RWI/ISL Container Throughput Input Index

Container throughput stable towards the end of the year


According to the latest flash estimate by the RWI - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research and the Institute of Shipping Economics and Logistics (ISL), the Container Throughput Index increased only slightly in November to a seasonally adjusted 124.5 points. Container throughput was declining in Chinese and European ports. The increase is mostly due other Asian ports’ increased traffic volumes.

The essence in a nutshell:

  • The seasonally adjusted Container Throughput Index of RWI - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research and the Institute of Shipping Economics and Logistics (ISL) only slightly increased to 124.5 points in November from 123.7 points (revised) in October.
  • In the Chinese ports, container throughput weakened slightly. The index decreased from 135.9 points to 135.3 points.
  • The North Range Index, which provides an indication of economic development in the northern eurozone and Germany, fell from 103.7 (revised) in October to 101.0 points in November.
  • The RWI/ISL Container Throughput Index for December 2023 will be released on January 26, 2023.

Torsten Schmidt

RWI’s head of economic research
Global container traffic is moving sidewards towards the end of the year. For Europe’s international trade, the strong dip indicates an additional setback in the last quarter. A longer blockage of the Suez Canal route would be yet another bad news for world trade.

About the RWI/ISL- Container Throughput Index

The index takes into account container throughput data continuously collected on an ongoing basis by the ISL Monthly Container Port Monitor at 92 international ports, representing approximately 64 per cent of global container throughput. The present flash estimate for the Container Throughput Index relies on data representing approximately 47 per cent of the throughput represented in the index. Since international trade is mainly handles by sea, the development of container throughput provides reliable insights into global merchandise trade. As many ports already report their data a fortnight after the end of each month, the RWI/ISL Container Throughput Index is a reliable early indicator of the international merchandise trade and hence also of global economic activity. 

The Container Troughput Index is used by many international bodies such as UNCTAD and is included in the Shipping/Port Data section of the WTO’s Global Trade Data Portal.

Data series for individual ports are available in the ISL Monthly Container Port Monitor.

RWI/ISL Container Throughput Input Index