5 Biggest Shipping Lines in the World

Since time immemorial, maritime transport has remained the backbone of global trade. It is believed that by 1,200 BCE, Egyptians sailed the longest maritime route of that time, trading as far as Sumatra. Today, ships connect every corner of the world and play a crucial role in driving international trade and keep the supply chains moving by transporting commodities, raw-products, and finalized goods between virtually every nation in the world. Maritime transport is the most cost-effective way to mobilize goods and raw materials around the world. Shipping lines and seafarers play an important role in global trade as they connect the farthest corners of the world. In this article, we are listing some of the top shipping companies in the world.  

Mærsk A/S (AMKBY)

A.P. Moller Maersk is the largest shipping line in the world with an estimated revenue of $38.8 billion and a net income of $1.1. billion. Based in Denmark, the company is an integrated transport and logistics firm now providing now working in all verticals of transportation i.e. ocean transport, inland transport, intercontinental rail, and air freight. The company has stepped into oil and gas exploration and also operates industrial businesses.  

Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NPNYY)

Headquartered in Chiyoda City, Tokyo, Japan; Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha was founded in 1985. NPNYY has a large fleet consisting of specialized carriers and containers. The company provides logistics services and supply chain solutions. With a revenue of $24.8 billion, Nippon Yusen KK now operates as a global logistics enterprise offering ocean, land, and air transport services.  


Coming out of China, COSCO SHIPPING Holdings offers container and bulk shipping-related services. The company caters to some of the largest Chinese enterprises, with total revenue of $21.8 billion. The company was founded in 2005 and has now emerged as the largest integrated shipping company in China, and the second-largest in the world.  

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd. (MSLOY)

With a revenue of $14.2 billion, the fourth leading shipping line on our list also comes out of Asia. Mitsui O.S.K is a Japanese shipping line providing logistics, cargo handling, and warehousing services. From Coal and gas to metals, cars, and beyond, Mitsui O.S.K. transports a variety of materials and has a large fleet consisting of ships, ferries, oil tankers, and specialized vessels.  

Hapag-Lloyd AG (HPGLY)

  Hapag-Lloyd AG is a German international shipping and container transportation company. It currently ranks as the world’s fifth-largest container carrier (in terms of vessel capacity) serving all continents. The company was founded in 1970, and over the decades it expanded its transport operations and introduced shipping by air, road, rail, and inland waterways. With revenue over $14.1 billion, Hapag-Lloyd has a prominent market presence and brand recognition particularly in Latin America and the Middle East.

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