A MAJORITY of traders and operators in shipping feel COVID-19 has negatively affected their revenue, employee numbers and insurance premiums, a new survey from DWF reveals.

DWF is a global law firm.

However, those in the shipping sector also believe in a bright future.

The survey, of 200 traders and operators working in shipping and commodities, found 63% of respondents felt that COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdowns had a negative revenue impact.

Some 60.5% said there was also negative effect on employee headcount, and 46% said there was negative impact on insurance premiums.

However, the outlook is more positive, with 42% citing that they are largely unconcerned about the shipping and commodities sector’s ability to recover from the economic effects of COVID-19 within the next two years.

Jonathan Moss, head of marine and trade at global legal business, DWF said, traders’ and operators’ confidence demonstrated the resilience of the shipping sector.

“The shape of globalisation is changing and international trade is sufficiently flexible to carry out the necessary adjustments to ensure that the sector will continue to thrive in the long term,” he said.

The research also showed other areas where the traders and operators felt there would be a significant impact.

The respondents highlighted the biggest issues in the next two years were, new environmental regulations (42.5%), geo-political tension (42%) and autonomous ships (41.55%).

Cyberattacks came in last with 35.5% saying it would have a big impact.

Some 43% of respondents cited that with the advancement of technology, cyber security attacks would be a bigger threat to the industry during the next five to 10 years. “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,” Mr Moss said.