Posidonia, one of the world's most high-profile shipping events, has been cancelled for this year and will not take place until 2022, TradeWinds has learned.

The week-long event in Greece was originally set to be held in June, before being rescheduled for October.

But organisers informed exhibitors and partners on Monday that this year's event has been axed.

TradeWinds understands that the decision was made because there remains little visibility of how the Covid-19 situation will stand come October.

Sources said organisers have taken into account global travel restrictions, which could still be in place in three months' time.

Visitors from countries such as China, Singapore and the US are currently prevented from entering the European Union.

Organisers have also considered a possible second wave of coronavirus infections, which could prompt new lockdown measures to mitigate the spread of the virus in the future.

TradeWinds understands that organisers decided that cancelling Posidonia was preferable to holding a more low-key event in October that would have been accessible to only a few, for whom virus safety would still be a concern.

An official announcement is expected to be released on Tuesday.

2020's blank shipping diary

The pandemic has forced other major shipping events to be cancelled this year.

With the cancellation of Posidonia, all eyes will be on whether the Connecticut Maritime Association's annual CMA Shipping conference will go ahead in October.

The week-long event in Stamford, Connecticut, has already been rescheduled twice this year.

Another conference organiser, Capital Link, told TradeWinds that its annual New York Maritime Forum will now be an online rather than a physical conference on October 14 and 15.

"Technology has become a big part of our daily life and thus hosting digital events is perfectly in line with the dynamics of the current environment," Capital Link president Nicolas Bornozis said.

"Digitalisation in shipping has been a big theme anyway, so we digitalised shipping conferences!"

TradeWinds' digital forum

TradeWinds has been forced to postpone or cancel all of its upcoming events in the second and third quarters of this year, but is planning its first ever digital forum — "Investment in an age of uncertainty" — on 10 September.

Germany's Eisbeinessen announced in June that it has cancelled its 72nd meeting, which was scheduled for Hamburg in November.

The annual Global Maritime Forum, dubbed shipping’s mini-Davos, confirmed in May that it would be postponed until 2021, having been set to take place in London in mid-October.

One of the world's largest ship technology exhibitions and conferences, SMM, has said it will postponed until next February.

Marine Money's annual week of ship finance conferences had been scheduled for New York in June, but was cancelled and supplemented by online webinars instead.

Singapore Maritime Week, scheduled for April, was also cancelled.