The global shipping industry plays a central role in driving international trade and economic growth by transporting commodities and products between virtually every nation in the world. While shipping has traditionally represented cargo transport by boat, it also includes air and land freight. The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted supply chains and shipping lines significantly. We look in detail below at the 10 biggest shipping companies by 12-month trailing (TTM) revenue. This list is limited to companies which are publicly traded in the U.S. or Canada, either directly or through ADRs. Some foreign companies may report semiannually, and so may have longer lag times. All data are provided by YCharts and as of September 10, 2020.

Some of the stocks below are only traded over-the-counter (OTC) in the U.S., not on exchanges. Trading OTC stocks often carries higher trading costs than trading stocks on exchanges. This can lower or even outweigh potential returns.

#1 A. P. Møller - Mærsk A/S (AMKBY)

  • Revenue (TTM): $38.3 billion
  • Net Income (TTM): $1.1 billion
  • Market Cap: $30.8 billion
  • 1-Year Trailing Total Return: 41.6%
  • Exchange: OTC

The company better known simply as Mærsk is an integrated transport and logistics firm. Denmark-based Mærsk operates a worldwide fleet of tankers, supply ships, terminals, and other vessels. In addition, the company also explores for and produces oil and gas and operates industrial businesses.

#2 Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NPNYY)

  • Revenue (TTM): $24.8 billion
  • Net Income (TTM): -$2.5 billion
  • Market Cap: $2.9 billion
  • 1-Year Trailing Total Return: 10.1%
  • Exchange: OTC

Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha is a transportation and logistics company facilitating services between international and domestic ports. The company's primary businesses include container transportation, cruise lines, specialized carriers, and logistics. Nippon Yusen is based in Japan.

#3 COSCO SHIPPING Holdings Co. Ltd. (CICOF)

  • Revenue (TTM): $21.8 billion
  • Net Income (TTM): $946.1 million
  • Market Cap: $7.1 billion
  • 1-Year Trailing Total Return: 66.2%
  • Exchange: OTC

Based in China, COSCO SHIPPING Holdings is a shipping services company offering container and bulk shipping, terminal operations, and related services.

#4 Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd. (MSLOY)

  • Revenue (TTM): $14.2 billion
  • Net Income (TTM): $96.6 million
  • Market Cap: $3.6 billion
  • 1-Year Trailing Total Return: -20.7%
  • Exchange: OTC

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines is a marine transportation, cargo handling and warehousing company based in Japan. The company transports a variety of materials including coal, grain, logs, cement, metals, cars, and paper and chemical products. Mitsui O.S.K. Lines operates container ships, ferries, oil tankers, and specialized vessels.

#5 Hapag-Lloyd AG (HPGLY)

  • Revenue (TTM): $14.1 billion
  • Net Income (TTM): $555.8 million
  • Market Cap: $10.6 billion
  • 1-Year Trailing Total Return: -22.1%
  • Exchange: OTC

German transportation company Hapag-Lloyd is a multinational whose cargo liner ships serve all continents. It stands among some big shipping companies on this list because, in addition to sea transport, it is involved in shipping by air, road, rail, and inland waterways.

#6 Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd. (KAIKY)

  • Revenue (TTM): $13.4 billion
  • Net Income (TTM): -$1.3 billion
  • Market Cap: $1.6 billion
  • 1-Year Trailing Total Return: -20.0%
  • Exchange: OTC

Japanese company Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha is both a marine cargo firm as well as a passenger transportation services provider. The company transports a variety of materials including petroleum, cars, grain, and iron ore. Additionally, Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha provides warehousing, land transportation, and insurance services.

#7 Orient Overseas International Ltd. (OROVF)

  • Revenue (TTM): $6.9 billion
  • Net Income (TTM): $1.3 billion
  • Market Cap: $2.6 billion
  • 1-Year Trailing Total Return: 18.9%
  • Exchange: OTC

Orient Overseas is a Hong Kong-based shipping company that provides transportation and logistics services through subsidiaries. The company both owns and leases ships, operates terminals, transports containers, and provides freight forwarding services. The company also has businesses focused on property and securities investment, and equipment leasing.

#8 Kirby Corp. (KEX)

  • Revenue (TTM): $2.5 billion
  • Net Income (TTM): -$271.5 million
  • Market Cap: $2.4 billion
  • 1-Year Trailing Total Return: -49.1%
  • Exchange: New York Stock Exchange

Kirby operates a fleet of inland tank barges and specializes in the transportation of industrial and agricultural chemicals as well as oil and petroleum products. The company also provides service to diesel engines utilized in marine, rail, and power generation applications.

#9 COSCO SHIPPING Energy Transportation Co. Ltd. (CSDXF)

  • Revenue (TTM): $2.3 billion
  • Net Income (TTM): $406.2 million
  • Market Cap: $2.2 billion
  • 1-Year Trailing Total Return: -16.6%
  • Exchange: OTC

The company ships mainly crude oil and refined oil, and also coal, iron ore, and other energy-related products.

#10 Matson Inc. (MATX)

  • Revenue (TTM): $2.2 billion
  • Net Income (TTM): $88.4 million
  • Market Cap: $1.7 billion
  • 1-Year Trailing Total Return: 6.1%
  • Exchange: New York Stock Exchange

Matson is a transportation and logistics company serving the North American market. Matson focuses on domestic and international rail intermodal service and highway brokerage. It also offers less-than-load shipping, supply chain services, and third-party logistics.