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The International Association of Ports and Harbours (IAPH) has appointed Patrick Verhoeven as its managing director of policy and strategy.

Mr Verhoeven’s appointment will see him step down as secretary general of the European Community Shipowners’ Association (ECSA) on 1 September.

In a career ranging more than 25 years, Mr Verhoeven has held numerous positions, starting out as a ship’s accountant for Grisar & Velge in 1991.

A brief stint as a freight forwarder at Total followed before he was appointed secretary general of the Federation of European Private Port Operators in December 1993.

Mr Verhoeven has also been secretary general of the Union des Stockeurs Professionnels de Céréales dans la CEE, and a representative for the European Community Association of Ship Brokers and Agents, before becoming secretary general of the European Sea Ports Organisation.

Following a reform of the organisation, IAPH developed the managing director of policy and strategy position to increase relevance and visibility, with Mr Verhoeven becoming its first occupier.

Mr Verhoeven said the decision to move from ECSA had not been an “easy one”.

“I have been working in an EU context for almost 25 years, representing stevedores, ship agents, port authorities and – during the last four years – shipping companies,” he added. “However, I feel I cannot miss the unique opportunity to complement this experience with the global challenge that IAPH offers.

ECSA said the search process for a new secretary general had already begun.

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