The top five consolidated container fleets are currently worth USD 33.4 billion and account for 33% of the entire container fleet, according to the latest data provided by VesselsValue.
The report on the top five fleets, including the Moller Maersk AS/Hamburg Süd, China COSCO Holdings Co, CMA CGM/ APL, Hapag-Lloyd/ UASC/ CSAV, MOL/ NYK Line/ K Line, was compiled in light of the recent container carrier consolidation as Danish shipping giant Maersk last week confirmed reports that it will purchase Germany’s container shipping line Hamburg Süd.
Subject to final agreement and regulatory approvals, the acquisition would complement Maersk’s current business as Hamburg Süd holds a strong position in north-south trades.
Maersk is thought to have paid roughly USD 4 billion for Hamburg Süd whose fleet is worth USD 1.5 billion. The deal is expected to complete end 2017. Entry of Hamburg Süd into the 2M alliance will put the alliance into the lead with 15% of global capacity.
China COSCO Holdings Co
The Chinese state cabinet approved the merger of COSCO and China Shipping back in December of 2015. The merger is a part of plans to create stronger, larger national entities that have greater competitive advantage and prevents the two lines from competing against one another. China COSCO Holdings have the largest fleet on order with 29 ULCVs and 4 post-panamax containerships. The Chinese owned container fleet is the most valuable at USD 17.6 billion and accounts for around 17% of the market.
CMA CGM/ APL
The largest acquisition in the French giant’s history, CMA CGM acquired Singaporean company, NOL, best known for its APL brand. Recently it was also confirmed that APL would join CMA CGM in the Ocean Alliance which will subsequently represent 14% of global container capacity, second only to the 2M alliance. The acquisition will make the combined fleet the 3rd most valuable in the industry.
Hapag-Lloyd/ UASC/ CSAV
Hapag-Lloyd completed their integration of Chilean line CSAV earlier this year. In July, they continued their growth by signing a merger agreement with UASC. The new merger will bring Hapag-Lloyd’s average age down to 7.8 years from 8.7 years. Hapag-Lloyd and UASC will be the 4th most valuable fleet up from 10th and 8th, respectively.
MOL/ NYK Line/ K Line
One of the more recent mergers to be announced is that of MOL, NYK and K Line. Only the container businesses of these companies will merge and the consolidation is expected to be complete by 2018. The most valuable Japanese container fleet is Shoei Kisen valued at USD 3.0 billion and ranked 8th. In comparison, none of the other Japanese entities feature in the top 10 most valuable container fleets. The merger shows that consolidation can be used very effectively in the container industry to create a large footprint with only mid-size lines. The new arrangement makes the merged entity the 5th most valuable at USD 5.1 billion.