGREEN also steps on the East Asia’s air travel industry market, partnering with the airlines EVA Airways (Taiwan) and Uni Air (China).

EVERGREEN MARINE Corp is the FOURTH largest container ship company in the world, with a fleet of over 150 vessels calling on 240+ ports in 80+ countries. The line’s main trade routes are Asia-Europe (via Suez Canal) and Asia-USA (East Coast). Most of the Evergreen’s containers are painted green (black lettering). The company’s reefers (refrigerated containers) are white with the “EVERGREEN” lettering in green.

The largest among all EVERGREEN ships are:

  1. Ever TBN / to be named (2017 / 18000 TEU)
  2. THALASSA Avra (2014 / 13800 TEU) – chartered
  3. THALASSA Axia (2014 / 13800 TEU) – chartered
  4. THALASSA Doxa (2014 / 13800 TEU) – chartered
  5. THALASSA Elpida (2014 / 13800 TEU) – chartered
  6. THALASSA Hellas (2013 / 13800 TEU) – chartered
  7. THALASSA Mana (2014 / 13800 TEU) – chartered
  8. THALASSA Niki (2014 / 13800 TEU) – chartered
  9. THALASSA Patris (2013 / 13800 TEU) – chartered
  10. THALASSA Pistis (2014 / 13800 TEU) – chartered
  11. THALASSA Tyhi (2014 / 13800 TEU) – chartered
  12. Ever Lambent (2012 / 8508 TEU)
  13. Ever Laden (2012 / 8508 TEU)
  14. Ever Lasting (2012 / 8508 TEU)
  15. Ever Leading (2012 / 8508 TEU)
  16. Ever Laurel (2012 / 8508 TEU)
  17. Ever Libra (2012 / 8508 TEU)
  18. Ever Lawful (2012 / 8508 TEU)
  19. Ever Leader (2013 / 8508 TEU)
  20. Ever Legacy (2013 / 8508 TEU)
  21. Ever Living (2013 / 8508 TEU)
  22. Ever Linking (2013 / 8508 TEU)
  23. Ever Lucid (2014 / 8508 TEU)
  24. Ever Lively (2014 / 8508 TEU)
  25. Ever Lenient (2014 / 8508 TEU)
  26. Ever Lucent (2014 / 8508 TEU)
  27. Ever Lissome (2014 / 8508 TEU)
  28. Ever Loading (2014 / 8508 TEU)
  29. Ever Lunar (2014 / 8508 TEU)
  30. Ever Lyric (2015 / 8508 TEU)
  31. Ever Lovely (2015 / 8508 TEU)
  32. Ever Lifting (2015 / 8508 TEU)
  33. Ever Logic (2013 / 8452 TEU)
  34. Ever Liven (2013 / 8452 TEU)
  35. Ever Legend (2013 / 8452 TEU)
  36. Ever Learned (2013 / 8452 TEU)
  37. Ever Legion (2013 / 8452 TEU)
  38. Ever Loyal (2014 / 8452 TEU)
  39. Ever Liberal (2014 / 8452 TEU)
  40. Ever Lucky (2014 / 8452 TEU)

Note: Besides its owned vessels, the EVERGREEN line also operates container ships under charter (with TEU capacity raging from 8800 to 13800). In the above list, all the 10 (13800 TEU) boxships are operated under 5-years charter from the Greek shipowner Enesel SA.

As of 2015, the EVERGREEN line owns 106 and operates under charter 99 container cargo vessels. Current EVERGREEN new ship orders are 23 (TEU 355016, or 36,2% of the existing fleet’s capacity).

EVERGREEN line news

  • (new container ships): In 2015, the EVERGREEN Group announced the signing of an agreement with the shipbuilder Imabari (Japan) for building 10 additional boxships with TEU capacity of 2800 each. This makes the new 2800 TEU series consisting of 20 small-capacity cargo ships in total. The first ship is scheduled for delivery in 2017. The whole series will be completed by 2018. All these container ships will be deployed on Asian (intra-Asia) trade routes exclusively. The 20 new cargo carriers are B-type categorized (length 690 ft / 211 m, width 108 ft / 32,8 m, draft 33 ft / 10m). This design allows each of them to dock easily in smaller and shallower container terminals in numerous Southeast Asian cargo ports. The new EVERGREEN ships will be capable to load 13 rows of containers on deck.
  • In September 2015, EVERGREEN Marine announced its plans to charter 11 new boxships, each with capacity 18000 TEU.

