Press Office

RWI/ISL-Container Throughput Index: Trend remains positive despite decline

Press release from 20 December 2018

The Container Throughput Index of the RWI - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research and the Institute for Shipping Economics and Logistics (ISL) fell from (revised) 135.1 to 133.7 in November 2018. The minus does not come as a surprise, as the index had reached a new high in October, which has now even been revised by 0.5 points higher than the flash estimate. Despite the decline, the index still outperformed the average for the past twelve months in November. This suggests that world trade is once again growing, albeit with moderate momentum.

The index is based on data continuously collected from world container ports by ISL as part of its market monitoring. Because large parts of international merchandise trade are transported by ship, the development of port handling is a good indicator for world trade. As many ports release information about their activities only two weeks after the end of the respective month, the RWI/ISL Container Throughput Index is a reliable early indicator for the development of international merchandise trade and hence for the activity of the global economy. As of 2018, the index is compiled based on data of 88 ports. Together, these ports account for roughly 60% of worldwide container handling. The flash estimate for November is based on data reported by 48 ports handling around 75% of the total index volume.

The RWI/ISL Container Throughput Index for December 2018 will be released on 25 January 2019.

Index data

Graphic in printable resolution (German)

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