According to the data from liner data provider Linerlytica, Swiss-Italian shipping giant Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) has overtaken its Danish 2M Alliance counterpart Maersk, just after the container ship Susan Maersk became the MSC Fie, on 24th November, all thanks to its dramatic buying-spree, hefty orderbooks and aggressive strategies, ever since the onset of the past year (2020).

Linerlytica’s data suggests that MSC currently has a fleet-wide net tonnage of approximately 4,239,668 TEU, which is 5,366 TEU more than that of Maersk’s 4,234,302 TEU net tonnage capacity.

Rival liner data provider Alphaliner however, suggests that a 10,817 TEU gap still exists between Maersk (4,249,659 TEU) and MSC (4,238,842 TEU), with MSC being just one Neopanamax ship purchase away from overtaking Maersk as the world’s top container line, backed by a strong orderbook, thereby overhauling the top spot after nearly a quarter of a century.

Alphaliner goes on to suggest that currently, both Maersk and MSC enjoys an equivalent global market share of 16.9% each, but MSC takes a massive leap in terms of ship-orders, with a record orderbook of approximately 993,076 TEU (58 vessels), which is way ahead of Maersk’s 255,100 TEU (25 vessels) capacity worth of ship-orders.

MSC has been on an unprecedented second-hand and newbuild buying spree this year, taking on its 2M alliance partner head-to-head.

Recently, MSC reportedly acquired the 4,896 TEU 2014-built X-Press Guernsey from X-Press Feeders, as reported by brokers, for a record price of $210 million, it further acquired two 6,039 TEU, 2007-built sister ships, named the Long Beach Trader and Los Angeles Trader, from U.K. based shipowner Lomar Shipping, estimated to be valued at $77 million each, according to VesselsValue. MSC is also tipped to have signed a letter of intent with South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), for the construction and delivery of six 15,000 TEU LNG-fueled ships, for an order totaling to about $1 billion, adding to its already record-breaking 993,076 TEU orderbook.

Maersk’s future outlook however, is in stark contrast to that of MSC. The Copenhagen-based shipping giant is currently focusing on sustainability and profitability, with no significant increase in fleet size expected any time soon. “Our goal isn’t to be number one. Our goal is to do a good job for our customers, delivering strong returns and not least be a decent company for all other stakeholders doing business with Maersk,” mentioned Chief Executive Søren Skou back in May.

2021 has been a historic year for every major shipping company, including Maersk, which shattered all previous profitability records, when its third quarter earnings for the year 2021 was revealed earlier on November.

Source : Marinemonks