'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. '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, reports New York's FreightWaves.
MSC said that Mr 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 TEU aggregate carrying capacity and MSC with 569 ships with 3,747,457 TEU capacity.
MSC has a much larger orderbook of new ships with 17 vessels 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.