Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) is now the world’s largest ocean carrier by operated container vessel capacity, Alphaliner numbers show.

The Geneva-based carrier MSC overtook Maersk as the company added more than 1m teu of capacity over the past twelve months, according to maritime consultancy Alphaliner.

On 1 January 2024 the cellular container fleet comprised 5,977 ships for a total capacity of 28.13 Mteu. This represents a year-on-year net increase of 271 ships and 2.14 Mteu – or 8.2%.

MSC on its own accounted for not less than 47.4% of the total fleet growth in 2023, according to Alphaliner.

The company, owned by the Aponte family, last year took delivery of fourteen megamax ships of 24,000 teu, as well as 26 neo-panamax in the size range from 15,250 to 16,550 teu.

Meanwhile, as Alphaliner explains, CMA CGM is the only carrier of the three largest mainline operators that managed to increase both market share and capacity in the intraMediterranean service segment over the past year.

Overall, intra-Med service capacity grew by 17.6%, or more than 75,000 teu, compared to December 2022 as carriers deployed more ships (345 vs 296). The average ship size was relatively stable at 1,463 teu vs 1,450 teu.

“Unlike other carriers such as Maersk, who have not only reduced the number of ships operating in the Med but also the average ship size, CMA CGM has increased the amount of ships and presently deploys much larger vessels in the Med compared to a year ago.”

With 60 container ships deployed, CMA CGM operates six ships more than last year, while the average vessel size increased by almost 250 teu per ship from 1,433 teu to 1,677 teu.