In this article, we will be taking a look at 15 biggest global logistics and shipping companies in the world. To skip our detailed analysis, you can go directly to see the 5 biggest global logistics and shipping companies.
The global logistics and shipping industry is at a very interesting crossroads right now. While many industries were crippled by the Covid-19 pandemic which impact most countries across the world, few were affected as badly as the logistics and shipping industry. Supply chain is fundamental for any business no matter which business it operates in. Without a robust supply chain system in place, companies will struggle to balance demand and supply and either might oversupply a product with lower demand, thereby leading to overstocking and holdings costs, or not have the product available when demand is high which leads to lost out sales and the reputation of the company being negatively impacted. In simple words, effective supply chain is crucial to the growth of a business. This is even truer in a world where global trade continues to increase, and multinationals have production facilities in specific parts of the world which supply products to countries where such companies have operations. This is why, for most multinational companies, you’ll note that their manufacturing sites are a lot fewer than the number of countries they supply their products in.
The Covid-19 pandemic brutally exposed the vulnerability of the global supply chain. Global supply chain disruptions, capacity shortages, port congestion and ever-increasing freight rates have all been challenges that the biggest logistics and shipping companies are trying to overcome, albeit with limited success. According to KPMG, 67% of CEOs have said that they’ll invest more disruption detection and innovation processes to get ahead of issues and be more proactive rather than reactive. Even in 2022, when the effects of the pandemic have largely subsided, global logistics have continued to face ongoing disruptions because of which the flow of consumer goods in key markets including India, Europe, North America and Southeast Asia. Major ports have continued to be shut down, either consistently or on and off depending on the impact of the pandemic. China, for example, has been engaging in a “zero-Covid” policy which leads to lengthy lockdowns instituted in areas where even a few Covid cases are detected. This logistics disruption results in a ripple effect across the global supply chains which results in goods being held up in warehouses which in turn impacts shipping companies attempting to make their way to the ports as diversions or delays occur when they reach major transit hubs. This in turn results in limited access of products to businesses while global trade flow ends up being restricted as well.
Biggest Global Logistics and Shipping Companies
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Just when it seemed that the pandemic had subsided and that would reduce pressure on the global supply chain, the Russia-Ukraine war started in 2022. Due to Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, the West imposed several high impacting sanctions on Russia, its top government officials and its biggest oligarchs. The sanctions, combined with the war, have again disrupted the global supply chain which has affected the operations of the biggest logistics and shipping companies in the world.
Of course, it’s not just the pandemic and the Russia Ukraine war which are major concerns for the logistics and shipping industry. A global recession is more or less inevitable, with the Bank of England saying that the United Kingdom was facing the longest recession since records began. Meanwhile, record levels of inflation have affected many countries, stripping people of disposable income and hence, lower consumerism beckons. Many retailers are cutting back on sales expectations while in China car assembly plants and electronics factories are closing because of a lack of power.
These conditions combined mean that industries are slowing down and output is decreasing, and if demand and production decreases, then so does supply. In addition, dock workers have been on strike in the United Kingdom and Germany while in Ireland freight hubs are expected to be the main areas for strikes as workers demand an increase in wages in line with the rising cost of living. One thing is for certain, it will definitely be interesting to see what will happen to the biggest logistics and shipping companies in the world.
One thing is for certain, ranking the biggest logistics and shipping companies in the world was not the easiest task. We initially tried to do it based on revenue, profits, assets and market cap. We initially filtered out companies from Forbes Global 2000 but realized it didn’t include many companies. For these companies, we scoured their annual reports to gather the data. However, it was apparent after a while that many of the biggest companies in the world are privatized and so information is not readily available. Hence, we then decided to rank the companies based on their total cargo capacity and the total number of ships each company has, assigning 70% of weightage to the former and 30% to the latter. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the most important companies to ensure successful operations of most industries, starting with number 15:
15. IRISL Group
Total TEU of the company in 2022: 143,468
Total number of ships of the company (both owned and chartered): 32
The Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Group is a state-owned shipping company in Iran and has been sanctioned by many Western countries including the European Union and the United States for providing assistance to Iran’s nuclear program. While the sanctions were expected to be lifted after the Iran nuclear deal, the United States withdrew from the deal and reimposed the sanctions.
Total TEU of the company in 2022: 150,429
Total number of ships of the company (both owned and chartered): 66
KMTC is a South Korean company and one of two entries from the country in our list of biggest logistics and shipping companies in the world. Currently celebrating its 60th anniversary, KMTC has more than 30 offices in Japan in addition to offices in multiple countries.
Total TEU of the company in 2022: 153,003
Total number of ships of the company (both owned and chartered): 103
SITC is a Chinese company which currently services 77 routes with cover more than a dozen countries. SITC also services 75 major ports and the countries it serves include Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia, Malaysia, Philippines, Russia, Myanmar and Bangladesh.
12. Pacific International Lines
Total TEU of the company in 2022: 297,163
Total number of ships of the company (both owned and chartered): 91
Pacific International Lines is a Singaporean company and was founded by billionaire Chang Yun Chung. The company currently serves over 500 ports in 100 countries and has close to 18,000 employees globally.
11. Wan Hai Lines
Total TEU of the company in 2022: 425,317
Total number of ships of the company (both owned and chartered): 147
The East dominates our list of the biggest logistics and shipping companies in the world with Wan Hai Lines being a Taiwanese company. Founded in 1965, it is now among the most important companies in the industry.
10. ZIM Integrated Shipping Services Ltd. (NYSE:ZIM)
Total TEU of the company in 2022: 537,522
Total number of ships of the company (both owned and chartered): 140
ZIM Integrated Shipping Services Ltd. (NYSE:ZIM) is one of the biggest Israeli companies in the world with its headquarters being maintained in Haifa. ZIM Integrated Shipping Services Ltd. (NYSE:ZIM) is also listed on the New York Stock Exchange and has 140 vessels currently.
9. Yang Ming Marine Transport Corporation
Total TEU of the company in 2022: 707,354
Total number of ships of the company (both owned and chartered): 94
Yang Ming Marine Transport Corporation is a Taiwanese company and in 2019, added two vessels with a capacity of 14,000 TEU to its fleet. The company’s services cover more than 70 countries and operate at more than 170 service points.
8. HMM Co. Ltd.
Total TEU of the company in 2022: 818,063
Total number of ships of the company (both owned and chartered): 76
Formerly known as Hyundai Merchant Marine, HMM Co. is the biggest transportation and shipping company in South Korea. Founded in 1976, the company has four international headquarters and 76 branches globally. The company is engaged in the transport of strategic materials which include iron ore / coal and oil. In 2020, the company built the two biggest container ships in the world.
7. ONE (Ocean Network Enterprises)
Total TEU of the company in 2022: 1,527,159
Total number of ships of the company (both owned and chartered): 203
The Japanese shipping company is the biggest such company in the country. Established just five years ago, it has grown quickly and forecast a profit in the latest financial year of $12 billion.
6. Evergreen Marine
Total TEU of the company in 2022: 1,632,467
Total number of ships of the company (both owned and chartered): 206
The Taiwanese shipping company is easily among the biggest in the world and is part of the Evergreen Group which provide all kinds of transportation services. It is perhaps quite well-known for its ship Ever Given getting stuck in the Suez Canal, which had a worldwide impact on marine shipping. With a queue of 369 ships, it i estimated that around $9.6 billion of trade was prevented.
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Disclosure: None. 15 biggest global logistics and shipping companies is originally published at Insider Monkey.