Drewry’s container port throughput index remained stagnant with no monthly change in January 2020. However, the index was close to three points (2.1%) down when compared with January 2019. Most regions witnessed a monthly increase in container port throughput index except Latin America and Asia (excl. China).
China, the largest region, holding around 40% of the global throughput, improved slightly in January. It witnessed a 1.6% monthly increase in the month’s index even though the index was nearly 6% lower than in January 2019. Some of this decline may be attributed to the Chinese New Year which was eleven days earlier in 2020 compared to 2019. However, the index may witness a significant fall in the next few months as preliminary estimates for February throughputs suggest a double-digit decline annually.
Asia (excl. China) followed a reverse trend when compared with China, and the region’s throughput index was 3.5% lower than in December 2019. However, it was close to 2% higher than in January 2019.
After reaching its lowest level of 2019, the index for Europe witnessed a 3.2% monthly increase and reached 119.8 in January 2020. Although the annual increase was much lower at 1%.
North America saw a monthly increase similar to that of Europe (3.2%), reaching 138 points in January 2020. However, the index fell by almost a similar percentage (3.1%) when compared with January 2019 because in 2019, the region outperformed due to tariff hike fears, which resulted in advance cargo bookings and accounted for the magnitude of year-on-year decline. In the meantime, Latin America witnessed the highest annual increase of 4.8% in January 2020, which was still 2.6% lower than in December 2019.
The port throughput index for Africa was at 98 points in January 2020, 1.8% higher than in December 2019, but 1.9% lower than in January 2019. The index fell 100 points in December and remained below this threshold in January, which means the region was not able to maintain even its January 2012 levels. However, the index for Africa is based on a small sample.