The Chinese COSCO group might overtake French carrier CMA CGM as the third-biggest container line, if the latter does not acquire more ships. COSCO now has 2.97 million TEU of total operating capacity, compared with CMA CGM’s 3.01 million TEU.
However, COSCO’s fleet stands at 1.55 million TEU, compared with 1.23 million TEU for CMA CGM (the rest of the capacities come from chartered vessels).
On 2 September, COSCO's subsidiary, OOCL contracted ten 16,000TEU ships at affiliated shipyards Dalian COSCO KHI Ship Engineering and Nantong COSCO KHI Ship Engineering for US$158 million each.
Including a dozen 23,000TEU ships that OOCL ordered in 2020, six 14,000TEU and four 16,000TEU ships that COSCO Shipping Lines contracted from affiliate COSCO Shipping Heavy Industry (Yangzhou) on 15 July, the COSCO group’s orderbook now stands at 585,272TEU, while CMA CGM’s orderbook totals 525,452TEU.
Assuming that CMA CGM does not order or acquire more ships, COSCO’s owned ships will increase to 2.14 million TEU when all the new-buildings are delivered by 2024, while CMA CGM’s owned fleet will grow to 1.76 million TEU.