Major ship companies in Europe are suffering heavy losses due to restrictions caused by the outbreak of coronavirus in China.

Newspaper Welt cites Alfred Hartmann, president of the German Shipowners’ Association (VDR), as saying: “The decline in freight traffic from China may harm the European economy, leading to a shortage of components, spare parts, and raw materials.”

Besides, the international shipping company Maersk was forced to cancel 50 voyages from China over the past two weeks. The largest German shipping company also faced severe problems in the Chinese market due to the quarantine on enterprises and a shortage of trucks and drivers. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) estimated the weekly global shipping losses at $ 350 million.

The restrictions affected two crucial maritime trade routes towards North America and Europe.