The Container Throughput Index of the RWI – Leibniz Institute for Economic Research and the Institute of Shipping Economics and Logistics (ISL) experienced a small decrease in February 2018 as it fell from 134,6 (revised figure of January) to 134,1. The Index remains on a high level, close to its all-time record. This development indicates a continuing strong world trade.
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 February is based on data reported by 48 ports, accounting for three quarters of the total index volume.
The RWI/ISL-Container Throughput Index for March 2018 will be released on 24 April 2018.