German liner operator Hapag-Lloyd has appointed Silke Lehmkoster to head its fleet operation.

Lehmkoster has taken over the role of managing director with responsibility for fleet management, as well as fleet innovation and technology.

She will also take responsibility for the chartering and the newbuildings project group, reporting to Hapag-Lloyd chief operating officer Maximilian Rothkopf.

Lehmkoster succeeds Richard von Berlepsch, who after 40 years will focus on selected projects and committee work going forward.

Lehmkoster began her career at Hapag-Lloyd with an apprenticeship at sea in 2005 and was promoted to captain in 2018.

She switched to an on-shore position in 2020 and became senior director of fleet management in April 2022.

In the role of managing director fleet, Lehmkoster will be responsible for Hapag-Lloyd’s fleet and new construction projects.

That includes the ongoing completion of a total of 12 ULCCs with dual-fuel technology and capacity of 23,600 teu.

“Next to maintaining the highest standards and ensuring the continuous safe and compliant operation of our vessels, one of her big challenges will be to further advance the decarbonisation of our fleet, helping us to achieve our goal of being climate-neutral by 2045,” Rothkopf said.

Lehmkoster is one of a growing number of women to be appointed to a senior role in the German liner company.

Last month, the supervisory board agreed to extend the contract of chief information officer and chief human resources officer Donya-Florence Amer for another five years to 2030.

Amer was appointed to the executive board of the liner company in February 2022.