In the past 24 months, eight of the top 20 container shipping lines has been acquired or gone bankrupt. And, according to the chief executive of AP Moller-Maersk, container shipping companies will continue to do deals; leaving only five or six survivors.
My prediction would be that the industry would consolidate further. A decade from now, we would be more in the five to six range.- Chief Executive, AP Moller-Maersk
Maersk Line is in the process of buying Hamburg Süd; Hapag-Lloyd has taken over two competitors in recent years; CMA CGM bought NOL; there have been separate mergers between Japanese and Chinese groups; and South Korea’s Hanjin Shipping went bankrupt in 2016.
Maersk Line is also in a network-sharing alliance with Mediterranean Shipping Company, the number two player in the industry. Together, with two similar groups, the informal partnership controls approximately 80 percent of global container shipping.