The World Shipping Council (WSC) has appointed Joe Kramek as president and chief executive of the international liner shipping lobby.

Kramek will succeed John Butler who will retire at the end of July, having served nearly a decade in the top slot.

The move sees the WSC appoint from within its own ranks, with Kramek previously serving as director of US government relations.

“Kramek is poised to lead the organisation into its next phase of development, working for the continued advancement of a socially responsible, environmentally sustainable, safe and secure global maritime trade,” the WSC said in a statement.

His professional journey includes 28 years as a commissioned officer with the US Coast Guard, where he spent time at sea and as the chief of maritime, international and environmental law.

During his Coast Guard tenure, he led the US delegation to the International Maritime Organization’s Legal Committee.

The WSC has offices in Washington, Brussels, London and Singapore.

Its board is co-chaired by Hapag-Lloyd chief executive Rolf Habben Jansen and Jeremy Nixon, who is chief executive of Japanese liner operator Ocean Network Express.

Kramek is expected to work closely with Butler in the months ahead to execute the succession plan that takes effect in August this year.

The move ends a nine-year reign by Butler, who served as president and chief executive since 2015, having joined the WSC as general counsel in 2010.

During that time, he had helped navigate the industry “through unprecedented supply chain challenges while simultaneously transforming the WSC into a global trade association”, the WSC said.