Top 40 Container Carriers: Smaller lines gain US import share

Top 40 Container Carriers: Smaller lines gain US import share

ZIM San Francisco.

Zim and PIL were two of the top three fastest-growing import carriers in the first three quarters of 2018. Photo credit:

Smaller independent carriers Zim Integrated Shipping Services and Pacific International Lines (PIL) are grabbing more share of volume to and from the United States as the world’s Top 5 container carriers saw their shares slip in the first three quarters of 2018.

The combined US import market share of the Top 5 US import carriers slipped 0.3 percentage points to 58.1 percent from January through September, while the Top 5’s US export share fell 0.8 percentage points to 58.4 percent, according to data from PIERS, a sister product of

Zim and PIL were two of the top three fastest-growing import carriers in the first three quarters. Zim’s import volume jumped 31.5 percent year over year to 508,863 TEU, while the Haifa-based carrier’s export volume rose 19.7 percent to 219,578 TEU. Zim in late October made its first call at the Port of Jacksonville as part of an Asian service within a strategic partnership with the 2M Alliance of Maersk Line and Mediterranean Shipping Co.

Among the Top 5 import carriers, the Maersk Group performed the best and posted the only double-digit growth, with a 12.3 percent increase to 2.3 million TEU. CMA CGM/APL had the next best performance, with an increase of 9.6 percent to 2.4 million TEU.

PIL’s US import volume surged 30.8 percent to 223,696 TEU, as export volume rose 4.1 percent to 31,588 TEU. Outpacing PIL in terms of export growth among the Top 5 were the Maersk Group’s 10.2 percent increase to 1.4 million TEU, and Hapag-Lloyd’s 17.1 percent increase to 874,986 TEU.

Outside the Top 5

Outside the Top 5, Cosco Shipping was up 13.8 percent to 489,278 TEU, while TOTE’s export volume increased 25.2 percent to 162,215 TEU and Dole’s jumped 20.9 percent to 54,137 TEU. Traditional north-south carriers TOTE and Dole were able to capitalize on the 5.8 percent increase in US exports to Latin America, which was the second-fastest rate of growth by region.

Total US imports rose 5.3 percent to 18 million TEU through the first nine months, as US exports grew 2.6 percent to 9.5 million TEU. US imports from the Middle East and Africa rose at the fastest rate, increasing 10.8 percent to 200,363 TEU, followed by imports from the Indian subcontinent, which rose 9.7 percent to 733,624 TEU. US imports from Asia, which account for 68 percent of the total trade, rose 4.9 percent to 12.2 million TEU.

Growth in US exports was led by the 30.5 percent jump in trade with the Indian subcontinent, as US exporters of waste have had the most success finding new customers in India following mainland China’s ban on the importation of such commodities. Mainland China’s waste ban pushed down US exports to Asia 2 percent to 4.5 million TEU, as Asia was the only region to record a volume decline through the first three quarters.

Waste is the single largest US export commodity, and while the Chinese market is closed, the total US export decline was less pronounced than it otherwise would have been because waste exporters have also had success finding buyers in Asian markets such as Vietnam, Malaysia, and Thailand.

The declines in market share among the Top 5 carriers were driven exclusively by Ocean Network Express (ONE), as the new carrier struggled with delays in booking reception and documentation operations following the merger of “K” Line, NYK Line, and MOL into a single entity in April.

ONE’s import volume fell 4.8 percent to 2.1 million TEU, and exports plummeted 24.2 percent to 851,880 TEU. ONE was the only Top 5 carrier to lose volume whether for imports or exports.

Contact Dustin Braden at and follow him on Twitter: @dustin_joc.

