Monday, January 18, 2010

Logistics Under The Spotlight With New World Bank Freight Statistics

Disparate Tests to Establish Transport Competence
Shipping News Feature

US – The revised World Bank Logistics Performance Index (LPI) has shown encouraging signs that countries across the globe are making progress in upgrading their efficiency in the transport of freight. The previous survey was conducted in 2007 and a comparison shows clearly that certain countries have performed particularly well in the interim. China, India, Uganda, Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines and South Africa have all excelled. Germany have again proved to be the highest performer overall.

Full results can be seen here and areas for improvement, such as border management reforms in certain areas, are highlighted by the accompanying report to the full table of results. The Index tests include consideration of the customs system, quality of infrastructure price and availability of transport links, consignment tracking and punctuality.

Despite the results freight forwarders and others in the industry are wont to take the report, as with any other statistical analysis, with a large slice of scepticism. Poland achieved a rise of 10 places, pushing the country up to 15th overall. Comments on a national website on this success ranged from “…we must have scored highly on everything else because for damn sure we were last on infrastructure…” , “… I assume Polish Post was not part of this assessment then…” and “…punctuality is easy if you just allow enough time…”.

Despite the cynicism the World Bank has made tremendous investments in infrastructure development world wide. Financial commitments to member countries as at June 2009 stood at just under $32 billion and schemes to upgrade transport links in many developing areas continue apace.