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.

Dan Everitt

Dan Everitt

Managing Director

Dan Everitt

Managing Director

Telephone: +44 (0)1473 277777Email: uk-info@msc.com

'It’s all about building long-term relationships. That’s why we take the time to listen and understand every customer’s needs.'

Dan Everitt, Managing Director

Starting his career with MSC as an office junior at the age of 17, Dan has developed his experience and knowledge of the industry through over 30 years of service to the company, joining the board in 2002 as Commercial Director.

A Member of the Chartered Institute of Shipbrokers, earned through 2-3 years of study whilst also progressing his career, Dan has dedicated his working life to the shipping industry developing through many roles, gaining valuable experience at all levels.

Dan won promotions within the business regularly as the business grew.  In 1990 he was promoted to South Africa Trade Manager, which has been and still is today one of the major trades of MSC.

Dan then took on the role of Trade Development Manager on the Far East/Middle East trade lanes, a role he fulfilled for four years before being promoted to General Manager Exports, positioning him in charge of all UK export staff.

It was Dan’s success in this role that placed him as the leading candidate for Commercial Director in 2002 from which Dan progressed to Deputy Managing Director in 2007 and finally Managing Director in 2008.

Through Dan’s career with MSC, he’s seen our UK team grow from 24 people to over 500. As Managing Director his vision for the company’s future is the continued promotion of a professional and dynamic organisation that places its staff and customers at the heart of its business.

Michael Collins

Michael Collins

Commercial Director

Michael Collins

Commercial Director

Telephone: +44 (0)1473 277 777Email: uk-info@msc.com

Michael joined MSC in 2000 and was appointed as Commercial Director, joining the UK Board in March 2017.

Michael’s career in the shipping industry began in 1991, when he was working with a competitor, following which Michael joined MSC in 2000, as a Pricing Co-ordinator for our USA trades.

When MSC introduced the new Far East Silk service, Michael was promoted to Far East Trade Manager, responsible the development of the exciting new venture. Michael’s success in this role elevated him to the role of General Manager for Exports in 2007.

Successfully fulfilling this role, Michael’s input to the company encompassed all commercial responsibilities and he was appointed to the UK's Board of Directors in 2017.

David Woolnough

David Woolnough

Finance Director

David Woolnough

Finance Director

Telephone: +44 (0)1473 277 777Email: uk-info@msc.com

David joined MSC in 2019 as Finance Director.

Originally specialising in international marketing, David’s first role in finance was at a Scandinavian shipping company based at the Port of Felixstowe over 20 years ago.

Since then, he has worked in senior finance roles at businesses in a variety of industries – including manufacturing, fuel and telematics and asset management.

Immediately prior to joining MSC, David spent the last 10 years as Head of Accounting Services at Penguin Random House UK, part of the world’s largest book publisher.

Jonathan Burke

Jonathan Burke

Operations Director

Jonathan Burke

Operations Director

Telephone: +44 (0)1473 277 777Email: uk-info@msc.com

Jonathan’s career with MSC began in 2008 as General Manager, Intermodal and was appointed to the UK Board in March 2017.

After graduating in Mechanical Engineering at Cardiff University, Jonathan began his career in the shipping industry in 1999 as a Marine Engineer with Maersk. He progressed through various roles with the company and his success quickly elevated him to Commercial Manager Vessel Chartering in 2002, and then General Manager Commercial for Import/Export Logistics in 2006. During Jonathan’s nine year tenure with the company, he spent time offshore in oil and gas and in ship management, taking delivery of newbuild vessels and vessel operations management. More recently, Jonathan led a team of 13 client managers, supported by the operational team providing global supply chain services for UK retail customers.

In 2008, Jonathan joined MSC, appointed as General Manager – UK Intermodal Transport. During this time the Operations Department underwent significant change and expansion, such as the addition of a new contract rail service to Birmingham Hams Hall, and the increased of the UK road operation to support the addition of two new UK ports in MSC’s network. In 2014 Jonathan took up a new role as Managing Director of the Container Logistics business unit at Wincanton.

Returning to MSC and joining the UK Board as Operations Director in March 2017, Jonathan is responsible for UK operations and service delivery, including transport and container management, UK depots, port operations, and health & safety.

