The Best International Shipping Companies

Shipping companies are essential service for us. No matter what we move, cargos save our lives. For cargo orders going abroad, international shipping support is always essential.

But, how would you choose the best international shipping company? Who all are leading the market?

Before you know who, they are, it is important that your have an understanding on what traits we observe to know that they are the best.

How to find the best international shipping company?

To find the best shipping company internationally, you need to look check the below points first-

  • Know the items you move:

When you shift abroad, there are plenty of things to carry along with you starting from personal care products to car. Depending on the items you ship, the companies different shipping packages. If you know what you are shipping, it will easier for them to understand the need and provide a package accordingly.

Check what you are offered and feel whether that is satisfactory. Based on that you can decide their range of service.

  • Background research on the company:

Before you decide on a company, it’s necessary that you consider a background research about them. Their promptness and professionalism to your query can be one the point to judge. Also go through customer reviews. These will help you picturize the company and its services and take your decision accordingly. Generally, people look for efficient, professional and safe shipping.

  • Consider the option of containers for the shipping:

There are different sizes of containers available with a shipping company. Generally, they vary in length from 20 – 45 feet. Depending on the belongings you have shipped, you will be offered a container. Check if the shipping company meets your size requirements and also ensure safety on journey aboard.

  • Arrange for a quote on the rate of freight:

When it comes to international shipping, what you can afford makes one of the determining factors of a company. Arrange for a freight quote from the shipping company you choose. Match the value with your goods amount. If the valuation is satisfactory, it’s definitely a good option.

  • Check the knowledge of the shipping company:

There are several protocols, regulations and rules valid across different ports of the world. Majorly these rules vary. Check whether the freight shipping company is equipped with the knowledge of all such protocols.

These are few basic factors that play vital role in determining your choice for International Shipping Company.

The top 10 shipping companies in the market

Are you looking for the best shipping company in the International market?

Now we know the factors based on which we will compare the big international shipping companies. Let’s see the top 10 largest shipping company leaders of the International market and put all these factors to compare them. We will discuss on the features of each of these mammoth companies. You can easily determine which company suits you the best.

All companies discussed here are considered from the facts mentioned in the track report of Alphaliner, the organization tracking the container fleet across the world depending on their TEUs.

1. A. P. Moller-Maersk Shipping Group

  • Largest shipping operator of the world.
  • Have a Twenty-feet Equivalent unit of 3,012,172 (TEU- the measurement for number of twenty-foot containers that can be shipped by a fleet)
  • 590 container vessels work under this company.
  • Caters to 115 countries from their 324 offices.
  • They ship about $675 million worth of freight and cargo in one year.
  • They have 5 triple fleet, each with holding capacity of 18000 twenty feet long containers.

Clearly, no matter how much cargo you need to be shipped will handled by them smoothly.

2. Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) S.A

  • Largest shipping company that has been owned privately.
  • Have a TEU of 2,659,489.
  • Cater to 150 countries in the world from 480 offices.
  • Cater to 315 ports across the globe.
  • Has the 4 largest container vessels in the world, each of which has the capacity of holding about 19000 twenty feet long containers.
  • In total they have 480 container ships.

Again, the holding capacity is great for any size of shipment. Moreover, larger number of ports are covered for your convenience.

3. CMA CGM Group

  • They can be considered as 3rd largest shipping corporation of the world.
  • They have TEU of 1,799,291.
  • Cater to 420 ports.
  • Cater to 160 countries from 765 offices across the globe.
  • They have 471 freight handling vessels.
  • The biggest vessel, CMA CGM Georg Forster, is the only one with a capacity of 18000 containers that are twenty feet long.

Though the size doesn’t look that attractive, don’t go by that. Considering the number of vessels, they have, they can easily cater to any number. But the advantage point here is the huge number of ports they cater to.

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4. China Ocean Shipping Company or COSCO.

  • Previously called the China Shipping Container lines, the modern COSCO is considered as the 4th largest company in the shipping industry worldwide.
  • Fr countries outside European borders, this is the largest shipping company so far.
  • They have a TEU of 1,539,618.
  • The company owns 5 out of 10 largest container vessels of the world.
  • Each of the 5 large vessels have the capacity of holding 19000 twenty feet long containers.
  • Total vessel count is 1114 but only 285 out of them are container vessels.

This company has a good capacity, but you need to enquire if they cater to your desired port.

5. Evergreen Marine

  • 5th largest company into shipping, if considered worldwide.
  • They have a TEU of 929,700
  • Responsible for the operation of 190 shipping vessel
  • Cater to 240 ports and 80 countries.
  • The size of their largest vessel is quite small as compared to their competitors.
  • Their vessels are mastered with technology for reduced consumption of fuel and emission of greenhouse gases.

One might think of backing out from this one because of the fleet size or the reduced number of countries they cater. But the environment friendly nature can’t be ignored.

6. Hapag-Lloyd

  • Have a TEU of 916,439
  • All container vessels they have are designed with modern engineering technologies.
  • Caters to 117 countries and 350 ports.
  • Their largest fleet can carry about 13000 TEU containers.
  • They have merged with CSAV from Chile.

7. Hamburg Süd Group

  • One of the largest companies for shipping in the world now, but it had its origin as a merchant or trading company.
  • they have a fleet of 133 vessels.
  • They have a TEU 646,918.
  • The company won awards as they focused on different procedures of reducing impact on the environment.
  • They now have their Brazilian fleet called Allança.

8. Hanjin Shipping

  • The South Korean company has a TEU of 621, 243.
  • They have a fleet of 170 container vessels under them.
  • They have 4 regional headquarters.
  • They have tie up with 12 terminals for containers in the largest ports of the world.
  • Their largest carrier has the capacity of 13000 containers of twenty feet length.
  • They 8 such vessels with 13000 TEU capacity.
  • They value their social responsibility towards keeping the world green.

9. Orient Overseas Container Line or OOCL

  • The Hong Kong based company has TEU of 565,113.
  • They cater to 70 countries across the world from 320 offices.
  • They are responsible for the operation of 2 different Terminals of container, one in Long Beach and one in Kaohsiung.
  • They focus on reduction of impact on the environment.
  • The company cares for their employees and their children with their special program for scholarship.

Surely a great shipping to look up to.

10. United Arab Shipping company or UASC

  • This UAE based company has TEU of 564,117.
  • They cater to more than 240 ports from their 185 offices across the globe.
  • They are known to posses the top 10 biggest vessel in the world.
  • Their growth rate is aggressive, and they aim to reach a TEU of 618,800 soon.

Clearly this is the future of shipping industry.

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Why are these companies trusted Internationally?

The top shipping companies of the world as above are trusted by all small companies for their cargo load.

Afterall, it’s not possible for every small company to reach every corner of the world without the handholding from international companies. International shipping comes with several norms, documentation and permit clauses.

Choosing these big companies gives you an upper-hand to get over all these hindrances.

Other reasons for choosing them are-

  • Flexibility of shipping, either by container ships or cargo planes, depending on the weather or permit requirements.
  • Their capacity to think out-of-the box. They are ever improving in their ways of business.
  • The next thing to consider is their experience. All the above companies and their competitors are well experienced in handling various hard situation of shipping.
  • All big shipping companies are easily traceable. So be ensured that you can always track your shipment with them.


If you are planning to avail service of any International Shipping Company look for the top brands. Remember internal shipping will require havoc documentation. So, it is always suggested to go for the best brand.

Look for a company that is trustable and traceable. Apart from that, of course affordability and your requirement will work as deciding factors.