Drewry Container Performance Index Up 16%

The Drewry Container Port Performance Index rose to its highest level of 140.8 in March globally.

With this, it showed a gain close to 16% compared to February 2021 and more than 12% above the 125.4 points registered in March 2020.

Measured in volume, with a fall of 5.3% in 2020, the WTO forecasts that world trade in products will grow 8% in 2021, while the IMF estimate is 8.4 percent.

First and foremost, Drewry publishes a series of volume growth/decline rates based on monthly performance data for a sample of more than 235 ports worldwide, representing more than 75% of global volumes.

The base point of the indices is January 2012 = 100.

Overall, Drewry is the leading international provider of research and consulting services to the shipping and maritime industry with extensive experience in all market sectors, from containers and ports to tankers and dry bulk.


For context: Covid-19’s impact on port activity levels started in February 2020 in China, but quickly spread to other markets, first when the initial supply-side shock caused by Chinese blockades caused volumes to Import prices plummeted, but the reduction in demand quickly followed, as the main consumer economies imposed various degrees of blockage.

In particular, the Chinese index reached 147 points in March 2021, which represents a monthly growth of 18% and 12% annually.

The five main Chinese ports (Guangzhou, Ningbo, Qingdao, Shanghai and Shenzhen), which together handle about 55% of China’s total throughput, registered an average annual growth of 15.2% thanks to the strong recovery of foreign trade volumes (especially transpacific).

On the other hand, the index for Asia (except China) reached its highest level of 137 points in March 2021, registering a monthly growth of 11.3% and an annual growth of 4.4%, as the economic recovery from Covid -19 speeds up.

Supply chain disruption continues to plague the region, with major hubs including Singapore, Tanjung Pelepas and Busan reporting the highest monthly performance in March as they work steadily through loading delays.

To conclude, the Latin American index rose to 128.8 points after witnessing a monthly growth of 7.3% and 15.6% annually in March 2021.

Santos, the region’s largest port of entry, reported record annual growth in the first quarter of 2021, and transshipment hubs in Panama have also seen an increase in volumes.