The preliminary estimate for the Container Throughput Index of the Rheinisch-Westfälische Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung (RWI) and the Institute of Shipping Economics and Logistics (ISL) for April stands at 117.7, slightly lower than the figure of March (117.8). After improving slightly at the end of 2015/the start of 2016, world trade thus fell back to levels which have been the norm in the second half of 2015. The flash estimate for April is based on data reported by 39 ports, accounting for roughly three quarters of the total index volume. The March figure has not been revised.
The index is based on data of 81 world container ports covering approximately 60% of worldwide container handling. The ports are continuously monitored by the ISL as part of their market analysis. 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.
The RWI/ISL Container Throughput Index for May 2016 will be published on June 22nd.
More detail on regional trends and data for single ports can be found in our "Monthly Container Port Monitor"