APL U.S. chief quits for cruise post

APL U.S. chief quits for cruise post

William Hamlin, the president of the Americas region for steamship line APL Ltd., has resigned to take become a senior executive with Norwegian Cruise Line, JoC Online has learned.

Hamlin will serve as executive vice president for cruise operations based in Miami at the 11-ship cruise line. He will be responsible for vessel and on-board services. Hamlin is now in a 30-day transition period.

At APL, currently the world's seventh-largest container line in terms of capacity deployed according to Alphaliner, Hamlin was responsible for all operations and terminals in the Americas. Last year APL was the fourth-largest U.S. carrier of import containers and the third largest carrier of exports, according to PIERS, the Port Import/Export Reporting Service, a sister company of The Journal of Commerce.

In a relatively short period of time, Hamlin made a name for himself as an action-oriented executive not afraid to take on complex issues affecting container shipping in the Americas, including growing congestion in load centers such as Los Angeles-Long Beach. As chairman of the 18-carrier Ocean Carrier Equipment Management Association, he led an effort to expand the use of chassis pools, in which carriers would share equipment to reduce cost and the use of valuable land. Hamlin was recognized for such efforts in the 2004 Journal of Commerce Leadership Roll published in February.

Among its other plans, Norwegian Cruise Lines will be deploying a foreign-built ship into the Hawaii market in a political deal in which it has promised to replace that vessel with two U.S.-built ships. Those replacements will likely be two midsize cruise ships that were left unfinished at the Ingalls Shipbuilding yard in Pascagoula, Miss., when American Classic Voyages declared bankruptcy in late 2002. They have been towed to Germany for completion but meet the basic requirements of the Jones Act since the hulls were fashioned in the U.S.