Largest HAPAG LLOYD container ships

The HAPAG LLOYD shipping company (abbreviation from “Hamburg-Amerikanische Paketfahrt-Aktien-Gesellschaft” plus NDL / “Norddeutscher Lloyd”, merger founded 1970, official website link) is a German cargo container line. The company also owns the Hapag-Lloyd Cruises line (now part of TUI AG). The 1970’s merger was between two of the world’s oldest cargo shipping companies – Hapag (1847) and NDL (1856).

The HAPAG LLOYD company is the FIFTH largest container shipping line in the world, with a fleet of over 180 vessels and TEU capacity of 966437.

The largest among all HAPAG LLOYD ships are:

  1. Wide Alpha (2014, 14000 TEU)
  2. Wide Bravo (2014, 14000 TEU)
  3. Wide Charlie (2014, 14000 TEU)
  4. Wide India (2015, 14000 TEU)
  5. Hamburg Express (2012 / 13169 TEU)
  6. Basle Express (2012 / 13169 TEU)
  7. New York Express (2012 / 13169 TEU)
  8. Hong Kong Express (2013 / 13169 TEU)
  9. Shanghai Express (2013 / 13169 TEU)
  10. Essen Express (2013 / 13169 TEU)
  11. Antwerpen Express (2013 / 13169 TEU)
  12. Ulsan Express (2014 / 13169 TEU)
  13. Ludwigshafen Express (2014 / 13169 TEU)
  14. Leverkusen Express (2014 / 13169 TEU)

As of 2015, the HAPAG LLOYD line owns 75 and operates under charter 109 container cargo vessels. Current HAPAG LLOYD new ship orders are 7 (TEU 71148, or 7,4% of the existing fleet’s capacity).

HAPAG LLOYD line news

  • In December 2014, Hapag-Lloyd merged with CSAV (Compania Sud Americana de Vapores, Chilean company). Hapag-Lloyd’s current major owners are CSAV (31%), Hamburg-based investment holding (21%), Klaus Michael Kuehne (20%).
  • (new container ships): In April 2015, HAPAG LLOYD ordered a series of 5 new container carriers at total cost USD 370 million. Their scheduled delivery is between Oct 2016 and May 2017. Each boxship has capacity 10500 TEUs plus 2100 reefers (refrigerated container) plugs. They all will be deployed on South American shipping routes.
  • On April 21, 2016, Hapag-Lloyd confirmed talks for a merge with UASC (United Arab Shipping Compan). The combination of the two groups would create the world’s 4th-largest container shipping company. The new joint venture will be headquartered in Hamburg, with UASC holding around 1/3 of the merged company’s shares.

Largest COSCO container ships

The COSCO shipping company (abbreviation from “China Ocean Shipping Company”, founded 1961, official website link) is a Beijing-based container line. Aka “COSCO Group” (or simply “COSCO China”), this is a SOE company (state-owned enterprise) – fully owned and operated by the Chinese government. COSCO Group owns 7 stock exchange listed companies and 300+ subsidiary companies in China and abroad. The company’s business includes freight services, ship building and repairs, cargo terminal operations, containers manufacturing, also trade and finance, real estates, information technology.

The COSCO company is the China’s biggest and the SIXTH largest container shipping line in the world, with a fleet of over 550 vessels and TEU capacity of 840,000.

