From commanding a chemical carrier to captaining one of the largest container ships in the world, Giuseppe Siviero has certainly had an impressive career at sea. Born in Naples, he has seafaring in his blood, and is fiercely proud to be part of the MSC culture that exudes a passion for the maritime world, and for its people.
“I started out in 1971 with a few months as an OS on short work experience during school holidays but really my own professional and cultural training started on board Crude Oil Tankers,” he explains. "I obtained the necessary sailing experience to qualify for the higher ranking officer jobs, and learned the theoretical part from the captains and teachers at the Nino Bixio Nautical Institute. In my younger days I also completed 18 months in the Italian Navy.”
From these early experiences, Captain Siviero rose through the ranks, eventually becoming a master, and subsequently able to step on board MSC Sandra as Captain in 1992. The journey to Master, is, he says, one which takes considerable commitment, passion – and support from fellow captains who are able to mentor and advise.
“Although the process has changed a little now, at the time I went through the process you would spend 18 months as a trainee officer before passing officer exams. You would then need to spend 48 months at sea to become second officer or captain, arriving at the highest rank of Senior Commanding Officer. With the confidence of your superiors and the right experience you can then go beyond this, and higher still, to achieve long distance sea senior second officer after 10 years of sailing experience, provided that you have spent at least 3 years at the command of Italian flag ships with tonnage greater than 1600 tonnes. I obtained this rank on 10th December 1998. I worked for 6 years to reach the rank of captain and 6 more years to get my first appointment at the command of a crude oil tanker under the Italian flag in 1988.”
Coming from both a sea faring city and a family of sailors has clearly been a further benefit to Captain Siviero in his journey. His proudest moment to date, he explains, is having been able to take MSC Oscar on its maiden voyage – something which took place in 2015.
He recalls: “The greatest moment of satisfaction was the moment where I first set foot on the MSC Oscar, currently the largest capacity container ship in the world ever built. I thank again the Aponte family for the opportunity to be the first commander of the 19,224 teu series ships. From that day until the moment I disembarked there was always a challenge and, even now, I wonder how I was able to keep her under control and win her over in every daily situation. Those are moments that will remain alive in my thoughts until the end of my career.”
And speaking of the Aponte family, Captain Siviero remains enormously proud to be conducting his career under a company founded by a family so rooted in passion and experience.
“It is difficult to explain what Mediterranean Shipping Company means to me,” he says. “The owner is from my own native land, and he is always present and always on the side of those who, together with him, have built this great company I believe the Aponte family continues to inspire in everyone who works for MSC passion, respect and humility for the work that we do. For me MSC is the first navigation company in the world, thanks also to the personal investment of its owner. He spends every second of his time studying how, with the collaboration of his entire fleet, his company can do better.”
You might think Captain Siviero could have learned all he would ever need to after a total of 39 years at sea, but he is keen to continue to challenge and educate himself each and every day for as long as his professional life continues. He concludes: “it is still passion and desire that drive me forward to continue asking questions about what I do. I want to learn all I possibly can.”