Capt. Gianluigi Aponte

Capt. Gianluigi Aponte

Group Chairman

Capt. Gianluigi Aponte

Group Chairman

“Our staff are the lifeblood of the company, they have commitment, passion and loyalty, which, alongside unrivalled expertise makes MSC a shipping line of the people.”

Capt. Gianluigi Aponte, Group Chairman

Captain Gianluigi Aponte is the Founder and Group Chairman of MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company SA.

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

Diego Aponte

Group President

Diego Aponte

Group President

MSC inspires passion, dedication and entrepreneurism wherever you look.

Diego Aponte, Group President

Diego Aponte is Group President of MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company SA.

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 Group President and CEO of MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company SA.

Soren Toft

Soren Toft

CEO

Soren Toft

CEO

I am very excited and humbled by the opportunity given to me by the Aponte family. Helping to preserve the MSC DNA and lead such a successful company into the future is a great honour and a privilege for me

Soren Toft, CEO

Soren Toft joined MSC as Chief Executive Officer in December 2020, reporting to Group President Diego Aponte.

He oversees MSC’s global cargo businesses, including all ocean liner and logistics businesses. He will also be a member of the Board of Directors of Terminal Investment Ltd (TiL), the terminals business which is majority-owned by MSC.

Soren has over 25 years of experience in the shipping industry. Before joining MSC, he was Chief Operating Officer and a Member of the Executive Board at Maersk. Since joining Maersk in 1994, he held various leadership positions in Europe and Asia. Soren was also Chairman of Hamburg Süd, Maersk Oil Trading, Maersk Container Industry and A.P. Moller Singapore and Board Member at Maersk Line Limited.

In addition, he has served as a member of the board of World Shipping Council, the international liner shipping industry trade group, Deputy Chairman of Danish Shipping and Chairman of the Board of Young Presidents Organisation (YPO), Denmark Chapter.

Soren holds an executive MBA from IMD (International Institute for Management Development) in Lausanne, Switzerland.

James Liu

James Liu

General Manager of MSC Tianjin, Beijing & Dalian

James Liu

General Manager of MSC Tianjin, Beijing & Dalian

James started his career in a trading company. He subsequently joined MSC in 1999, working in the the logistics department.

Due to his strong work performance, he was promoted over  the years and took on roles such as the Tianjin Logistics Manager and North China Logistics Project and Process manager. In 2020, he was promoted to being the General Manager of Tianjin, Beijing and Dalian in 2020, and is overseeing MSC’s business in these three cities.

James obtained his BA degree majoring in International Trade in Tianjin Foreign Studies University.

Sarah Lai

Sarah Lai

General Manager of MSC Xiamen and Fuzhou

Sarah Lai

General Manager of MSC Xiamen and Fuzhou

Sarah joined MSC Hong Kong in 1998 as a Customer Service Representative for Wallaby Service.

Being in MSC for 20 years, she developed her career, business knowledge, negotiation skill, management skills through various roles including Customer Service, Sales & Trade management, and Corporate Account management.

In 2003, she was promoted to Assistant Trade Manager, after that, was promoted to Trade Manager in 2008 for Transpacific Trade.

In 2012, Sarah set up Corporate Account Team at Hong Kong to focus on Tender Accounts and VIP clients, also involved business development such as H&M, Foxconn.

In May of 2018, Sarah was promoted to General Manager of MSC Xiamen & Fuzhou, and relocated at Xiamen.

Edmond Ho

Edmond Ho

General Manager of MSC Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Shantou and Pearl River Delta

Edmond Ho

General Manager of MSC Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Shantou and Pearl River Delta

Edmond’s career in the shipping industry began in 1982 as Cargo Freight Station Clerk with Sea-Land Service Inc. in Hong Kong.  During Edmond’s 17-year tenure with the company, he held various positions including Loss Prevention & Claims Officer, Special Commodities Services Manager as specialist of carriage of refrigerated cargoes and hazardous materials. All these exposures and experiences have equipped Edmond with extensive business knowledge and managing skills.
 

In 1999, when Sea-Land Service was sold, Edmond joined MSC's Import Sales Department to continue his career in the industry.  He adapted well and quickly in his sales role and set up the Import Sales Team in MSC Hong Kong. He built up good rapport with the giant waste paper importers, Nine Dragons and Lee & Man. These companies are still supporting MSC today. Because of his outstanding performance in 2001, Edmond was transferred to the Export Sales Department and got actively involved in the business development with world’s top retailers such as Carrefour, Ikea, etc.

