Container volumes across global ports jumped by over 2% in January as shipments were brought forward as a result of the closure of manufacturing sites in China for the new year celebrations, according to one leading index.
The latest seasonally adjusted container throughput index compiled by Germany’s Rheinisch-Westfalisches Institut fur Wirtschaftsforschung and the Institute of Shipping Economics and Logistics increased by 2.3% to reach 117.6 in January, compared with December.
"The January figures can be expected to be influenced by Chinese new year celebrations," said RWI and ISL.
“Experience shows that many production sites close during the celebrations and will try to deliver in advance, which gives a push to transport in January.”
The two organisations warned that February’s container volumes would be negatively impacted by the closure of factories, with a knock-on effect felt by European and American ports in March because of the time taken to sail from Asia.
The January “flash forecast” is based on a sample of 39 ports handling roughly 75% of the traffic represented in the index. Other ports will report their figures over the coming weeks and the index will be adjusted accordingly.
Source: Lloyd's Loading List