Germany leads the world in providing logistics capacity to facilitate international trade, according to Connecting to Compete 2010: Trade Logistics in the Global Economy, a new report by the World Bank Group. The world's largest economy, the United States, only scored 15th out of the 155 national economies ranked by the bank's Logistics Performance Indicator (LPI) index.
World Bank Group economists surveyed about 1,000 international freight forwarders and express carriers and compiled their assessments to develop the country rankings for the LPI Index. The index summarizes a country's performance in such areas as customs clearance, infrastructure, market competition for shipments, quality of domestic logistics services, track and trace capabilities, and adherence to delivery schedules. The quality of public sector institutions and effective border clearance procedures heavily influenced each country's score.
Not surprisingly, the study found a substantial "logistics gap" between rich countries and most developing nations. Still, the report noted, some developing countries have made strides in such areas as modernization of customs, the use of information technology, and the development of private logistics services. "If developing countries want to come out of the (current economic) crisis in a stronger and more competitive position, they need to invest in better trade logistics," said Otaviano Canuto, World Bank vice president for poverty reduction and economic Management.
Among developing countries, South Africa was ranked highest on the logistics index in Africa; China was top scorer in East Asia, India in South Asia, Poland in Central and Eastern Europe, Brazil in Latin America, and Lebanon in the Middle East.
This was the second time the World Bank Group conducted this type of analysis. It published a similar ranking of country logistics performance in 2007.
[Source: Connecting to Compete 2010: Trade Logistics in the Global Economy, The World Bank Group]