The largest among all COSCO ships are:

  1. France (2013 / 13386 TEU)
  2. Belgium (2013 / 13386 TEU)
  3. Denmark (2014 / 13386 TEU)
  4. England (2013 / 13386 TEU)
  5. Italy (2014 / 13386 TEU)
  6. Netherlands (2013 / 13386 TEU)
  7. Portugal (2014 / 13386 TEU)
  8. Spain (2014 / 13386 TEU)
  9. Glory (2011 / 13114 TEU)
  10. Development (2011 / 13114 TEU)
  11. Pride (2011 / 13114 TEU)
  12. Harmony (2011 / 13114 TEU)
  13. Faith (2012 / 13114 TEU)
  14. Hope (2012 / 13114 TEU)
  15. Excellence (2012 / 13114 TEU)
  16. Fortune (2012 / 13114 TEU)

As of 2015, the COSCO line owns 86 and operates under charter 78 container cargo vessels. Current COSCO new ship orders are 10 (TEU 119500, or 14,5% of the existing fleet’s capacity).

COSCO line news

  • (new container ships): In September 2015, the COSCO company announced it had signed contracts with 4 different Chinese shipyards for building a series of 11 boxships with capacity 19,000 TEU each. The contracted Chinese shipbuilders are: NACKS (Nantong Cosco – 3 vessels), DACKS (Dalian Cosco – 3 vessels), Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding (3 vessels) and Dalian Shipbuilding (2 vessels). The order’s total cost is USD ~1,5 billion.

Largest CSCL container ships

The CSCL shipping company (abbreviation from “China Shipping Container Lines”, founded 1997, official website link) is a division of the “China Shipping Group” corporate conglomerate. Both companies are specialized in marine vessel shipping services, operating fully-owned oil tankers, passenger (including ferry and cruise) ships and container ships. China Shipping Group additionally offers Terminal management services, also finance/investment, engineering, human resources, maritime technologies.

The CSCL company is currently the SEVENTH largest container shipping line in the world, with a fleet of over 150 vessels and TEU capacity of 600,000.

The largest among all CSCL ships are:

  1. Globe (2014 / 19100 TEU)
  2. Pacific Ocean (2014 / 19100 TEU)
  3. Indian Ocean (2015 / 19100 TEU)
  4. Arctic Ocean (2015 / 19100 TEU)
  5. Atlantic Ocean (2015 / 19100 TEU)
  6. Jupiter (2011 / 14074 TEU)
  7. Mars (2011 / 14074 TEU)
  8. Mercury (2011 / 14074 TEU)
  9. Neptune (2012 / 14074 TEU)
  10. Star (2010 / 14074 TEU)
  11. Saturn (2011 / 14074 TEU)
  12. Uranus (2012 / 14074 TEU)
  13. Venus (2011 / 14074 TEU)

As of 2015, the CSCL line owns 68 and operates under charter 70 container cargo vessels (no new ship orders).

CSCL line news

  • In early November 2015, CSCL announced its intention to bareboat charter (no crew or provisions included) up to 11 boxships each with capacity 21000 TEUs. Six of the vessels will be on a firm charter, keeping the option for 5 more units. Details on the shipowner and the potential shipbuilder (for the optional 5 boxships) were not revealed.
  • In early April 2016, the marine engine manufacturer Wartsila was awarded a contract to supply a total of 32 “Wartsila Auxpac 32” diesel engines (power generator sets) for 8 of the CSCL’s new 13500 TEU container ships. The 8 ships are being built by Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding Co Ltd (a wholly owned subsidiary of CSSC). The order was placed with the company’s Chinese (Shanghai-based) joint venture company CWEC. The Wartsila engines delivery to the shipbuilding yard will start in the 2017’s first half.
  • The Auxpac generator set is designed for large container ships with a required auxiliary power from 2500 to 4500 kWe (kilowatts electrical) per generator set. The engine features powerful output, compact design, great power-to-space ratio, outstanding performances.
  • The CWEC (CSSC Wartsila Engine Company Ltd) was established in July 2014. The company produces large, medium-speed (4-stroke) marine diesel engines and also dual-fuel engines. The engines are installed on large-sized boxships, LNG carriers, also on ferry and cruise ships. CWEC produces the Wartsila engine models 26, 32, 34DF, 46F and 46DF.

