Ranked: The World’s Largest Container Shipping Companies
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.
|Rank||Company||Country||TEU||# of Ships|
|3||CMA CGM||🇫🇷 France||3.2M||542|
|4||COSCO Shipping||🇨🇳 China||2.9M||497|
|6||Ocean Network Express||🇯🇵 Japan||1.5M||218|
|7||Evergreen Marine||🇹🇼 Taiwan||1.5M||201|
|8||HMM||🇰🇷 S. Korea||0.8M||79|
|9||Yang Ming||🇹🇼 Taiwan||0.7M||87|
|10||Wan Hai Lines||🇹🇼 Taiwan||0.4M||146|
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.
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.
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 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 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.
To achieve better economies of scale, container ships are growing bigger and bigger. The following chart illustrates this trend from 1970 to 2017.
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.
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.
Modular Housing vs. Traditional Housing: How Do They Compare?
Modular housing can be completed 40% faster and costs 10-25% less than traditional construction methods. Is the future of housing modular?
Modular Housing vs. Traditional Housing: How Do They Compare?
The U.S. needs new houses. Lots of them.
With housing prices nearing six times annual incomes, increasing supply is a must if there is any hope of bringing down house prices, and modular housing could be the solution.
This visualization is the third and final piece of the Reimagining Home Series from our sponsor Boxabl, where we compare the benefits of modular housing against traditional construction methods. Let’s start with the basics.
What Is Modular Housing?
Modular homes are built offsite, in standardized sections, usually in a factory setting. They are then transported to the building site and assembled on a waiting foundation. Once complete, modular homes look just like any other house.
Modular housing is not the same as manufactured homes, which are also sometimes called mobile homes. Like modular housing, manufactured homes are built offsite in a factory, but the key difference is that they can be moved after being assembled. Modular homes aren’t meant to be moved again after final assembly.
6 Ways Modular Homes Differ to Traditional Homes
The following benefits are based on information from the Modular Home Building Association, as well as a paper given at the 2020 Creative Construction e-Conference by members of the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Texas at Arlington.
1. Speed of Construction
Because of the piecemeal nature of modular construction, many building activities can be done simultaneously, greatly reducing the overall time of completion. At the same time, because construction happens indoors, weather delays aren’t an issue. Overall, a modular housing project can be completed in 40% less time than using traditional building construction methods.
2. Cost Effectiveness
Standardization of design, less transportation of materials onsite, and the reduced impact of weather are some of the reasons that modular housing can be much cheaper than traditional building methods. According to the authors of the paper, there was a 10-25% decrease in construction costs for modular housing, again, compared to traditional methods.
A common misconception is that modular housing isn’t customizable. While many manufacturers will often begin with a starter floor plan, they may also offer various customization options throughout the home.
4. Safety Record
Construction is a dangerous way to make a living. In 2021, construction and extraction workers held the number two spot for fatal occupational injuries in the U.S., with 951 work fatalities.When you drill down into that number, construction tradespeople are in the majority, by far, with 726 that year alone.
|Transportation and material moving occupations||1,523|
|Construction and extraction occupations||951|
|Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations||475|
|Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance occupations||356|
|Protective service occupations||302|
|Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations||218|
|Sales and related occupations||200|
|Food preparation and serving related occupations||101|
|Office and administrative support occupations||91|
|Personal care and service occupations||64|
|Healthcare practitioners and technical occupations||57|
|Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media occupations||45|
|Community and social services occupations||40|
|Healthcare support occupations||32|
|Architecture and engineering occupations||29|
|Business and financial operations occupations||27|
|Educational instruction and library occupations||16|
|Life, physical, and social science occupations||10|
|Computer and mathematical occupations||6|
Because modular construction happens in a controlled, factory environment, the number of accidents decreases by 80% compared to traditional building methods.
5. Environmental Impact
Anyone who has walked past a residential build site can testify to the amount of waste produced during construction. Modular construction is more efficient and therefore produces less waste. And because onsite construction is limited to assembly, there is less dust and noise. Carbon emissions are also 38% lower.
6. Built to Last
Modular housing is as good, if not better constructed, than many traditionally-built houses. The factory environment allows for superior quality control, and homes built this way use 15-20% more wood per square foot, which makes them stronger. Moreover, in a study commissioned by the Federal Emergency Management Agency after 1992’s Hurricane Andrew found that modular housing “performed much better than conventional residential framing.”
A Market On The Rise
Not only is modular housing cheaper and greener than traditional construction methods, it is also a market on the rise.
According to a recent report, the global modular construction market is expected to reach $54 billion by 2027, with a CAGR of 2.9% between 2021 to 2027.
Thinking Outside of the Box on Housing
Modular housing could be a solution to the housing affordability crisis not only in the U.S., but around the world. And with the global city population expected to hit 68% by 2050, it’s time to think outside the box on housing.
Boxabl uses advanced, mass production techniques to build and ship homes that significantly lower the cost of home ownership for everyone.
This is the final piece in the Reimagining Home Series from our sponsor, Boxabl. Be sure to read parts one and two on urbanization and affordable housing.
Learn more about how Boxabl is helping tackle the housing affordability crisis.
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