Journal of Commerce ranks Top 40 Container Lines

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The Journal of Commerce has just released it’s rankings of the Top 40 Container Lines by import and export volumes based on data from the first nine months of 2010.  While the JoC website strictly restricts it’s content to “member’s only”, here is the press release telling a little about this year’s list.  If any of its dedicated members want to hint at the top 10 in the comments, we won’t tell anyone.

The Journal of Commerce Ranks US Top 40 Container Carriers, MSC Rises to No. 1 in Exports, Maersk Holds Imports Lead

NEWARK, N.J.:  U.S. import and export volume carried by top ocean carriers expanded a combined 12.2 percent this year, shifting market share percentages and highlighting capacity concerns for 2011, reports The Journal of Commerce today in its Top 40 Container Lines ranking and special report.

Total exports increased by 8 percent and imports by 15.3 percent, but overall trade still lags pre-recessionary 2008 numbers by 6.4 percent. Based on exclusive data from PIERS, a sister company of The Journal of Commerce, the ranking Top 40 carriers moved 98.2 percent of the United States’ 8.6 million TEUs of containerized exports and 99 percent of the 12.4 million TEUs of containerized imports.

Mediterranean Shipping Co.’s exports market share grew to 11.8 percent from January to September 2010, bringing it above Maersk Line into No. 1. In import volumes, Maersk grew 6.5 percent and maintained its top position, but growth from MSC in imports narrowed its previous market share lead.

APL, Hanjin and Hapag-Lloyd also experienced market share gains that pushed their rankings higher. Hainan PO Shipping — a carrier operating between China and Southern California — began U.S. service in September and joined the list at No. 40.

Port changes to chassis handling and expansion projects currently under way will produce expanded footprints and capacity for 2011. But, with U.S. trade volume predicted to grow 7 to 8 percent a year, a rapid return to the overload felt a few short years ago may be an inevitable compromise for recovery.