For the first time in more than a quarter of a century, Maersk is on track to lose its position as the world’s largest container shipping company.
A container vessel of MSC (Photo: Maritime Intelligence)
MSC (Mediterranean Shipping Co), currently operated by Maersk’s former CEO, Soren Toft, has been purchasing second-hand vessels in huge quantities over the past six months. Combined with new 24,000 TEU shipbuilding orders, MSC is now catching up with Maersk, its 2M Alliance partner at the top of the global rankings, according to updated data from Alphaliner.
Ranking of Top 10 largest container shipping lines in the world (Source: Alphaliner, February 22, 2021)
In a report from Copenhagen-based Sea-Intelligence in November last year, Maersk is pursuing a strategy that focuses on profit rather than size.
“But the ‘losing’ the number one position the company has had in the past quarter century, may still have some mental impact in Copenhagen,” said analysts.
MSC became the world’s second-largest carrier in 2004, and since then, MSC and Maersk have continued to top the global rankings compiled by Alphaliner.
The latest MSC data on the used ship market shows that it has three more ships.
According to Clarksons, MSC has switched to acquiring the 1,850-TEU Acacia Makoto, built in 2004 from China’s Qingdao Pengteng Company for $ 6.95 million, the 1,730 TEU Voronezh vessel built in 2009 for $ 9 million and The 1,732 TEU RHL Aurora ship was built in 2006 from Hamburger Lloyd for $ 6.5 million. VesselsValue places a market value for these three ships at $ 6.4 million, $ 9.46 million and $ 7.44 million, respectively.