The Container Throughput Index of the Rheinisch-Westfälische Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung (RWI) and the Institute of Shipping Economics and Logistics (ISL) fell to 116.8 points in May 2016 (revised April estimate: 117.9). This is the lowest value computed for the index since the end of 2013 and suggests a continuous weakness of the development of the world trade in goods. The flash-estimate for may is based on data reported by 41 ports, accounting for roughly three quarters of the total index volume. The April figure has only been revised marginally (+0.2).
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 June 2016 will be published on July 20th.
More detail on regional trends and data for single ports can be found in our "Monthly Container Port Monitor"