RWI/ISL-Container Throughput Index: Upturn in Europe allows for container throughput rise


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 a seasonally adjusted 2.4 points in April to now 127.1. European ports in the North Range Index had a significant share in this increase. The index rose 3.5 points to 120.4.

The essence in a nutshell:

  • The Container Throughput Index of RWI – Leibniz Institute for Economic Research and the Institute of Shipping Economics and Logistics (ISL) rose slightly in seasonally adjusted terms from 124.7 (revised) to 127.1 in April. Accordingly, after a short breather in the winter, the index has climbed significantly again for the second time in a row.
  • The North Range Index, which gives an indication of economic developments in the northern euro area and Germany, shared a considerable proportion of the rise of container throughput. In April, it rose significantly faster than the total index from 116.9 (revised) to 120.4 when compared with the previous month. Apparently, the easing of restrictions in combination with measures to prevent infections are contributing to greater container traffic.
  • Container traffic in Chinese ports remained stable when compared with the previous month.
  • The RWI/ISL Container Throughput Index for May 2021 will be published on 24 June 2021.

Commenting on the development of the Container Throughput Index, RWI’s head of economic research, Torsten Schmidt says, “the North Range Index increase indicates that economic activity in countries within the euro area are also recovering from the setback of the first quarter.”


About the RWI/ISL Container Throughput Index:

The index includes data on container throughput in 91 international ports continuously collected by the ISL as part of its market observation. They account for around 60 percent of global container traffic. Since international trade is mainly handled by sea, reliable conclusions can be drawn from container port throughput on world trade. As many ports already report on their activities two weeks after the end of a month, the RWI/ISL Container Throughput Index is a reliable early indicator of the development of international manufactures trade and thus also of global economic activity.
Data series for individual ports are available in the ISL Monthly Container Port Monitor.