In this thesis the future (in 30 years’ time) development and structure of the container shipping industry and especially that of the leading liners, Maersk, MSC, Cosco, CMA CGM, Hapag-Lloyd, ONE and Evergreen is studied. First the history of shipping after the introduction of the propeller (propulsion system), more in particular container shipping and the different forms of cooperation among vessel operators, is evaluated. An analysis of the seven major carriers, where they originate, their strategy and their current state of affairs is given. Next, the cooperation between carriers and the three remaining Alliances is discussed. To get a good impression of the situation in 2050 a scenario analysis resulting in four possible futures (“Muddling through”, “Take it or shake it”, “Total customer value” and “The power game”) is developed. Depending on the outcome, for each of the scenarios emerging a carrier-strategy is formulated. In a final analysis, I concluded that not all of the seven carriers will still be in existence in 30 years’ time, at least not independently, a first adopter of new technology has the best chance of survival.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Carriers, alliances, supply, scenario analysis and containers
Thesis Advisor B. Kuipers
Persistent URL
Series Economics
O.J.G. Zwakhals. (2019, August 14). The state of container shipping lines in 2050.. Economics. Retrieved from