The Port of Karachi, (Bandar Gah Karachi) is one of South Asia’s largest and busiest deep- water seaports handling about 60% of the nations’ cargo. The international freight forwarding business emerged in Pakistan in 1980’s. As seaborne trade continues to expand the industry grows and strengthens especially with the help of the international shipping companies being actively involved in Pakistan. The biggest international shipping companies are based on data from Alpha-liner, which keeps records of the capacity of world container ship fleets based on twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs). This means, how many 20ft shipping containers a company can carry at any given time.
The companies that have been ranked as the top 5 are as follows:
- A. P Moller-Maersk Group
- Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC)
- CMA CGM Group
- China Ocean Shipping (Group) Company (COSCO)
- Evergreen Marine
- A. P Moller-Maersk Group: Mainly known as Maersk is a Danish business conglomerate. This group has activities in a variety of business sectors, primarily within the transportation and energy sectors. It has been the largest container ship operator and supply vessel operator in the world since 1966. A. P Moller- Maersk Group is based in Copenhagen, Denmark with subsidiaries and offices in more than 135 countries worldwide and around 89000 employees. It was ranked 148th on the Forbes Global 2000 list for 2015. The Group has 272 Maersk owned vessels with a combined capacity of 1.7 million TEU and 308 chartered vessels with the combined capacity of 1.1 million TEU as of September 2014. The container shipping and related activities are the largest business area of the Maersk Group providing almost half of the groups’ revenue. The shipping line has temperature sensitive cargos, bulk commodities and odd sized shipments, container loads od hazardous materials are shipped. It comprises worldwide container services, logistics, and forwarding solutions and terminal activities under the brand names Maersk Line, Safmarine, and Damco. As of 2010 Maersk had an order booked for new ships totaling 857000 TEU (including options on the Triple E-Class). Main office is in Karachi, while others are in Lahore and Faisalabad. Shipping services include reefer cargo, verified gross mass, dry cargo, special cargo, routenet, used container sales, inland transport, customer charter, customer advisories, E-business , real time updates, smart pay, card payments, instant freight release, and a Maersk App to make things simpler.
- Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC): Worlds second largest shipping line in terms of container vessel capacity. Being a private company it has no obligations to publish annual reports certified by independent parties: as a consequence, the data MSC releases about itself is not verifiable. In December 2014, MSC was operating 471 container vessels with an intake capacity of 2435000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU). The Geneva-headquartered company operates in all major countries around the world. MSCs most important port is Antwerp in Belgium. MSC was founded in Naples in 1970 as a private company by the seafarer Captain Gianluigi Aponte when he bought his first ship and started operating between Mediterranean and Somalia. MSC has around 480 offices across 150 countries worldwide with 24000 employees. The shipping line sails on more than 200 trade routes calling over 315 ports. Operating capacity is up to 19,244 TEU including one of the largest container ships, MSC Oscar. In December 2014, MSC was ranked number six in Lloyds List Top 100 Most Influential People in Shipping. The services provided by MSC are; trade services, reefer cargo, intermodal, cross trading, customer clearance, cargo trailers, dry cargo, project cargo, warehousing and storage, e-Business, ports, terminals, depot and VGM. Main office in Karachi.
- CMA CGM Group: Compagnie Generale Maritime (CGM) is a French container transportation and shipping company. It is the third largest container company in the world, using 170 shipping routes between 400 ports in 150 different countries. Headquarters are in Marseille, and North American headquarters in Norfolk, Virginia USA. The company started in the 19th Century in 1851. After two world wars, the two companies Messageries Maritime (MM) and Compagnie Generale Maritime (CGM) became state-owned corporation of the competitive sector, by 1977 both the companies were merged. Operated freight and container liner services in various global trade lanes, fleet of dry bulk ships, few large oil tankers and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) tankers. In 1998 the combines companies purchased Australian National Lines (ANL) and then acquired French rival Delmas thus gaining the third position worldwide. It has 428 vessels with combined capacity of 1.55 million TEU. In July 2016 CMA CGM finalized acquisition of Singapore based NOL- Neptune Orient Lines and its container line APL- American President Lines. This was CMA CGM’s largest acquisition and purchase added 12% market share to the group. Offices are in Karachi, Lahore and Faisalabad. Services offered: VGM, e- Business, freight forwarding, dry cargo, intermodal.
- Evergreen Marine Line: Evergreen is a Taiwanese container transportation and shipping company founded in 1968 by the chairman of the company, billionaire Yung-Fa Chang. Services initially began with a single cargo vessel named ‘Central Trust” which operated a ‘go-anywhere’ service. It’s headquartered in Luzhu District, Taoyuan City, Taiwan. With over 150 container ships with 439,538 TEUs, it is part of the Evergreen Group conglomerate of transportation firms and associated companies. Evergreen calls on 240 ports worldwide in about 80 countries and is the fourth-largest company of its type. Company’s activities include: shipping, construction of containers and ships, management of ports, engineering and real estate development. The principle trading routes are: Far East to North America, Central America and Caribbean: the Far East to Northern Europe and the East Mediterranean. Europe to the East Coast of America; the Far East to Australia, Mauritius, South Africa and South America; and an intra-Asia service linking ports in Asia to the Middle East, Persian Gulf and the Red Sea. Offices are in Karachi and Lahore.
China Ocean Shipping (Group) Company: COSCO or COSCO Group is a Chinese shipping and logistics services supplier that is owned by the government of the Peoples Republic of China. The headquarters are in Ocean Plaza in the Xicheng District in Beijing. The company owns more than 170 modern container vessels totaling over 750,000 TEUs as of September 2012. Shipments are delivered all year round on over 84 international routes and 23 domestic services connecting 162 principal parts in 49 countries and regions in the world. COSCO has seven listed companies and more than 300 subsidiaries locally and abroad. It has well-developed information technology and e-commerce systems, through an inter-connected global e-commerce platform and a global EDI center. Customers are able to exchange data and share information resources.
The international and local shipping companies are beneficial for the economy of the country because around 90% of the worlds trade is carried by the international shipping industry.