MSC set to close gap on Maersk this year, dominating newbuild deliveries

Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) is set to close the gap with its nearest rival, Maersk, throughout 2019, taking more newbuilding slots than any other carrier over the coming 12 months.

The Geneva-headquartered line will take on 20 ships this year, aggregating a total capacity of 334,550 teu, according to data from Alphaliner.

The carrier’s orderbook includes eight 23,000 teu ships under construction in South Korea, all of which will be deployed on the Asia – North Europe tradelane.

MSC also recently fixed five 14,300 teu newbuildings on long-term charter from Zodiac Maritime for delivery during the second half of the year.

The shipping line also has seven ships of 10,700 to 11,500 teu due from China’s Jinhai Heavy Industries in the first half of 2019. Deliveries of these ships have been delayed from 2018, and some of the vessels could be delayed even further, Alphaliner suggested in its latest weekly report.

In addition to its newbuilds, Alphaliner is reporting MSC will launch a vessel jumboisation program this year that will see a series of 14,000 teu ships become 17,000 teu in capacity.

Latest statistics from Alphaliner show that, including their orderbooks, Maersk with around 4.1m slots enjoys a near 800,000 teu lead over its 2M partner, MSC.

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. Title says: set to Close the gap on Maersk”
    Text body does not mention Maersk at all.
    Surely an article which draws a comparison should illustrate how that comparison is calculated?
    What is the current relationship and what could be the projected capacity in 12 months time?

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