US Container Lines & Experiences

I was curious about peoples experiences with different container ship lines. Companies, routes, etc. Soon to be unlimited 3M with no experience on container ships.

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Checkout this link here:
(319) Restricted to Ship, Ep. 1 - Shanghai Lockdown - YouTube

This young Lady may tell You all U need to know.
As far as I know Sal Mercogliano knows her too.

Otherwise go for the big names: Maersk , Hapag LLoyd, CMACGM/APL, or MSC to get experience( low paid jobs) and then in US hit Matson, Crowley, Tote Maritime . Cheers.

^^^ don’t listen to his advice

I’ve been following Madeleine for awhile now and the whole restricted to ship fiasco seems to be an isolated incident for her. Perhaps not so much a container ship incident but a result of the covid pandemic.

Is the pay that noticeable between the big names vs the smaller companies?

Not a shipdriver, but an outside observer. Container mates seem to have the easier/easiest gig of various types of cargo haulers. Most of time is spent at sea doing what you went to school to do (drive a ship). Mates will not know what a wrench or a tool is, and maybe man a clipboard during cargo ops…but most likely in a USA port (and maybe foreign) they will be ashore drinking because a night mate came on to answer the radio questions.

Compare this with tanker mates, that don’t go ashore during cargo, and might actually swing valves and use wrenches at sea and have to stand cargo watch during cargo ops. Ironically, in the USA, box boats seem to pay the highest, and tankers lower. I’ve learned from foreign officers this is not the case in the rest of the world which is bulker<box<oil/product tanker<LNG. But, it’s all hearsay.

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I will revert soonest . Meantime I remain greatly amused by alias johnny.dollar input.
There is one partly true statement of his though :


is a bit derogatory .

But I will not lower myself to advise You to:

as all inputs in this forum are quite interesting given from a different perspectives and range of experiences/environments

So my advice is to listen to alias johnny dollar too as He offers quite original and interesting comments worth reading.


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I don’t know. It sure sounds like insecurity to me.

Having worked on both, he is not entirely wrong. Cargo watch on a container ship is infinitely easier than it is on a tanker. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a fair bit of getting your hands dirty though.

Also, once upon a time in the USA, tanker jobs were the highest paying. Once upon a time when there was one less officer’s union in this country.


I have not said He is entirely wrong. I have said his input is partly true.

Be so kind to elaborate a bit on

as I am not sure what You are implying and I want to understand You clearly.

Another thing is , the young man is seeking advise here about

As You are “Master - Unlimited Tonnage Oceans. Actively sailing as Master”

I am sure You can provide Him with useful hints and/or clues regarding his inquiry to his great benefit.


I was not directing this at you. If you want clarification, I was implying that someone stating that sailors on one type of vessel are more mechanically inclined or better than others on another type of vessel smacks of insecurities and dare I say jealousy. We are all specialists at going to sea. The differences in how we do the job are there for sure, but I don’t feel any of us are superior to anyone else based on what type of vessel we work on.

Have a Merry Christmas and happy new year.


Thank You for Your explanation. A have asked this question as English is not my native lingo and I did not want to jump into unwelcome conclusions . Hence better ask then be sorry :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Actually I like johnny dollar comments as such, give some food for thought . A point of view from a different perspective some times may be revolutionary as was the case with one famous truck driver who revolutionized shipping with his excellent idea.

His perspective excited me so much , that on one occasion while vacationing in USA i took a trip as pax on 18 wheeler from Tampa FL all the way to Minneapolis ,through Atlanta, Kansas City , St Luis and back via Windy City all the way to Tampa.
Meeting the crowds in pit stops for trucks I was in heaven :wink: and the only reason that stopped me from switching to trucking was the absence of green card in my wallet. Unforgettable experience.

Wasn’t meant to be derogatory, it was a light hearted comment that surely will be take too serious because…

…mates often too stuffy and are missing a sense of humor. Granted, many of those that never see the sun are also overly grumpy, but that’s because they realized they could’ve got paid to stare out a window instead of sweating their ass off covered in HFO and other nasties (like sewage). But if making jokes = insecurity, then I guess us with permanent tongue in cheek cry ourselves to sleep each night??

But this all digresses from the topic at hand. As a young sailor, any experience is good experience. And I feel broader more varied experience is the best experience. Try to work on all flavors of ships and see which one is best for you.

Like I said, I hear the USA is backwards in pay regarding ship type–maybe that will change in the next 20-30 years of your career, or maybe it wont.

PS: Ya’ll gladly can continue to prove me right :wink:

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