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RWI/ISL Container Throughput Index: Revival of container throughput reaches Europe

The current flash forecast for the Container Throughput Index of RWI – Leibniz Institute for Economic Research and the Institute for Shipping Economics and Logistics (ISL) indicates a seasonally adjusted strong increase to 124.3 points in December, compared to the previous month. The recovery, following the sharp decline in global container throughput in October, has thus intensified. It continued to be driven by the Chinese ports, but has now also spread to container throughput in Europe.

The essence in a nutshell:

  • The Container Throughput Index of RWI – Leibniz Institute for Economic Research and the Institute for Shipping Economics and Logistics (ISL) recorded a seasonally adjusted increase in December from 121.9 (revised) to 124.3 points.
  • Chinese ports remain the driver of this increase. In Chinese ports, container throughput increased significantly from 133.3 (revised) to 138.3 points.
  • The North Range Index, an indicator for economic development in northern Europe and Germany, recorded an increase in December from 105.6 (revised) to 108.2 points.
  • The RWI/ISL Container Throughput Index for the month of January 2023 will be published on February 28th, 2023.


Commenting on the development of the Container Throughput Index, RWI’s head of economic research Torsten, Schmidt says: “The recovery of container throughput has intensified toward the end of the year. The revival has now reached European ports, so bottlenecks concerning some upstream products should have eased further.”

About the RWI/ISL- Container Throughput Index:

The RWI/ISL Container Throughput Index consists of container throughput data from 94 international ports gathered continuously by the ISL Monthly Container Port Monitor as part of its market observation. These ports account for approximately 64 percent of global container traffic. The current flash estimate for the Container Throughput Index is based on data from about 51 percent of the total index displayed here. As international trade is handled primarily by sea, reliable conclusions can be drawn here from container port throughput data. Furthermore, the index is a reliable early indicator of international trade of manufactured goods as well as global economic activity as most ports already report their activities within two weeks after the end of each month. The container throughput index is part of the statistics on foreign trade in the „Dashboard Deutschland“ of the Federal Statistical Office.

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


Prof. Dr. Torsten Schmidt, Tel.: +49 (0) 201 8149-287, 
Sabine Weiler (Communications), Tel.: +49 (0) 201 8149-213,

Data Container Throughput Index and North Range Index

Graphic Container Throughput Index in printable resolution

RWI/ISL-Containerumschlag-Index: Nordrange


Graphic in printable resolution

Data for special evaluation excluding chinese ports