Container Throughput Jumps Globally
The Container Throughput Index of the Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung (RWI) and the Institute of Shipping Economics and Logistics (ISL) has improved significantly in December from a revised 117.9 to 119.9. This is the highest value since the beginning of its publication two years ago. The December increase was the sixth in a row, indicating a rather pronounced expansion of international merchandise trade.
A large part of this revision is explained by a change of seasonal factors of the past months triggered by the inclusion of the December value. However, the current flash forecast for December is based on a sample of only 33 ports handling little less than half of the traffic represented in the Index. Therefore, the analysts expect a rather strong revision during its next calculation. Since RWI and ISL started publishing the index, it was revised by 0.6 per cent on average from the first flash forecast to its second publication.
The Index is based on data of 73 world container ports covering approximately 60 per cent 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.