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Cosco takes top spot for liftings in Q3, overtaking Maersk Line

Cosco takes top spot for liftings in Q3, overtaking Maersk Line

COSCO registered a 23 per cent year-on-year increase in container lifts in the third quarter, enabling the Chinese container carrier to knock rival Maersk Line off the top spot. Cosco loaded 5.49 million TEU in the quarter, compared to Maersk’s 5.26 million TEU over the same period, representing a decline of 2.4 per cent.

The Danish carrier’s weaker result was due to a cyberattack this summer that had forced the carrier to shut down its booking systems for 12 days. Maersk’s liftings in the first two weeks of July contracted as shippers booked cargo with other carriers.

Cosco may seal its position as the leading container carrier with the acquisition of OOCL, a transaction which is expected to close soon. OOCL carried 1.6 million TEU in the third quarter. Maersk’s looming takeover of Hamburg Sud would add at most one million TEU to the total, reported Global Trade Magazine, Newport Beach, California, which cited figures from Alphaliner.

However Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), which ranks second to Maersk Line in deployed capacity, did not disclose its volumes or financials. If it had, it could rank number one in terms of container lifts.

In third place came CMA CGM after volumes rose by 11.6 per cent in the third quarter to five million TEU, while Hapag-Lloyd is in fourth position with 2.81 million TEU after it recorded an increase of 44.2 per cent in volume on the quarter due to its merger with UASC.

Hapag-Lloyd could however lose its position next year when the Japanese shipping lines “K” Line, MOL, and NYK merge their 3.6 million TEU into the Ocean Network Express (ONE) in April.

Second to Hapag-Lloyd, Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) saw the biggest gains in the third quarter, with a 41.1 per cent increase in volume to 1.05 million TEU, ranking the carrier eighth on Alphaliner’s list.

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