APL bows out of Indian subcontinent, Middle East and Latin American trades

Within the next six weeks, APL, a shipping brand that dates back to 1848, will only serve the transpacific and US-flag services.

Parent company CMA CGM, which bought APL four years ago, will shortly stop using the APL brand on trades covering the Indian subcontinent, Middle East and Latin America, according to Alphaliner.

The move follows the earlier exit of the APL brand from the Oceania trade in January this year and from the Asia-Europe and transatlantic trades in October last year. APL’s intra-Asia short sea services have been operated via another CMA CGM acquisition, CNC, since December 2018.

A spokesperson for CMA CGM declined to comment when contacted by Alphaliner as to whether the APL name might also disappear on the transpacific too soon.

Singapore-based APL, formerly called American President Lines, features a distinctive eagle in its logo. It has had many incarnations during its 172-year history, starting out as the Pacific Mail Steamship Company.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.


  1. It is indeed sad to hear that APL will not operate in the Indian subcontinent region as well as Middle East and Latin America, perhaps a good business decision. I was one of those who worked with APL and made my career in shipping. There are many of my colleagues who will vouch that they spent some of the best days with APL.

  2. Really it is sad to know that One of Leading Brand Of Container Liner, APL is not going to call on Indian Subcontinent Ports. I am too proud to have served with this Liner in the early Nineties and getting an opportunity to have profound knowledge on Global Liner Shipping Operations and Trade.

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