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Business Leader of the Week: Meet Gianluigi Aponte, founder of Mediterranean Shipping Company

IFM_Gianluigi Aponte
Gianluigi Aponte made a move into the cruise industry in 1988, after purchasing the liner Monterey, a luxury ocean liner launched in 1931

The Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) is one of the world’s largest and most important shipping companies as it plays a central role in the global maritime industry. Founded in 1970, the privately owned Italian company is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.

MSC has established itself as a global leader in container shipping and has an extensive service network and fleet of modern ships.

MSC operates an extensive fleet of container ships and provides global cargo transportation services. Its ships are among the largest in the industry and can transport a wide range of goods, including consumer goods, industrial equipment and perishable goods.

With this massive fleet, MSC can serve over 200 trade routes, connecting major ports on every continent and providing its customers with efficient and reliable shipping solutions.

The company’s commitment to sustainability is reflected in the implementation of various environmentally friendly initiatives. MSC is at the forefront of efforts to reduce emissions and improve energy efficiency in the shipping industry.

Their commitment to environmental responsibility includes investing in innovative technologies and alternative fuels to reduce their carbon footprint.

MSC’s global presence is strengthened by its extensive network of container terminals, domestic transportation and logistics services.

This end-to-end approach ensures that the company can offer comprehensive solutions to meet the diverse needs of its customers, from booking cargo space to final delivery.

Additionally, MSCs that focus on customer satisfaction, reliability and a commitment to safety have contributed to its excellent reputation in the shipping industry. With a commitment to delivering outstanding global transportation services, Mediterranean Shipping Company continues to be a key player in the world of international trade and commerce.

The brain behind this successful shipping company is 83-year-old Gianluigi Aponte. He is the founder, owner, executive chairman of the company.

    Who is Gianluigi Aponte?

  • Gianluigi Aponte was born and brought up in Sant’Agnello, Italy on 27 June 1940
  • He completed his education in Maritime Engineering from Istituto Tecnico Nautico Statale Nino Bixio, Italy
  • At the beginning of his career, Gianluigi Aponte worked as a Neapolitan captain before buying his own ship
  • In 1970, he started his own shipping business with his wife Rafaela Diamant Pinas and founded the Mediterranean Shipping Company
  • The company began its shipping line between the Mediterranean and Somalia, and in 1977 it operated shipping services to Northern Europe, Africa, and the Indian Ocean
  • Gianluigi Aponte made a move into the cruise industry in 1988, after purchasing the liner Monterey, a luxury ocean liner launched in 1931
  • He received a prize for ‘Neapolitan Excellence in the World’ from Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in 2009
  • Gianluigi Aponte won the Cruise International Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his long-term activity in the industry in 2012
  • In 2013, he received Containerisation International’s Lifetime Achievement Award, as well as a knighthood, the Order of Merit for Labour, from Italian President Giorgio Napolitano
  • As of April 2023, according to Forbes, Gianluigi Aponte has a net worth of USD 31.2 Billion

MSC China delivered in Shanghai

The world’s largest container ship, the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) China, was handed over to its owner in Shanghai, China, with records for capacity and new technology.

With a capacity of 24,116 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs), a measure of volume in units of 20-foot-long containers, MSC China overtook Ever Alot with a capacity of 24,004 TEUs as the largest container ship delivered.

The ship was developed by Hudong Zhonghua Shipyard (HZS). under China’s largest shipbuilder, China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC), and was registered with Det Norske Veritas (DNV), China Media Group reported.

According to Gu Lijun, senior engineer at HZS, the world’s largest container ship series consists of four ships, and the MSC China is the last to be delivered. The first ship, the MSC Tessa, was delivered in March.

With an overall length of 399.99 metres, MSC China has a width of 61.5 metres and a depth of 33.2 metres, as well as a deck the size of about four standard football fields.

The maximum number of stacked boxes can reach 25, which is the height of a 22-storey building. The ship can carry more than 240,000 tons of cargo.

Equipped with a hybrid desulphurisation tower, the vessel also features a unique small bulbous bow, large-diameter propellers and energy-saving ducts.

In addition, the ship features, for the first time, the use of a drag reduction system and a shaft generator engine system, allowing the ship to carry more goods while consuming less fuel and emitting less carbon dioxide.

With optimised fuel consumption and design index for the ship’s energy efficiency, the ship can reduce emissions by approximately 6,000 tons per year.

To date, Jiangnan Shipyard and HZS, affiliated with CSSC, have developed and delivered thirteen of the world’s largest ultra-large container ships, making Shanghai the world’s research and development and construction centre for ultra-large container ships.

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