Matt Clayton

Matt Clayton

Head of Imports

Matt Clayton

Head of Imports

Telephone: +44 (0)1473 277 777Email: uk-info@msc.com

After working for several local freight forwarders and trailer operators, Matt began his MSC career in 1998.

Matt started on the Mediterranean trades as an export clerk and stayed there for three years before becoming an Import Pricing Co-ordinator. In 2009 Matt took on the newly created role of North Mediterranean Import Trade Development Manager, followed by Transatlantic Import Trade Manager (2012) and then Senior European Commercial Manager (2016).

In 2019 Matt progressed to his current role of Head of Imports, which involves overseeing MSC UK’s import commercial trade and customer service teams.

Donna Chidlow

Donna Chidlow

Head of Exports

Donna Chidlow

Head of Exports

Telephone: +44 (0)1473 277777Email: uk-info@msc.com

Following over 25 years’ experience working in the maritime industry, Donna first joined MSC UK in 2008 as Export Customer Service Manager for the Southern Hemisphere. In 2011 Donna moved into the role of Export Trade Development Manager for the USA and Caribbean, a role she fulfilled for two years before being promoted to National Export Sales Manager in 2013 and then Head of Sales in 2017. In April 2018, Donna became MSC UK’s Head of Exports.

Donna’s career in shipping started as an Import/Export Assistant for Finntransit Ltd. Within the early years of her career, Donna gained valuable experience working in commercial, legal and financial roles for various shipping and logistics businesses allowing her to develop a great understanding of the industry. Since 1996 Donna has progressed her career in the commercial arena, working for RH Freight Services, Vogt & Maguire Liner Agency, CP Ships, China Shipping and now MSC UK.

Within her current role, Donna oversees our export commercial trade, customer service teams and our project, reefer and cross trades teams.

Alistair Leonard

Alistair Leonard

Head of Sales

Alistair Leonard

Head of Sales

Telephone: +44 (0)1473 277 777Email: uk-info@msc.com

Alistair has worked in the shipping and freight industry for more than 19 years, starting his MSC career as an office junior at the age of 16. From there, Alistair moved to working on various export trade desks, including the Far East, Middle East, India Pakistan and East Africa trade desks before joining the Sales department in 2008 as Import Sales Manager.

Alistair’s success in this role meant that he was promoted to National Customer Development Manager in 2014, followed by Senior Customer Development Manager in 2017.

A member of the London Freight Club for more than 10 years, in 2018 at the age of just 34 years old Alistair became the organisation’s youngest ever Chairman.

Alistair has held his current role at MSC, Head of Sales, since April 2019.

Lauren Edwards

Lauren Edwards

Head of Commercial Services

Lauren Edwards

Head of Commercial Services

Telephone: +44 (0)1473 277 777Email: uk-info@msc.com

Lauren joined MSC in 2016 as Senior Customer Service Support Manager and in 2019 was appointed as MSC UK’s Head of Commercial Services.

Lauren has acquired substantial shipping and logistics knowledge since starting her career in 2004. Her experience includes roles in imports, exports, finance, sales, compliance and support. She has worked on global projects internationally, taking secondments in both India and Denmark.

In her role as Head of Commercial Services at MSC Lauren oversees our rating, commercial transformation, data and compliance and optimisation functions. Lauren’s role also complements our commercial and customer services teams in order to lead change.
 

Jason Parkes

Jason Parkes

Head of IT

Jason Parkes

Head of IT

Telephone: +44 (0)1473 277777Email: uk-info@msc.com

Jason began his career in the shipping industry in 1991 with P&O Containers (which later became P&O Nedlloyd) as Accounts Assistant. After working in financial and operations systems implementation at P&O Nedlloyd (as European Business Systems Manager), Jason led the IT work stream at the time of AP Moller’s acquisition of P&O in 2005.

Jason later moved into running large transformational projects and whilst with Maersk Logistics he led two SAP implementations.  Jason remained with Maersk Logistics through its rebranding as Damco a few years later.

Gaining over 25 years’ experience in the industry, Jason joined MSC in 2012 as General Manager Customer Services before moving to his current role of Head of IT in 2015, with responsibility for IT and Business Systems.

Matthew Layzell

Matthew Layzell

Head of Logistics

Matthew Layzell

Head of Logistics

Telephone: +44 (0) 1473 277777Email: uk-info@msc.com

Joining MSC in 2004 as Operations Coordinator, Matt has had a long, successful career in the Logistics industry and Operations arena.

