The Chinese container shipping company Cosco exceeded Maersk Line as the shipping company handling the most containers in the third quarter, Reuters reported quoting data from shipping consultancy Alphaliner.
However, this is mainly because the Maersk group was hit by a hacker attack, reports the Alphaliner analysis house. Cosco increased the handled container volume by 23 percent in Q3 to 5.49 million TEU (20-foot container units) and thus exceeded Maersk Line's 5.26 million TEU.
It was unclear how much of COSCO’s activity related to inter-Chinese trade.
Report said that China’s government is pushing to raise the country’s profile in global shipping and last year merged two state-owned firms to form COSCO Shipping, aiming to challenge the dominance of top players Maersk Line and Switzerland’s MSC.
The fall in the number of containers handled by Maersk in the quarter, which was down 2.4 percent from the same period last year, was partly due to a costly cyber attack that hit its shipping and port operations in July and August.
CMA CGM is also challenging the once-untouchable Maersk Line on volume growth. It saw its liftings jump 11.6% year-on-year in Q3 to 4.98m teu, another new record for the French carrier.