Largest HANJIN container ships

The HANJIN shipping company (founded 1977, official website link) is the South Korea’s largest shipping line company. HANJIN also specializes in maritime logistics, cargo terminal operations (owns dock yards in Asia, Europe, USA) and in more than 60 countries, . HANJIN Shipping Co Ltd is part of the Hanjin Group – a holding corporation that also owns KAL (Korean Air Lines),

The HANJIN company is currently the EIGHTH largest container shipping line in the world, with a diverse fleet of cargo vessels, among which container carriers (total TEU capacity of 633,495), bulk cargo carriers, LNG carriers, VLCC vessels (“Very Large Crude Carrier” /tankers for crude oil and chemicals).

The largest among all HANJIN ships are:

  1. Sooho (2012 / 13102 TEU)
  2. Europe (2012 / 13102 TEU)
  3. Africa (2012 / 13102 TEU)
  4. America (2012 / 13102 TEU)
  5. Asia (2012 / 13102 TEU)
  6. Blue Ocean (2013, 13102 TEU)
  7. Harmony (2013 / 13102 TEU)
  8. Gold (2013 / 13102 TEU)
  9. Green Earth (2013 / 13102 TEU)
  10. Germany (2011 / 10100 TEU) – Danaos Corp charter
  11. Greece ((2011 / 10100 TEU) – Danaos Corp charter
  12. Italy ((2011 / 10100 TEU) – Danaos Corp charter.

As of 2015, the HANJIN line owns 38 and operates under charter 66 container cargo vessels. Current HANJIN new ship orders are 4 (TEU 36120, or 5,7% of the existing fleet’s capacity).

Largest MOL container ships

The MOL shipping company (abbreviation from “Mitsui OSK Lines”, founded 1884, official website link) is a Japanese transportation company with headquarters in Tokyo. MOL is part of Mitsui (group of interlocking business companies in Japan).

The MOL company is currently the NINTH largest container shipping line in the world, with a diverse fleet of vessels, among which container carriers (total TEU capacity of 614,000), general cargo ships (bulk carriers, LNG carriers, tankers), ro-ro ships, ferries, even a cruise ship (Nippon Maru).

The largest among all MOL ships are:

  1. MOL TBN / to be named (2017 / 20150 TEU) – to be the largest in the world, and the first in a series of all 6 vessels (cost US$155 mill each). 4 of them will be operated by MOL, 2 will be long-term chartered to SKK. All the new MOL vessels will be delivered 2017-2019.
  2. Quality (2013 / 13900 TEU)
  3. Quartz (2013 / 13900 TEU) – ordered by NOL as APL Agile
  4. Quest (2013 / 13900 TEU)
  5. Quasar (2014 / 13900 TEU)
  6. Quintet (2014 / 13900 TEU)

Note: The 20150 TEU vessels order is to the South Korean shipbuilder SHI (Samsung). The contract (signed in March 2015) set the SHI’s record for the world’s largest container ships order. SHI renewed this record just a month later, signing in April 2015 the contract with OOCL for building six 21100 TEU ships.

As of 2015, the MOL line owns 29 and operates under charter 84 container cargo vessels. Current MOL new ship orders are 10 (TEU 160940, or 26,2% of the existing fleet’s capacity).

Largest HAMBURG SUD container ships

The HAMBURG SUD shipping company (founded 1871 as “Hamburg Sudamerikanische Dampfschifffahrts-Gesellschaft” / translation “Hamburg South America Line”, official website link) is a Germany-based subsidiary company, part of the Oetker Group (family-owned business conglomerate).

The HAMBURG SUD company (aka “HAMBURG SUD Group”) is currently the TENTH largest shipping line in the world, with a fleet of over 130 vessels and total TEU of over 600,900 containers. HAMBURG SUD’s annual revenue is around 5,5 billion Euros. The company has around 5400 employees, and also owns the shipping lines Alianca (Brazil) and Ybarra Sud (Spain). The line’s containers are painted in red (with white lettering /plus a huge red-white flag in between both words). The reefers (refrigerated containers) are painted white (with blue lettering and the red-white flag in between).