Matt’s first role within shipping industry was as an Import Clerk in 1990. Building experience in equipment control and operations through several sea freight companies, Matt progressed from Import Clerk to Operations Manager in seven years.

After taking a short break from the industry to fulfil the role of Performance Analyst for Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust, Matt returned to the shipping industry, working for MSC.

Throughout Matt’s ten years with MSC, he has played an instrumental role in the development of our landside logistics offering. As Operations Coordinator Matt took the lead role in establishing our third party transport management system and contributed detailed internal and external analysis, used to improve our services for customers and profitability.

In 2008 Matt was promoted to Transport Systems Manager, a role he fulfilled for five years before becoming Operations Systems Manager (2013). Appointed as General Manager Logistics in 2014, Matt's responsibilities include overseeing MSC UK's depot subsidiaries Anglia Container Services and Mersey Container Services as well as driving the strategic development of our Container Control and Transport Administration divisions.

In 2015, Matt's role as a General Manager for MSC UK was extended to include the management of our Port Operations department, overseeing vessel agency, transhipments, export clearances and dangerous cargo approvals. 

Paul Garnham

Paul Garnham

Head of Intermodal

Paul Garnham

Head of Intermodal

Telephone: +44 (0)1473 277 777Email: uk-info@msc.com

With over 30 years’ experience, Paul started his shipping career as a Customs Clearance Clerk at a local company in Felixstowe before joining CP Ships. Paul managed a number of different areas both commercial and operational within the business; driven by improvement and consistently streamlining the processes to enhance efficiencies throughout the company.

Highlights of his hard work include increasing volumes and minimising empty running, resulting in enhanced productivity and the simplification of accounting systems and selling tariffs.

Paul joined MSC UK in 2003 as a Business Analyst before progressing to Operations Manager of the UK rail services. Since joining MSC Paul has consistently driven the efficiency of our service and increased the visibility of our costs to ensure that we can offer a competitive and comprehensive landside product for our customers.

In 2014 Paul was appointed as General Manager Intermodal, making Paul responsible for the UK’s landside transport and intermodal operation.

Steve Michell

Steve Michell

Head of Finance

Steve Michell

Head of Finance

Telephone: +44 (0)1473 277 777Email: uk-info@msc.com

Steve joined MSC in 2004 with the responsibility of setting up our Management Accounts Department.

Steve started his career in the financial arena with Fred Olsen Agencies, working within the disbursements team. During his time with Fred Olsen, Steve was given the opportunity to fulfil various roles within the Finance department, giving him experience with working in many different industries.

In 2001 Steve moved to P&O Trans European joining the Management Accounts team, looking after the warehousing operations in the UK. Following this, Steve moved to the Finance team at P&O Ferrymasters in the Irish Transport division.

A qualified member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accounts, Steve progressed his career further with MSC over the last ten years. Promoted to General Manager in 2014, Steve became responsible for the management of IT, Business System Analysts and Management Accounts.

In 2015 Steve made the transition to General Manager Finance and is now responsible for all aspects of finance, claims and insurance, whilst providing strategic financial leadership across the business.

Truusje Barkham

Truusje Barkham

Head of Risk and Compliance

Truusje Barkham

Head of Risk and Compliance

Telephone: +44(0)1473 277 777Email: uk-info@msc.com

Truusje is MSC UK’s Head of Risk and Compliance. Truusje came to MSC following a 30-year career in the technology sector.

Truusje’s previous leadership positions include Head of Release Management at ABB and Head of Fourth Line Support at H3G (Three Mobile). In 2005 Truusje moved to the managed services division at Ericsson and was asked to head up their newly formed Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Service. In 2010, Truusje became the first female Director of Security in Ericsson’s 140-year history, covering the West and Central Europe region. In this role, she was responsible for managing the firm’s security and business continuity risks across all of Ericsson’s businesses in the region’s 16 markets, covering managed services, research and development and its corporate operations.

In 2015, Truusje moved to Suffolk to spend time with her young son before joining MSC as our Senior Compliance Manager in 2018. In July 2019, Truusje was promoted to Head of Risk and Compliance. She is responsible for managing our Health & Safety, Business Continuity, Quality and Environmental risks, as well as spearheading our company Risk and Compliance strategy.

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