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RWI/ISL Container Troughput Index: Container throughput ends recovery from energy price shock

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 fell slightly in October to a seasonally adjusted 125.0 points. The decline was mitigated by a slightly higher container throughput in Chinese ports. The recovery of recent months thus appears to be largely complete. In the European ports, the decline is softening somewhat.

The essence in a nutshell:

• The seasonally adjusted Container Throughput Index of RWI - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research and the Institute of Shipping Economics and Logistics (ISL) was slightly lower in October at 125.0 points than in September with 125.5 points (revised).

• In the Chinese ports, on the other hand, container throughput increased once again. Their index value increased from 139.2 to 140.2 points. The unusually strong increase in the previous month has since been revised. Now that all the data is available, there was a slight decline from 139.5 to 139.2 points.

• The North Range Index, which provides an indication of economic development in the northern eurozone and Germany, fell from 103.8 (revised) in September to 103.3 points in October.

• The RWI/ISL Container Throughput Index for November2023 will be released on December 21, 2023.

Commenting on the development of the Container Throughput Index, RWI’s head of economic research Torsten Schmidt says: “The index has now returned to last summer’s level. This indicates that container throughput has largely overcome the consequences of the energy price shock. There are currently no signs of a further recovery. Therefore, no impetus for German exports is expected from global trade for the time being.”

The index takes into account container throughput data continuously collected on an ongoing basis by the ISL Monthly Container Port Monitor at 92 international ports, representing approximately 64 percent of global container throughput. The present flash estimate for the Container Throughput Index relies on data representing approximately 50 percent of the throughput represented in the index. Since international trade is mainly handles by sea, the development of container throughput provides reliable insights into global merchandise trade. As many ports already report their data a fortnight after the end of each month, the RWI/ISL Container Throughput Index is a reliable early indicator of the international merchandise trade and hence also of global economic activity. The Container Troughput Index is 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 particular ports are available in the ISL Monthly Container Port Monitor.
For further background information on the RWI/ISL Container Handling Index, please visit

Your contact persons for this:

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