MSC Takes Over Maersk's Top Container Line Spot: Alphaliner

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Thursday January 6, 2022

Shipping firm MSC has taken over from AP Moller-Maersk as the world's largest container line at the start of this year, according to consultancy Alphaliner.

MSC's current fleet was 4,284,728 TEU as of January 6, according to the shipping intelligence service's figures, 1,888 TEU over Maersk's total. Both firms have about a 17% share of the global market by capacity.

Maersk's former position as the top container line also left it as the world's largest consumer of bunker fuel, as well as one of the largest consumers of oil of any kind. Maersk's fleet got through 10.3 million mt of bunker fuel in 2020, or about 4.8% of the global bunker market as measured by IMO data.

Maersk's status has also led to huge interest in its plans for engines and emissions technology, with its initial scepticism over scrubbers last decade and its plans for methanol-fuelled ships this decade both providing some leadership in the market on these issues.

MSC has been more reticent about its future fuel plans, talking of a range of options being needed to meet decarbonisation goals. But two technologies it has shown significant support for are scrubbers and fuel-saving air lubrication systems -- and its position as the top container line may boost interest in these technologies as a result.