Container Shipping Market Size

Report on Industry Size & Market Share Analysis - Growth Trends & Forecasts (2024 - 2029)

The Container Shipping Market Report is Segmented by Size (Small, Large, And High Cube Containers), Type (General Container Shipping and Reefer Container Shipping), And Geography (North America, Europe, Asia-pacific, Middle East and Africa, And South America). The Report Offers Market Size Forecasts for the Container Shipping Market Value (USD) for all the Above Segments.

Container Shipping Market Size

Single User License


Team License


Corporate License


Book before:
Container Shipping Market Summary
Study Period 2020- 2029
Market Size (2024) USD 116.04 Billion
Market Size (2029) USD 134.03 Billion
CAGR (2024 - 2029) 3.11 %
Fastest Growing Market Asia Pacific
Largest Market North America

Major Players

Container Shipping Market Major Players

*Disclaimer: Major Players sorted in no particular order


Need a report that reflects how COVID-19 has impacted this market and its growth?

Single User License


Team License


Corporate License


Book before:

Container Shipping Market Analysis

The Container Shipping Market size is estimated at USD 116.04 billion in 2024, and is expected to reach USD 134.03 billion by 2029, growing at a CAGR of 3.11% during the forecast period (2024-2029).

  • The global container shipping industry may be dealing with a volatile situation in the Red Sea. Still, this year should provide plenty of moments for most professionals in space. Supply chain professionals are strategically rethinking trade routes and embracing technology to foster resilience and innovation. While shipping companies are optimistic about the industry’s growth, they remain vigilant, recognizing potential disruptions, such as geopolitical tensions.
  • Investments in technology and planning are the top investment trend, with 30% of respondents saying that is where they spend money. Real-time visibility and tracking (24%), collaboration and connectivity (27%), and process automation (18%) also appeared on the list.
  • The increase in volumes transported was due to the pick-up in global economic activity following the easing of various lockdown measures, the strong momentum in terms of the consumption of goods encouraged in some locations by support packages, strong e-commerce growth with inventory rebuilding, and the usual seasonal variation in business activity.
  • A heightened focus on corporate sustainability goals and new regional regulations from the European Union (EU) puts sustainability at the top of mind for many shippers and carriers heading into this year.
  • For example, under the EU’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) law, all EU importers need to report carbon emissions related to the production of certain products. Additionally, starting January 1, carriers shipping to, from, or within the European Economic Area (EEA) are subject to the EU’s new Emission Trading System (ETS) regulations, which were expanded to include maritime shipping.
  • Many ocean carriers have already made progress toward more sustainable shipping, including using slow steaming to meet emissions standards like the 2023 IMO GHG Strategy and introducing biofuels such as ammonia, methanol, and recycled cooking oil. However, the new requirements from the European Union may lead carriers to adjust schedules, implement surcharges, or make other changes to meet their sustainability goals, which would inevitably impact shippers.

Container Shipping Market Trends

Increasing high cube containers segment

  • • High cube containers are available in various lengths, including 20-foot and 40-foot options. The key feature of high cube containers is the increased height. While a standard container is 8 feet 6 inches high, high cube containers are 9 feet 6 inches tall.
  • • High cube containers are used when extra vertical space is needed. They are beneficial for transporting goods that may not fit within the standard height due to their dimensions or for maximizing cargo volume efficiently.
  • High-cube containers are used for all types of general cargo (dry cargo). However, they are particularly suitable for transporting light, voluminous cargoes and overheight cargoes up to a maximum of 2.70 m tall.
  • The primary advantage of high cube containers is their extra height (9 feet 6 inches), providing more cubic capacity than standard containers. This allows for transporting more significant or taller cargo, offering flexibility in handling various goods.
  • Statistics on the production of containers show that a few years ago, more than 6.6 million dry freight containers were produced, which will drop to 3.45 million TEU in the next few years. The trend in production is still fluctuating, with expectations of an increase mainly driven by replacement needs. The average cost of a new high cube container can range from USD 3,000 to USD 7,000, while a used unit may be around USD 1,50 to USD 5,000, depending on the size.
Container Shipping Market - Global container freight rate index from the September 2023 to the February 2024 (in USD per 40-foot container)

