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March 4, 2024

Surpassing Maersk, Mediterranean Shipping Company becomes world’s largest containership company

By Priti Naik

Having a good new year beginning, Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) was recognized as the world’s largest containership company by capacity. Surpassing Maersk, which dominated the shipping industry for decades, MSC’s hold as the new company continues to accelerate growth in the industry. The data analysts have estimated that MSC will increase its current capacity by nearly a quarter as it aims at adding around 1 million TEU to its capacity.

According to data analysts and consultancy Alphaliner, MSC, for the first time reflected a leading position ahead of Maersk by just 1,888 TEU. Being privately owned, MSC does not announce each transaction leaving industry analysts to link the company to construction orders, charters, and secondhand tonnage.

Controlled for more than 40 years by the Aponte family, MSC was founded in the year 1970. The company evolved from one vessel to its current fleet of 645 ships with a rated capacity of 4,284,728 TEU. The company annually transports more than 23 million TEU by calling on 500 ports with more than 230 trade routes. MSC accelerated its growth with the use of chartered vessels with a smaller owned fleet. At present, it owns around 260 of its ships with a capacity of 1.5 million TEU. This is nearly two-thirds of its capacity coming from vessels mostly on long-term charters.

Its counterpart Maersk was originated in 1904 and started its container shipping in 1975 with its newly built ship. The company dominated the shipping industry by accelerating its investment in logistics business and also investing in new green technologies by expanding its terminal operations. The company, currently has a fleet of 738 vessels with a capacity that nears 4.3 million TEU.

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