ZIM Integrated Shipping Services Ltd. is a relatively new company with a long history. The company was originally formed in 1947 by a trio of Israeli-oriented agencies and called the Zim Palestinian Navigation Company. The word Zim is a derivative of the Hebrew word for “fleet of ships” as described in Numbers 24:24. In 1948, after the establishment of the state of Israel, the company was renamed Zim Israeli Navigation Company and it proceeded to transport immigrants and supplies to the fledgling nation.
The early years were spent transporting goods and people to and from the state of Israel but expansion began in the 1950s. At the time, the company was focused on both people and cargo but passenger lines were phased out due to increasing competition from airlines. By the 1970s, the company was only transporting cargo and then, during the 1970s, it began to focus on containers and intermodal container shipping.
Early plans for an IPO were dashed by the 2008 global financial crisis and then, in 2009, a needed cash injection resulted in a majority sale to the Ofer family which retains a large share to this day. The cash injection and restructuring allowed the company to survive, which is the salient point, and then in 2014, it underwent another restructuring. The company did not come to the public market until 2021 at which time it changed its name to ZIM Integrated Shipping Services. The stock now trades on the NYSE under the ticker ZIM. In March 2021 the company reported record revenue and profits.
Today, Zim, with its network of subsidiaries, is a top-20 shipper globally. The company is a leader in container shipping and ranked 10th in that field. The company provides a range of services that include door-to-door and port-to-port transportation of goods for customers of all varieties. The company’s fleet size tends to vary with business, it owns a number of ships but contracts out for more as necessary.
The company also offers ZIMonitor, a premium reefer cargo tracking service as well as a host of other value-added digitized services. As of 2022, the company had operations in more than 100 countries and served more than 350 ports of call. The largest ship in the fleet is the Maersk Yukon which is registered in Singapore. Its gross tonnage is more than 114,000 tonnes, it is 349 meters long and more than 45 meters wide. Customers using Zim can schedule their shipping needs on a point-to-point, by vessel, by port or by carrier basis.