Visualized: The World’s Largest Container Shipping Companies
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Ranked: The World’s Largest Container Shipping Companies

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infographic showing the largest container shipping companies

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Visualizing the World’s Largest Container Shipping Companies

Did you know that 80% of the global goods trade is transported over sea? Given the scale of human consumption, this requires an enormous number of shipping containers, as well as ships to carry them.

At an industry level, container shipping is dominated by several very large firms. This includes Maersk, COSCO Shipping, and Evergreen. If you live along the coast, you’ve probably seen ships or containers with these names painted on them.

Generally speaking, however, consumers know very little about these businesses. This graphic aims to change that by ranking the 10 largest container shipping companies in the world.

Ranking the Top 10

Companies are ranked by two metrics. First is the number of ships they own, and second is their total shipping capacity measured in twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs). A TEU is based on the volume of a twenty-foot long shipping container.

The data used in this infographic comes from Alcott Global, a logistics consultancy. Fleet sizes are as of June 2021, while TEU capacity is from January 2022.

RankCompanyCountryTEU# of Ships
1Maersk🇩🇰 Denmark4.3M718
1MSC 🇨🇭 Switz.4.3M606
3CMA CGM🇫🇷 France3.2M542
4COSCO Shipping🇨🇳 China2.9M497
5Hapag-Lloyd🇩🇪 Germany1.7M259
6Ocean Network Express🇯🇵 Japan1.5M218
7Evergreen Marine🇹🇼 Taiwan1.5M201
8HMM🇰🇷 S. Korea0.8M79
9Yang Ming🇹🇼 Taiwan0.7M87
10Wan Hai Lines🇹🇼 Taiwan0.4M146

In this dataset, Maersk and MSC are tied for first place in terms of TEU capacity. This is no longer the case, as news outlets have recently reported that MSC has overtaken the former.

Trailing behind the two industry leaders is a mixture of European and Asian firms. Many of these companies have grown through mergers and acquisitions.

Interesting Facts

Maersk

At the time of writing, Maersk is Denmark’s third largest company by market capitalization. The firm was founded in 1904, making it 118 years old.

MSC

The Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) has grown very quickly in recent years, catching up to (and surpassing) long-time leader Maersk in terms of TEU capacity.

The Swiss firm has increased its fleet size through new orders, acquisition of second-hand vessels, and charter deals.

COSCO Shipping

COSCO Shipping is China’s state-owned shipping company. American officials have raised concerns about the firm’s expanding global influence.

For context, Chinese state-owned enterprises have ownership stakes in terminals at five U.S. ports. This includes Terminal 30 at the Port of Seattle, in which two COSCO subsidiaries hold a 33.33% stake.

Moving forward, any further Chinese interest in U.S. terminals will face an even more stringent regulatory environment.
– Kardon (2021)

Evergreen

Evergreen is likely a familiar name, but not for the right reasons. In 2021, one of the company’s ships, Ever Given, became stuck in the Suez Canal, putting one of the world’s most important shipping routes out of commission for nearly a week.

Bulking Up

To achieve better economies of scale, container ships are growing bigger and bigger. The following chart illustrates this trend from 1970 to 2017.

chart showing the growth of container ship size over time

Average capacity is being pulled upwards by the arrival of mega-ships, which are ships that have a capacity of over 18,000 TEUs. Their massive size creates problems for ports that weren’t designed to handle such a high volume of traffic.

It’s worth noting that the largest ship today, the Ever Ace (owned by Evergreen), has a capacity of 24,000 TEUs. Watch this YouTube video for some impressive footage of the ship.

Going Green

Bloomberg reports that shipping accounts for 3% of the world’s carbon emissions. If the industry were a country, that would make it the world’s sixth-largest emitter.

Due to the growth of ESG investing, shipping companies have faced pressure to decarbonize their ships. Progress to this day has been limited, but there are many solutions in the pipeline.

One option is alternative fuels, such as liquefied natural gas (LNG), hydrogen, or biofuels made from plants. These fuels could enable ships to greatly decrease their emissions.

Another option is to completely do away with fuel, and instead return to the centuries-old technology of wind power.

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Real Estate

The Median Lot Size in Every U.S. State in 2022

Lot sizes in the U.S. are shrinking compared to a few decades ago. Here’s a look at the median lot size in every U.S. state.

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Comparing median lot sizes in every U.S. state

The Median Lot Size in Every U.S. State in 2022

The “American Dream” is often associated with imagery of spacious estates adorned with white picket fences, wrap-around porches, and sprawling green lawns that seem to go on forever.

But in reality, modern American life has become much more compact. Over the last few decades, the typical lot size in the U.S. has decreased significantly—from 18,760 square feet in 1978 to 13,896 in 2020.

