News headlines in 2020 may have been dominated by the Covid-19 pandemic, but TradeWinds readers were hungry for more.

Of the ten stories that most drew the attention of our subscribers, none was about the coronavirus.

1. Golar rockets back near pre-deal pricing on record day for stock market

Golar LNG's shares had plunged by 9% in one day after the Tor Olav Troim-backed company revealed it would raise $96m by issuing new equity.

The next day, the pain was over. The LNG shipping company saw its shares ride a record-breaking surge for New York shipping markets, erasing any losses in the prior session.

2. Wilhelm Wilhelmsen died by suicide, obituary by friend reveals

One of Norwegian shipping's best-known figures, Wilhelm Wilhelmsen, died in February as his family was locked in a feud over the company that bears his name.

His friend, shipping investor Christen Sveaas, revealed in an obituary in Aftenposten that the Wilh Wilhemsen group founder died by suicide.

3. Meet 30 people who will shape shipping's future

Our magazine TW+ marked TradeWinds' 30th anniversary by looking ahead.

We identified 30 personalities who we believe will influence shipping over the decades to come.

The project produced an eclectic mix of people that included well and lesser-known faces, the outspoken and the reclusive, and people from across the many sectors of the shipping arena.

4. Clarksons Dubai boss faces bribery allegations

At the start of the year, Egyptian authorities accused Essam Bella, the head of Clarksons' office in Dubai, of bribing authorities in relation to shipping tenders. At the time, the shipbroking giant said it was investigating the matter.

Signal Maritime Services struck an alliance with refashioned Heidmar. Panos Dimitracopoulos (left), chief executive of Signal Maritime Services, is seen with Dimitris Tsapoulis, chief operating officer of the Signal Group of companies. Photo: Harry Papachristou

5. Heidmar will close its operations by June, staffers told

After George Economou's operator struck a deal that would see Signal Maritime Services take over its tanker pools, Heidmar began telling its employees that they would be out of a job.

Signal's plan was to use its artificial-intelligence approach to handle the Heidmar vessels, in a move that could suggest a wider shift towards digitalisation in the sector. Heidmar resurfaced in November under ownership of its chief executive.

6. Situation 'under control' after crew evacuated from listing Polaris bulker off Brazil

In a casualty that produced some of the year's most dramatic images in maritime, a Polaris Shipping VLOC was listing severely off a terminal controlled by Brazilian mining giant Vale.

The 300,000-dwt VLOC Stellar Banner (built 2016) was later scuttled in the Atlantic Ocean.

7. Western Bulk's most profitable unit managers and five others quit

Western Bulk, the Norwegian bulker operator, saw a dramatic shake-up in its management.

Among the changes, Jan Christian Tungland and Lars Christian Svensen, who headed the company's two most profitable business units, departed.

Tungland and five other members of the Western Bulk team made the jump to rival outfit Belships at about the same time.

8. Norden's head of legal leaving five months after being hired

Adam Goldschmidt joined Danish shipowner Norden as legal head in July, but he was headed for the exit door before the year was out.

Goldschmidt had been tasked with reorganising the legal department, but TradeWinds understands he was dismissed after the threat of redundancies as part of that restructuring led to friction within the company.

9. Shipbroker ends up on US blacklist in latest round of sanctions

Amid a raft of sanctions in 2020, the US blacklisted Murtuza Mustafamunir Basrai and his Singapore company Strait Shipbrokers on allegations that they helped Iran sell petrochemicals.

"The Iranian regime benefits from a global network of entities facilitating the Iranian petrochemical sector," treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.

10. Shipping dynasties grow with a birth and A-list wedding

Warning: This story involves baby photos.

TradeWinds' On Watch column helped introduce the son of Seatankers executive director Cecilie Fredriksen and grandson of shipping tycoon John Fredriksen, to the world in January.

Meanwhile, shipping heir Stavros Niarchos III and Dasha Zhukova, the ex-wife of Russian-Israeli tycoon Roman Abramovich, were married in St Moritz.

John Fredriksen holds his newborn grandson, John Christian, who is nearly a year old now. Photo: Contributed