List of Top 10 International Shipping Companies in the World 

Everyone buys goods from brick-and-mortar stores which is usually produced locally or imported by international shipping companies. But, when you’re making an order for goods online, have you thought of how the delivery works? With that in mind, you may likely think about the supply chain that delivers the item to your door step.

Normally, the shipping industry is a very huge. It has global network of delivery fleets as well as offices for contact. They also have operational systems that transport everything you buy online. Delivery of goods usually moves from the manufacturer to warehouse, then to a smaller store to your home. For starters, I previously wrote about How to Ship Packages from Home to anywhere in the world including your choice location.

For the cause of this article, my team will give you a full explanation of the top 10 largest global shipping companies in operation today. With these information, you can track cargo, check sailing, schedules and make bookings simply by checking their websites. This best 10 listing of shipping companies in this post is measured by TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units). The TEU is used as a unit of measurement to determine cargo capacity. The result is derived from the dimensions of the standard twenty-foot shipping container. While you are shipping, its important your also learn how to Prevent Fraud on Credit Card with Identity Theft Detection.

List of 10 Biggest Global Shipping Companies

The list below are the best companies transport with the biggest amount of cargo shipment. Because of the quantity of large shipments, an Alphaliner data shows that they are currently the biggest global freight shipping companies in the globe.

  • AP Moller-Maersk Group
  • Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A. (MSC)
  • Cosco Shipping Company
  • CMA CGM Group
  • Hapag-Lloyd
  • ONE (Ocean Network Express)
  • Evergreen Marine Corporation
  • Yang Ming Marine Transport Corporation
  • Pacific International Lines (PIL)
  • Hyundai Merchant Marine

Now, let’s go on to explain them in details.

1. AP Moller-Maersk Group

AP Moller-Maersk Group International Shipping Companies
AP Moller-Maersk Group

Maersk is a Danish company which has been operating since the year 1904. It has its headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark. According to research, they are the number one largest vessel as well as container ship operation globally.

Maersk has a number of subsidiaries providing transport and logistics operations in United States of America, Africa, China/Asia, plus all of Europe.   With their wide coverage, they operate in over 130 countries, while shipping approximately $675 billion worth of goods annually. Their services adds to GDP as well as reduces unemployment. This company employs about 76,000 workers and ship 4,176,517 total twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU).

2. Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A. (MSC)

Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A. (MSC)

The Mediterranean Shipping Company began in 1970 and carries out operations from Geneva, Switzerland. MSC is company owned privately. They have a fleet of over 500 container vessels with a carrying capacity of over 3million total TEU.  

This company delivers dry cargo together with reefer cargo. When en-route, they stop at 500 ports on 200 trade routes globally for unloading. While helping to grow the GDP in Switzerland, they employ more that 70,000 worker. Their yearly revenue is about $28 billion. 

3. Cosco Shipping Company

China Cosco International Shipping Companies

The word COSCO means China Ocean Shipping Company. It is a government-owned shipping and logistics business for the People’s Republic of China. Since it is a federal company, they have several subsidiaries licensed to ship goods across the world. These subsidiaries are New Golden Sea, Shanghai Pan Asian Shipping, OOCL and COSCO Shipping Co. Limited.

This China shipping company has more than 10,000 ships and 360 dry bulk vessels. With these vessels of shipment, COSCO visits more than 1,000 ports across the continent. They push uneployment lower by employing 130,000 people to work globally. COSCO has a revenue of 7.2 billion RMB (renminbi).  

4. CMA CGM Group

CMA CGM Group International Shipping Companies

CMA CGM is a French company that carries out its operation from Marseille. It was founded in 1978 and owned (73%) by France SAS holding but headed by Rodolphe Saade. The CMA CGM acronym comes from the French language for “Maritime Freighting Company-General Maritime Company”. This company offers different types of services including vessel and container fleet management. They also manage cargo cruises, logistics, plus freight delivery.  

Even though the company is sited in France, it operates through more that 160 companies. They have about 755 agents or smaller freight agencies, as well as 750 warehouses for storage. CMA CGM group ships 2,696,710 total TEU while giving employment 110,000 people.  