While lot sizes are getting smaller overall, there are still large discrepancies in lot sizes from state to state. This graphic by Angi uses data from the 2022 U.S. Lot Size Index to show the median lot size in every U.S. State, using data from 312,456 Zillow listings as of May 2022.

Largest and Smallest Median Lot Sizes by State

When it comes to the states with the largest plots of land, New England dominates the ranking, with Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine at the top of the list.

RankStateMedian lot size (sq.ft.)
1Vermont78,408
2New Hampshire49,223
3Maine45,738
4Montana43,560
5Alaska42,423
6Mississippi31,799
7Connecticut30,928
8Arkansas24,829
9Tennessee24,394
10Georgia22,215

New England was one of the first regions settled by the Europeans in Colonial America. This long history, along with a large rural population, could explain why the area has strict zoning policies that limit density and require large minimum lot sizes for new builds.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Nevada ranks as the state with the smallest median lot size:

RankStateMedian lot size (sq.ft.)
1Nevada7,405
2California8,327
3Arizona8,726
4Illinois9,025
5Texas9,540
6Colorado10,019
7Florida10,019
8North Dakota10,019
9New Jersey10,019
10Ohio10,019

One possible explanation is that Nevada’s population boom—and subsequent development—is relatively recent. Newer homes listed in the dataset tend to have smaller lot sizes, and in Nevada, 34.6% of homes included in the research were built in 2000 or later.

Comparing Lot Size to Land Price

Generally speaking, the states with the biggest lots also tend to have the cheapest land when broken down per square foot. For instance, in Vermont, properties sold for a median $5.95 per square foot.

comparing average lot sizes in the U.S. to price

View the full-size infographic

On the flip side, in Nevada, land sold for a median $82.80 per square foot—that’s the third most expensive of any state.

Of course, other factors are at play here when it comes to the cost of land. Like anything else that’s for sale, the price of a lot is governed largely by the laws of supply and demand.

For example, housing supply is scarce in Hawaii, where only 4.9% of the land is zoned for residential development, and the median home size is much smaller than in other parts of the country. Not surprisingly, the median plot of land in Hawaii costs $110.86 per square foot, the most expensive on the list.

The Future of Housing in America

Lot sizes remain relatively large in some states for now, but as the U.S. population continues to become more urbanized, living conditions in America could get even tighter.

Will America hold onto its spacious way of living, or could life in the U.S. start to resemble more densely populated regions in the future?

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Real Estate

The Median Home Size in Every U.S. State in 2022

Over the last century, the median home size in the U.S. has skyrocketed. Here’s a look at which states have the biggest and smallest homes.

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median home size in every U.S. state

The Median Home Size in Every U.S. State in 2022

Over the last century, home sizes in the U.S. have skyrocketed. In 1949, the typical single-family home was just 909 square feet—by 2021, it had shot up to 2,480 square feet.

While U.S. homes are getting larger on the whole, they still vary drastically depending on the location. What areas in the U.S. have the largest homes, and which ones have the smallest?

This graphic by American Home Shield uses data from the 2022 American Home Size Index to show the median home size in every U.S. state.

The 2022 American Home Size Index

The index uses data from 474,157 listings of both houses and condos for sale on Zillow as of May 2022. After the data was compiled, it was organized by state and city, and the median home size was then calculated for each area.

According to the findings, there was a strong correlation with the size of a home and the age of the area’s housing stock. For instance, Utah is the U.S. state with the largest median home size at 2,800 square feet. And since the state’s median home was built in 1989, it has the third-youngest home stock of any state across the country.

This trend is apparent on a city-level as well. Here’s a look at home sizes across America’s top 50 most populated cities (with available data):

Average home size in 50 U.S. cities

As the graphic shows, up-and-coming tech hubs like Raleigh and Colorado Springs have some of the largest homes.

Colorado Springs in particular has seen a significant influx in employment over the last few years, which has attracted high-income tech workers to the area driven up demand for spacious single-family dwellings.

The Price of Real Estate Compared to Home Size

The data also showed an inverse relationship between an area’s median price of real estate and the median home size. For instance, Hawaii has the smallest median home size of any state, as well as the most expensive at $743.86 per square foot.

comparing home prices in every U.S. state

This trend is apparent in the state of New York as well, which had the second smallest median home size. Home costs in the state were a median $421.49 per square foot, the third-most expensive of any state.

Lot Size vs. Home Size

Interestingly, while home sizes in the U.S. have gotten larger over time, lot sizes have shrunk over the years.

In 1978, the median lot size for a U.S. property was 18,760 square feet, but by 2020, this figure had dropped to a record low of 13,896 square feet.

With lot sizes shrinking, will there come a point where home size growth across the country starts to plateau, or even shrink?

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