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Evergreen Marine ranks as world's 5th largest shipper: UN conference

BRUSSELS--Taiwan-based Evergreen Marine Corp. ranks as the fifth largest shipping company in the world in terms of volume of shipping containers owned, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) reported Friday.

In its “Review of Maritime Transport 2013,” the U.N. agency said Evergreen Marine, which operates a fleet of 187 vessels, owned 709,702 twenty-foot-equivalent units (TEUs) in shipping containers as of January 2013, accounting for 4.4 percent of the global total of 16.06 million TEUs.

Denmark-based Maersk Line, operating a fleet of 453 vessels, ranked as the largest shipper in the world with 2.15 million TEUs in containers, or 13.4 percent of the global total, UNCTAD said.

Switzerland's Mediterranean Shipping, which owns a fleet of 398 vessels, came in second with 2.06 million TEUs in containers, or 12.9 percent of the world's total, the U.N. organization said.

CMA CGM Group of France ranked third with 1.15 million TEUs in containers, accounting for 7.2 percent of the global total, ahead of China's COSCO Group, which owned 715,219 TEUs in containers, or 4.5 percent of the world's total, it said.

The number of container TEUs owned by Evergreen Marine in January 2013 grew 24.3 percent from a year earlier, the highest rate of growth among the top 10 shippers in the world, according to the marine review report.

Yang Ming Transport Corp., another shipping company from Taiwan, ranked as the 15th largest shipper in the world with ownership of 363,057 container TEUs, or 2.3 percent of the global total, the report showed.

Yang Ming, which owns a fleet of 86 vessels, saw its container TEUs grow at a 5.7 percent clip from 2012, the report said.

Among 76 developing countries covered in the report, Taiwan's container port throughput for 2012 rose 3.74 percent from 2011 to 13.98 million TEUs, the seventh highest of any economy in the world.

China's throughput of 155.02 million TEUs ranked first globally, followed by Singapore (32.42 million TEUs), Hong Kong (23.10 million TEUs), South Korea (21.45 million TEUs), Malaysia (20.87 million TEUs), and the United Arab Emirates (17.21 million TEUs).

The U.N. agency said the volume of global seaborne trade for 2012 rose 4.3 percent from a year earlier to 9.2 billion tons due to strong demand from China and booming intra-Asian and South-South trade.

Global port throughput in 2012 grew about 3.8 percent from a year earlier to 602 million TEUs, the U.N. organization said.

The higher volume handled by these shippers failed to boost their bottom lines, however, as the business was still faced with a supply glut, which prompted shipping companies to cut prices to protect their market shares, the report said.

According to the report, about 70 percent of the goods traded globally were delivered by ship, with the percentage even higher in many developing countries.

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