A market report by the company Sicex for the promotion of global trade highlighted the importance of shipping companies as key players in foreign trade. Within the ranking of the largest shipping companies in the world are four European and one Chinese. "These companies are responsible for transporting the products and goods of exporting and importing companies around the world, from one country to another by sea," the document states.

1. Maersk line

The list is headed by Maersk Line, the company of Danish origin founded in 1904. It is the world's largest container company by fleet size and cargo capacity, with a dedicated team of more than 80,000 operators in 130 countries. It is known for its worldwide coverage, in addition to its main Asia-Europe and transatlantic trade routes, as well as its presence in South America, Europe, and Africa.

2. Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC)

It is the second-largest in terms of container ship capacity. It is dedicated to the shipping and logistics sector with a presence in 155 countries facilitating international trade between the world's major economies and emerging markets. It also has an extensive integrated road, rail, and sea transport network that extends throughout the world.

3. Cosco Group

China Ocean Shipping Company is a Chinese government-owned shipping company based in Beijing. To become the third-largest shipping line in the world, it had to merge with China Shipping Group in February 2016 and acquired Orient Overseas Container Line (Oocl) in July 2018. By the end of December 2019, this company had a total of 235 corporate companies, including 97 domestic companies and 138 overseas companies.

4. CMA CGM Group

The French company based in Marseille was founded in 1978. It is the result of a merger between Compagnie Maritime d'Affrètement (CMA) and Compagnie Générale Maritime (CGM). This shipping line is now the fourth largest in the world and is one of the most aggressive in terms of expanding its market share with 492 cargo ships, a capacity of 2.6 million TEUs, and a market share of 11.4%.

5. Hapag-Lloyd

With its headquarters in Hamburg, this company was founded in 1970 and is the product of the merger between Amerikanische Packetfahrt-Actien-Gesellschaft (Hapag) and Norddeutscher Lloyd (NDL). Then in 2014, the company merged with Sud Americana de Vapores (Csav) to become a German-Chilean conglomerate and the fifth largest shipping company in the world.