RWI/ISL-Container Throughput Index: Sharp increase in container throughput continues


According to the latest flash estimate, the Container Throughout Index of RWI – Leibniz Institute for Economic Research and the Insitute for Shipping Economics and Logistics (ISL) rose by a seasonally-adjusted 2.3 points in May to 128.6. Chinese ports had a significant share in this increase. The value of their index rose by 5.8 points for a total 137.8.

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 slightly in seasonally-adjusted terms from 126.3 (revised) to 128.6 in May.
  • Throughout in Chinese ports in particular grew considerably compared to the previous month, which had nearly showed stagnation. The index value increased 5.8 points to 137.8.
  • The North Range Index, which gives an indication of economic developments in the northern euro area and Germany, continues to also trend upward. Compared to the previous month, it increased in May from 117.0 (revised) to 120.2. This could reflect economic recovery of countries in the euro area.
  • The RWI/ISL Container Throughput Index for June 2021 will be published on 27 July 2021.

Commenting on the development of the Container Throughput Index, RWI’s head of economic research, Torsten Schmidt says, „the development of container throughput continues to trend clearly upwards. Economic slowdowns due to worldwide supply shortages are not visible in May”.


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.