Top 10 International Cargo Shipping Companies

International cargo shipping involves the transportation of goods across countries and continents by ships. It’s like when you send a package to someone far away, but on a much larger scale. This process is crucial for businesses and individuals worldwide, as it allows products to be traded and delivered globally.

Reliable cargo shipping companies play a vital role in ensuring that goods reach their destinations safely and on time. Imagine ordering something online and it never arriving or getting damaged along the way. That’s where these companies step in. They have the expertise, resources, and networks to manage the complex journey of goods across oceans and borders.

Without trustworthy cargo shipping companies, international trade would suffer, and businesses wouldn’t be able to meet the demands of their customers. So, understanding and choosing the right shipping partner is essential for the smooth flow of goods around the world. Here is the list of the top 10 international cargo shipping companies.

Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC)

The Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), headquartered in Geneva, is a private company that offers shipping and logistics services all over the world. MSC helps with trade between big economies and growing markets. MSC provides shipping of dry cargo, reefer cargo, and oversized cargo. Apart from these, it provides marine cargo insurance, inland transportation, and warehousing & storage facilities. MSC provides cargo shipping services to around 150+ countries. 

Highlights of MSC

    • Number of Ports: 520
    • Number of Routes: 300
    • Number of Vessels: 800
    • TEU: 22.5 million per year 
  • Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland

A.P. Moller-Maersk (APMM)

AP Moller-Maersk is a Danish company that started in 1904. They provide transportation and cargo shipping services worldwide. They manage shipping containers and ports through their different parts. They transport different types of cargo, like dry and refrigerated goods, and also sell used containers. They’re also involved in making dry and refrigerated containers. APMM serves industries like energy, retail, and manufacturing. They’re based in Copenhagen, Denmark, but they operate in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and Asia-Pacific, covering over 121 countries.

Highlights of APMM

  • Number of Vessels: 708
  • Number of Ports: 343
  • TEU: 4.1 million 
  • Headquarters: Copenhagen, Denmark


CMA CGM is a French company established in 1978. It’s the third-largest container shipping company globally, operating in 160 countries. CMA CGM boasts one of the largest networks of international cargo shipping routes worldwide, catering to various cargo needs, including liquids, perishables, and heavy items like yachts and machinery. Notably, CMA CGM leads in environmental innovation, being the first to equip its massive container ships with engines fueled by liquefied natural gas (LNG). Additionally, they’re preparing their fleet to use e-methane, furthering their commitment to sustainable shipping practices.

Highlights of CMA CGM

    • Number of Vessels: 593
    • Number of Ports: 420
    • Number of Routes: 257
  • TEU: 1.7 million
  • Headquarters: Marseille, France

ONE (Ocean Network Express)

Ocean Network Express (ONE) is a Japanese container transportation and shipping company formed in 2017. It’s jointly owned by three Japanese shipping lines: Nippon Yusen Kaisha, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, and K Line. With the seventh largest fleet globally, ONE has headquarters in both Tokyo and Singapore. They offer shipping services for various types of cargo, including dry, reefer, special, and dangerous goods like fireworks, liquor, and weed killers. ONE serves approximately 120 countries with its cargo shipping services.

Highlights of ONE

  • Number of Vessels: 224
  • Number of Ports: 257
  • TEU: 1.6 million
  • Headquarters: Tokyo and Singapore

China Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO Shipping)

China Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO Shipping) stands as one of the world’s largest shipping firms. Established in 2016 through the merger of COSCO and China Shipping Group, COSCO Shipping has its headquarters located in Shanghai. The company offers a wide range of container options, such as dry, reefer, open-top, and flat rack containers. Additionally, it specializes in international shipping of special cargo and has achieved a notable feat in heavy cargo handling at the port of Hamburg. COSCO Shipping provides cargo shipping services to over 144 countries.

Highlights of COSCO Shipping

  • Number of Ports: 602
  • Number of Routes: 405
  • Number of Vessels: 503
  • TEU: 2.1 million  
  • Headquarters: Shanghai, China


Hapag-Lloyd, a leading German shipping and container transport company, ranks as the world’s fourth largest. It originated in 1970 from the merger of Hamburg-American Line (HAPAG) and Norddeutscher Lloyd. Offering a diverse range of container options including dry, reefer, and specialized types, Hapag-Lloyd ensures suitability for various cargo shipments. In addition to sea cargo services, the company extends its offerings to international inland transportation. With a widespread presence in 398 locations, Hapag-Lloyd facilitates global trade efficiently.

