Zim Integrated Shipping Services is a $3.7 billion container shipping company based in Haifa, Israel. The company was established in 1945 and currently offers shipping and logistics services in more than 180 ports of call around the globe. The shipping giant maintains a global presence through a network of 450 offices and shipping agencies in 135 countries. Last year, the company shipped a total of more than 2.2 million containers for customers in North American, South America, Asia and Africa.
The company operates a fleet of 100 ships ranging in size from relatively small vessels to large carriers that are capable of carrying between 8,000 and 10,00 twenty-foot equivalent containers (TEUs). Close to 30 of the vessels in ZIM’s fleet are owned by the company, while the rest are leased. In total, Zim Integrated Shipping Services owns or leases approximately 585,000 containers, of which close to 36,000 are specially equipped to carry cargo such as perishable goods and hazardous materials.
The company operates close to 65 lines and services covering all major international trade routes. Most of ZIM’s services operate on a weekly, fixed-day basis, though the company also offers daily shipping services on some routes. The shipper maintains a feeder network of 10 strategically located hubs that it uses to receive and forward cargo to the various ports of call that it services. Over the years, China has become an increasingly important region for the company. Currently, it maintains 30 branch office locations in China and employs hundreds of employees in that country.
ZIM has American headquarters based in Norfolk, VA. The company uses the office to control operations in North and South America. It also maintains a separate office in Kingston, Miami that it uses as the headquarters of its Caribbean and Central American operations. ZIM’s vessels are used to haul all varieties of cargo, including out of gauge and reefer cargo, to ports in dozens of cities in these regions.
In recent years, ZIM has tried to grow its business through a series of service expansions and strategic partnerships with other shipping and logistics companies. For example, over the past few months, the company has upgraded its Asia-Black Sea service and its South America-Mediterranean service with the addition of new ports of call along each route. Late last year, the company began working with MSC (Mediterranean Shipping Company) to offer more frequent services on its South America-Mediterranean route.
Much of ZIM’s growth over the past few years has been supported by substantial investments in information technology. The company currently offers a comprehensive range of e-services designed to let customers conduct their entire shipping transactions online. In recent years, Zim Integrated Shipping Services has spent over $100 million ramping up its technology and communications infrastructure to support its core shipping business.