RWI/ISL Container Throughput Index: World trade strong despite drop in February

(PresseBox) (Bremen, ) The Container Throughput Index of the Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung (RWI) and the Institute of Shipping Economics and Logistics (ISL) has decreased slightly from a corrected 120.3 to 119.3. However, this is still the second highest volume ever recorded. The Index is hence still on a high level which confirms that world merchandise trade is in good shape. Since the Chinese New Year holidays tend to shift volumes between January and February, month-on-month changes should anyhow be interpreted carefully in this period.

The January value was revised downwards by 0.4 since last month's flash forecast, a magnitude below the long-term average of 0.6 points. The current flash forecast for February is based on a sample of 37 ports handling roughly 64% of the traffic represented in the Index.

The Index is based on data of 75 world container ports covering approximately 60% of worldwide container handling. The ports are continuously monitored by the ISL as part of their market analysis. Because large parts of international merchandise trade are transported by ship, the development of port handling is a good indicator for world trade. As many ports release information about their activities only two weeks after the end of the respective month, the RWI/ISL Container Throughput Index is a reliable early indicator for the development of international merchandise trade and hence for the activity of the global economy.

The RWI/ISL Container Throughput Index for March 2014 will be published on April 24th.


Institut für Seeverkehrswirtschaft und Logistik (ISL)
Universitätsallee 11-13
D-28359 Bremen
Dr. Sönke Maatsch
Maritime Wirtschaft und Verkehr


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