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RWI/ISL Container Throughput Index: Container throughput stable despite disruptions in the Red Sea

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 in December is virtually unchanged from the previous month at a seasonally adjusted 125.1 points. The attacks on cargo ships in the Red Sea have not yet had any visible impact on container throughput. Container throughput in European ports even increased slightly at the end of the year.

The essence in a nutshell:

• The seasonally adjusted Container Throughput Index of the RWI - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research and the Institute of Shipping Economics and Logistics (ISL) was only slightly lower in December than in the previous month at 125.1 points compared to 125.4 points (revised).

• Container throughput also fell slightly in the Chinese ports. The index value fell from 137.4 to 136.9 points.

• The North Range Index, which gives an indication of economic development in the northern eurozone and Germany, rose quite significantly in December compared to the previous month from 101.3 (revised) to 102.3 points.

• The RWI/ISL Container Throughput Index for January 2024 will be published on 29 February 2024.

RWI head of economic research Torsten Schmidt comments on the development of the Container Throughput Index: „Global container throughput was stable at the end of the year despite the renewed impact of the attacks on cargo ships in the Red Sea. However, freight rates have risen sharply in the wake of the attacks. This is likely to dampen demand for goods once again. Although the North Range Index has risen, the economy in Europe is still not expected to show any significant improvement.“

About the RWI/ISL- Container Throughput Index:

The index is based on data on container throughput in 92 international ports, which account for around 64 per cent of global container throughput, collected on an ongoing basis as part of the ISL Monthly Container Port Monitor. The current flash estimate for the Container Throughput Index is based on data from around 37 per cent of the throughput shown in the index. As most international trade is handled by sea, container throughput allows reliable conclusions to be drawn about global trade. As many ports report on their activities just two weeks after the end of the month, the RWI/ISL Container Throughput Index is a reliable early indicator of the development of international trade in processed goods and therefore also of global economic activity.

The Container Throughput Index is part of the foreign trade statistics in the "Dashboard Detschland" of the Federal Statistical Office. It is also 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.
Further background information on the RWI/ISL Container Throughput Index can be found at

Your contacts:

Prof. Dr. Torsten Schmidt, Phone: +49 201 8149-287,

Sabine Weiler (Communications), Phone: +49 201 8149-213,

Data RWI/ISL Container Throughput Index

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RWI/ISL Container Throughput Index: North Range

Data for special evaluation excluding Chinese ports

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