The largest among all HAMBURG SUD ships are:

  1. Cap San Juan (2015 / 10600 TEU)
  2. Cap San Lazaro (2015 / 10600 TEU)
  3. Cap San Vincent (2015 / 10600 TEU)
  4. Cap San Antonio (2014 / 9814 TEU)
  5. Cap San Artemissio (2014 / 9814 TEU)
  6. Cap San Augustin (2013 / 9814 TEU)
  7. Cap San Lorenzo (2013 / 9814 TEU)
  8. Cap San Maleas (2014 / 9814 TEU)
  9. Cap San Marco (2013 / 9814 TEU)
  10. Cap San Nicolas (2013 / 9814 TEU)
  11. Cap San Raphael (2014 / 9814 TEU)

As of 2015, the HAMBURG SUD line owns 41 and operates under charter 88 container cargo vessels. Current HAMBURG SUD new ship orders are 5 (TEU 49560, or 8,2% of the existing fleet’s capacity).

Hamburg Sud line news

  • In March 2015, Hamburg Sud Group acquired Companía Chilena de Navegacion Interoceanica ((CCNI- Chilean shipping company). The Sud company reported a shipment volume growth of 21,5% (over 2014) to 4,101 million TEUs. Its current containership fleet capacity is 625000 TEUs.

Largest OOCL container ships

The OOCL shipping company (abbreviation from “Orient Overseas Container Line”, founded 1969, official website link) is a Hong Kong-based subsidiary company, owned by Orient Overseas Ltd (OOIL – an international investment holding / stock-listed company).

The OOCL company is currently the ELEVENTH largest shipping line in the world, with a fleet of over 270 vessels and total TEU of over 553,800 containers. OOCL ships are operated via 280+ offices in 55 countries. Some of the line’s subsidiary companies own/operate dedicated OOCL container ship terminals in Asia and North America.

The largest among all OOCL ships are:

  1. TBN / to be named (2017 / 21100 TEU) – first in a series of all 6 vessels (cost US$158,6 mill each)
  2. Bangkok (2013 / 13208 TEU) – OOIL charter
  3. Berlin (2013 / 13208 TEU)
  4. Brussels (2013 / 13208 TEU)
  5. Chongqing (2013 / 13208 TEU) – OOIL charter
  6. Korea (2014 / 13208 TEU)
  7. Singapore (2014 / 13208 TEU)

Note: The 21100 TEU ships order (total cost USD 950 mill) is to the South Korean shipbuilder SHI (Samsung). The contract (signed in April 2015) just renews the SHI company’s hold on its record for the world’s largest container ships order. The previous record was set by SHI in March 2015 with the four 20150 TEU container ships order from the MOL shipping company.

As of 2015, the OOCL line owns 48 and operates under charter 54 container cargo vessels. Current OOCL new ship orders are 8 (TEU 144376, or 26,1% of the existing fleet’s capacity).

Largest APL container ships

The APL shipping company (abbreviation from “American President Lines”, founded 1848, official website link) is a Singapore-based Ltd company (NOL subsidiary /”Neptune Orient Lines”). The company’s current name is since 1938 (renamed from “Dollar Steamship Co”, aka “Dollar Line”). Often referred to as “APL Singapore”, The APL company has its own network of inland facilities in the USA, and also fully owned and APL-personnel operated cargo terminals in Asia and on the US West Coast.

The APL company is currently the TWELFTH largest shipping line in the world, with a fleet of over 150 vessels, over 4300 employees, total TEU of 600,000 containers, and over US$ 8 billion in revenue. APL ships operate on 80+ trade lanes/routes weekly, calling at cargo ports in over 95 countries around the world. Still, most of the APL line’s operations are in the Pacific Ocean region (marine shipping services between Asia and USA).

The largest among all APL ships are:

  1. Temasek (2013 / 13900 TEU)
  2. Raffles (2013 / 13900 TEU)
  3. Vanda (2013 / 13900 TEU)
  4. Merlion (2014 / 13900 TEU)
  5. Sentosa (2014 / 13900 TEU)

As of 2015, the APL line owns 50 and operates under charter 40 container cargo vessels (no new ship orders).

