MILES ADDS HIS VOICE TO INDUSTRY CONCERNS OVER SARS
Ray Miles, the chief executive officer of CP Ships, added his voice to growing worries in the international shipping industry about the potential impact of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).
“If things go on, that could begin to have an economic impact, particularly on Asian economies,” Miles said during a press conference on Wednesday (April 23).
“That could in the end become very serious,” he added.
The concerns expressed by Miles follow a recent warning by Jacques Saade, the chairman of CMA CGM about the SARS crisis. “If not brought under control, this SARS virus may lead to a catastrophe for the shipping industry,” Saade told the recent Containerisation International conference.
Miles noted that the relocation of manufacturing to Asia, including China, has been a “key factor” in international business in recent years. He cautioned that CP Ships has so far seen “very little” impact on its business from the SARS epidemic.
China has been the driving force behind the growth of cargo volumes in international container shipping.
As a carrier, CP Ships is less exposed to potential economic problems in Asia than the Asian shipping lines. China accounts for about 8 percent of CP Ships’ total container volume.