Cosco overtakes Maersk as world's top container carrier in third quarter

7th December 2017

COSCO Shipping has taken the top spot in the number of container liftings in the third quarter, overtaking Maersk Line for the first time, reports Paris consultancy Alphaliner.

China's government is pushing to raise the country's profile in global shipping and last year merged two state-owned firms to form Cosco Shipping, aiming to challenge the dominance of top players Maersk and the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC).

Cosco lifted 5.49 million TEU the third quarter, up 23 per cent from the same period last year, surpassing Maersk's 5.26 million TEU, according to the Alphaliner data, which was published this week.

The fall in the number of containers handled by Maersk in the quarter, which was down 2.4 per cent from the same period last year, was partly due to a costly cyber attack that hit its shipping and port operations in July and August.