GLOBAL – The World Shipping Council (WSC) has announced Joe Kramek as its new President and CEO, effective August 1, 2024. He succeeds John Butler, who will retire at the end of July 2024.

Kramek comes to the position with extensive experience in the maritime industry and government service.

Prior to his appointment, he served as WSC’s Director of U.S. Government Relations. Kramek spent 28 years as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Coast Guard, where he gained significant experience in maritime, international, and environmental law.

He also led the U.S. delegation to the International Maritime Organization’s legal committee during his tenure with the Coast Guard.

“I am deeply honored to take on the role of President and CEO at the World Shipping Council, building on the foundation laid by John Butler,” said Kramek.

“Together with the dedicated team at WSC, I look forward to addressing the evolving needs of the shipping industry and continuing to drive positive change.”

John Butler has served as President and CEO of WSC since 2015. He joined the organization as General Counsel in 2010. During his time as president, Butler oversaw a period of growth and change in the maritime sector.

“It has been a privilege to lead the World Shipping Council during a time of significant growth and complexity in the maritime sector,” Butler said.

“I am confident that with Joe’s extensive experience and committed leadership, WSC will continue to flourish and develop even further. I wish him and the entire team continued success in the years ahead.”

The transition plan includes close collaboration between Butler and Kramek in the coming months to ensure a smooth succession. Kramek will officially take on his new responsibilities as President and CEO on August 1, 2024.

The council, founded in 2000, has grown into a major international group representing the industry worldwide and advocating for maritime security and environmentally friendly practices in liner shipping.

Based in Washington, D.C., the WSC also operates branches in Brussels and Singapore, which enhances its global reach.

Its members operate around 90% of global liner ship capacity and provide approximately 400 regularly scheduled services connecting continents. These services handle about 60% of the global value of seaborne trade, transporting over $4 trillion worth of goods each year.

The WSC focuses on ensuring a sustainable, safe, and secure shipping industry. It emphasizes areas such as sustainable shipping, safety, security, healthy competition, trade facilitation, and customs. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the WSC addressed crew changes and seafarer health, highlighting the critical role of seafarers.

The organization is also working on initiatives to make liner shipping carbon neutral in the coming years, aiming for a long-term goal of becoming carbon-free.

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