Data analysts and consultancy Alphaliner updated its ranking of the Top 100 and for the first time reflects MSC in the lead position ahead of Maersk by just 1,888 TEU, a small fraction of its nearly 4.3 million TEU total capacity.

Founded in 1970, and controlled for more than 40 years by the Aponte family, MSC evolved from one vessel to its current fleet of 645 ships with a rated capacity of 4,284,728 TEU. The company reports that it today calls at 500 ports on more than 230 trade routes and annually transports more than 23 million TEU.

Both lines hold a market share of 17% at present and significantly larger than their nearest rival CMA CGM a 12.6% share and 3.17m teu of capacity.

MSC is set to considerably extend its lead over Maersk in capacity in the coming years with an orderbook of 60 newbuilds, just shy of 1m teu in capacity, or 23% of its current fleet. By contrast Maersk’s orderbook stands at 6% of its current fleet with 25 ships totalling 255,100 teu in capacity.

The Danish shipping giant currently has a fleet of 738 vessels with a capacity that also nears 4.3 million TEU.  Maersk owns 60 percent of its fleet of 330 vessels. Unlike its competitors thought, Maersk has yet to announce plans for a large expansion of its containership fleet.

According to seatrade-maritime