Press Office

RWI/ISL-Container Throughput Index: Again strong impulses for the international container trade from China

Press release from 22 December 2021

According to the latest flash estimate, the Container Throughput Index of RWI – Leibniz Institute for Economic Research and the Institute for Shipping Economics and Logistics (ISL) rose by 1.4 points in November to 125.3. This is attributed to promising throughput increases in Chinese ports.

Grafik Entwicklung RWI/ISL-Containerumschlag-Index

The essence in a nutshell:

  • The Container Throughout Index of RWI – Leibniz Institute for Economic Research and the Institute of Shipping Economics and Logistics (ISL) rose in November in seasonally adjusted terms from 123.9 (revised) to 125.3 points.
  • Container throughput in Chinese ports again increased strongly. The index increased from 130.3 to 134.9 (see below “Data on the special evaluation excluding Chinese ports” under “Downloads”). 
  • The North Range Index, an indicator of economic development in the northern euro area and Germany, sunk in November from the month before from 112.1 (revised) to 113.9.
  • The RWI/ISL Container Throughput Index for December 2021 will be published on January 28, 2022.

Commenting on the development of the Container Throughput Index, RWI’s head of economic research, Torsten Schmidt says, “Container throughput has increased significantly since October. This is helping to gradually overcome the global supply bottlenecks. However, the rapid spread of the Omikron variant of the Corona virus is expected to put renewed strain on container throughput.”

About the RWI/ISL Container Throughput Index:

The index incorporates container throughput data collected on an ongoing basis by the ISL Monthly Container Port Monitor at 94 international ports, which account for about 64 percent of global container throughput. The current quick estimate for the Container Throughput Index is based on data from about 64 percent of the throughput reflected in the index. Since international trade is mainly handled by ocean-going vessels, container throughputs allow reliable conclusions to be drawn about world trade. Because many ports report on their activities as early as two weeks after the end of a month, the RWI/ISL Container Throughput Index is a reliable early indicator of the development of international trade in processed goods and thus also of global economic activity. The container throughput index is part of the statistics on foreign trade in the "Dashboard Deutschland" of the Federal Statistical Office. Data series for individual ports are available in the ISL Monthly Container Port Monitor.

For more background information on the RWI/ISL Container Handling Index, visit www.rwi-essen.de/containerindex.

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Your contact persons:

Prof. Dr. Torsten Schmidt, Phone: +49 (201) 8149-287, 
Sabine Weiler (Communication), Phone: +49 (201) 8149-213, 

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Data RWI/ISL-Container Throughput Index and North Range Index

Graphic of the Container Throughput Index in printable resolution

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RWI/ISL-Container Throughput Index: North Range

Grafik Entwicklung RWI/ISL-Containerumschlag-Index Nordrange

Graphic in printable resolution

Data for special evaluation excluding Chinese ports

Press release in pdf format

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