About Us

The World Shipping Council is the united voice of liner shipping, working with policymakers and industry groups to shape the future growth of a socially responsible, environmentally sustainable, safe, and secure shipping industry. We are a non-profit trade association with offices in Brussels, Singapore and Washington, D.C. Read more at


  • Anna Larsson

    Communications Director

  • Quotes

    Liner shipping wants to decarbonise our industry as soon as possible and we will continue to lead the way in enabling shipping’s transition to zero. But we cannot do this alone, and we cannot do it without the volumes of renewable energy and fuels this transition requires. If IMO member nations build upon these four cornerstones in developing the future greenhouse gas regulations, the shipping industry and fuel providers will have the necessary investment certainty to reach our goal. It is time to move from ambition to action and work together to deliver net zero by 2050.
    John Butler, President & CEO of the WSC
    With the WSC Whale Chart, seafarers will for the first time have a comprehensive global resource offering critical navigational coordinates and concise graphics to identify routing measures and areas subject to static speed restrictions designed to protect whales and other cetaceans. We hope that by compiling this unique navigational aid, keeping it updated and making it available for free to all navigators, we can help reduce ship strikes and safeguard endangered whale populations across the globe
    John Butler, President & CEO of the WSC
    We appreciate the European Commission’s recognition of the many benefits of vessel sharing to European industry and consumers, even if we disagree with the logic behind the decision to discontinue the CBER. The shift to general EU antitrust rules will create a period of uncertainty as carriers adjust to the new legal structure. Nevertheless, vessel sharing agreements will remain a fully legal and supported way for carriers to ensure efficient and sustainable transport for Europe
    John Butler, President & CEO of the World Shipping Council
    The reduction in containers lost at sea in 2022 is positive news, but there is no time for complacency. Every container lost at sea will always be one too many and we will continue with our efforts to make the sea a safer place to work, and to protect the environment and cargo by reducing the number of containers lost at sea.
    John Butler, President & CEO of the WSC
    Nobody has offered a reason why we should throw away such a useful tool as vessel sharing arrangements (VSAs), and I think some of the rhetoric comes from a misunderstanding about how VSAs help the supply chain work better.
    John Butler, President & CEO of the WSC
    When each party in international container supply chains makes sure to start and end their work with clean cargo and containers, then containers will reach their destination faster while our agriculture, forestry and natural resources are preserved.
    Lars Kjaer, Senior Vice President
    FuelEU Maritime is perhaps the most important of the EU legislations for shipping. Using performance-based targets with quantitative rigor based on lifecycle or Well-to-Wake metrics, FuelEU provides shipping companies the clarity needed for continued first mover innovation that will expand to broad uptake of renewable fuels across the fleets carrying essential cargoes to EU communities.
    Jim Corbett, Environmental Director for Europe at the WSC
    Liner shipping is already investing in the transition to zero GHG fuels, and is eager to operate vessels using renewably derived marine fuels distributed through a sustainable supply network. We are ready, and we hope that the EU ETS for maritime will help drive investment in renewable energy as well as in the supply networks needed for the alternative maritime fuels necessary to make the transition.
    Jim Corbett, WSC Environmental Director for Europe
    Liner carriers are already investing in alternative fuels and technologies, and urge the EU to ensure policies are geared to accelerate investments in the necessary renewably derived fuels by adopting a full life-cycle perspective. Aligning EU ETS pricing with other EU Green Deal measures also supports Europe’s potential to become a major producer of renewable marine fuels,
    Jim Corbett, the World Shipping Council’s Environmental Director for Europe
    The frustration that shippers have understandably experienced from service delays and increased cost has been channelled towards carriers, their vessel sharing arrangements, and the regulatory tools which facilitate such arrangements, including the CBER. But data shows and regulators concur that the problems were caused by factors outside carriers’ control and not by vessel sharing.
    John Butler, President & CEO of World Shipping Council
    This is the time for open-minded discussions and a shared focus around what is needed for our climate and the sustainability of global supply chains. We have to think practically about what the proposals before the IMO can deliver in actual carbon emission reductions and also how to get to a decision. It is not just about getting to yes, but getting to yes on something that will make a difference for the future of our planet.
