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RWI/ISL Container Throughput Index: Strong dampener for world trade

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 decrease of 3.6 points to 117.1 points in February. Container throughput fell sharply, especially in China. But it also fell significantly in the European ports.

Grafik Entwicklung RWI/ISL-Containerumschlag-Index

The essence in a nutshell:

  • The seasonally adjusted Container Throughput Index of RWI – Leibniz Institute for Economic Research and the Institute for Shipping Economics and Logistics (ISL) decreased from 120.7 points (revised) to 117.1 points in February.
  • The North Range Index, an indicator of economic development in the northern euro area and Germany, decreased in February from 111.1 points (revised) to 106.0 points compared with the previous month.
  • Container throughput in Chinese ports, on the other hand, declined significantly. The index decreased from 130.6 to 106.9. However, the data is likely to be at least partially distorted by the Chinese New Year. (see below “Current data for the index China” under “Further Information”).
  • The RWI/ISL Container Throughput Index for March 2022 will be published on April 29, 2022.

Commenting on the development of the Container Throughput Index, RWI’s head of economic research, Torsten Schmidt says, “The recovery in container throughput has been dampened once again. The sanctions against Russia probably explain only part of the decline in European ports, additionally there are still bottlenecks in transport capacity.

About the RWI/ISL- Container Throughput Index:

The RWI/ISL Container Throughput Index consists of container throughput data from 90 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 78 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.
For more background information on the RWI/ISL Container Throughput Index, see


Your contact persons:

Prof. Dr. Torsten Schmidt, Phone: +49 (201) 8149-287,
Sabine Weiler (Communication), Phone: +49 (201) 8149-213,


Data Container Throughput Index and North Range Index

Graphic Container Throughput Index in printable resolution


RWI/ISL-Container Throughput Index: North Range

Grafik Entwicklung RWI/ISL-Containerumschlag-Index Nordrange

Graphic in printable resolution

Data for special evaluation excluding chinese ports


Press release in pdf format (German)