It has been suggested that COSCO Shipping Holdings be merged into this article. (Discuss) Proposed since December 2020.
China COSCO Shipping Corporation Limited
Native name
TypeState-owned enterprise
IndustryMarine transportation
  • COSCO Group
  • China Shipping Group
Founded2016; 5 years ago (2016)
Area served
Key people
  • Lirong Xu (Chairman/CEO)
  • Zajian Wong (COO)
  • Meifeng Chen (CFO)
ServicesMarine transportation
Revenue$44,655 millions (2020) [1]
Total assets$125,906.4 millions (2020) [1]
Total equity$28,202.6 millions (2020) [1]
Number of employees
118,243 (2020) [1]
DivisionsCOSCO Shipping Lines
COSCO Shipping Shengshi, a vehicles carrier ship, Sète, 2018
COSCO Shipping Shengshi, a vehicles carrier ship, Sète, 2018

China COSCO Shipping Corporation Limited, abbreviated as COSCO Shipping, is a Chinese multinational conglomerate headquartered in Shanghai. The group is focused on marine transportation services.[2] COSCO Shipping was established in January 2016 by the merger of COSCO Group and China Shipping Group.[3]

As of March 2020, the company's fleet was among the largest in the world – 1310 vessels with a capacity of 105.92 million DWT.



Main article: COSCO

China Ocean Shipping (Group) Company, founded in 1961 and headquartered in Beijing, was a Chinese state-owned multinational transportation conglomerate. It was the largest dry bulk carrier in China and one of the largest dry bulk shipping operators worldwide. In addition, the Group is the largest liner carrier in China.[4] Its container shipping subsidiary – COSCO Container Lines – was one of the world's top 10 container carriers in terms of fleet capacity. COSCO was among China's top 15 brands in 2012.[5]

China Shipping

Main article: China Shipping Group

China Shipping (Group) Company was founded in 1997 and was headquartered in Shanghai. The group was a Chinese state-owned multinational transportation conglomerate. By May 2014, China Shipping's container shipping subsidiary – China Shipping Container Lines – operated 156 container vessels with 656,000 TEU capacity.[6] China Shipping Container Lines' container ship CSCL Globe was the world largest in 2014.[7] China Shipping's other subsidiaries operated oil tankers, tramps, passenger ships, and car carriers.


In January 2016, the Chinese State Council approved the merger of COSCO and China Shipping, forming COSCO Shipping.[3] The merger – which occurred during a downturn in the marine transportation industry – sought to achieve economies of scale.[8][9] The merger was also part of a Chinese government strategy to restructure its state-owned shipping sector.[10]

Shortly after, the subsidiary COSCO Shipping Holdings partnered with Shanghai International Port Group to acquire the majority stake of Orient Overseas (International) from Tung Chee-hwa-Chee-chen families.[11][12] The deal was completed in August 2018. Orient Overseas (International) is the parent company of OOCL. This will make it one of the world's largest container shipping company with a fleet of over 400 vessels.[13]

In April 2016 the company agreed to buy 51% of Piraeus Port Authority,[14] which is listed on the Athens Stock Exchange (AthexPPA) and is a constituent of the FTSE/Athex Large Cap index. Its subsidiary Piraeus Container Terminal (PCT) has been operating two Piers at Piraeus Port since 2009.[14]

In January 2017, the company was awarded $26.1 billion by the China Development Bank to participate in the Belt and Road Initiative. The funding would run through 2021. COSCO has used the finances to invest in its ports and infrastructure projects.[15]

Jia Hui Shan, Port of Casablanca
Jia Hui Shan, Port of Casablanca

In May 2017, the company signed a deal with Kazakhstan's national railway company to take 24% stake in an inland port in the Khorgos Eastern Gate Special Economic Zone.[16] In December 2018, COSCO Shipping Ports secured a 35-year concession to operate and develop a newly built container terminal in Khalifa Port.[17] In November 2019, the company invested $660 million to upgrade the Piraeus container port, Greece's largest port.[18]

On May 11, 2020, COSCO Shipping Ports, Dongfeng Commercial Vehicle, and China Mobile successfully transported a shipping container within Xiamen Ocean Gate Terminal using an AGV guided by 5G. The achievement demonstrated an application of 5G technology in developing a "smart port". At the event, the three companies announced a roadmap for large-scale implementation of 5G technology in ports.[19][20]

On September 25, 2019, the US Treasury Department sanctioned the tanker subsidiary of COSCO Shipping, COSCO Shipping Tanker (Dalian) Seaman & Ship Management, as well as COSCO Shipping Tanker (Dalian), for breaching the United States sanctions against Iran. However, the parent company of the aforementioned companies were not sanctioned.[21] The US lifted the sanctions against COSCO Shipping in January 2020.[22]

In July, 2020, the company entered into an agreement with Alibaba and its affiliate Ant Group, to jointly promote the cooperation on and application of shipping blockchain.[23]

