MSC outmuscles Maersk on the Asia-Europe tradelane

Mediterranean Shipping Co (MSC) has overtaken 2M partner Maersk as the largest carrier on the Asia-Europe tradelane in terms of tonnage deployed according to new analysis from Alphaliner.

The Soren Toft-led carrier last month deployed 1.02m teu of capacity on the tradelane, representing 18.7% of all teu slots on the route.

Evergreen and CMA CGM have led the capacity growth over the past 12 months on this main east-west tradelane, adding respectively 147,500 and 118,700 teu slots. This in turn has seen the OCEAN Alliance surpass 2M as the largest grouping on the trade.

While there have been many headlines about new entrants onto this tradelane in recent months, the actual numbers of new names are minimal when compared with the transpacific. Alphaliner reports the fleet of all newcomers stood in April at 25 ships with a combined capacity of 64,700 teu or just 1.2% of the market. The average vessel size of these ships was less than 2,600 teu, which compares to an average of 15,600 teu for the whole fleet on this trade route.

Overall, citing April data, Alphaliner counted 348 containerships deployed between Asia and Europe, representing a total capacity of 5.45m teu, which is an increase of 10.4% compared to April last year.

While Maersk might have lost its lead on this tradelane and in the overall global rankings this year, it has recently overtaken CMA CGM and COSCO as the largest tonnage operator on the transpacific.

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.
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