Rankings of the JOC Top 40 container carriers in US import trade lanes
US IMPORT, January-September 2018 vs. January-September 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 in laden TEU
The JOC Top 40 container carriers in the US import trade carried 99.6 percent of the 17.9 million TEU in the overall US import trade from January to September 2018, a volume increase of 5.5 percent year over year and surge of 28.6 percent above 2014. The JOC Top 5 carriers garnered 58.1 percent of the US import trade lane, or 10.4 million TEU from January to September 2018 as volume rose 4.8 percent year over year and spiked 28.1 percent above the same period in 2014.
JANUARY-September US Imports Percent Volume Change
in Jan.-September 2018
US Headquarters
Jan. - Sept. 2018 Market Share20142015201620172018 From 2014From 2015From 2016From 2017
1CMA CGM/; www.apl.comMarseille; Norfolk, Va. Singapore; Scottsdale, Ariz.13.1%1,831,9201,868,5131,891,7292,154,5752,360,638 28.9%26.3%24.8%9.6%
2A.P. Moller-Maersk*www.maerskline.comCopenhagen; Florham Park, N.J.12.8%1,776,7851,789,6401,959,5912,040,6052,290,748 28.9%28.0%16.9%12.3%
3MSCwww.mscgva.chGeneva; New York12.1%1,537,5261,729,7271,808,6992,111,4672,175,931 41.5%25.8%20.3%3.1%
4Ocean Network,812,0361,867,8531,897,4962,204,9452,098,632 15.8%12.4%10.6%-4.8%
5Hapag-Lloydwww.hapag-lloyd.comHamburg; Piscataway, N.J.8.4%1,187,1991,273,7221,405,8961,443,0481,506,980 26.9%18.3%7.2%4.4%
JOC Top 5 US Import Carriers58.1%53.7%54.2%55.7%58.4%58.1%
JOC Top 5 US Import Carriers' Market Share 8,145,4678,529,4558,963,4129,954,64110,432,929 28.1%22.3%16.4%4.8%
6Evergreen Linewww.evergreen-line.comTaipei; Jersey City, N.J.7.9%1,187,1811,258,4721,289,0721,393,6911,414,308 19.1%12.4%9.7%1.5%
7Cosco Shippingen.coscoshipping.comShanghai; Secaucus, N.J.7.5%1,258,9361,335,2331,209,1651,289,5351,344,286 6.8%0.7%11.2%4.2%
8OOCLwww.oocl.comHong Kong; Salt Lake City5.6%615,709623,569704,392883,4251,004,876 63.2%61.1%42.7%13.7%
9Yang Ming; Newark, N.J.4.0%584,854627,381636,578696,409725,341 24.0%15.6%13.9%4.2%
10HMMwww.hmm21.comSeoul; Irving, Texas3.9%635,872554,542540,575711,419702,216 10.4%26.6%29.9%-1.3%
11Zim Integrated Shipping Serviceswww.zim.comHaifa; Norfolk, Va.2.8%273,655348,881355,688387,107508,863 86.0%45.9%43.1%31.5%
12Pacific International Lineswww.pilship.comSingapore, Long Beach, Ca.1.2%84,50874,623110,812171,013223,696 164.7%199.8%101.9%30.8%
13SM Linewww.smlines.comSeoul1.1% 115,923200,391 72.9%
14Dolewww.doleoceancargo.comJacksonville, Fla.1.1%172,325174,961189,917186,224199,121 15.5%13.8%4.8%6.9%
15Seaboard Marinewww.seaboardmarine.comMiami1.0%112,054145,520145,042152,365171,911 53.4%18.1%18.5%12.8%
16Crowleywww.crowley.comJacksonville, Fla.0.8%132,872143,959141,159146,571146,942 10.6%2.1%4.1%0.3%
