Nor-Shipping, one of shipping’s leading exhibitions and conferences, has been postponed until January 2022 in response to the worsening coronavirus pandemic.

The decision comes after the Norwegian Institute of Public Health said it expected social distancing measures to be in place in the country until either the end of summer or autumn of 2021.

Nor-Shipping’s organisers said that due to the current circumstances it was looking at a scaled down event if it kept to the original June 2021 date.

The rescheduled event will now take place on 13 January 2022.

“Health and safety comes first,” Nor-Shipping director Karen Algaard said.

“We are committed to following stringent standards with regards to minimising the risk of infection, and, at present, that means fewer people, less interaction and more distance between exhibitors and participants.

“We believe that isn’t in keeping with the essence of Nor-Shipping. However, by delaying the programme a little we can offer everything we have become known for, and more, with a uniquely Norwegian flavour in January 2022.”

Nor-Shipping has been running for 50 years. The last time the event was held in 2019 at its home in Lillestrom near Oslo, it attracted 50,000 visitors.

Nor Shipping director Per Martin Tanggaard said he wanted to keep Nor-Shipping as an event that is renowned as a gathering place for global ocean industry stakeholders.

He said he sees it as “a place where they can meet in person, connect, share knowledge, build relationships, and really enable the strategies to unlock sustainable success in the ocean space.”

The organisers said that more than 90% of exhibitors backed the decision to move the event.

“Safety must come first,” said DNV GL - Maritime chief executive Knut Orbeck-Nilssen, whose classification society is a major exhibitor. “And I believe the delay will only serve to increase its value.”