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MSC takes world’s largest container line crown from Maersk

Photo: MSC MSC Isabella in port
MSC Mia sistership MSC Isabella
Mediterranean Shipping Co (MSC) has knocked Maersk from the top slot of the world’s largest container line, according to analyst Alphaliner.

Latest figures from Alphaliner show MSC edging ahead of Maersk for the first time by 1,888 teu. MSC has 645 ships with a combined capacity of 4,284,728 teu, compared to Maersk with 738 ships with 4,282,840 teu in capacity.

MSC had been expected to overtake Maersk as the world’s largest container line for some time given both its large newbuild orderbook and acquisition of secondhand and chartered tonnage in recent times.

Both lines hold a market share of 17% at present and significantly larger than their nearest rival CMA CGM a 12.6% share and 3.17m teu of capacity.

MSC is set to considerably extend its lead over Maersk in capacity in the coming years with an orderbook of 60 newbuilds, just shy of 1m teu in capacity, or 23% of its current fleet. By contrast Maersk’s orderbook stands at 6% of its current fleet with 25 ships totalling 255,100 teu in capacity.

Much of Maersk’s expansion and investment over the last 12 months has focused on logistics and e-commerce related fulfilment rather than physical assets of containerships.

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