17Wan Hai Lineswww.wanhaiusa.comTaipei; Phoenix, Ariz.0.6%65,29594,657104,200113,399115,857 77.4%22.4%11.2%2.2%
18Great White Fleetwww.greatwhitefleet.comAntwerp; Cincinnati0.5%139,765115,411111,058107,13393,326 -33.2%-19.1%-16.0%-12.9%
19Del Montewww.freshdelmonte.comCoral Gables, Fla.0.5%47,52853,64154,38687,67886,152 81.3%60.6%58.4%-1.7%
20Matsonwww.matson.comOakland0.5%83,01284,22473,11985,76581,454 -1.9%-3.3%11.4%-5.0%
21Independent Container Linewww.icl-ltd.comCopenhagen; Florham Park, N.J.0.4%61,75068,11863,77268,70573,615 19.2%8.1%15.4%7.1%
22ACL/Grimaldi www.grimaldi.napoli.itNaples; Westfield, N.J.0.4%56,33355,46665,08477,00973,332 30.2%32.2%12.7%-4.8%
23TOTE Maritimewww.totemaritime.comJacksonville, Fla.0.2%22,41625,71226,89229,55535,403 57.9%37.7%31.6%19.8%
24Turkon Linewww.turkonamerica.comIstanbul; Secaucus, N.J.0.2%23,44027,21624,53432,46232,536 38.8%19.5%32.6%0.2%
25King Ocean Serviceswww.kingocean.comDoral, Fla.0.2%20,34416,66422,24627,30330,625 50.5%83.8%37.7%12.2%
26Tropical Shippingwww.tropical.comRiviera Beach, Fla.0.2%34,86931,25628,14729,58728,102 -19.4%-10.1%-0.2%-5.0%
27Westwood Shippingwww.wsl.comPuyallup, Wash.0.2%25,22931,86125,61629,21727,368 8.5%-14.1%6.8%-6.3%
28Agriculture Investment Export Incwww.solgroup-marketing.comTegucigalpa, Honduras; Port Everglades0.1%14,07712,56319,78420,24119,292 37.0%53.6%-2.5%-4.7%
29Linea Peninsularwww.lineaships.comPanama City, Fla.0.1%17,54822,09323,97814,81118,781 7.0%-15.0%-21.7%26.8%
30Trailer Bridgewww.trailerbridge.comJacksonville, Fla.0.1%13,24712,58712,58116,14316,677 25.9%32.5%32.6%3.3%
31Marine Expresswww.marinexpressinc.comMayaguez, Puerto Rico0.1%14,19716,45618,78614,01016,423 15.7%-0.2%-12.6%17.2%
32Priority Ro-Rowww.priorityroro.comMayaguez, Puerto Rico0.1%10,86010,6969,7659,80811,989 10.4%12.1%22.8%22.2%
33Antillean Lineswww.antillean.comMiami0.1%4,8765,8877,1739,0709,866 102.3%67.6%37.5%8.8%
34World Direct Shippingwww.worlddirectshipping.comPalmetto, Fla.0.0%5,8055,0765,6636,3718,193 41.1%61.4%44.7%28.6%ão Paulo0.0% 3,0655,2108,1607,844 155.9%50.6%-3.9%
36Eimskipwww.eimskip.comReykjavik; Virginia Beach0.0%29,10949,63257,45060,4137,558 -74.0%-84.8%-86.8%-87.5%
37Spliethoff Transportwww.spliethoff.comAmsterdam; Cleveland0.0%3,6344,3686,0146,1116,924 90.6%58.5%15.1%13.3%
38Polynesia Linewww.polynesialine.comSan Rafaeal, Calif.0.0%6,0927,3916,6336,8225,838 -4.2%-21.0%-12.0%-14.4%
39Trans Global Shipping Incwww.tgship.comMississauga, Canada0.0%4,7445,5314,9554,4334,319 -9.0%-21.9%-12.8%-2.6%
40Atlantic Ro-Ro Carrierswww.cisnav.comMontreal; Hoboken, N.J.0.0%4,2865,0144,2035,0924,134 -3.5%-17.5%-1.6%-18.8%
TOTAL JOC TOP 40 US IMPORT CARRIERS99.6%13,911,89014,581,18215,067,06116,957,62217,890,483 28.6%22.7%18.7%5.5%
TOTAL ALL US IMPORT CARRIERS100.0%15,154,62315,727,43316,087,93317,059,33917,954,305 18.5%14.2%11.6%5.2%

