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The Lloyd’s List Podcast: The challenges shaping shipping according to MSC chief Søren Toft

Listen to the latest edition of the Lloyd’s List’s weekly podcast — your free weekly briefing on the stories shaping shipping

This week’s edition of the podcast features a very special guest; Søren Toft, chief executive of Mediterranean Shipping Co, the world’s largest container line operator, talks to Lloyd’s List editor Richard Meade about the challenges facing shipping and where he sees the industry heading

SINCE joining Mediterranean Shipping Co two years ago as chief executive, Søren Toft has had quite a ride. He moved over from Maersk just as demand was rocketing, supply chain congestion was getting serious and freight rates were well on their way to the sky-high levels that most industry leaders would normally not dare to dream about.

Then there was the extraordinary expansion. Now the world’s largest container line operator, MSC’s secondhand purchase spree has already added about 250 vessels to its fleet in the past two years. Factor in newbuildings and forward charter commitments, and it amounts to one of the most impressive strategic plays in modern shipping history.

But as the industry eyes a near-term future getting closer to what passes as business as usual these days, the challenges facing those in Mr Toft’s position do not get any easier.

So we were delighted that he found time this week to sit down with Lloyd’s List editor Richard Meade to discuss some of the challenges facing shipping and where he sees the industry heading.

In this week’s edition of the Lloyd’s List Podcast, Mr Toft discusses:

  • The impact and unintended consequences of CII

  • How many MSC ships will be below ‘C’ and what the range of optimisation levers MSC intends to pull in order to address that

  • The rapid influx of tonnage into the company, including many older vessels

  • How to balance investment in future zero-carbon fuels vs the existing fleet optimisation.

  • Has there been too much greenwashing and empty promises?

  • How will MSC deal with the forthcoming inclusion of shipping in Europe's carbon market?

  • In terms of the global ambition to reduce shipping emissions, what does a good outcome look like?

  • How important is scale to the company's strategy?

  • Does MSC ultimately seek independence from the alliances?


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