Largest YANG MING container ships

The YANG MING shipping company (officially “Yang Ming Marine Transport Corporation”, founded 1972, official website link) is a Keelung-based (Taiwan) container line. In the line’s fleet consists mainly from container ships and 17 bulk-cargo carriers. Beside the marine cargo shipping services, via fully-owned subsidiary companies its business also includes logistics and container terminals in Asia (Taiwan), Europe (Belgium, Holland) and the USA. The company’s operations cover more than 70 countries worldwide.

The largest among all YANG MING ships are:

  • YM Warmth (2015, 14000 TEU)*
  • YM Welcome (2016, 14000 TEU)*
  • YM Wellhead (2015, 14000 TEU)*
  • YM Wellness (14000 TEU)*
  • YM Wholesome (2015, 14000 TEU)*
  • YM Width (2016, 14000 TEU)
  • YM Wind (14000 TEU)
  • YM Window (2016, 14000 TEU)*
  • YM Winner (2015, 14000 TEU)*
  • YM Wish (2015, 14000 TEU)*
  • YM Witness (2015, 14000 TEU)*
  • YM Wondrous (2015, 14000 TEU)*
  • YM World (2015, 14000 TEU)*
  • YM Worth (2015, 14000 TEU)*
  • YM Wreath (2016, 14000 TEU)*
  • Note: All vessels marked with * (star) are long-term chartered to and operated by the ship charterer Seaspan Corporation.

As of 2015, the YANG MING line owns 42 and operates under charter 59 cargo vessels. Current YANG MING new ship orders are 7 (TEU 98560, or 18,6% of the existing fleet’s capacity).

YANG MING line news

  • (new container ships): In September 2015, the YANG MING shipping company announced its order for a series of five ULC (ultra large) boxships with max loading capacity 14000 TEU each. The order was placed to the Imabari Shipbuilding (Japan). All of the newbuilds will be chartered to the Shoei Kisen Kaisha company (Japan). The 5 new vessels will be launched in 2018-2019. The building order’s total cost is USD 625 million, or USD 125 million per ship. In July 2015, YANG MING shipping ordered to Imabari 5 containerships (14000 TEU class). They will be delivered in 2016 and chartered by CSBC Corp (Taiwan).

Largest UASC container ships

The UASC shipping company (abbreviation from “United Arab Shipping Company”, founded 1976, official website link) is a Dubai-based container line. Aka “UASC Kuwait”, this is joint venture company owned by six state-shareholders – UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Iraq.

The UASC company is also among the world’s largest container shipping lines, with a fleet of over 50 vessels (owned and chartered). The newest UASC vessels are famous for they capability to be powered by LNG (liquefied natural gas).

The largest among all UASC ships are:

  1. Al Dahna (2015 / 18800 TEU)
  2. Al Muraykh (2015 / 18800 TEU)
  3. Al Nefud (2015 / 18800 TEU)
  4. Al Zubara (2015 / 18800 TEU)
  5. Barzan (2015 / 18800 TEU)
  6. Tihama (2016 / 18800 TEU)
  7. Al Murabba (2015 / 15000 TEU)
  8. Salahuddin (2015 / 15000 TEU)
  9. Linah (2015, 15000 TEU)
  10. Sajir (2014, 15000 TEU)
  11. Ain Snan (2012 / 13500 TEU)
  12. Al Qibla (2012 / 13500 TEU)
  13. Al Riffa (2012 / 13500 TEU)
  14. Alula (2012 / 13500 TEU)
  15. Jebel Ali (2012 / 13500 TEU)
  16. Malik Al Ashtar (2012 / 13500 TEU)
  17. Tayma (2012 / 13500 TEU)
  18. Umm Salal (2010 / 13500 TEU)
  19. Unayzah (2012 / 13500 TEU)

As of 2015, the UASC line owns 30 and operates under charter 22 container cargo vessels. Current UASC new ship orders are 13 (TEU 213944, or 52,5% of the existing fleet’s capacity).

