Westgarth takes over as President of UK Chamber of Shipping

Maritime industry veteran Graham Westgarth has become the new President of the UK Chamber of Shipping, taking over from John Denholm CBE.

A distinguished career in the shipping and maritime sector spanning over 50 years made Westgarth a natural and popular successor.

After serving 18 years at sea, the last 5 of which he served as  Master Mariner, Westgarth’s  career has seen him hold several senior executive roles with companies including GasLog Limited, Teekay Corporation and Maersk UK.

In 2018, his focus became ship management when he was appointed CEO of V.Group before moving to  the role of Chairman in 2020.

Westgarth has also occupied several influential industry positions, most notably as Chairman of INTERTANKO, a position he held for five years.  

Commenting on his new role, Westgarth said:

“John Denholm has led the Chamber since March 2020.  He has been an outstanding President, helping steer the organisation through the Covid pandemic, and I want to thank him for all that he has done.

“These have been two of the most challenging years our industry has faced and he has provided strength, direction and outstanding leadership at a time when it’s been needed more than ever. It is my honour to take over from John.

“As I look ahead to my Presidency, the future is uncertain with many new challenges presenting themselves.

“We have all been struck by the terrible scenes in Ukraine and we know this will have an impact on the shipping sector in the months ahead.

“Then there are the on-going challenges and opportunities associated with decarbonisation and digitalisation. Many changes will take place in the coming years which will have a profound effect, not only on shipping but on the wider world.

“At the Chamber our role is to provide strong and strategic leadership. Working with colleagues across the sector, we will help ensure the industry not only rises to these challenges but also seeks out the opportunities that will surely arise .”

Outgoing President John Denholm said:

“It has been a great honour to lead the Chamber during the last two-years. They have been unprecedented years, like no other we have ever faced, but the UK Chamber of Shipping has risen to the challenge and worked incredibly hard with government and industry to protect the UK shipping sector.

“I am particularly proud of the work we have done helping the industry in the days after Covid struck and helping our sector recover during 2020 and 2021.

“We have also developed robust green policies, culminating in the decision by the Chamber to support net zero emissions for the shipping sector by 2050 and the introduction of a Market Based Measure by IMO to drive the change to net zero emissions. This was a major step for our industry and now we need the IMO to take up the challenge and develop and bring into effect a market based measure. "

“I know Graham Westgarth will be an outstanding President and I wish him and the whole Chamber well.”

Chief Executive of the Chamber Sarah Treseder said:

“I would like to add my personal thanks to John for his leadership and guidance over the past two years. His strength of character and determination to help the industry has been second-to-none and it has been an honour to work with him.

“I am also delighted to welcome Graham Westgarth as President and JB Rae-Smith as Vice-President. I am looking forward to working with both as we embark on a new era where we will strengthen our purpose and our offerings to those across the UK shipping and maritime sector.”

The Chamber also launched its updated Journal during the AGM looking back at the last twelve months and what issues the industry may face in 2022 and beyond. You can read the new Journal here.