RWI / ISL Container Throughput Index: Crash in February
by David Fleschen
The container handling index of the RWI - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research and the Institute for Shipping Economics and Logistics (ISL) fell by 10.9 points in February according to the current flash estimate. This is the strongest monthly decline ever observed. The Chinese ports were the driving force behind the development.
The main results:
The container handling index of the RWI - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research and the Institute for Shipping Economics and Logistics (ISL) fell in seasonally adjusted February by 10.9 points to 102.5.
At the same time, the index for January was revised downwards, as expected, by 2.2 points to 113.4.
Chinese ports were the driving force behind the decline, but ports on the west coast of the USA also handled significantly fewer containers.
In the United States, the trade conflict with China is having a negative impact, while the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic have so far been minor. These should only show up in March.
In China, the minus is likely to reflect a lack of loading capacities, because many workers returned late after the Chinese New Year due to quarantine measures. The decline in industrial production due to the COVID-19 epidemic and the consequent decline in imports and exports should not be fully felt until March.
The current flash estimate is based on information from 44 ports, which account for around 65 percent of the throughput shown in the index.
The RWI / ISL container handling index for March 2020 will be published on April 30, 2020.
Regarding the development of the index, RWI business manager Roland Döhrn says: “February brought an unprecedented crash in container handling. Further declines are expected in March."
Source: RWI, Photo: Fotolia