Friday, June 3, 2011

Sappio to Leave APL After Nearly 30 Years

Singapore-based ocean carrier APL said Thursday that Bob Sappio, head of the shipping line’s PanAmerican Trades, will leave the company August 1.

Sappio, a 29-year veteran of the carrier, has been the head of APL’s Trans-Pacific Trade since 2003.

According to Ron Widdows, CEO of APL-parent Neptune Orient Lines, Sappio played a key role in establishing APL as a leader in the transpacific and in building the APL brand reputation for high-quality service in the industry.

“I’ve devoted my entire career to APL – a company I have tremendous affection and respect for,” Sappio said. “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.”

According to APL, during his tenure Sappio guided the carrier to a top transpacific market share position, worked closely with key multinational customers and was APL’s representative to carrier groups such as the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement. In 2010, Sappio represented the industry at congressional hearings in Washington, D.C., on container shipping.

“Bob’s contributions working closely with me on issues not only of importance to our company, but the industry and our customers, were invaluable,” Widdows said, adding that Sappio has left a lasting imprint on the firm.

NOL Executive Director Ng Yat Chung, who will take over as CEO when Widdows retires from his position at the end of 2011, also praised Sappio's contributions to the firm.

Sappio will be replaced by 22-year APL veteran Steve Schollaert, currently APL’s Executive Vice President of Intermodal Strategy and former head of its Asia-Europe Trade.

Schollaert, who has a background in operations and was also responsible for APL’s terminals, will be based in Phoenix and report to Liner Trade Management Senior Vice President Dave Appleton.