Asia-Pacific dominating the market

  • China is a global supplier of goods, trading with almost every nation. The GDP of the nation is significantly influenced by foreign commerce. Global demand for Chinese commodities (completed items or raw materials) is high. In the first quarter of 2023, China's exports showed a stunning recovery despite experiencing obstacles in international markets.
  • According to May Asia, China's exports increased by an impressive 14.8% in March compared to the same month last year, marking a positive turn of events after a period of decline.
  • In the top 10 global rankings for 2023, Chinese shipping center cities are notably represented, according to the most recent edition of the Xinhua-Baltic International Shipping Centre Development Index. Cities like Zhoushan, Hong Kong, Ningbo, and Shanghai were well-represented on this list, highlighting China's increasing importance in the global shipping sector.
  • Japan is the third-largest ship-owning country in Asia after China and Greece. Asian countries, including Japan, lead in cargo handling performance and have several ports ranked among the top globally for efficiency and connectivity.
  • All of India's major ports handled 463.98 million tons (MT) of cargo traffic between April and October of 2023. India's major ports handled 446.50 million tons (MT) of cargo traffic between April and October of the previous year. India exported USD 417.8 billion of goods a few years ago, a 40% increase from the prior year. Exports of goods totaled USD 447.46 billion in FY23. The government has implemented several mechanizations, deepened the draft, and implemented quick evacuation policies to increase operational efficiency.
  • In April–May 2023–24, among all commodities, containers handled the highest cargo of 30.22 million tonnes in India, accounting for 22.6% of the total. Next in line were POL–crude (20.6%), thermal coal (15.1%), other commodities (8.2%), iron ore/pellets (7.1%), POL products (6.7%), other coal (5.7%), coking coal (4.6%), LPG/LNG (1.8%), iron & steel (1.2%), fertilizer (1.2%), FRM dry (1.1%), edible oil (1.1%), other ores (1.0%), FRM liquid (0.9%), cement (0.4%), and sugar (0.3%).
Container Shipping Market: Container handling at inland and seaports (in million TEUs), China, 2018-2022

Container Shipping Industry Overview

The container shipping market is fragmented in nature, with the presence of many international companies. The top players in the segment include Maersk, MSC, CMA, COSCO, and Hapag Lloyd. Due to the increased seaborne trade and industrialization worldwide, the global shipping container market is expected to grow steadily.

The growth of the shipping container market is supported by increased demand for cargo transport via ships and a rise in trade-tied agreements. In addition, the growth of the shipping container market is affected by fluctuations in transportation and storage costs. Nevertheless, growth prospects for the market in the forecast period will be driven by factors such as a planned shift towards automation of shipping and increased safety standards at sea.

Container Shipping Market Leaders

  1. A. P. Moller-Maersk A/S

  2. MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company S. A.

  3. CMA CGM

  4. China COSCO Holdings Company Limited

  5. Hapag-Lloyd

*Disclaimer: Major Players sorted in no particular order

Container Shipping Market Concentration
Need More Details on Market Players and Competitors?
Download PDF

Container Shipping Market News

  • January 2024: SITC signed a framework agreement with Xiamen Port Holdings Group on January 2024, aiming to boost logistics jointly. Headquartered in Hong Kong, SITC is an intra-Asia shipping logistics company. The new agreement will see the two parties focus their cooperation on route network layout, international transit, complete logistics service chain, cross-border e-commerce, hinterland cargo source expansion, port intelligence, and digital transformation.
  • May 2023: Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders enters the container manufacturing business after receiving an order from the Container Corporation of India Ltd (CONCOR) for 2,500 cargo-carrying steel boxes.
  • January 2023: AP Moller-Maersk (Maersk) announces the completion of its acquisition of Martin Bencher Group, a Danish Project Logistics expert with premium capabilities within non-containerized project logistics and global operations. With the addition of Martin Bencher, they are strengthening their ability to offer project logistics services to their international clients while providing a more comprehensive offering to various industries.

