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Port Throughput Indices

The Drewry Container Port Throughput Indices are a series of volume growth/decline indices based on monthly throughput data for a sample of over 235 ports worldwide, representing over 75% of global volumes. The base point for the indices is January 2012 = 100.

Drewry Ports and Terminals insight
Drewry Ports and Terminals insight

Drewry’s latest assessment - October 2020

  • Since our previous monthly update in September 2020 we have updated our global index and it now covers more than 235 ports worldwide, representing more than 75% of global port handling volumes. We have also extended our regional indices to include the Middle East & South Asia, and Oceania to provide a more comprehensive overview of the market to our readers.
  • In August 2020, the global container port throughput index reached almost the pre-COVID-19 level of more than 133 points and registered 1.4% (1.8 points) monthly growth, but it remains 1.1% lower than in August 2019.
  • China, which has led the recovery from the impact of COVID-19, surpassed the August 2019 index by close to 5% (6.8 points), but month-on-month the index was flat between July and August 2020. The year-on-year rise can be attributed to the rapid growth in domestic traffic, together with growth in demand in key international markets.
  • The index for Asia (except China) has also been increasing over the last few months to reach 124.8 in August, but the revival has been sluggish when compared with China. While the index grew by 2.6 points (2.2%) over July 2020, it is still more than 4% below the level recorded in August 2019.
  • The two sub-regions of America (North and Latin America) witnessed monthly growth in August 2020 but failed to achieve the year-ago level of August 2019. While the index for North America grew by 8.4 points (6%) in a single month to reach 148.1 points in August 2020, this was still 3.2% (4.8 points) lower than in August 2019. Some North American hubs such as New York, Savanna and Los Angeles reached their highest-ever monthly throughput figures in August 2020.
  • The Latin American index at 110 points in August 2020 was 3% higher than in July 2020, but about 12% lower than in August 2019.
  • Meanwhile, Europe’s index at 111 points witnessed a monthly as well as a year-on-year decline in August 2020. While the index was 1% lower than in July 2020, it was more than 9% lower year on year. With a second wave of COVID-19 taking hold across the region the prospects for recovery seem bleak.
  • The index for Middle East and South Asia reached close to 121 points in August 2020, a significant lag from the pre-COVID-19 high of around 127 recorded in December 2019. Oceania has witnessed monthly as well as annual growth in August 2020. The index was 136.8 points, with 8.1% monthly and 11.8% annual growth.
  • Africa’s port throughput index surpassed the milestone of 100 points in August 2020 to reach 102.6 points. It was close to 14% higher than in July 2020, but 10.3% lower year on year. The index for Africa is however based on a small sample.
* Based on a relatively small sample, and should be viewed with caution
# All index figures for August 2020 are preliminary, subject to change next month

Related Research: Port and Terminal Sector

For access to port traffic data behind these Port Throughput Indices subscribe to Drewry’s Ports and Terminals Insight. Published quarterly, it provides comprehensive analysis of the key trends and issues impacting the ports and terminals sector. It looks behind the data, issues and trends to answer both the ’cause’ and ’effect’ questions that matter most to senior industry stakeholders.


Recent thought leadership topics covered include:

  • Southeast Asian port readiness for COVID-19-driven supply chain diversification

  • Fragmented port capacity ‒ a major operational issue

  • How can terminal operators navigate through the perfect storm

  • Varying network strategies of the mega-alliances
  • The rise of Chinese international port investments

  • Is intensity of container terminal asset usage improving


Market sectors covered


Countries with subscribing Maritime Research clients.


Leading industry publications feature content from our Maritime Research reports each month (2018 monthly average)


New reports and title updates released in the 12 months before December 2018

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