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Steve Saxon

Expert Partner, Shenzhen
Deep expertise in assisting airline and shipping companies with developing distinctive strategies and improving commercial performance

About Steve

Steve focuses primarily on transport, infrastructure, and logistics. His clients are typically networked transportation businesses, notably airlines and shipping.

In airlines, Steve has served more than ten carriers globally, with a focus on Asia. His work with clients spans developing distinctive strategies and improving commercial performance. He has designed successful strategies on market positioning, cargo, and airline loyalty. He has supported negotiations with airports and aircraft manufacturers, delivering hundreds of millions in savings. Steve has also driven sales improvement across a range of channels, including digital-channel strategy, foreign-sales improvement, and corporate sales. He supports investors in airlines and related businesses such as MRO, catering, and ground handling.

Steve also brings to his clients extensive experience in performance improvement for container-shipping lines. He led a successful efficiency-leadership program with a major line, delivering $500 million in value. His current work includes driving cost improvements for container lines through closer working of their alliances. Steve also serves bulk shippers, ship owners, port owners and operators, and governments on shipping and logistics strategy.

Steve is sought after as an expert on the future of the shipping industry and speaks regularly at Asian shipping conferences. He previously worked for the UK finance ministry and civil service.

Published work

How Chinese airlines can brace for impending turbulence,” McKinsey & Company, November 2019

Taking on airlines’ toughest challenges,” McKinsey & Company, January 2019

Huānyíng to the new Chinese traveler,” McKinsey & Company, November 2018

Miles ahead: How to improve airline customer-loyalty programs,” McKinsey & Company, October 2018

Does your airline still cross seat belts? A ten-point lean checklist for leaders,” McKinsey & Company, August 2018

Container shipping: More mergers, better mergers,” McKinsey & Company, February 2018

How container shipping could reinvent itself for the digital age,” McKinsey & Company, October 2017

The alliance shuffle and consolidation: Implications for shippers,” McKinsey & Company, January 2017

How to rethink pricing at container terminals,” McKinsey & Company, December 2015

Gridlock on the ground: How airlines can respond to airport congestion,” McKinsey & Company, August 2015

Landside operations: The next frontier for container-shipping alliances,” McKinsey & Company, April 2015

The hidden opportunity in container shipping,” McKinsey & Company, November 2014

China’s airlines: Flying higher,” McKinsey & Company, September 2014

“Getting more value from your fleet,” McKinsey on Finance, Spring 2012


Cambridge University
MA, computer science