Largest NYK container ships

The NYK shipping company (abbreviation from “Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha”, translated as “Japan Mail Shipping Line”, founded 1882, official website link) is a Japanese cargo-logistics company. Commonly known as “NYK Line”, it is a core company part of Mitsubishi Group (autonomous Japanese multinational companies). The NYK Line started its business as mainly a passenger carrier, but expanded as cargo carrier since the late 1960s, starting with the first Japanese container ship (named Hakone Maru) in 1968. In 1989, the NYK company entered the cruise shipping business via the newly formed Crystal Cruises line (NYK’s subsidiary company). In 2015, Crystal was sold to the Genting Hong Kong Corporation. In 1990, NYK Line started passenger shipping services under the NYK name with the MS Asuka ship. Operating on the Japanese market only, in 2006 she was replaced by the bigger MS Asuka II (former Crystal Harmony).

The NYK shipping line is in the world’s top 20 largest container shipping lines, with a fleet of over 100 container carriers. The NYK Line company is also owner of trains, planes, trucks, along with a large fleet of different types of cargo ships, among which LNG-, bulk-, woodchip, reefer- and car carriers, tankers, cruise passenger ships.

The largest among all NYK ships are operated under charter from the owner OOIL (Orient Overseas International Ltd), and are named:

  1. Blue Jay (2016 / 14000 TEU) – under charter
  2. Helios (2013 / 13208 TEU)
  3. Hercules (2013 / 13208 TEU)
  4. Hermes (2013 / 13208 TEU)
  5. Hyperion (2013 / 13208 TEU)

The rest of the NYK fleet’s cargo container vessels range in capacity from 1613 to 8600 TEUs.

As of 2015, the NYK line owns 48 and operates under charter 53 container cargo vessels. Current NYK new ship orders are 8 (TEU 112000, or 22,9% of the existing fleet’s capacity).

NYK line news

  • In November 2015, NYK shipping placed an order for a total of 5500 reefers (40-ft refrigerated containers), among which 700 CA-reefer units (“Controlled Atmosphere”). These new-generation containers are more energy-efficient and reliable in comparison to the older equipment. The CA-reefer technology guarantees the freshness of easily perishable goods (like fruits, vegetables, fresh meat and seafood, flowers, etc) during the long transoceanic crossings. The CA-reefer technology allows controlling not only the unit’s temperature, but also the levels of O2 and CO2 inside.

Largest K-LINE container ships

The K-LINE shipping company (official name “Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha”, founded 1919, official website link) is a large Japanese company, specialized in transportation and cargo-logistics. This container line company operates a huge fleet of both owned and chartered vessels, among which large-capacity cargo ships (container carriers, dry bulk carriers, LNG carriers, tankers, RORO ships). The K-LINE company also manages container terminals. Major subsidiary companies in the K-LINE family are “K Line Logistics” and “K Line Travel”.

Currently, this is the world’s 16th largest shipping company with a total TEU capacity of over 394,000 (which is 2% marine shipping market share). The company’s biggest shipping divisions are named America, Singapore, Offshore.

The largest among all K-LINE ships are:

As of 2015, the K-LINE owns 12 and operates under charter 57 container cargo vessels. It’s current new ship orders are 6 (TEU 83220, or 21,1% of the existing fleet’s capacity).

Largest HYUNDAI container ships

The HYUNDAI shipping company (official name “Hyundai Merchant Marine” /abbreviated as HMM, founded 1976, official website link) is a South Korean cargo-logistics and container line company. This is a subsidiary company, part of the HYUNDAI Group (multinational business conglomerate). HYUNDAI Marine operates a diverse fleet of cargo vessels, among which bulk carriers, trampers (tramp freighter vessel – without fixed schedule/published itinerary), container carriers, LNG tankers.

The HYUNDAI shipping line is in the world’s top 20 largest container shipping lines, with a fleet of over 170 vessels. The biggest of them are the 2014-built company-owned ships and the 2012-built controlled ships (operated under long-term charter from the shipowner Danaos Corporation). Danaos Corp (one of the largest shipowners on the global container ship chartering market) has a fleet of over 60 vessels raging in TEU capacity from 2200 up to 13100.

