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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 220 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 - July 2020

  • The global container port throughput index showed little change at 122.5 points in May 2020. However, it was 1% higher than in April 2020, but more than 10 points (7.9%) down compared to May 2019, recording the lowest recorded May reading in three years because of the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • After China’s (the largest region’s) February figure touched the lowest level since 2015, the country returned to near-normal levels in May 2020. The index gained more than 6 points (4.8%) in a single month to 138 points in May 2020 which was the same as in November 2019. This recovery was witnessed in China with no other region being even close to its pre-COVID level.
  • Asia excl. China was more than 11 points (8.8%) down compared to May 2019. The index witnessed more than 12-point cumulative decline in the last two months (April and May 2020) with the May index plunging to 119.4 from 133 in December 2019.
  • After showing some improvements in April 2020, the index for North America dropped again in May 2020 by more than 20 points (14.6%) compared to the figure in May 2019 as the pandemic severely impacted the region. Los Angeles alone contributed more than 32% to this annual decline. The port throughput index for Latin America witnessed 2.6% monthly and 1.3% annual decline, which was the lowest among all other regions’ yearly fall.
  • Europe’s index deteriorated further to 111.1 points in May 2020 with 2.9% monthly and close to 12% annual decline. On the other hand, after reaching a 52-month low level in April 2020, Africa saw improvements in its port handling where the index value increased by 2.1% month-on-month, but was still around 14% lower than in May 2019. A point to note here is that the index figures for Africa are based on a relatively small sample.
* Note that the index figures for Africa are based on a relatively small sample, and should be viewed with caution
# All index figures for May 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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