AT the turn of the new year MSC is by far the largest ocean carrier by TEU capacity, followed by Maersk, then CMA CGM and COSCO, according to the latest available data from analyst Alphaliner.

Together the top five container lines control the capacity to carry 16.9 million TEU, or 64.2% of the global capacity.

MSC overtook Maersk as the biggest container line in January last year, knocking the Danish company off the top spot it had occupied for decades.

Currently, MSC has a total capacity of 4.6 million TEU, or 17.5% of the world total capacity. MSC’s fleet comprises 714 ships – 413 of which (with a capacity of 2 million TEU) are owned, and 301 (2.5 million TEU) are chartered.

MSC’s orderbook is 37.6% of its existing fleet at 124 vessels with a total capacity of 1.7 million TEU.

And number-two Maersk has a total capacity of 4.23 million TEU, or 16.1% of the world’s total capacity. Its fleet comprises 707 vessels, 345 of which (2.5 million TEU) are owned and 362 (1.7 million TEU) are chartered.

According to Alphaliner, Maersk has only 31 ships on order, with a capacity of 376,400 TEU, or 8.9% of its existing capacity.

CMA CGM is in the third spot with a total capacity of 3.4 million TEU on 595 vessels. This is 12.9% of the total world container carrying capacity. The French company has 81 vessels on order with a capacity of 689,300, or 20% of its existing capacity.

COSCO Group is in the fourth place with 2.87 million TEU (10.9% of the world capacity), and Hapag-Lloyd is fifth with 1.78 million TEU (6.8% of the world capacity).