The largest among all HYUNDAI ships are:

  1. Ambition (2012 / 13100 TEU) – Danaos charter
  2. Drive (2014 / 13100 TEU)
  3. Hope (2014 / 13100 TEU)
  4. Pride (2014 / 13100 TEU)
  5. Smart (2012 / 13100 TEU) – Danaos
  6. Speed (2012 / 13100 TEU) – Danaos
  7. Tenacity (2012 / 13100 TEU) – Danaos
  8. Together (2012 / 13100 TEU) – Danaos
  9. Victory (2014 / 13100 TEU)

As of 2015, the HYUNDAI line owns 20 and operates under charter 36 cargo vessels. Current HYUNDAI new ship orders are 6 (TEU 60000, or 16,4% of the existing fleet’s capacity).

HYUNDAI line news

  • In May 2016, the HMM company’s creditors made Hyundai Merchant Marine a KDB subsidiary (Korea Development Bank). The amount of HMM’s bonds owned by creditors was USD 1,06 billion (of which USD 529,8 million owned by KDB). Through capital reduction and debt-for-equity swapping, KDB acquired 30%, while various other creditor institutions have 50% of all shares.

Largest PIL container ships

The PIL shipping company (official name “Pacific International Lines” /abbreviated as PIL, founded 1967, official website link) is a Singapore-based container line company. This is also one of the Asia’s largest shipowners.

PIL owns the following subsidiary shipping lines: PIL Japan, ACL (Atlantic Container Line), Pacific Direct Line, PAE (Pacific Asia Express), Mariana Express Lines. The PIL company also owns the Singamas (container manufacturer, logistics operator), logistics and depot sub-companies (PILlogistics, Segara, AAW Global Logistics, SOKHNA Container Depot, HPC), also the cargo terminal operator PIL-PSA (Singapore).

The PIL shipping line is in the world’s top 20 largest container shipping lines, with a fleet of over 160 vessels. The biggest of them are currently under construction.

  • NEWS (new container ships): In September 2015, PIL signed a shipbuilding contract with Yangzijiang Shipbuilding Ltd (China) for a series of eight 11800 TEU boxships (contract’s value not disclosed). With length of length 1032 ft (314,5 m), width 158 ft (48,2 m) and draft 43 ft (13 m), these will be the PIL’s biggest container ships in the line’s owned fleet. The new vessels’ deliveries were scheduled for 2018.
  • As of 2015, the PIL line owns 119 and operates under charter 36 cargo vessels (combined TEU capacity 375746). Current PIL new ship orders are 11 (TEU 97667, or 26% of the existing fleet’s capacity).

Largest ACL container ships

The ACL shipping company (official name “Atlantic Container Line”, aka “ACL Cargo”, founded 1967, official website link) is specialized in North Atlantic container shipping. The line is a subsidiary of Grimaldi Group – a privately-owned shipping company based in Italy (Naples). Grimaldi Lines are well known for having the largest RORO ships in the world.

Note: RORO vessels (abbrev from “Roll-on/roll-off”) can carry wheeled cargo – automobiles, trucks and trailers, railroad cars, etc.

In December 2015, the ACL,shipping line will launch the first of all five new class “container and RORO” combined vessels, starting with Atlantic Star (Dec 20). Each of these ships has container capacity of 3800 TEUs and car capacity of 1307 vehicles. Shipbuilder is Hudong Zhonghua (Shanghai, China), with scheduled launching of a new ship every 2 months.

  • Atlantic Sail (2016)
  • Atlantic Sea (2016)
  • Atlantic Sky (2016)
  • Atlantic Star (2015)
  • Atlantic Sun (2016)

These new-class (G4) world’s biggest container-car carriers will eventually replace all vessels in the ACL fleet – the “Atlantic” named Cartier, Companion, Compass, Concert and Conveyor.

To share our largest container ships positions tracking page, use the social media button links.

Shares