Our show starts with a logo. There's a good chance that you've seen this one before whether it's stacked on a cargo ship or being hauled by a tractor trailer. Maersk is the biggest container shipping company in the world but the Danish business says demand for shipping has decreased early this year and that it's had to cancel more than 50 trips to and from Asia. The reason, the new corona virus that originated in Wuhan, China late last year. As the disease has spread so has its impact not only on people but on businesses as well with the potential to hurt economies.
Maersk estimates that factories in China are working at 50 to 60 percent of their capacity. This is having ripple effects around the world because so much commerce is tied into what happens with China. In the shipping industry alone, 80 percent of the things we use everyday are carried over the ocean and China is home to seven of the world's 10 busiest container ports. So it's not just health officials who are concerned about this virus. The shipping industry and the businesses that depend on it are also hoping this disease would peak and that its spread would start to slow down. Are there any signs that's happening? It's hard to say and hard to predict.
China just announced on Thursday that it recorded the lowest number of daily infections that it's seen in weeks. But South Korea which is located just a couple hundred miles from China across the Yellow Sea has reported a spike in cases. The expanding impact is not just at sea and international trade associations says global airlines could lose a combined total of more than $29 billion because of the corona virus outbreak. Car makers, luxury good makers, drug companies could all be hit as well as toy manufacturers.