Highlights of Hapag-Lloyd

Number of Ports: 600+

Number of Routes: 113

Number of Vessels: 264

TEU: 1.1 million  

Headquarters: Hamburg, Germany

Evergreen Marine Corporation

Evergreen Marine Corporation, a Taiwanese container transportation and shipping entity, began operations in 1968. Its headquarters is situated in Luzhu District, Taoyuan City, Taiwan. Beyond cargo shipping, Evergreen Marine offers a range of services including accessing sailing schedules by region, point, and vessel, as well as vessel arrival times, e-booking, shipment statistics, cargo tracking, Reefer Online Service, and numerous others. Evergreen Marine is actively providing its services in 80 countries.

Highlights of Evergreen Marine Corporation

  • Number of Ports: 240
  • Number of Routes: 150+
  • Number of Vessels: 200+
  • TEU: 1.5 million
  • Headquarters: Taoyuan City, Taiwan

Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM)

Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) stands as a prominent South Korean entity, offering comprehensive global logistics and shipping solutions. With a fleet exceeding 130 ships, HMM facilitates connectivity across 50 marine routes, linking over 100 ports worldwide. The company specializes in tailored services for diverse cargo types, encompassing dry, reefer, and specialized goods, as well as bulk cargo such as raw materials, oil, and plants. In addition to its international shipping offerings, HMM prioritizes customer-centric solutions, ensuring efficient and reliable transportation across various industries and trade sectors.

Highlights of HMM

  • Number of Ports: 100
  • Number of Routes: 50
  • Number of Vessels: 130
  • TEU: 0.8 million
  • Headquarters: Seoul and Busan

Yang Ming Marine Transportation Corporation

Yang Ming Marine Transport Corporation, headquartered in Keelung, Taiwan, is a prominent Taiwanese container shipping enterprise. Established in 1972 initially as a shipping line, Yang Ming now boasts a fleet of 101 container ships with a capacity of up to 14,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) and 17 bulk carriers. In addition to its core services of international cargo shipping and logistics, Yang Ming Marine also offers various auxiliary services including scheduling sailing times, vessel tracking, cargo tracking, and e-services like booking and printing.

Highlights of Yang Ming Marine 

  • Number of Ports: 81
  • Number of Vessels: 100
  • TEU: 0.7 million
  • Headquarters: Keelung, Taiwan

Zim Integrated Shipping Services Ltd. (ZIM)

Zim Integrated Shipping Services Ltd., often referred to as ZIM, stands as an influential Israeli player in the international cargo shipping industry. Established in 1945, ZIM has secured its position among the top 20 global carriers. The company’s headquarters are situated in Haifa, Israel, from where it operates its extensive operations. ZIM distinguishes itself through the utilization of cutting-edge digital tools, ensuring a personalized and efficient customer experience. ZIM offers a diverse range of cargo services tailored to meet the varied needs of its clientele. These services are project cargo, dry cargo, reefer cargo, dangerous cargo, out-of-gauge cargo, and break bulk cargo. 

Highlights of ZIM

  • Number of Ports: 350
  • Number of Vessels: 125
  • TEU: 0.6 million
  • Headquarters: Haifa, Israel


In conclusion, the international cargo shipping industry is key in facilitating global trade and commerce, connecting businesses and individuals across continents. The international shipping companies mentioned in this blog are more than just logistics firms. They’re key drivers of global economic growth and prosperity.

Each of these companies, from the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) to Zim Integrated Shipping Services Ltd. (ZIM), brings its unique strengths, capabilities, and innovations to the table. These cargo shipping companies ensures the smooth and efficient movement of goods across oceans and borders. Whether it’s MSC’s extensive network of routes or ZIM’s utilization of advanced digital tools, these companies are committed to providing reliable, timely, and customer-centric shipping solutions.

These top 10 international cargo shipping companies represent the backbone of global trade, as they demonstrate resilience, adaptability, and innovation in an ever-evolving logistics market. As businesses and individuals depend on smooth shipping, these companies are prepared to tackle future challenges, keeping international commerce flowing.


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