The World Bank said trade logistics performance slowed down over the last two years amid the global recession, but countries that pursued aggressive reforms continued to improve their performance.
“Trade logistics is key to economic competitiveness, growth, and poverty reduction,” said Otaviano Canuto, World Bank vice president for poverty reduction and economic management. “Unfortunately, the logistics gap between rich and poor countries continues and the convergence trend experienced between 2007 and 2010 has stalled as events like the global recession, and the European debt crisis shifted attention away from logistics reform.”
Better logistics are needed to reduce food prices and carbon emissions, the World Bank said as it released Connecting to Compete 2012: Trade Logistics in the Global Economy
, its latest survey on trade logistics.
"At a time where food prices are at historic highs, the survey also found that logistics is important for food security. Transport and logistics directly affect the price and local availability of food through the performance and resilience of food chains, especially in African and Middle Eastern countries that depend heavily on food imports," the bank said.
"In developing countries, particularly in landlocked and poor ones, transport and logistics account for 20-60 percent of delivered food prices. For instance, they make up 48 percent of the cost of U.S. corn imported by Nicaragua."
Singapore is the top performer among the 155 economies included in the Logistics Performance Indicators (LPI) report.
Countries like Chile, China, India, Morocco, South Africa, Turkey, and the United States all improved their previous performance, according to the study, which is based on a comprehensive world survey of international freight forwarders and express carriers. - Chris Dupin