Size of container ship fleets by nationality of proprietor 2018

This graph depicts the size of the global container ship fleet during the first three months of 2018, broken down by the nationality of the owner group.

Container ship fleet by country

In January 2018, the global cellular container fleet had a capacity of around 21 million twenty-foot equivalent units, or TEUs. One TEU is the shipping industry’s standard unit of measure, which denotes the capacity of an ISO freight container. Such standard freight containers are also called intermodal containers because they can be transported via three different modes of transport: via sea, rail and road. Intermodal freight transport is a method that once revolutionized cargo handling by reducing the damage done to goods stored inside containers and by dramatically expediting cargo-handling operations. Some 60 years ago, cargo shipping was a lot more expensive and time consuming. As a result of the introduction of standard containers, the volume of seaborne trade has grown significantly over the past six decades. This trend can still be seen today. The tonnage of international seaborne cargo loaded in containers increased by around 833 million metric tons between 2005 and 2017.

Container ship fleet size as of 1st quarter 2018, by group owner domicile

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Release date

June 2018



Survey time period

Q1 2018

Supplementary notes

The percentage figures are based on GT.

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Statistics on "Container port industry in Singapore"

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