Top Shipping Stocks

ZIM, AMKBY, and GRIN are top for value, growth, and momentum, respectively

Cargo containers in a container ship at a commercial dock, Panama Canal, Panama


Glowimages / Getty images 

Top shipping stocks for this month include ZIM Integrated Shipping, A.P. Møller Mærsk, and Grindrod Shipping. The shipping industry has faced collapsing charter prices and trade demand from China in the second half of the year, though high tanker rates have provided tailwinds.

Shipping stocks have nonetheless managed to outperform the market despite economic headwinds. The benchmark Dow Jones U.S. Marine Transportation Index has risen 16% compared with a 16% drop for the Russell 1000 Index in the last year. All data are as of Dec. 7, 2022.

Here are the top 3 shipping stocks with the best value, the fastest growth, and the most momentum, respectively.

Best Value Shipping Stocks

These are the shipping stocks with the lowest 12-month trailing price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio. Because profits can be returned to shareholders in the form of dividends and buybacks, a low P/E ratio shows you’re paying less for each dollar of profit generated.

Best Value Shipping Stocks
  Price ($) Market Cap ($B) 12-Month Trailing P/E Ratio
ZIM Integrated Shipping Services Ltd. (ZIM) 18.61 2.2 0.4
Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NPNYY) 4.40 11.2 1.1
A.P. Møller Mærsk A/S (AMKBY) 10.21 36.3 1.3

Source: YCharts

  • ZIM Integrated Shipping Services Ltd.: ZIM is an Israeli seaborne transportation and logistics services company. It operates a fleet of vessels and offers multi-modal, cargo handling, tariff management, and other related services. In November, ZIM announced that it had opened an agency in New Zealand as part of its strategy to expand its operations in the region.
  • Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha: NYK Line is a Japanese transportation and logistics company facilitating services between international and domestic ports. The firm's primary businesses include container transport, cruise lines, specialized carriers, and logistics.
  • A.P. Møller Mærsk A/S: Mærsk is a Danish shipping, transport, and logistics company. It provides container and special vessels, terminals, supply chips, and container box manufacturing services to clients around the world. The company announced on Dec. 12 that Vincent Clerc would become CEO effective Jan. 1, 2023, replacing Søren Skou. Clerc was most recently CEO of the company's Ocean & Logistics business.

Fastest Growing Shipping Stocks

These are the top shipping stocks as ranked by a growth model that scores companies based on a 50/50 weighting of their most recent quarterly YOY percentage revenue growth and their most recent quarterly YOY earnings-per-share (EPS) growth. Both sales and earnings are critical factors in the success of a company. Therefore ranking companies by only one growth metric makes a ranking susceptible to the accounting anomalies of that quarter (such as changes in tax law or restructuring costs) that may make one or the other figure unrepresentative of the business in general. Companies with quarterly EPS or revenue growth of over 2,500% were excluded as outliers.

Fastest Growing Shipping Stocks
  Price ($) Market Cap ($B) EPS Growth (%) Revenue Growth (%)
A.P. Møller Mærsk A/S (AMKBY) 10.21 36.3 69.7 37.1
Navios Maritime Partners LP (NMM) 24.37 0.7 40.3 41.4
Danaos Corp. (DAC) 53.60 1.1 -68.8 32.7

Source: YCharts

  • A.P. Møller Mærsk A/S: See company description above.
  • Navios Maritime Partners LP.: Navios is a Greek maritime freight transportation company. It owns and operates a fleet of dry bulk and container vessels. For the third quarter, the company said that net income attributable to shareholders increased by 59% to $322 million while revenue climbed by more than a third. Revenue got a boost from increased time charter and voyage business as a result of Navios' larger fleet.
  • Danaos Corp.: Danaos owns and leases a fleet of 71 large containerships. The Greek company charters its ships to liner companies around the world on fixed-rate charters. Danaos reported a 69% decline in net income for the most recent quarter, even as revenue climbed by almost a third. The drop in net income includes an $84 million loss on Danaos' position in ZIM, which the company exited in Sept. 2022.

Shipping Stocks With the Most Momentum

These are the shipping stocks that had the highest total return over the last 12 months.

Shipping Stocks With the Most Momentum
  Price ($) Market Cap ($B) 12-Month Trailing Total Return (%)
Grindrod Shipping Holdings Ltd. (GRIN) 21.00 0.4 91.2
Eagle Bulk Shipping Inc. (EGLE) 50.17 0.7 35.4
SFL Corp Ltd. (SFL) 9.42 1.3 15.3
Russell 1000 Index N/A N/A -15.6
Dow Jones U.S. Marine Transportation Index N/A N/A 16.4

Source: YCharts

  • Grindrod Shipping Holdings Ltd.: Grindrod is a Singaporean company that charters, operates, and sells shipping vessels. It provides shipping and management services to the drybulk industry.
  • Eagle Bulk Shipping Inc.: Eagle Bulk is a mid-size drybulk vessel owner and operator offering transportation and related management services worldwide. Eagle's customers are in the mining, production, trade, and end-use categories. For the last quarter, Eagle's net income declined by 1% as revenue climbed by 1%. Net time and voyage charter revenues increased but were mostly offset by lower charter rates.
  • SFL Corp Ltd.: SFL is a diversified shipping firm that operates oil tankers, drybulk shipping, and offshore oil drilling rigs. It began in 2003 as a pure-play tanker company, but has since diversified.

Trends in the Shipping Industry

The shipping industry has been heavily affected by the supply chain crisis during the worst periods of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as its aftermath. There are numerous factors contributing to the crisis, including the war between Russia and Ukraine and continuing COVID-19 lockdowns in China. These developments have led shipping companies to run into delays in docking vessels and have forced companies to cancel shipments across major trade lanes. In particular, shipping capacity along the route between Asia and the west coast of the U.S. was 25% of historic levels earlier this year. A broader slowdown in the economy could pose further challenges to the industry if consumer and industrial demand for a variety of products declines.

Advantages of Shipping Stocks

The shipping industry is crucial for the transport of food, fuel, raw materials, and manufactured goods around the world, and moves roughly 11 billion tons of goods per year. Because of the vital role that shipping companies play for virtually all countries and industries around the globe, they are likely to remain critically important sector. Additionally, the shipping industry has the lowest environmental impact within the transport segment when measured on a per-ton basis, making it a likely area of interest as investors weigh climate impacts more closely.

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Article Sources
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  2. CNBC. "Freight rates from China to West Coast down 90% as global trade falls off fast."

  3. YCharts. "YCharts."

  4. ZIM Integrated Shipping Services Ltd. "ZIM Establishes a Fully-Owned Agency in New Zealand."

  5. A.P. Møller Mærsk A/S. "Change of CEO."

  6. Navios Maritime Partners L.P. "Navios Maritime Partners L.P. Reports Financial Results for the Third Quarter and Nine Months Ended September 30, 2022."

  7. Danaos Corp. "Danaos Corporation Reports Third Quarter and Nine Months Results for the Period Ended September 30, 2022."

  8. Eagle Bulk Shipping Inc. "Eagle Bulk Shipping Inc. Reports Results for the Third Quarter of 2022."

  9. JPMorgan. "What’s Behind the Global Supply Chain Crisis?"

  10. Bloomberg. "Global Shipping Trims the Sails Heading Into Economic Slowdown."

  11. International Chamber of Shipping. "Shipping and world trade: driving prosperity."

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