Maersk thrashes all carriers when it comes to social media

Contained within the latest weekly report from Copenhagen-based container analysts Sea-Intelligence is a survey looking at carriers’ social media engagement on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. What transpires is that Maersk is far ahead of the pack on all three platforms and Asian carriers largely remain ambivalent about the importance of social media to their businesses.

With more than 3m Facebook likes, Maersk still dominates carrier social media, with 90% of all top 15 carrier Facebook likes. On LinkedIn, Maersk is twice the size of CMA CGM, and three times as big as the second placed French carrier on Twitter.

The analysis notes Israeli ZIM has grown the most on Facebook and Twitter, and also praised MSC’s recent change of tactics to embrace social media far more.

“While presence on social media may not directly drive B2B sales, all employees of a carrier’s potential customers are still individuals, and individuals are increasingly active on social media,” Sea-Intelligence noted.

“[T]he active use of social media could enable carriers to reach a changing demographic of individuals as potential customers, that may not care for fax machines or EDI connections,” the report stated.

Across the three platforms, Sea-Intelligence noted a strong correlation between how popular a company was on social media and the size of the carrier in terms of operated capacity.

Asian carriers are “severely under-represented” across most of social media compared to their size, Sea-Intelligence reported. For example, on LinkedIn, the five carriers with the most followers are all European, while nine of the 10 carriers with the lowest number of followers are Asian.

The same was true with Twitter with the exception of Cosco, which has the fourth largest Twitter following, despite this social media platform being one of many banned in the People’s Republic of China.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.


  1. Many of the Far East Lines barely have effective websites, never mind using social media.
    As for the comment about reaching potential customers, who is still using fax machines in their daily business? These started gathering dust and were consigned to recycling 20 years ago in most companies……!!
    However, I would not use a Sun or Daily Mirror terminology of “thrashed” to describe Maersk’s elevated use of Twitter, etc. Let’s try to keep things in B2B professional language when describing business activity.

  2. I beg to differ with this analysis. Today, it’s actually MSC that’s thrashing the competition on social media!

    Let me explain why I think so.

    Since around 2014-15 when social media companies (Facebook in particular) throttled organic reach, social media has no longer been about number of fans and followers as much as about how good you are at engaging your followers.

    Because, if you cannot engage your followers, then you are punished by social media companies’ algorithms – and you don’t reach anyone. Then you can have 3M followers and it’s all worthless.

    You can see that with many big corporate accounts: They have very little engagement compared to how many followers they have. In some cases it would be better to delete the account and start over – seriously.

    The metric that matters today is “average organic engagement rate”. See this for an explanation of the metric:

    An added bonus of this metric is that you can benchmark companies based on numbers that are publicly available. And a month ago I actually did this for the top 8 carriers, and I think you will find the numbers quite interesting. There’s a lot of manual counting involved.

    To sum it up, I would rank the top 5 like this in terms of how good I think they are doing based on the numbers. And mind you I try to be completely unbiased, even though I know some of them.

    1. MSC
    2. ONE
    3. Hapag-Lloyd
    4. CMA CGM
    5. Maersk

    See the numbers here:

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