How Maersk grew its shipping empire and how it’s evolving

Each year about 90% of world trade is transported by ship, according to the World Economic Forum. While commodities like oil and grain make up 40% of that cargo, large steel containers, filled with appliances, smartphones, and couches, make up the remainder.

With its fleet of over 670 vessels, Maersk, one of the world’s largest shipping companies, transports about one in five of those containers.

The company logged record profits in 2022 due in part to pandemic-induced buying and higher freight rates.

But, like its rivals, Maersk is facing a range of challenges including Red Sea diversions, a drought at the Panama Canal and a potential strike by the International Longshoremen’s Association, the largest union of maritime workers in North America.

It also chartered the vessel that crashed into the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore earlier this week.

CNBC examines the issues facing Maersk, and its rivals Hapag-Lloyd and MSC, and looks at how the company is trying to transition for future growth.

Watch the video to learn more.