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    Shipping companies – which one should I use?

    Shipping line

    It’s a question we get asked all the time, here at Gap Containers.

    ‘Now I’ve purchased a container, which company should I use to ship it abroad?’

    Unfortunately, the answer isn’t black and white. There are so many freight forwarding and shipping companies in the UK for you to choose from. And the right one for you will depend on several factors, including your budget, the country you wish to ship to, and each company’s availability.

    But to help point you in the right direction, here we’ve rounded up a list of some of the biggest shipping lines currently operating in the UK – and a brief overview of the services they offer.


    Top 5 shipping companies in the UK


    1. Maersk

    Example of shipping company

    Part of the A.P. Moller Group, Maersk is officially the world’s largest shipping company. The Danish firm was founded back in 1904. Therefore, you can expect an experienced and reliable service.

    It moves approximately 12 million containers every year, travelling to 300 ports around the globe. And with an extensive network of 600 vessels, it can assist with transportation for a wide range of sectors – including lifestyle, retail, chemicals, automotive, electronics and oversized cargo.

    Aside from international shipping, it also offers warehouse storage in over 50 different countries.


    2. Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC)

    Shipping company in the UK

    MSC is a global business and the second-largest shipping line in the world.

    The firm calls at 500 ports on 215 trade routes, carrying approximately 21.5 million TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units) each year – via a modern fleet, equipped with the latest green technologies.

    Primarily, it focuses on delivering goods for the food and beverage, agriculture and chemicals sectors. But it can also carry personal goods for anyone moving overseas. And aside from shipping, it offers transport services on land, as well as a range of warehouse and storage solutions.


    3. CMA CGM

    International shipping company

    Having first started in the mid-1800s, CMA CGM is a long-established shipping company. But by applying their expertise, they’re steering the industry towards a greener ‘low-carbon’ future.

    This is a fantastic shipping line for those who are eco-conscious. It delivers a panel of door-to-door maritime and inland solutions, allowing you to send cargo to 420 ports around the world via 200 different routes. It has experience in transporting dry, refrigerated, special and dangerous goods. And is taking a proactive approach to sustainability, striving to reduce its CO2 emissions by 25%.


    4. Hapag-Lloyd

    Shipping line

    Hapag-Lloyd was created in 1970, when two German transportation companies decided to merge. And thanks to many subsequent mergers, it’s now the sixth-largest shipping line in the world.

    It offers an array of shipping possibilities, with an extensive network of 241 modern ships, 121 liner services and reliable connections to more than 600 locations – across all continents. The majority of its cargo includes foodstuffs and beverages, plastics and rubber, chemicals and paper and forest products. But whatever you’re looking to move, Hapag-Lloyd can get it there quickly and safely.


    5. Evergreen Line

    Example of shipping line that operates in the UK

    Evergreen has had a lot of bad press recently. After all, it was one of their 400m vessels that got stuck in the Suez Canal in March 2021, causing huge disruption for international shipping. But, it’s still one of the biggest and most successful shipping companies in the world.

    Although a Taiwanese firm, it transports globally – to 240 ports in 80 countries across the world. 1.2 million TEU is moved (without a hitch!) by its modern fleet every year. And it offers a range of great logistical services here in the UK. So it’s definitely one to keep in mind for your next shipment.


    Get in touch for further information


    Choosing a shipping line should never be a quick decision.

    Our advice is to do your research. Take a closer look at the five international shipping companies outlined above. Do your own online search, gather more information, and make a few calls. There are many factors to consider and you need to be sure you’re selecting the right company for you.

    And remember, we’re always at the other end of the phone.

    We’re by no means experts in UK shipping companies. But we are a leading UK supplier of shipping containers and have good knowledge of the industry. If you’d like to discuss your requirements – or are looking to buy or rent a shipping container – please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Just give us a call on 0870 240 9405 or send an email to and we’ll get back to you.


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    June 23, 2021 | Lauren

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