August’s Drewry global container port throughput index reached an all-time high of 126.8 points.
The August figure, the highest since inception of the index in January 2012, was nearly 7 points up on August 2016 (120.0 points) and more than 11 points up on the August 2015 level of around 116 points.
The global index climbed 0.5% from July’s figure of 126.2.
The month-on-month index figures for China and Europe dropped 0.5% in August – totalling 136.1 (down from 136.8) and 114.2 (down from 114.7) respectively, but show more than 5% annual increase.
All regions showed at least 5% annual growth in August 2017. However, 2016 was a weak comparison in many cases, said Drewry.
It added that Africa – with 117.4 points in August, up from 102.7 in August 2016 (107.2 in July 2017) – is showing double digit annual growth. It pointed out, however, that the sample size is small.
North America showed the highest annual change of 7.0%, with 137.7 points, up from 128.7 in August 2016.
Its monthly change of 2.8% is equal to Latin America, which jumped from 110.4 points in July 2017 to 113.5 in August.
Latin America saw the third highest annual change of 6.1%, with 107.0 points in August 2016.
The Drewry Container Port Throughput Indices are a series of volume growth/decline indices based on monthly throughput data for a sample of over 220 ports worldwide, representing over 75% of global volumes.
The Container Throughput Index of the RWI – Leibniz Institute for Economic Research and the ISL – Institute of Shipping Economics and Logistics showed a further substantial increase in September 2017 from 128.5 to 129.7 (revised figures). Compared to the beginning of 2017 it gained almost six points. A similarly strong plus was last achieved in 2010.
The index is based on data continuously collected from world container ports by ISL as part of its market monitoring. 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. Together, the 82 ports covered in the index account for about six out of ten containers handled worldwide. The flash estimate for September is based on data reported by 45 ports, accounting for close to 80% of the total index volume.
The RWI/ISL-Container Throughput Index for October 2017 will be released on 21 November 2017.
•Source ISL / Port Strategy