Container index shows worldwide trade still ailing
The container throughput index published monthly by the German research body, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung (RWI), and the Institute of Shipping Economics and Logistics (ISL) sank from 119.2 (revised) in July to 118.2 in August 2016.
After two relatively good quarters, the new downturn in the index indicates declining container throughout and points to the ongoing weakness in world trade.
The flash estimate for August is based on the data of 43 ports that process around 78% of the container handling included in the index. The index is based on data from 81 world container ports that are continuously monitored by the ISL as part of its general market analysis that covers about 60% of worldwide container handling.
The results for September will be published on 25 October 2016. Given that most of the international merchandise is transported by ship, the volume of container handling activities provides reliable indicators about the state of world trade.