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Captain Gianluigi Aponte is the Founder and Group Executive Chairman of MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A.
Born in Sorrento, Italy, Mr Aponte started his career as a captain operating passenger ferries in the Mediterranean for his family’s business after graduating from the Italian Maritime Academy.
In 1970, following a break from the world of maritime transport to work as a banker for a number of years, Mr Aponte returned to the industry to start his own business, MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company. Starting out with a single general cargo vessel, the MSC Patricia, Mr Aponte has developed and led the company with true entrepreneurial spirit for over four decades. In the early days of MSC, Mr Aponte used the expression ‘where the customer goes, MSC goes’. This vision brought exponential growth in terms of both volume and fleet capacity which now serve customers all over the world. Over the past 45 years, Mr Aponte has led MSC from a one vessel operation to become the second-largest container shipping line in the world.
MSC has been built around its core family values of caring for people. Although the company has grown rapidly over the past forty years, Mr Aponte still remains focussed on cultivating our own special ingredient which is MSC’s family spirit.
As winner of many industry awards for his contribution to the maritime industry, including a Lifetime Achievement Award from the UK trade publication Containerisation International, Captain Aponte is an esteemed industry leader known for his dynamic approach and wealth of knowledge and experience in container shipping. It is not just the maritime industry that acknowledges Mr Aponte’s achievements. In 2009, at the Teatro di San Carlo in Naples, he was one of the top leading Neapolitan businessmen to receive the "Neapolitan Excellence in the World" award from Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. In 2013, Mr Aponte was awarded the “Ordine Al Merito del Lavoro” (Order of Merit for Labour) by Italian President Giorgio Napolitano. Mr Aponte’s reputation as a successful businessman and industry contributor also earned him the prestigious “Legion d’Honneur” (Legion of Honour) accolade in March 2010 and a significant vote of confidence from French President Nicolas Sarkozy for the part he played in creating 6,000 jobs at the STX France shipyard at St Nazaire, France by placing a new vessel order.
Diego Aponte is President and CEO of MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A.
Son to Gianluigi Aponte and his wife Rafaela, Diego was raised sharing his family’s passion for the sea. After school Diego took his first steps towards his ultimate career by furthering his education in London, becoming a post graduate of Maritime Studies with a particular focus on shipping.
In 1997 Diego joined MSC, training on-board vessels as a junior engineer to gain first-hand technical experience. To increase his breadth of maritime knowledge Diego also worked in MSC Ship Management in Sorrento, gaining valuable experience of MSC’s operations.
Upon joining MSC Headquarters in Geneva, Diego worked in all departments including Latin American and USA trades, immersing himself in the day-to-day challenges and successes of the business.
In the late nineties, Diego identified an opportunity for MSC to invest in a terminal infrastructure which he believed would help to facilitate the long-term growth of the container industry. In 2000, Diego created Terminal Investment Limited S.A. (TIL), which, under his careful management and direction has become one of the largest terminal operators in the world. Today, Diego is the Chairman of TIL.
From 2006 Diego worked closely with his father as Vice President of the business, before being announced in 2014 as President and CEO of MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A.
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