Top 25 Ocean Carriers for Shipping

Top 25 Ocean Carriers for Shipping

Facing a cutthroat logistics marketplace, shippers need to know that their logistic partners can help them deliver on time, every time. But with more options than ever before, how can shippers know which carrier for shipping offers the consistency and control they need? The answer starts with ranking by TEU.

One strategy for shippers to judge carriers for shipping is by considering their industry experience. By ranking shippers on total TEUs (Twenty Foot Equivalent Unit) moved over the course of a year, shippers can gain valuable insight into a carrier's capacity and logistics experience.

1. Mediterranean Shipping Company

Despite the name, MSC (Mediterranean Shipping Company) oversees a vast global operation. The Swiss-based company manages the shipment of 4,337,384 TEU every year, more than any other carriers for shipping. With this incredible amount of freight moving through MSC cargo channels every year, they've earned a place at the top of the list. 

2. Maersk

With its massive presence in both inland and ocean shipping, Maersk is an industry giant in multimodal shipping ocean lines. Though the company's headquarters are in Copenhagen, Denmark, they maintain an impressive presence in global logistics and visibility. Transporting an impressive 4,279,760 TEU, Maersk is an undeniable giant in logistics.

3. CMA-CGM Group

The world's third largest ocean container shipping company, CMA-CGM Group, transports 3,274,775 TEU annually. With headquarters in both Marseille, France, and Norfolk, Virginia, this global shipping superstar is well positioned to monitor its freight assets as they travel between a whopping 420 ports in 160 countries. 


COSCO shipping is a Shanghai-based carrier line that transports an annual TEU of 2,928,114. With a registered capital of 23,664 Billion Yuan, this Chinese shipping giant and cost control expert is poised for exponential growth in future years.  

5. Hapag-Lloyd

Formed as a merger between the Hamburg-American Line and North German Lloyd in 1970, Hapag-Lloyd has since secured its place among the most recognizable German carriers for shipping. An annual TEU of 1,741,980 means this multimodal freight shipper maintains an impressive revenue of 14.5 Billion USD. 

6. ONE (Ocean Network Express)

ONE (Ocean Network Express) is a new player on the global logistics scene. Although founded in 2017, this Japanese carrier already transports 1,526,937 TEU annually. Jointly owned by Nippon Yusen Kaisha, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, and K Line, this relative newcomer is backed by some of the most experienced carriers for shipping in the global supply chain.

7. Evergreen Line

With 200 container ships and an annual TEU of 1,504,564, Evergreen Line is a global ocean container shipping leader with an impressive reach. This Taiwanese company has recently set a goal of net zero emissions by 2050, demonstrating its commitment to sustainability in logistics. This commitment to a greener logistics landscape makes them one of the must-know carriers for shipping for environmentally minded shippers. 

8. HMM Co. LTD. 

Formerly known as Hyundai Merchant Marine, HMM is a Seoul, South Korea-based container logistics company specializing in trans-pacific transportation and maintains an essential presence throughout Southeast Asia. With an annual TEU of 820,520, HMM is an indisputable player in the Asian logistics market. 

9. Yang Ming Marine Transport Corporation

The second Taiwanese company on the list, Yang Ming Marine Transport Corporation (or Yang Ming, for short), transports an annual TEU of 666,164. With a fleet of 93 vessels, Yang Ming competes with a broad range of other container logistics providers primarily focused on Asian and Southeast Asian logistics markets. 

10. ZIM

Zim Integrated Shipping Services LTD. is the first Israeli-owned ocean container shipping provider to appear on this list. But with headquarters in Haifa, Israel, and Norfolk, Virginia, this smart logistics provider offers customers a broad range of international logistics services. Though its annual TEU of 451,855 is smaller than that of the previous nine companies on this list, ZIM’s impressive fleet size of 125 cargo vessels makes them an important player in global logistics. 

11. Wan Hai Lines

Another prominent global logistics provider from Taiwan, Wan Hai Lines, a Taipei City-based container logistics company, transports 410,764 TEU annually. With two new lines (Asia-South America, Asia-US East Coast) set to open this year, Wan Hai Lines is poised for growth in the coming years. 

