Neptune Orient Lines

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Neptune Orient Lines Limited
Founded30 December 1968 (1968-12-30)
FounderMuhammad Jalaluddin Sayeed
Defunct1 October 2020 (2020-10-01)
FateAcquired by CMA CGM
HeadquartersThe Metropolis, 9 North Buona Vista Drive,
Area served
Key people
  • Rodolphe Saadé, Chairman
  • Nicolas Sartini, CEO[1]
ServicesShipping services
RevenueDecrease S$ 8,831.193 million (2013)[2]
Increase S$ 583.939 million (2013)[2]
Decrease S$ 71.968 million (2013)[2]
Total assetsIncrease S$ 9,029.035 million (2013)[2]
Total equityDecrease S$ 2,130.811 million (2013)[2]

Neptune Orient Lines Limited (NOL) was a Singaporean container shipping company. It was founded in 1968 as Singapore's national shipping line, but was later sold as a subsidiary to French shipping company CMA CGM in 2016.[3][4] On 1 October 2020, NOL was restructured into a regional hub and was renamed to CMA CGM Asia Pacific Limited.[5][6]


In December 1968, Neptune Orient Lines was started as Singapore's national shipping line. Wholly owned by the Singapore Government, it was formed in an effort to develop and support Singapore's economy.[3]


In the 1970s, containerization was introduced. In the mid-1970s, NOL's managing director was Goh Chok Tong, who went on to become Singapore's second Prime Minister.[7]

In 1975, NOL then entered the Asia-Europe trade as part of the ACE Group consortium with partners OOCL, K Line, COSCO and Franco-Belgian Services, known as the "third force" in the container-shipping world.[8] Meanwhile, it entered the key Trans-Pacific Trade with a standalone service.

Merger with APL[edit]

In 1997, NOL made a US$825 million acquisition of American President Lines (APL), whose heritage dates back to 1848.[8] Following the merger, the APL name was adopted as the public brand name. The NOL name was retained for the holding company, which was listed on the Singapore Exchange and was well known to its investors. The company focused on managing global supply chains in 2001 when APL Logistics was established as a separate business unit.

In 1998, during the Asian economic crisis, NOL saw losses mount to US$460 million, while its debt was more than US$4 billion. The company sold off assets to clear the debt and by 1999 was profitable again.[8]

In 2003, NOL completed the divestment of its tankering businesses AET and NAS, to concentrate on the company's core container shipping and logistics services.[7]

On 1 October 2011, Ng Yat Chung was appointed as CEO of NOL, replacing Ron Widdows.[9]

On 17 February 2015, APL Logistics was sold to Kintetsu World Express, Inc. for US$1.2 billion.[10]

Sale of NOL to France's CMA CGM[edit]

On 9 June 2016, it was announced that Temasek will tender its NOL shares to shipping company CMA CGM. CMA launched an all-cash voluntary conditional general offer for outstanding NOL shares at SG$1.30 a piece. The deal is worth SG$3.38 billion and eventually will be delisted from the Singapore Exchange.[11]

The company announced in May 2016 reported net losses of US$105.1 million (SG$142 million) for the first quarter ended 31 March, higher than the US$10.8 million a year earlier. Former CEO Ng Yat Chung acknowledged that the company had been "a bit slow and reluctant to change".[11]

On 28 June 2016, CMA CGM said it will proceed to delist NOL, after it crossed the 90 per cent ownership threshold in the company and NOL was subsequently delisted on 5 September 2016.[4][12]

In May 2017, less than a year after the NOL acquisition, CMA reported turning a net profit of $26 million from the NOL business in the first quarter of the year.[13]

Restructuring to CMA CGM Asia Pacific Limited[edit]

On 7 July 2020, CMA CGM announced a restructuring of its services in the Asia-Pacific region.[5][6][14] NOL and CMA's regional office was reorganized into a regional hub and renamed to CMA CGM Asia Pacific Limited on 1 October 2020.[6]


  1. ^ mz (14 June 2016). "NOL appoints new CEO, CFO amid takeover by France's CMA CGM". Channel News Asia. Archived from the original on 18 June 2016. Retrieved 19 June 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Unaudited Financial Information For the Year Ended 27 December 2013" (PDF). Neptune Orient Lines Limited. 27 February 2014. Retrieved 27 March 2014.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ a b "Neptune Orient Lines Limited History". Funding Universe. Archived from the original on 10 May 2019. Retrieved 8 May 2021.
  4. ^ a b cy (28 June 2016). "NOL to be delisted after France's CMA CGM crosses 90% ownership threshold". Channel News Asia. Archived from the original on 29 June 2016. Retrieved 2 July 2016.
  5. ^ a b "CMA CGM Group Reorganizes Transpacific Trade Focusing APL on US Flag". The Maritime Executive. Retrieved 8 May 2021.
  6. ^ a b c Lee, Hong Liang (7 July 2020). "CMA CGM drops APL brand in transpacific trade". Seatrade Maritime. Retrieved 8 May 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. ^ a b Chua, Alvin (6 July 2010). "Neptune Orient Lines". National Library Board Singapore. Singapore Infopedia. Archived from the original on 9 May 2012. Retrieved 3 August 2012.
  8. ^ a b c Hunt, Alison (2 February 2016). "5 Things You Should Know About Neptune Orient Lines | The Motley Fool Singapore". Archived from the original on 2 February 2016. Retrieved 8 May 2021.
  9. ^ "Ng Yat Chung takes over as NOL's CEO from Oct 1". The Edge Singapore. 30 September 2011. Archived from the original on 1 March 2014. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
  10. ^ "NOL sells APL Logistics to Kintetsu for $1.2 billion |". Retrieved 8 May 2021.
  11. ^ a b Woo, Jacqueline (8 June 2016). "NOL did not adapt fast enough, says CEO". The Straits Times. Archived from the original on 6 May 2021. Retrieved 10 June 2016.
  12. ^ mz (5 September 2016). "NOL to be delisted from SGX on Tuesday". Channel News Asia. Archived from the original on 12 November 2016. Retrieved 19 September 2016.
  13. ^ Trompiz, Gus; Guillaume, Gilles (19 May 2017). Thomas, Leigh (ed.). "Shipping firm CMA CGM upbeat as profits rise again". Reuters. Retrieved 8 May 2021.
  14. ^ "CMA CGM Group reinforces Singapore as its Asia-Pacific regional hub". Indian Transport & Logistics News. 7 July 2020. Retrieved 8 May 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

See also[edit]