5. Hapag-Lloyd

Hapag-Lloyd International Shipping Companies

Taking a look at Germany’s shipping line, Hapag-Lloyd is operating from Hamburg port. This shipping company serves more that 128 countries and stops at 600 ports to deliver containers with the capacity of 1,688,396 TEU. Currently, the Hapag-Lloyd fleets delivers service to 118 liner companies globally. They are also an ocean carrier for Transatlantic, Latin America, Middle East trades together with Intra-America.

6. ONE (Ocean Network Express)

ONE (Ocean Network Express)

Ocean Network Express popularly known as ONE started business in the year 2018. It has its headquarter in Singapore, South-East Asia. This company does not completely belong to one person. It’s a joint venture between Nippon Yusen Kaisha, Mitsui OSK lines and K-Lines. Even as a young company, they have an impressive cargo capacity of 1,579,868 TEU. ONE is currently employing 14,000 workers worldwide while making a revenue of $2.87 billion. 

7. Evergreen Marine Corporation 

Evergreen Marine Corporation 

Evergreen Marine Corporation (EMC) is a container transportation and shipping company founded by Dr. Yung-Fa Chang. It has its headquarters in Luzhu Dostrict, Taoyuan City, Taiwan. The company moves its cargo through primary trade routes between the Far-East and countries in the Americas. They also transport goods with their vessels through the southern hemisphere, northern Europe, and the East Mediterranean. EMC has a fleet of over 200 container ships for cargo capacity of 1,303,420 TEU. Lastly, they travel and unload goods at 240 global ports worldwide.

8. Yang Ming Marine Transport Corporation

Yang Ming Marine Transport Corporation

Yang Ming Group, Co. Ltd is a container shipping line founded in 1972 by Lee Hong-Chung. It has it headquarter located in Keelung, Taiwan. Yang Ming Marine Transport Corporation offers international logistics and shipping services. Their subsidiaries includes; Kwang Gol Shipping Corp., Yes Logistics Corp, Yang Ming Cultural Foundation, Co. Ltd.

They serve more than 71 countries through 170 ports globally. Their container ships/vessels operate at a 7.74 million capacity tonnage every year.  

With Patrick Emerson Teng as it president, container terminals are located in the Netherlands, Belgium, the United States, and the HQ; Taiwan. Yang ming is handling containers worth 644,185 total TEU with 5,000 employees worldwide.  

9. Pacific International Lines (PIL)

Pacific International Lines (PIL)

Teo Siong Seng founded the Pacific International Lines in 1967 and it has been in operation since. PIL has its headquarter in Singapore port. Since floating the company, they focus mainly on container shipping. For goods transportation, they have a fleet of 153 ships that serve 500 locations scattered around the world. They travel to New Zealand, India, North America, the Black Sea, Africa, Asia, Middle East and Australia.

As at the time of writing this, PIL has about 18,000 people working to transport different cargo capacity of 393,498 total TEU. A revenue of $4.04 billion has been recorded in the industry.  

10. Hyundai Merchant Marine 

Hyundai Merchant Marine 

Now, apart from offering international shipping solutions across the globe, the Hyundai Merchant Marine also offers supply chain solutions for dry, refrigerated and specialty cargo. The company has been in operation since 1976 with the headquarter being in Seoul, South Korea.  

HMM has a revenue of $4.6 billion while employing about 1200 and 5000 people in different locations. Their current shipping capacity is 392,314 TEU as at this year.  

Benefits of these Top Cargo Shipping Companies to Your Local & International Business

Physically, you may be like myself who is wondering how these companies relate to your own business. better you know a bit than know nothing. Therefore, if you have a startup company or already in business much longer, it’s a great idea to understand how the supply chain works. You can choose any of these companies and do more research on them. Personally, I would say these global shipping companies offer the best efficiency for route delivery of goods & services. From my experience and that of my tech team, large companies usually choose to do business with one of these shipping magnates or their subsidiaries.


As a take home, if you take a closer look at the global shipping industry really paints a clearer picture of how goods get from manufacturer to a brick-and-mortar store or your doorstep. Practically, it’s a wonderful practice to know how the system works, especially if you are a business owner. This whole steps is important now that there are so many chains supply issues due to the global unforeseen global issues. Finally, there are so many factors to consider in a global economy. Just carefully carry out more research into some of the top companies so that you can understand the functionality of the whole processes.

- Advertisement -

Related Stories