The earthquake/tsunami tragedy in Japan is likely to cause “pinch points in various supply chains” but is not likely to be “significant overall” to global trade, Fred Smith, the chief executive of freight shipping company FedEx, has said, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Despite the events there, which come along with higher fuel prices and unrest in the Middle East, the “dynamics of global trade” appear solid, he said in a conference call with analysts.

“While this thing has been horrific and one of the worst things we’ve seen in a long, long time, the reality is that it’s fairly localised,” he said. That likely holds true unless “some drastic convergence of events takes place,” he said, referring to Japan’s nuclear threat.

Specific effects of the events in Japan, the world’s third largest-economy, are difficult to predict, but the automotive and high-tech industries may see crimps in their supply chain, he said. Shipping in and out of Japan nonetheless remains strong, he said.

“The Japanese are very resourceful people and we’re carrying a lot out of Japan as we speak,” he said. “They are very able folks; the way they’ve handled this thing is very admirable.”

“The trade balance to and from Japan has always been more export-oriented [from Japan] so there is more traffic going into Japan for reconstruction purposes than otherwise would be the case,” he said.