Press Office

RWI/ISL- Container Throughput Index: World Trade stagnates since the beginning of the year

Press release from 23 August 2018

The Container Throughput Index of the RWI – Leibniz Institute for Economic Research and the ISL – Institute of Shipping Economics and Logistics shows a slight increase between June and July from 132.6 to 133.1. However, it is still below the maximum value for 2018, which was achieved at the beginning of the year. Since then, the trend of the index is sidewards, which indicates that world trade is stagnating.

Container Throughput Index

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 ~60% of worldwide container handling. The flash-estimate for July is based on data reported by 51 ports, accounting for 77% of the total index volume. The flash-estimate for May was revised downwards by 0.1 points.

The RWI/ISL-Container Throughput Index for August 2018 will be released on 25 September 2018.

Index Data