In 2012, Edmond was promoted to General Manager of MSC Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Shantou and Pearl River Delta Regions during a critical moment.  He is responsible for managing over 400 people and leading a team to deliver smooth and professional services under challenges and changes.

Helen Xu

Helen Xu

Chief Financial Officer (Greater China)

Helen Xu

Chief Financial Officer (Greater China)

Helen Xu is the Chief Financial Officer of MSC Greater China Area, covering MSC China, Hong Kong and Taiwan; she also supervises the financials of MSC Depots and MSC Wuhan Documentation Center.

Helen holds the Bachelor Degree of Shanghai University of Finance and Economics and the Master Degree of Smith School of Business, Queen’s University Canada.  She is the member of CICPA and ACCA.

Helen started her career with Unilever in 1997 as an Accountant. During her career life with Unilever, she rotated in different positions in Finance Department and was developed to a Finance Manager leading the Accounting Share Service Functions. During 2001 – 2002, Helen took the role as Finance Manager with Intel China. Then Helen joined Maersk and worked for Maersk China for 10 years. During this period, she held several senior finance positions including Finance General Manager of East China Cluster, Finance Head for Safmarine Greater China Area. Helen’s last role before joining MSC was the Financial Director for Smith and Nephew, an UK based medical device company, she managed manufacturing finance team in China and the provided financial support to the Regional Operations and Logistics in Emerging Market.

Helen joined MSC in May 2017 and has been leading the MSC Greater China finance team since then.

Jason Xue

Jason Xue

General Manager of MSC Ningbo

Jason Xue

General Manager of MSC Ningbo

Jason joined MSC in 1999 and was promoted to General Manager of Ningbo office in 2009.
Jason started his career in an electronic firm responsible for material control, shipping and logistics business.

Jason began his career in shipping industry in 1993 with Qiao Feng Shipping Ltd. Hangzhou Office as Chief Representative.

He joined the Sales and Marketing team at MSC Hangzhou in 1999 and was later relocated to MSC Ningbo. In 2009, Jason was appointed General Manager overseeing the Ningbo businesses.

Jonathan Zhu

Jonathan Zhu

Managing Director (Greater China)

Jonathan Zhu

Managing Director (Greater China)

Jonathan Zhu is the Managing Director of MSC Greater China Area including Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. In addition to the liner business, he also oversees MSC depot business and a Documentation Centre in China.


Jonathan holds the Bachelor Degree of Shanghai International Studies University and the Master Degree of China Europe International Business School.
 

He started the career in the shipping industry in 1990. Thanks to his various exposures in China Marine Shipping Agency (Sinoagent), EACBEN (a liner company), a trading division in The East Asiatic Company (EAC) and Maersk China, he gained extensive business knowledge and excellent management skills. 
 

In 2009, Jonathan joined MSC Shanghai as General Manager of Shanghai and Yangtze River area. In March 2014, he was appointed Managing Director of the Greater China Area.

Peter Lee

Peter Lee

General Manager of MSC Qingdao, Zhengzhou and Lianyungang

Peter Lee

General Manager of MSC Qingdao, Zhengzhou and Lianyungang

Peter joined MSC in 1996 as the Manager of MSC Qingdao Representative Office and was promoted to General Manager of Qingdao office in 2009 overseeing the Qingdao businesses.

Peter started his career in China Ocean Shipping Agency Qingdao, a subsidiary of COSCO, as boarding agent. 

Peter obtained a BA degree majoring in Ocean Shipping Transportation Shanghai Maritime University in 1983.


 

Philip Cheng

Philip Cheng

General Manager of Trade and Sales (HK, South China & Taiwan)

Philip Cheng

General Manager of Trade and Sales (HK, South China & Taiwan)

Philip started his career in logistics industry with Jardine freight service as Sales Trainee in 1995. Later, he joined Norasia and Hanjin Senator respectively. 

In 2002, he joined MSC as Sales focusing in Europe and Mediterranean trades. With 20 years extensive sales experience in shipping industry, he was promoted as General Manager of Trade and Sales overseeing HK, South China & Taiwan for all trades.
 

Philip holds a Master Degree of  Macquarie University of Australia.

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