Press Office

RWI/ISL-Container Throughput Index indicating world trade revival

Press release from 30 November 2018

The Container Throughput Index of the RWI – Leibniz Institute for Economic Research and the ISL Institute of Shipping Economics and Logistics reached an annual high with 134.6 points in October. However, at the same time the data for August as well as for September needed to revised downward slightly and noticeably, respectively when compared to the assement one month ago. In thus remains to be seen whether this month’s increase of the RWI/ISL-Container Troughput Index will in fact give hope for a revival of world trade, or whether it is more of a backlash after two relatively week months.


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 October is based on data reported by 44 ports, accounting for ~85% of the total index volume.

The RWI/ISL-Container Throughput Index for November 2018 will be released on 20. December 2018.



Prof. Dr. Roland Döhrn, Tel.: (0201) 8149-262,
Sabine Weiler (Press Office), Tel.: (0201) 8149-213,

Index data

Graphic in printable resolution (German)