Sappio leaving APL
APL said Thursday that Bob Sappio, a 29-year veteran of the company and head of the shipping line's Pan American Trades, will leave the container liner company Aug. 1 to remain in the San Francisco Bay area.
Replacing Sappio in the transpacific will be 22-year APL veteran Steve Schollaert, executive vice president of intermodal strategy and former head of the Asia/Europe trade. Schollaert, who has a background in operations and was also responsible for APL's terminals, will be based in Phoenix.
Sappio has been head of APL's transpacific trade since 2003 and was a highly visible figure for the company and its representative to carrier groups such as the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement.
In 2010, Sappio represented the industry at congressional hearings in Washington on container shipping.
'He played a key role in establishing APL as the leader in the transpacific and in building its brand reputation,' said Ron Widdows, chief executive officer of parent company Neptune Orient Lines. In April, NOL announced Widdows will retire from his present post at the end of this year, and become a senior advisor to the company.
'I've devoted my entire career to APL — a company I have tremendous affection and respect for,' said Sappio, who joined the container carrier in 1982. 'But family priorities are most important, and I've made the decision to stay closer to home and remain in California where my family has established deep roots.'
In April 2009 APL moved its Americas headquarters from Oakland, Calif., to Phoenix, as part of cost-cutting measures the company said would reduce its global workforce by about 1,000 positions, with the largest impact 'in the Americas region, where the company’s cost base is highest.”
NOL was started in December 1968 as Singapore's national shipping line. Originally it was wholly owned by the Singapore government, and was formed in an effort to develop and support Singapore’s economy. The company eventually became publicly traded, but the Singapore government, through its investment company Temasek, and affiliates still holds about 47 percent of NOL’s stock, according to its annual report.
NOL acquired American President Lines in 1997. ' Chris Dupin