Unsurprisingly, a survey from law firm DWF has found that the majority of traders and operators in the shipping sector feel that Covid-19 has negatively affected their revenue, employee headcount and insurance premiums. The future concerns, however, involve environmental regulations, geo-political tension and autonomous ships.

The survey, which comprised 200 traders and operators working in the shipping and commodities sector, found that 63 percent of respondents felt that Covid-19 and subsequent lockdowns had a negative impact on their revenues. 60.5 percent said that there was a negative impact on employee headcount, and 46 percent said that there was negative impact on insurance premiums.

The outlook is more positive. 42 percent reported that they are not very concerned about the sector’s ability to recover from the economic effects of Covid-19 within the next two years.

Looking ahead, new environmental regulations, geo-political tension and autonomous took centre stage as the most prominent issues to overcome.

Jonathan Moss, head of marine and trade at DWF, said: “Surprisingly those polled ranked new environmental regulations, geo-political tensions and autonomous shipping higher than cyber-attacks in their list of concerns over the next two years. This is despite the world’s largest shipping companies being hit by cyber-attacks, which have seriously affected data centres and container booking systems.”

However, with the advancement of technology, respondents predicted that cyber security attacks will likely be a bigger threat to the industry over the next five to ten years, he added.