The container shipping world is getting smaller. Hanjin Shipping may continue as a regional Intra-Asia carrier if its survival plan is successful but its days of being a leading global player in the Top 20 are over. Other brands that have effectively disappeared from the upper echelons of carrier rankings this summer include China Shipping Container Lines (CSCL) after its merger with Cosco, while APL and UASC are now merely sub-brands within larger companies after deals with CMA CGM and Hapag-Lloyd respectively.
How long APL and UASC continue as separate brands before being subsumed by their parents is debatable, although CMA CGM for its part does have a tradition of maintaining its acquired brands for a lengthy period.
If we include both APL and UASC within their new parents, the Top 5 ocean carriers now control approximately 54% of the world’s containership fleet. Back in 2005 that share was around 36% and while the trend for greater concentration has steadily been rising over the past 10 years it was the recent M&A activity that pushed it past the 50% threshold.