RWI/ISL-Container Throughput Index: Global trade is off to a strong start in the new year


The current flash forecast for the Container Throughput Index of RWI – Leibniz Institute for Economic Research and the Institute for Shipping Economics and Logistics (ISL) indicates a seasonally adjusted increase of 1.5 points to 122 points in January. While container throughput thrived significantly in many regions globally, it remained nearly unchanged in European ports.

The essence in a nutshell:

  • The seasonally adjusted Container Throughput Index of RWI – Leibniz-Institute for Economic Research and the Institute for Shipping Economics and Logistics (ISL) increased from 120.5 points (revised) to 122.0 points in January.
  • The North Range Index, an indicator of economic development in the northern euro area and Germany, hardly changed in January from 112.6 points (revised) to 112.9 points compared with the previous month.
  • Container throughput in Chinese ports expanded substantially. The index rose from 126.5 points to 128.6 points (see below “Current data for the index China” under “Further information”).
  • The RWI/ISL Container Throughput Index for February 2022 will be published on March 30, 2022.

Commenting on the development of the Container Throughput Index, RWI’s head of economic research, Torsten Schmidt, says, “The renewed increase in container throughput is a sign that supply bottlenecks are being resolved. Even in Chinese Ports, it would seem that the Omicron Wave has not led to any serious handling constraints.”

About the RWI/ISL – Container Throughput Index:
The RWI/ISL Container Throughput Index consists of container throughput data from 90 international ports gathered continuously by the ISL Monthly Container Port Monitor as part of its market observation. These ports account for approximately 64 percent of global container traffic. The current flash estimate for the Container Throughput Index is based on data from about 78 percent of the total index displayed here. As international trade is handled primarily by sea, reliable conclusions can be drawn here from container port throughput data. Furthermore, the index is a reliable early indicator of international trade of manufactured goods as well as global economic activity as most ports already report their activities within two weeks after the end of each month. 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.