World container throughput increased by 1% in the first two thirds of 2022

As already indicated by the throughput results for the first half of the year, the development of the world container trade can at best be described as "at least not negative". At slightly less than 421 million TEU, the results recorded in the MCPM are marginally higher than those of the previous year, when only 414 million TEU had been handled at that time.

Interestingly, there are indications that this growth is primarily being generated by the less important cargo flows, as a large proportion of the main handling regions suffered a negative development.

Thus, with the exception of the U.S. East Coast, the regions with above-average growth are primarily those that are not counted among the world's top industrial regions. For example, ports in Africa (13.8 million TEU) as well as in Central and South America (23.5 million TEU), increased their throughput by 2.8% and 2.2%, respectively, between January and September. Ports in the Baltic Sea (2.6 million TEU) and the Middle East (26.6 million TEU) achieved growth of 3.5% and 3.8%, respectively. The ports on the U.S. East Coast even grew by 9.2% in the period observed here and achieved a total throughput of 21.8 million TEU.

The terminals of the 10 largest Chinese ports, which together account for a market share of more than 37% of the throughput of the 94 ports monitored here, handled 158 million TEU between January and September. This figure corresponds to a growth of only 2.9%, which is unusually low by Chinese standards, caused mainly by a number of local corona lock-downs. In particular, the world's largest container port, Shanghai, with a 0,5% decline in throughput, and Hong Kong with a slump of 5.6% hampered a better result.

At the top of the negative development, however, are the ports of the North Range and the large container ports in Southern Europe. The ports in Northern Europe were only able to achieve a total throughput of 35.8 million TEU, a decrease of 4.1%, while the European ports in the Mediterranean experienced a decrease in throughput of 2.5%.

For more details on the development of the world's major container ports, please see the latest issue of our ISL Monthly Container Port Monitor (MCPM).