The past two years made the shipping industry a profitable line of business. As per Sea-Intelligence press release on the 22nd of March 2022, the global shipping lines made an unprecedented operating profit of over U.S. dollar 110bn. “In short, the industry has tripled its operating profit in 2021-FY compared to the past decade.”
In 2021, there was a significant investment in upscaling the fleet and the number of containers by the shipping lines, to secure as much of the demand as possible. From the EBIT perspective, the top shipping line for 2021, Maersk, made, on average, an EBIT of over 686 U.S. dollars per TEU transported, while the top ten Israel- based ZIM reported the highest EBIT/TEU transported in 2021 of 1671 U.S. dollars, as depicted in an infographic we published in April 2022.
Let’s have a look at how the capacity provided by the top ten largest shipping lines changed since June 2021.
Italian-Swiss international shipping line Mediterranean Shg Co, has placed a record number of orders in 2021-2022, surpassed Maersk in January 2022, becoming the top container shipping company, and is set to keep its position, with a 4.5 M TEU existing capacity and 1.6 M TEU additional capacity on the order book. ZIM upgraded its fleet as well, from 0.4 M TEU in 2021 to the current capacity of 0.5 M TEU in July 2022. With the new orders placed, the Israel-based shipping line is aiming for a significant increase in TEU, which might move it to 9th place in the top 10 container shipping lines ranking.
The top 10 shipping companies have increased their fleet by 1.1 million TEU. The overall TEU capacity on the three major routes Trans-Atlantic, Trans-Pacific, and Feast-Europe has increased by 8% from June 2021 until today, with a 16% capacity increase on the Trans-Pacific route. This infographic, as well as the June 2021 updates, are made based on Alphaliner real-time fleet updates.
With the massive increase in the number of ships and the changing nature of global supply chains, in the past year, it’s becoming more urgent for ports to add capacity and speed. Will this open up a new race in the top ports of the world, where the competitive edge will translate into automation and saved time?