Wednesday Wisdom: The World’s Largest Container Carriers


This week's Wednesday Wisdom, an interesting extract from one of PTI's technical papers, comes from Dirk Visser, Senior Shipping Consultant, Managing Editor Publications & DynaLiners, Dynamar.

The World’s Largest Container Carriers technical paper focuses on Dynamar’s take on the 25 largest container liner operators’ annual progress. It also compares data from years dating back to the start of this millennium.

Cost reduction, in the form of larger, less gas guzzling and more efficient ships has been the answer to low rates of the top container liner operators.

It started with Maersk Line’s 2006-launched 15,600 TEU E-class, developed and built for the Europe-Far East trade.

High volumes; an excellent relationship between time spent at sea versus time in port; capable container terminals: this trade is the ideal route for ULCS to reap the maximum from their economies of scale.

Worried by the Danish company’s lower slot costs eroding their market shares, other carriers followed suit in big numbers.

By the end of 2016, sixteen of the Top 25 lines controlled 100% of all ULCS operating and 89% of the orderbook, representing 387 ships/5.2 million TEU/13,500 TEU average, and 171 vessels/2.6 million TEU/15,300 TEU average, respectively.

Capacities range between 10,000 TEU and 21,200 TEU.

By the end of 2016, 177 ULCS with an average capacity of 15,300 TEU operated between North Europe and Asia.

Container shipping companies are this week's Wednesday Wisdom topic as Drewry recently reported that the top five carriers will control just under 60% of the world’s containership fleet by 2021. In 2005, the same bracket of carriers held around 37%.

Check out last week's insight: Piracy and Maritime Cyber Risks.

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