Will the top operators soon dictate global shipping and freight?

Published 19. Dec 2021 3:38 PM

Shipping and freight have proven to be very profitable businesses as the top operators have made hefty profits and nearing a cumulative 2021 profits of $115-120 billion

Most of the profits of the super-carriers are being re-invested into either their core business or spent towards expansions as we have seen with AP Moeller Maersk who is expanding their land-based logistics arm and MSC who is expanding their fleet and have acquired nearly 130 vessels since October 2020 and have 62 vessels on order.

More non-operating shipowners are cashing out and selling to the top major operators who are ready to pay big bucks for sea-worthy vessels as old as 23 years, to secure vessels for their services. The fact that the ownership is changing hands so rapidly and the top 10 operators are leading both in terms of acquiring second-hand vessels as well as vessels on order, could alter the future of the industry and leave a much smaller space for the non-operating shipowners and eventually placing all control in the hands of companies such as MSC, Maersk, Hapag Lloyd, CMA CGM, Wan Hai Lines, Evergreen and HMM.

If a future consisting of super-carriers has all control of the global-merchant container fleet, the entry barrier for new players could be reduced to an almost unrealistic condition and mean that the already established alliances will become much more powerful and eventually dictate global shipping and freight.

We have seen non-shipping companies trying to fight back such as Walmart, IKEA, Amazon, and Home Depot investing heavily into their freight and shipping divisions to safeguard them against deliveries and cost.



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