Gianluigi & Rafaela Aponte: Husband & Wife Team

Posted on June 6, 2014


Gianluigi Aponte was born on June 27, 1949 in Sorrento, Italy.  He met his wife Rafaela Denat when he was a ferry ship captain. The couple started their own cargo shipping business in 1970. This was called Mediterranean Shipping and known today as MSC.

With his first few ships, Aponte started running routes between Eastern Africa and Europe. The company continued to grow and became an international juggernaut. After more than 40 years of operation MSC is now the second largest container shipping company in the world right behind world leader Maersk. MSC has around 445 vessels.

Aponte entered the cruise industry in 1988 and now MSC Cruise is the fourth largest cruise company in the world. Rafaela is in charge of designing the ship’s interior. They have two children Alexa and Diego who are also involved in the daily management of the company.

MSC sold a 35 percent stake in Terminal Invest, a global port operator with 25 world trade ports, for $1.9 billion to investment fund Global Infrastructure Partners and other investors in 2013.