COSCO Shipping and its predecessor COSCO, has a Hong Kong division, COSCO Shipping (Hong Kong) Limited, a private company formerly known as Cosco (Hong Kong) Group Limited. This acquired listed company COSCO Shipping International (at that time, Shun Shing Holdings) as a vehicle of backdoor listing in 1997 and bought the real estate businesses, such as Shun Shing Construction and an office building, from COSCO Shipping International in the 2000s.[clarification needed][24][25] Cosco (HK) Group itself also purchased a 20% stake in Lai Sun Hotels in 1997.[26] However, after the 1997 Asian financial crisis, Lai Sun Development, the parent company of Lai Sun Hotels, scrapped the IPO of Lai Sun Hotels and sold all the assets of Lai Sun Hotels instead.[clarification needed] [27]

The company was a shareholder in the Chinese real estate developer, Sino-Ocean Group. The stake was sold in 2010.[28] It was reported that the SASAC of the State Council has ordered Government owned companies to sell real estate development unit if it is not their main businesses.[29]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d "China Cosco Shipping ranking under Global 500". Fortune.
  2. ^ "COSCO Shipping Business Sectors". Retrieved 22 May 2020.
  3. ^ a b "China COSCO Shipping History". Retrieved 22 May 2020.
  4. ^ "China Ocean Shipping (Group) Company Company Profile". Retrieved 2021-04-03.
  5. ^ Dooley, Howard J. (Spring–Summer 2012). "The Great Leap Outward: China's Maritime Renaissance". The Journal of East Asian Affairs. Institute for National Security Strategy. 26 (1): 57. JSTOR 23257908.
  6. ^ "China Shipping: About Us". Retrieved 22 May 2020.
  7. ^ Tovey, Alan (7 January 2015). "A quarter of a mile long and arriving here now - the world's biggest ship docks in Britain". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 16 January 2015.
  8. ^ Goh, Brenda (February 17, 2016). "China launches new shipping giant to battle downturn". Reuters. Retrieved December 14, 2020.[dead link]
  9. ^ Dupin, Chris (18 February 2016). "Merged China COSCO Shipping Corporation Limited launched". Retrieved 22 May 2020.
  10. ^ Knowler, Greg (16 June 2015). "China committed to reforming its state-dominated shipping sector". Retrieved 22 May 2020.
  11. ^ 董建華家族旗下東方海外賣盤 中遠海運斥492億收購. HK01 (in Chinese). 9 July 2017. Retrieved 14 December 2020.
  12. ^ 回歸20年 東方海外售予中資 董建華492億賣家業. Oriental Daily (in Chinese). 10 July 2017. Retrieved 14 December 2020.
  13. ^ "China shipping firm Cosco to buy HK rival OOIL for $6.3bn". BBC News. Retrieved 10 July 2017.
  14. ^ a b "Greek president hopes for more investments following Piraeus Port Authority deal". Hellenic Shipping News. 11 April 2016. Archived from the original on 26 April 2016. Retrieved 13 April 2016.
  15. ^ Braden, Dustin (January 13, 2017). "China Cosco gets $26B for Belt and Road initiatives". Retrieved December 2, 2020.
  16. ^ "China's COSCO to invest in Kazakhstan border project as part of Silk Road drive". Reuters. May 14, 2017. Retrieved December 2, 2020.[dead link]
  17. ^ Gilchrist, Karen (December 9, 2018). "China's Cosco and Abu Dhabi Ports develop Khalifa to support Belt and Road initiative". CNBC. Retrieved December 2, 2020.
  18. ^ "China, Greece agree to push ahead with COSCO's Piraeus Port investment". Reuters. November 11, 2019. Retrieved December 2, 2020.
  19. ^ "COSCO Shipping proceed with 5G smart ports vision". Container News. May 12, 2020. Retrieved December 2, 2020.
  20. ^ Avery, Paul (14 May 2020). ""Smart Port Enabled by 5G + Self-driving Technology" launched in Xiamen". WorldCargo News. Retrieved December 2, 2020.
  21. ^ Pompeo, Michael (September 25, 2019). "The United States Imposes Sanctions on Chinese Companies for Transporting Iranian Oil" (Press release). US Department of State. Retrieved 2020-12-02.
  22. ^ Gillis, Chris (January 31, 2020). "US lifts sanctions against COSCO's tanker operation". American Shipper. Retrieved December 2, 2020.
  23. ^ "Cosco joins Alibaba to promote shipping blockchain". Global Cargo News. 8 July 2020. Retrieved 8 July 2020.
  24. ^ 中遠國際14億售寫字樓. Apple Daily (in Chinese). Hong Kong. 31 May 2005. Retrieved 14 December 2020.
  25. ^ 2007 Annual Report (PDF) (Report). COSCO International. 2008. p. 9. Retrieved 14 December 2020.
  26. ^ "Cosco eyes China hotels management". South China Morning Post. Hong Kong. 12 April 1997. Retrieved 14 December 2020.
  27. ^ "Lai Sun scraps float to sell units for $514m". South China Morning Post. Hong Kong. 11 March 1998. Retrieved 14 December 2020.
  28. ^ 中遠國際將悉售遠地 擬1年內執行 料獲利6.6億. Apple Daily (in Chinese). Hong Kong. 17 August 2010. Retrieved 14 December 2020.
  29. ^ 中远明确退出房地产业务时间表. (in Chinese). 17 August 2010. Retrieved 14 December 2020.