John Butler

World Shipping Council

President and CEO

John Butler was named president and CEO of the World Shipping Council in August 2015 after serving as general counsel for the association since 2010. Prior to joining the WSC, Butler was a partner in the Washington, DC, law firm of Sher & Blackwell, where he served as outside counsel to the WSC. For almost two decades, he advised liner shipping companies and trade associations on regulatory, commercial, security, hazardous materials, environmental, contract, and antitrust issues. He has represented the liner shipping industry in federal agency rulemakings, legislative activities, and federal court litigation on a broad range of security, environmental, regulatory, and commercial matters. Butler has been admitted to the bar in Maryland and the District of Columbia, as well as the US Supreme Court and the US Court of Appeals for the DC, Ninth, and Third Circuits. He is a former president of the Maritime Administrative Bar Association. Butler began his legal career as a law clerk in the US Department of Agriculture’s Office of Administrative Law Judges. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Colorado College and a Juris Doctor, with honors, from George Washington University Law School.

Sessions With John Butler

Monday, 28 February

  • 04:35pm - 05:20pm (EST) / 01/mar/2022 12:35 am - 01/mar/2022 01:20 am

    How Would the Industry Change Under an OSRA21?

    For the first time in more than two decades, Congress is considering legislation that would upend how the United States regulates container shipping. For the National Industrial Transportation League, National Retail Federation, and other supporters, behavior by the carriers and marine terminals over the last two years of disruption has shown the need for the Ocean Shipping Reform Act. If passed in current form, the legislation would pressure carriers to accept more export bookings and force carriers to certify that storage fees comply with federal regulations. Container lines, as represented by the World Shipping Council, along with terminal operators and stevedores warn shippers that any short-term benefits would be outweighed by long-term damage. The carriers argue that the legislation would only increase detention and demurrage and slow the supply chain. Getting past the rhetoric, the opposing sides will make their case in a constructive debate moderated by JOC Executive Editor Mark Szakonyi.