Container shipping is depressed: it has 86.9 points

Container shipping remains deeply depressed, with 86.9 points on the World Trade Organization (WTO) Merchandise Trade Barometer.

The general index of the Merchandise Trade Barometer combines information on various component indices representing trade-related variables, including export orders, international air transport (IATA), container shipping, sales and production of automobiles, electronic components, and raw materials. agricultural premiums.

The Merchandise Trade Barometer anticipates changes in the trajectory of the volume of world merchandise trade relative to recent trends on an average of three to four months, so, for example, the value of the index for January would provide an indication of trading conditions in April-May.

Regarding the transport of containers, the data show the weekly calls of container ships registered by the Automatic Identification System (AIS) developed by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) of the United Nations.

Calls to ports fell sharply in February 2020 when the severity of the Covid-19 virus became apparent, then recovered before falling again in April-May as the disease spread more widely.

Container shipping

Port visits by container ships were still down around 7% year-on-year in early August, marking a modest improvement from the 11% decline recorded in May.

The shipping index represents the performance of the container ports of the major international seaports in terms of volume. Container shipping closely tracks world trade and is available ahead of the WTO quarterly merchandise trade volume statistics.


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