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RWI/ISL Container Troughput Index: Container throughput has dropped sharply in European ports

According to the latest flash estimate, the container throughput index of RWI - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research and the Institute of Shipping Economics and Logistics (ISL) rose by 4 points in September compared to the preceding month to a seasonally adjusted 128.0 points. This exceptionally strong increase is predominantly attributable to the container throughput in Chinese ports. In many other world regions, it has once again declined substantially.

The essence in a nutshell:

• The Container Troughput Index of RWI - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research and the Institute of Shipping Economics and Logistics (ISL) experienced significant growth in September, with a seasonally adjusted rise to 128.0 points from 124.0 points (revised) in the previous month.

Container Throughput significantly increased in Chinese ports, with an index value surge from 139.4 to 151.5 points. Nevertheless, the limited availability of data for September regarding Chinese ports implies that this rise is highly uncertain.

• The North Range Index, which provides insights into economic growth in the northern Eurozone and Germany, experienced a notable decline in September from a revised 102.0 to 99.0 points compared with the previous month.

•  The RWI/ISL Container Throughput Index for October 2023 will be released on November 30th, 2023.

Commenting on the development of the Container Throughput Index, RWI’s head of economic research Torsten Schmidt says : “The decrease in container throughput at European ports aligns with the prediction of a production decline in Europe during the third quarter. A gradual rebound in European container throughput is unlikely until the end of this year.”

About the RWI/ISL Container Throughput Input Index:

The RWI/ISL Container Throughput Index consists of container throughput data from 92 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 38 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, please visit


Prof. Dr. Torsten Schmidt, Phone: +49 (201) 8149-287,
Alexander Bartel (Communication), Phone: +49 (201) 8149-354,

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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