    John Butler, President & CEO of WSC
    We are very pleased to welcome PIL to WSC, and we look forward to their contribution in our Councils and Working groups. As a vessel owner and direct employer of over 2,000 seafarers, PIL will bring important perspectives and insights to our work
    John Butler, President & CEO of the WSC
    PIL is pleased to become a member of the World Shipping Council and join other like-minded maritime companies to strengthen industry collaborations and advance key global topics on sustainability. The long running pandemic, while disruptive, has highlighted the urgency for us to seek viable solutions to combat climate change, and PIL stands ready to step up its support to progress the decarbonisation and other sustainability agendas among our peers
    Mr Lars Kastrup, Chief Executive Officer of PIL
    I am very happy to welcome Anna, George and Nick to the team. We are at an inflection point for liner shipping, with great challenges and opportunities that need to be addressed on a national, regional and international level. The WSC is working across all fronts for a public policy framework to support the decarbonization of shipping, a safer and more secure industry, as well as resilient global supply chains for the future. Our new colleagues will add essential competence and experience, strengthening our organization to support this work,
    John Butler, President & CEO of the WSC
    Narcotics are a scourge for societies across the globe, destroying lives, families and communities. Liner carriers will not tolerate having their services abused by criminals, and WSC is committed to supporting the Customs community with insight into ocean liner industry operations, providing open communications and exchanging information to combat drug traffickers.
    John Butler, President & CEO of World Shipping Council
    Rapid investment in green vessels and fuels requires that EU ETS engage all parties – vessel operators, charterers, and shipowners. Legislation that is narrow and includes binding-pass through clauses will distort the market signal and delay progress to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
    John Butler, President & CEO of WSC
    “It is understandable that regulators ask questions with the current market conditions. Liner shipping is a very closely monitored industry, and carriers have answered and will continue to answer those questions. But the fact is that ocean carriers actively compete against one another in the global marketplace, including on the shipping lanes most relevant for U.S. trade. The expert U.S. regulator that oversees international shipping – the Federal Maritime Commission – just completed a two-year investigation into the international ocean supply chain, finding that ocean carrier competition is ‘vigorous’ and that while ocean freight prices are high, they are ‘exacerbated by the pandemic, an unexpected and unprecedent surge in consumer spending particularly in the United States, and supply chain congestion, and are the product of the market forces of supply and demand.’
    World Shipping Council
    Transitioning global shipping from a carbon dependent industry into one that operates without greenhouse gas emissions is a massive task. We are encouraged by member state contributions that recognize the need to focus on key actions, and urge all member states to accelerate and expand this crucial work. Container and vehicle carriers are already investing in the development of zero GHG technologies and are committed to enabling the industry’s transition to zero. Governments need to take decisive action now to provide clear regulatory structures and market signals that drive investment and support ambitious front runners,
    John Butler, President & CEO of WSC
    “We are delighted to join the World Shipping Council and to share our knowledge and experience especially in the areas of safety, security and sustainability. We also look forward to learning from our peers and by so doing, contribute to building a vibrant, safe and sustainable industry for years to come,”
    Jeremy Sutton, Chief Operating Officer of Swire Shipping
    The transition to zero carbon shipping presents a unique opportunity for nations with abundant resources for green energy such as sun, wind and waves to develop as suppliers of alternative maritime fuels. The IMRB/IMRF is ready to implement, and the amendments now proposed further ensure its ability to provide equitable access to both funding and outputs.
    John Butler, President & CEO of WSC
    The truth is that with demand for ocean transportation services into the U.S. at record levels, market dynamics are influencing prices – not carrier alliances. These vessel sharing agreements (VSA) are purely operational compacts that enable carriers to share space on one another’s ships, which increases efficiency and supports more service to more ports than would otherwise be the case. Importantly, the operational agreements do not include commercial cooperation. Each member of a VSA or alliance determines its own commercial terms, including prices, which are not discussed between alliance members. Every VSA is filed, reviewed, and continuously monitored by the FMC.
    John Butler, President and CEO of the World Shipping Council
