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RWI/ISL Container Throughput Input Index: World trade recovers from energy price shock

According to the latest flash estimate the Container Throughput Index of the RWI – Leibniz Institute for Economic Research and the Institute of Shipping Economics and Logistics (ISL) has increased to a seasonally adjusted 123.4 points in May. This marks the fourth consecutive month of growth in container throughput. However, it has not yet reached the level of the summer of last 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) increased to 123.4 points in May compared to April (revised 122.3).
  • The expansion of container throughput was particularly strong in Chinese ports. The index increased to 140.5 points in May from 136.4 points in April.
  • Container throughput in European ports fell again after a strong increase the month before. The North Range Index of important continental European ports on the North Sea fell from 108.4 to 104.1 in May compared to the previous month. Nevertheless, overall there are now signs of stabilization in container throughput in Europe.
  • The RWI/ISL Container Throughput Index for the month of June 2023 will be published on July 28th, 2023.

Commenting on the development of the Container Throughput Index, RWI’s head of economic research Torsten Schmidt says: “Global container throughput is slowly recovering from last year's energy price shock. In Europe, however, container throughput continues to lag behind the other regions of the world. The rise in energy prices and the resulting loss of purchasing power was more severe here than in many other regions of the world.  Accordingly, the recovery will also take a little longer.”

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 67 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 information on the RWI/ISL Container Throughput Index, please visit


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: Northrange


Graphic in printable resolution

Data for special evaluation excluding chinese ports