After 36 years' dedicated service, Chris Welsh MBE will be retiring from the Freight Transport Association as its Director of Global and European Policy at the end of May 2018. Chris has spent his career at FTA defending and advancing the interests of importers and exporters (shippers) in their dealings with the world's shipping lines and airlines. Through his work with the British Shippers' Council, Chris has provided an effective voice for the customer in these markets, and has succeeded in making it easier for FTA members to import and export goods by sea and by air. Chris was awarded the MBE in 2015 in recognition of his achievements. Earlier in his career, Chris helped establish FTA's Brussels office in 1995 and served as the Secretary General of the European Shippers' Council from 1996 to 2002. In addition to his current FTA duties as Director of Global and European Policy, he is also the Secretary General of the Global Shippers' Forum (GSF) that provides a platform for shippers' views to be heard by the global regulatory bodies. The GSF's annual meeting in Melbourne on May 8-11 will mark Chris's final commitment to the organisation that he has run since its formation in 2011. With the agreement of the Board of the Global Shippers' Forum, FTA's Deputy Chief Executive James Hookham will take over responsibilities for running the GSF from 1 June 2018. James will also take direct responsibility for the global and European policy team at FTA. David Wells, FTA's Chief Executive, said: "Chris Welsh has been a tireless advocate for the needs and interests of businesses, managing sea freight and air cargo contracts for over 30 years, and I thank him for advancing FTA members' interests in these modes of transport. His award of an MBE in 2015 recognises the contribution he has made to keeping British, European and global supply chains safe, competitive and sustainable. I am grateful for the service he has given to FTA over a long and successful career, and wish him an active and happy retirement." Efficient logistics is vital to keep Britain trading, directly having an impact on more than seven million people employed in the making, selling and moving of goods. With Brexit, new technology and other disruptive forces driving change in the way goods move across borders and through the supply chain, logistics has never been more important to UK plc. A champion and challenger, FTA speaks to Government with one voice on behalf of the whole sector, with members from the road, rail, sea and air industries, as well as the buyers of freight services such as retailers and manufacturers.