    Liner shipping understands the shared responsibility for GHG reductions in the maritime sector, and we don’t underestimate the challenge. We are committed to decarbonising shipping and have multiple ideas and projects in the pipeline. But to be able make these investments, to take the necessary risks, we – and all other maritime actors – need a regulatory framework that addresses the key strategic issues. 
    John Butler, President & CEO of WSC
    We are now offering our perspective on the critical pathways the IMO should consider as it tackles this global challenge. Action is needed now by the governments of the IMO so as not to stall development but rather to support ambitious innovators and front runners.
    John Butler, President & CEO of WSC.
    Ocean carriers continue to work with all members of the supply chain, the Federal Maritime Commission, the administration, and their customers to identify and implement operational solutions to mitigate the ongoing supply chain congestion. Ocean carriers have deployed every available ship and container to move the continuing record levels of cargo resulting from pandemic-driven U.S. demand for imports—but when ships cannot get into port to discharge and load cargo because of landside logistics breakdowns, it is clear that further regulating ocean carriers will not solve the deeper challenges in U.S. supply chains.
    John Butler, President & CEO of the World Shipping Council
    We look forward to the opportunity to work with the Senate to craft a final bill that – in contrast to the House bill – takes a comprehensive, forward-looking view of the real root causes of supply chain congestion – and that does not make that congestion worse.
    John Butler, President & CEO of the World Shipping Council
    Ship greenhouse gas emissions result from the combination of design technology, fuel consumed, and operational practices. It’s obvious, frankly, that one cannot decarbonise shipping without addressing the ship itself. A regional EU ETS carbon price must apply to all parties who have a role in GHG reductions– shipowners and operators
    John Butler, President & CEO
    Carriers depend on shippers for their business and shippers depend on carriers to get their products to market. Only by working together and trying to identify what actions could potentially work to everyone's’ benefit can we overcome current challenges and build stronger long-term foundations for the future.
    John Butler, President & CEO
    The problem is that the bill is not designed to fix the end-to-end supply chain congestion that the world is experiencing, and it will not and cannot fix that congestion. The World Shipping Council will continue to work with the Congress to seek real solutions that further strengthen the ocean transportation system that has supported the U.S. economy throughout the pandemic.
    John Butler, President & CEO, World Shipping Council
    Our appeal to political leaders and regulators is to not get stuck in a cycle of ambition bidding, but to take action for inclusive change in the shipping industry. Whilst we are disappointed there was no decision, the MEPC 77 saw a notable increase in the number of nations supporting the establishment of an industry-financed research fund, pushing USD 5 billion into R&D towards zero-GHG technologies that will be available to all nations. The initiative is ready to launch, has support from the Green Climate Fund, and we will keep supporting member nations working for a positive resolution at MEPC 78.
    John Butler, President & CEO of World Shipping Council
    The EU has a unique opportunity to strengthen, motivate and complement global policy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in international shipping. We are committed to working with EU Institutions to achieve the Green Deal’s goals through good policy that will enable us to move as fast as possible to zero emission shipping.
    John Butler, President & CEO
    We know that more serious risks occur among certain types of goods and from identified regions. The CIG recommendation centres on the need to provide proper risk assessments in defined trades and focus mandatory measures on these high-risk areas and cargoes.
    Lars Kjaer, Senior Vice President of the World Shipping Council (WSC)
    There is no legislative policy that can change the systemic physical challenges caused by the COVID-19 cargo crunch.  The efforts of the entire supply chain must be focused on managing through this situation, not wrangling about vague and intrusive regulatory measures that would not and cannot address the problem, but that would change the U.S. ocean transportation system from a free-market model to a government managed utility – much to the detriment of the nations’ international trade.
    John Butler, President & CEO
    I am very happy to welcome Shi En, Wei Jun and Joe to the team. We are at an inflection point for liner shipping, with multiple global challenges and opportunities. Our new colleagues will add crucial competence and experience that will further our work of building a public policy framework to support a socially responsible, environmentally sustainable, safe, and secure shipping industry,
    John Butler, WSC President & CEO
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