Mediterranean Shipping Corporation (MSC) is on the verge of surpassing their 2M alliance Maersk as the world’s largest carrier amidst its fleet capacity approaching 4 million TEU.
According to Alphaliner, the Swiss carrier currently holds a fleet of 604 ships with a combined capacity of 4,015,674 TEU, closing the gap on Maersk to only 106,000 TEU.
In 2004, MSC became the second biggest carrier in the world, and since then, MSC and Maersk have continuously remained at the top of the Alphaliner worldwide ranking chart.
The latest MSC plunge into the second-hand markets has three ships connected. MSC has acquired 1,850 TEU Acacia Makoto of China’s Qingdao Pengteng, which was built in 2004, for $6.95 million, 1,730 TEU Voronezh of fiasco for $9 million, and RHL Aurora of Hamburger Lloyd built-in 2006 for 6.5 million.
Moreover, the present market leader has a nearly blank order book as it devotes its resources towards alternative fuel research and development.
MSC, on the other hand, has the highest order book among all container lines, with 40 vessels under construction totaling 724,000 TEU.
According to the Alphaliner, MSC doubled its container fleet in just eight years. So far this year, it has grown by 4%.
For over a quarter of a century, Maersk has dominated the carrier league table, but CEO Soren Skou seemed unfazed about being dethroned by its 2M partner and opponent.
“That is not the end of the world,” he stated last month during the company’s Capital Markets Day. “That is not how we see ourselves to be number one. Our objective is to get a considerably greater turnover rate for each container we ship,” Mr. Skou explained.
Even as MSC is on track to surpass Maersk in terms of operating capacity when its order book is delivered, the Danish carrier continues to hold a commanding lead in terms of absolute owned tonnage in TEU aspects, with Maersk currently possessing more than twice as much of its box fleet as its Geneva-based competitor.