Container Shipping Market Report - Table of Contents


    1. 1.1 Study Assumptions

    2. 1.2 Scope of the Study


    1. 2.1 Analysis Methodology

    2. 2.2 Research Phases



    1. 4.1 Current Market Scenario

    2. 4.2 Market Dynamics

      1. 4.2.1 Drivers

        1. Increasing volume of international trade

        2. The rise of trade agreements between nations

      2. 4.2.2 Restraints

        1. Surge in fuel costs affecting the market

        2. Increasing trade tension

      3. 4.2.3 Opportunities

        1. Technological advancements in the market

        2. Expanding global trade

    3. 4.3 Value Chain/Supply Chain Analysis

    4. 4.4 Industry Policies and Regulations

    5. 4.5 Technological Developments in the Logistics Sector

    6. 4.6 Industry Attractiveness - Porter's Five Forces Analysis

      1. 4.6.1 Threat of New Entrants

      2. 4.6.2 Bargaining Power of Buyers/Consumers

      3. 4.6.3 Bargaining Power of Suppliers

      4. 4.6.4 Threat of Substitute Products

      5. 4.6.5 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry

    7. 4.7 Impact of COVID-19 on the Market

    8. 4.8 Insights into End Users in the Market


    1. 5.1 By Size

      1. 5.1.1 Small Containers

      2. 5.1.2 Large Containers

      3. 5.1.3 High Cube Containers

    2. 5.2 By Type

      1. 5.2.1 General Container Shipping

      2. 5.2.2 Reefer Container Shipping

    3. 5.3 By Geography

      1. 5.3.1 North America

        1. United States

        2. Canada

        3. Mexico

        4. Rest of North America

      2. 5.3.2 Europe

        1. Germany

        2. France

        3. United Kingdom

        4. Italy

        5. Rest of Europe

      3. 5.3.3 Asia-Pacific

        1. China

        2. Japan

        3. Australia

        4. India

        5. Singapore

        6. Malaysia

        7. Indonesia

        8. Thailand

        9. Rest of Asia-Pacific

      4. 5.3.4 Middle East and Africa

        1. Egypt

        2. Qatar

        3. Saudi Arabia

        4. United Arab Emirates

        5. South Africa

        6. Rest of Middle East and Africa

      5. 5.3.5 South America

        1. Brazil

        2. Colombia

        3. Rest of South America


    1. 6.1 Market Concentration Overview

    2. 6.2 Company Profiles

      1. 6.2.1 AP Moller-Maersk AS

      2. 6.2.2 MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company SA

      3. 6.2.3 CMA CGM

      4. 6.2.4 China COSCO Holdings Company Limited

      5. 6.2.5 Hapag-Lloyd

      6. 6.2.6 ONE (Ocean Network Express)

      7. 6.2.7 Evergreen Line

      8. 6.2.8 Wan Hai Lines

      9. 6.2.9 Zim

      10. 6.2.10 SITC

      11. 6.2.11 Zhonggu Logistics Corp.

      12. 6.2.12 Antong Holdings (QASC)*

    3. *List Not Exhaustive
    4. 6.3 Other Companies


  8. 8. APPENDIX

You Can Purchase Parts Of This Report. Check Out Prices For Specific Sections
Get Price Break-up Now

Container Shipping Industry Overview

Container shipping refers to transportation through containers from one place to another. Unlike conventional shipping, container shipping uses containers of various standard sizes to load, transport, and unload goods or objects. As a result, containers can be moved by trains, ships, and trucks.

The report provides a comprehensive background analysis of the container shipping market, covering the current market trends, restraints, technological updates, and detailed information on various segments and the industry's competitive landscape. The impact of COVID-19 has also been incorporated and considered during the study.

The container shipping market is segmented by size (small, large, and high cube containers), type (general container shipping and reefer container shipping), and geography (North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa, and South America). The report offers market size and forecasts value (USD) for all the above segments.

By Size
Small Containers
Large Containers
High Cube Containers
By Type
General Container Shipping
Reefer Container Shipping
By Geography
North America
United States
Rest of North America
United Kingdom
Rest of Europe
Rest of Asia-Pacific
Middle East and Africa
Saudi Arabia
United Arab Emirates
South Africa
Rest of Middle East and Africa
South America
Rest of South America
Need A Different Region Or Segment?
Customize Now

Container Shipping Market Research FAQs

The Container Shipping Market size is expected to reach USD 116.04 billion in 2024 and grow at a CAGR of 3.11% to reach USD 134.03 billion by 2029.

In 2024, the Container Shipping Market size is expected to reach USD 116.04 billion.

A. P. Moller-Maersk A/S, MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company S. A., CMA CGM, China COSCO Holdings Company Limited and Hapag-Lloyd are the major companies operating in the Container Shipping Market.

Asia Pacific is estimated to grow at the highest CAGR over the forecast period (2024-2029).

In 2024, the North America accounts for the largest market share in Container Shipping Market.

In 2023, the Container Shipping Market size was estimated at USD 112.43 billion. The report covers the Container Shipping Market historical market size for years: 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023. The report also forecasts the Container Shipping Market size for years: 2024, 2025, 2026, 2027, 2028 and 2029.

Major end-user industries that significantly contribute to the Shipping Container Market include a) Food and Beverages b) Consumer Goods and Healthcare c) Industrial Products and Vehicle Transport

Container Shipping Industry Report

The global shipping container market is experiencing significant growth, driven by increasing international trade and the rise of trade agreements. Dry storage containers dominate the container shipping market due to their versatility across sectors like food & beverages, consumer goods, and healthcare, while refrigerated containers are the fastest-growing segment, catering to the rising demand for perishable goods and pharmaceuticals. Regionally, North America leads with robust maritime infrastructure and significant trading activities, whereas the Asia-Pacific region sees rapid growth due to its strong manufacturing base and high trade volumes, with China as a major exporter in the cargo shipping market. The market benefits from advancements in container technology and logistics, enhancing the efficiency and reliability of global trade. The food & beverages sector holds a significant market share in the shipping container market, driven by the continuous demand for transporting items, and the healthcare sector is emerging rapidly due to global medical needs. For detailed statistics and a market forecast, access a sample industry analysis as a free report PDF download from Mordor Intelligence™ Industry Reports. This comprehensive overview provides insights into the global container shipping market size and trends, essential for shipping container companies and stakeholders in the cargo shipping market.

80% of our clients seek made-to-order reports. How do you want us to tailor yours?

Please enter a valid email id!

Please enter a valid message!

Container Shipping Market Size & Share Analysis - Growth Trends & Forecasts (2024 - 2029)