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MSC confirms Soren Toft will become chief executive officer

Toft had been chief operating officer at Maersk, Mediterranean Shipping Company's partner in the 2M space-sharing agreement.

Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) has confirmed that Soren Toft will join the company as chief executive officer.

Toft’s appointment was rumored last week after his resignation as chief operating officer of A.P. Moller-Maersk. (OTC:AMKBY)

Soren Toft (Photo: LinkedIn)

“MSC is delighted that Mr. Toft will be supporting the Aponte family at the helm to ensure that the company remains a global leader in the years to come,” MSC said in a press release on Monday, Nov. 18. “He will report directly to Diego Aponte, group president, and Gianluigi Aponte, founder and group chairman.” 

Maersk and MSC are partners in the 2M space-sharing agreement on the major East-West container trades. While Maersk is a public company, MSC is privately owned.

MSC said that Toft, 45, “comes with an impressive career background and pedigree in the industry, having worked at Maersk for the past 25 years.” It said he and his family will be relocating to Geneva, where MSC is headquartered and that “his start date will be communicated in due course.”

MSC said it was “confident that this appointment will bring significant value to its cargo businesses, building on the company’s existing strengths and boosting its development plans even further.”

The research firm Alphaliner ranks Maersk and MSC as the number one and number two container carriers, as measured in fleet size respectively. Alphaliner’s says Maersk has 705 owned and chartered ships with 4,191,426 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) aggregate carrying capacity and MSC with 569 ships with 3,747,457 TEU capacity.

MSC has a much larger orderbook of new ships. MSC has 17 ships with 303,668 TEU capacity compared to Maersk’s orderbook for 18 ships with 42,670 TEU on order, according to Alphaliner. 

Although MSC has a far bigger orderbook, FreightWaves understands that as those vessels join the fleet, chartered vessels will be released.

Chris Dupin

Chris Dupin has written about trade and transportation and other business subjects for a variety of publications before joining American Shipper and Freightwaves.