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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.
Dittmar joined MSC in 1990 and was appointed as the Managing Director of the company in 2008.
After eight years working for the federal police service in Germany, Dittmar started his shipping career in 1984 with the famous shipping broker and liner agent Paul Günther in Hamburg.
In 1990 he joined F.H. Bertling as an Operations Clerk for the MSC South-Africa-Service and gained experience working in various fields of the F.H. Bertling Group of Companies in diverse leading positions in shipping, forwarding, project business - as well residing in Africa - and IT management and development, however, always having his professional and personal main focus on the Liner Agency for MSC. As from 2006 when only the Liner Shipping part of the Bertling Group had been taken over by MSC he joined the MSC Germany/ Austria Board and took over the position of the Managing Director in 2008.
Boris Wehmann was appointed Chief Financial Officer of MSC Germany and MSC Austria in 2008.
Having grown up in a shipping environment, he realized that this was to shape his career.
For almost three decades, he has worked in the shipping industry in Hamburg, London and Nuremberg. An experience in trading led him to Hong Kong where he held the position of Managing Director for a Trade House but eventually he went back to his first passion, shipping.
Nils Kahn is the Chief Commercial Officer of MSC Germany and member of the Management Team
Nils grew up in Hamburg and despite various opportunities to leave his home town, he never did, but rather felt somehow “in love” with Hamburg and its port. His career in the Container Shipping Industry began in 1992 at Contship Containerlines in Hamburg. The company became a CP Ships affiliate in 1997 and later on was fully integrated. With CP Ships, Nils held various commercial management functions. He became the General Manager Export for Germany and Austria in 2006. CP Ships was acquired by Hapag Lloyd in 2006 when Nils took over the position as a Sales Manager at Hapag Lloyd, being responsible for Northern Germany.
In 2009, he was appointed Director Global Account Steering, a corporate function within Hapag Lloyd. Since July 2010, Nils is heading the sales and marketing activities of MSC Germany. With his passion for sales and people he never stopped concentrating on container business. As from August 2012 he is also a member of the advisory board of Hamburg Hafen Marketing.
Dennis Predoehl took over the responsibility for commercial management at MSC in November 2014.
He started his career in the shipping industry as an apprentice at Hamburg Sued where he worked as a Line Coordinator. In 2006, he moved to Commodity Supplies AG in Switzerland and Miami, U.S.A. During this time, he also gained more knowledge and achieved professional qualifications through his membership of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers in London.
In 2008, he joined MSC as a Sales Manager in Hamburg. His career started to take off when he was quickly promoted to India Pakistan Import Trade Manager followed shortly by Far East Import Trade Manager. In 2013, Dennis joined the management team as Head of Import Trade.
Gerhard Behrens started his career in 1973 as an apprentice at Gebrüder Specht in Bremen. He then moved to the Dutch shipping lines KNSM, KHL and Nedlloyd where he became head of the export departments. In 1985, he transferred to Hamburg and became a representative of MSC in the F.H. Bertling Schiffahrtskontor agency .
Throughout his career, Gerhard has established various MSC liner services. He has been responsible for many trades and areas of MSC and founded the offices in Prague, Bratislava and Munich. Today, he is responsible for the Special Departments.
Hubert Hoffman started his career at the computing center of the German Navy where he stayed for two years. Thereafter, he studied information technology and Japanese at Erlangen-Nürnberg University. After his graduation, he acted as a consultant for the Institute for Shipping and Logistics (ISL) in Bremen as well as for CSC Ploenske consulting firm for 8 years.
Hubert joined MSC in 1997. During his first years, he acted as Chief Information Officer at Bertling, then as Managing Director of BESITEC before taking over the position of Chief Information officer for MSC Germany.
Thilo joined MSC in 2015 being responsible for Operations & Logistics for Germany as well as branch manager for the location in Bremen.
His career started with the BLG in Bremen in 1994. After university he changed into the shipping business and moved to Hamburg in 2001 where he started with the Hamburg Sued and moved to Maersk in Germany end 2002 whereof most of the time as member of the senior management responsible for Finance and Trade & Marketing.
Throughout his career Thilo was responsible and driving several transformations through which he learned that uprightness and clear communication are essential for success allowing to gain creditability with customers, partners or employees.
Franciska Goldgrabe is the eBusiness Manager in MSC Germany.
Franziska was born in Singapore and raised in Australia. She has always been open to other nationalities and cultures.
During her studies of “Shipping and Chartering B.A.” at the University of Applied Sciences in Bremen, she spent some time with Columbia Shipmanagement in Cyprus and began to gain insight into the Shipping industry. After her studies Franziska worked with an international logistics company and in 2015 joined MSC Germany as eBusiness Manager.
Stefan Peeck grew up near Hamburg and after his apprenticeship’s into the technical and commercial sector, fell in love with shipping in the early 21st century when joining Hanjin Shipping starting into his breakbulk career, which he dedicates his career since then.
Having joint CMA CGM Germany as a Breakbulk Manager in 2008, setting up the breakbulk segment in Germany and France, helping start into an professional department from the get-go for a global success.
Despite the global approach that comes along with such multi-trade job, he stayed close to the City of Hamburg where lives with his wife and kids.
Having worked in 2015 as a chartering manager at Aquarius Shipping, gaining inside view about the heavy lift segment, conventional vessels and RoRo.
He could not deny his passion for the container lines and joint MSC Germany in late 2016 for another great challenge when it was time to start the professional breakbulk in MSC Germany with a dedicated person.
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