*A.P. Moeller-Maersk includes Maersk Line, Sealand, and Hamburg Sud.
Source: IHS Markit

Rankings of the JOC Top 40 container carriers in US export trade lanes
US EXPORT, January-September 2018 vs. January-September 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 in laden TEU
The JOC Top 40 container carriers in the US export trade carried 99.5 percent of the 9.5 million TEU in the overall US export trade from January to September 2018, a volume increase of 3 percent year over year and increase of 10 percent above 2014. The JOC Top 5 carriers garnered 58.4 percent of the US export trade lane, or 5.6 million TEU from January to September 2018 as volume rose 1.2 percent year over year and increased 6.7 percent above the same period in 2014.
JANUARY-September US Exports Percent Volume Change
in Jan.-September 2018
US Headquarters
Jan. - Sept. 2018 Market Share20142015201620172018 From 2014From 2015From 2016From 2017
1A.P. Moller Maersk*www.maerskline.comCopenhagen; Florham Park, N.J.14.9%1,274,3521,130,1391,365,8331,286,6211,418,210 11.3%25.5%3.8%10.2%
2MSCwww.mscgva.chGeneva; New York13.1%1,208,6131,137,0691,171,0311,202,2221,250,264 3.4%10.0%6.8%4.0%
3CMA CGM/; www.apl.comMarseille; Norfolk, Va. Singapore; Scottsdale, Ariz.12.2%1,000,2271,012,0911,002,8081,135,3211,164,295 16.4%15.0%16.1%2.6%
4Hapag-Lloydwww.hapag-lloyd.comHamburg; Piscataway, N.J.9.2%743,955744,417789,140747,161874,986 17.6%17.5%10.9%17.1%
5Ocean Network,0021,039,5051,031,8411,124,228851,880 -13.2%-18.0%-17.4%-24.2%
JOC Top 5 US Export Carriers58.4%55.1%55.8%58.1%59.2%58.4%
JOC Top 5 US Export Carriers' Market Share 5,208,1495,063,2215,360,6525,495,5535,559,634 6.7%9.8%3.7%1.2%
6Evergreen Linewww.evergreen-line.comTaipei; Jersey City, N.J.6.8%574,445579,581572,825616,299646,661 12.6%11.6%12.9%4.9%
7Cosco Shippingwww.coscoshipping.comShanghai; Secaucus, N.J.5.1%481,774375,339333,832429,854489,278 1.6%30.4%46.6%13.8%
8OOCLwww.oocl.comHong Kong; Salt Lake City4.8%406,776392,421458,634466,933460,311 13.2%17.3%0.4%-1.4%
9Yang Ming; Newark, N.J.3.7%305,333283,336304,774351,579352,292 15.4%24.3%15.6%0.2%
10HMMwww.hmm21.comSeoul; Irving, Texas3.7%343,017281,212263,556364,225347,870 1.4%23.7%32.0%-4.5%
11Crowleywww.crowley.comJacksonville, Fla.2.7%223,798257,640246,982242,990254,621 13.8%-1.2%3.1%4.8%
12Seaboard Marinewww.seaboardmarine.comMiami2.7%222,964237,254238,297246,254252,476 13.2%6.4%6.0%2.5%
13Zim Integrated Shipping Serviceswww.zim.comHaifa; Norfolk, Va.2.3%164,777194,456200,098183,430219,578 33.3%12.9%9.7%19.7%
14TOTE Maritimewww.totemaritime.comJacksonville, Fla.1.7%80,932116,190128,375129,603162,215 100.4%39.6%26.4%25.2%
15Tropical Shippingwww.tropical.comRiviera Beach, Fla.1.1%88,18996,03092,35197,415101,058 14.6%5.2%9.4%3.7%
16SM Linewww.smlines.comSeoul0.8% 26,33072,598 175.7%
17King Ocean Serviceswww.kingocean.comDoral, Fla.0.7%58,57061,66563,35763,48966,887 14.2%8.5%5.6%5.4%
