Ng Yat Chung & Rodolphe Saade

A frank assessment of where it all went wrong for APL owner NOL, from its current chief executive Ng Yat Chung (pictured, left) in an interview with Singapore paper Straits Times, on the eve of the line’s acquisition by CMA CGM. Mr Ng claims that, historically, APL’s success was built on its reputation as a premium service provider, but once cost became the principal metric to compete with their peers, its advantage was blunted. But turning an organisation’s direction in response to changing circumstances is often easier said than done, he admits. “It wasn’t easy because the business model has worked for us so far. There were arguments that when the cycle turned, things would be okay. Unfortunately, this time round, the down-cycle is probably as deep and as long as anyone can remember.”

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