12. PIL (Pacific International Line) 

Founded by well-known logistics entrepreneur Charles Yun, Pacific Internation Line (PIL) is a Singapore-based logistics company that ships an annual 282,655 TEU. Pacific International Line oversees a broad range of subsidiary carriers for shipping, including Mariana Express Lines, Pte LTD. 

13. KMTC

Korea Marine Transport Co., LTD (KMTC) is one of this list’s older container logistics players. Founded in 1954, KMTC brings over a half-century of experience to its container logistics operations, which oversee the movement of an annual 156,995 TEU

14. IRISL Group

The Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Line, or IRISL, is the second carrier based in the Middle East to appear on this list. Despite IRISL’s relatively small fleet of 32 cargo vessels, they transport an impressive annual TEU of 149,042

15. X-Press Feeders Group

X-Press Feeders Group provides global container logistics through a steadily growing fleet of over 100 vessels. Their annual TEU of 145,615 travels through 183 ports worldwide, making them an industry leader in the reach of their operations. 

16. SITC 

Focused primarily on the Intra-Asian logistics market, SITC is a Hong-Kong based logistics company focused on a diverse array of logistics services, ranging from LCL to customs and warehousing to delivery. Its annual TEU of 144,133 makes them a significantly smaller business than many of its competitors. Still, their exclusive focus on Asian markets gives them a key advantage over other ocean lines and carriers for shipping. 

17. UniFeeder

UniFeeder is a Copenhagen, Denmark-based shortsea and feeder supply chain network that has come to dominate the feeder space in the European market. Its annual TEU of 143,727 travels through a broad range of European ports, providing customers easy access to flexible logistics across the continent and helping them stand out from other European carriers for shipping. 

18. Zhonggu Logistics Corp. 

Based in Shanghai, Zhonggu Logistics Corp. transports 111,362 TEU each year. Though this number falls behind the annual TEUs of their closest competitors in the Asian market, their fleet size of 96 vessels provides them with standout logistical flexibility. 

19. TS Lines

Founded in 2001, TS Lines is a logistics provider that grew despite the turbulent waters of the 2008 financial crisis. Specializing in full-supply chain logistics, TS Lines oversaw the shipment of an annual 111,142 TEU.

20. Sinokor Merchant Marine

Despite a relatively small annual TEU of 108,063, Sinokor Merchant Marine can claim the distinction of having been the first Korea-China line in service, beginning operations in the country in 1989–a full three years before diplomatic relations between the two nations began. 

21. Antong Holdings (QASC)

Antong Holdings, based out of Shenzhen, transports an annual TEU of 91,934. A multimodal specialist, Antong has broad operations in rail and ocean container shipping. These multimodal services help them stand out from other carriers for shipping. 

22. Sea Lead Shipping

Founded in 2017, Sea Lead Shipping is a Singapore-based global shipping line specializing in container tracking, shipping, and creative allocation solutions. Though founded more recently than many other carriers for shipping, Sea Lead has already managed to ship 87,180 TEU annually. 

23. China United Lines (CU Lines)

Based in Bangkok, Thailand, China United Lines oversees the transportation of 85, 797 TEU annually. CU Lines specializes in digital logistics and offers a wide range of complete supply chain solutions. Their tech-forward attitude helps them compete with other, larger carriers for shipping. 

24. Matson

Matson is an American logistics and ocean container shipping provider based in Honolulu, HI, with a long tradition of logistics excellence. Founded in 1882, Matson is the oldest business to appear on this list. Though their annual TEU of 68,563 might seem small, their century-and-a-half of logistics expertise makes them a standout carrier.  

25. SM Line Corporation

Specializing in inter-American-Asian logistics services, SM Line Corporation brings up the rear of our list with 63,025 TEU transported annually. However, the fact that they move over 60,000 TEU each year with only 12 vessels is a testament to the ingenuity of this small, resourceful company. It helps them stand out from other, larger carriers for shipping. 

Know Your Container Status Across All Containers with VIZION API

No matter what carrier a shipper chooses to partner with, complete supply chain visibility is essential to effective logistics. With VIZION, an API-enabled visibility solution, logistics providers can access the real-time visibility they need to survive and thrive in a competitive logistics marketplace. Book a demo with VIZION today, and see what complete visibility can do for your business. 

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