The ranking of the top-12 carriers has changed this year with HMM jumping from the 10th to 8th place after a 85% fleet capacity increase. PIL on the other hand has slipped from the 9th to 12th spot, following the carrier’s departure from the Transpacific trade, the sale of sixteen ships and a reduction of PIL’s chartered fleet by sixteen units, resulting in a 28.9% fleet capacity reduction.
Another major change in the carrier rankings is expected early next year as CMA CGM is about to reconquer the third position from COSCO Group. COSCO Shipping Holdings became the global number three in July 2018, when it completed the takeover of OOCL. The combined capacity of COSCO Shipping and OOCL was 2.76 Mteu at that time, compared to 2.64 Mteu for CMA CGM.
The fleet capacity of CMA CGM has broken the 3 Mteu barrier this month after deploying the 14,812 teu newbuilding CMA CGM SCANDOLA (chartered from Eastern Pacific Shipping) and the delivery of the 23,112 teu CMA CGM LOUVRE.
Total fleet capacity of the Marseilles-based carrier today stands at 3,012,515teu, which is only 10,367 teu less than COSCO. With five more 23,112 newbuildings to be delivered to CMA CGM in the first half of 2021, it’s obvious that the French line will overtake COSCO again. The Chinese carrier is to receive 12 x 23,000 teu newbuildings for OOCL, but only as from summer 2023.
CMA CGM has realized its impressive 11.8% fleet growth entirely in the second half of this year. All top 12-carriers have reduced their fleet capacity in the first half of the year (except HMM - see our newsletter 25) including CMA CGM (-1%) in a reaction to low cargo demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The lockdown in the Western world and travel restrictions have triggered an export boom from China in the second half of 2020 as consumers rushed to buy physical goods such as electronics and home utilities online. CMA CGM was in a good position to react to the booming cargo demand as it took delivery of its first 4 x 23,112 teu newbuildings, and also sharply increased its chartered-in fleet from 382 to 452 ships (net between redeliveries and new charters).
CMA CGM’s fleet increase of 316,652 teu in absolute numbers is only surpassed by HMM, which has added 330,500 teu (+85%) this year as it took delivery of 12 x 24,000 teu newbuildings and recuperated 9 x 10,100 - 13,100 teu ships which had been on sub-charter to Maersk and MSC as part of the ’2M + HMM’ cooperation agreement which ended on 31 March.
The table above shows that only four carriers have reduced their fleet this year. Maersk has compensated a 5.6% capacity reduction in the first six months of the year somewhat in the second half. Its fleet dropped below the 4M mark in H1 and Maersk’s global market share reduced from 17.8 to 16.6% in June. The number one will end 2020 with a 2% smaller fleet and 17% market share.
The gap between the world’s two biggest carriers has narrowed to 251,000 teu as MSC has witnessed a modest 2.4% fleet growth. Maersk’s current orderbook stands at 21 units for 54,558 teu while MSC has ten ships on order for 179,280 teu.
Of note, the 4 x 24,000 teu ships just ordered by BoComm in China are not included in the MSC figures as the charters have not been confirmed yet.