18ACL/Grimaldi www.grimaldi.napoli.itNaples; Westfield, N.J.0.7%55,20955,47053,07064,49066,085 19.7%19.1%24.5%2.5%
19Dolewww.doleoceancargo.comJacksonville, Fla.0.6%36,41945,37038,26744,77154,137 48.7%19.3%41.5%20.9%
20Trailer Bridgewww.trailerbridge.comJacksonville, Fla.0.6%40,09254,48748,02950,25852,865 31.9%-3.0%10.1%5.2%
21Independent Container Linewww.icl-ltd.comCopenhagen; Florham Park, N.J.0.5%46,94948,31948,18645,17852,120 11.0%7.9%8.2%15.4%
22Great White Fleetwww.greatwhitefleet.comAntwerp; Cincinnati0.5%59,74665,66564,11458,81043,439 -27.3%-33.8%-32.2%-26.1%
23Matsonwww.matson.comOakland0.4%41,37240,45742,87137,72039,541 -4.4%-2.3%-7.8%4.8%
24Pacific International Lineswww.pilship.comSingapore, Long Beach, Ca.0.3%35,31732,80743,49630,33031,588 -10.6%-3.7%-27.4%4.1%
25Turkon Linewww.turkonamerica.comIstanbul; Secaucus, N.J.0.2%28,66924,93423,78524,56023,326 -18.6%-6.4%-1.9%-5.0%
26Antillean Lineswww.antillean.comMiami0.2%15,86315,31016,83417,69718,725 18.0%22.3%11.2%5.8%
27Seacorwww.seacorislandlines.comFort Lauderdale0.2%99 5,30515,14317,808 235.7%17.6%
28Hyde Shippingwww.hydeshipping.comCayman Islands; Port Everglades0.2%10,87814,58317,08415,50116,317 50.0%11.9%-4.5%5.3%
29Wan Hai Lineswww.wanhaiusa.comTaipei; Phoenix, Ariz.0.2%14,37512,16421,08517,77115,286 6.3%25.7%-27.5%-14.0%
30Westwood Shippingwww.wsl.comPuyallup, Wash.0.2%15,01714,63113,73514,43915,225 1.4%4.1%10.8%5.4%
31Linea Peninsularwww.lineaships.comPanama City, Fla.0.1%9,35611,7089,1488,0757,248 -22.5%-38.1%-20.8%-10.2%
32Bermuda Container Linewww.neptunebermuda.comHamilton, Bermuda; Newark, N.J.0.1%5,2445,6405,4856,5496,758 28.9%19.8%23.2%3.2%
33Del Montewww.freshdelmonte.comCoral Gables, Fla.0.1%8,1318,0619,2847,5165,364 -34.0%-33.5%-42.2%-28.6%
34Polynesia Linewww.polynesialine.comSan Rafaeal, Calif.0.0%4,7204,7865,3343,9963,659 -22.5%-23.5%-31.4%-8.4%
35Somers Isles Shippingwww.somers-isles-shipping.comFernandina Beach, Fla.0.0%2,3792,5653,0342,9742,804 17.9%9.3%-7.6%-5.7%
36Intermarinewww.intermarine.comHouston, Tx.0.0%7,5956,9072,8852,3162,192 -71.1%-68.3%-24.0%-5.3%
37Schuyler Line Navigationwww.schuylerline.comAnnapolis, Md.0.0%1542872,5762,0682,187 662.7%-15.1%5.8%
38Bermuda Container Linewww.bermudaislander.bmHamilton, Bermuda0.0%1,9472,6902,3531,7712,101 7.9%-21.9%-10.7%18.6%
39MACS Maritime Carrier Shippingwww.macship.comHamburg, Germany0.0%2,5391,8771,0123602,053 -19.1%9.4%102.8%469.8%
40Universal Africa Lineswww.universalafricalines.comCapelle aan den IJssel, Netherlands0.0%5,2894,2982,7112,0621,404 -73.4%-67.3%-48.2%-31.9%
TOTAL JOC TOP 40 US EXPORT CARRIERS99.5%8,606,0818,411,3608,743,4189,188,3099,467,710 10.0%12.6%8.3%3.0%
TOTAL ALL US EXPORT CARRIERS100.0%9,456,7699,067,4999,227,2969,282,4919,517,394 0.6%5.0%3.1%2.5%
*A.P. Moeller-Maersk includes Maersk Line, Sealand, and Hamburg Sud.
Source: IHS Markit


MSC needs to do a better job of stowing their ships.