New Trend Among Global Shipping Companies: 'Jumbo' Ships Help Cut Costs

Last month, COSCO Shipping Holding Co., Ltd., Asia's largest shipping company, said it would pay more than $6 billion for OOCL container line, a rival with the largest ships.Denmark's Maersk is taking over its German rival and touting the advantage of its giant ships, one of which can carry about 180m iPads. According to Alphaliner, a French shipping consultancy, the data show that big shipping companies have more pricing power than manufacturers and retailers such as Wal-Mart stores Inc. and Target. Five container lines control about 60% of the global market. Shipping business is growing faster, with freight indexes on major Asian routes 22 percent higher than a year ago.