Johannesburg: South Africa has performed better than its Brics counterparts in the latest World Bank logistics survey, which examines global trade logistics performance in 155 countries. In its ‘Connecting to Compete 2012: Trade Logistics in the Global Economy’ report, the World Bank said that South Africa’s logistics performance indicators (LPIs) reached a score of 3.67, which ranked the county at an overall place of 23, up from a ranking of 28 in 2010.
China lagged South Africa with an LPI score of 2.52, placing the country at number 26, while Brazil, with an LPI of 3.13, and India, with 3.08, achieved overall scores of 45 and 46 respectively. Russia was ranked overall at 95, achieving a score of 2.58.
In the upper-middle income country category, the top ten performers included South Africa, at number one, followed by China as the second top performer, and Brazil reaching ninth place.
The survey ranked countries according to their performance in six key indicators, namely customs, infrastructure, international shipments, logistics quality and competence, tracking and tracing, and timeliness.
South Africa scored highest in the tracking and tracing category, obtaining a score of 3.83 and ranking 16 out of the 155 countries surveyed. This was followed by the infrastructure and timeliness categories, with rankings at 19 and 20 respectively. Customs, with a ranking of 26, and logistics quality and competence, at number 24, were found to be the lowest performers for South Africa.
“Infrastructure stands out as the chief driver of progress in top [economic] performers, followed by improvements in logistics services, and customs and border management,” said World Bank international trade department sector manager Mona Haddad.
The survey also found that ‘green’ logistics was increasingly playing a larger role in high-income and emerging countries, with large logistics companies implementing a number of initiatives to reduce their carbon footprint, including the introduction of more efficient vehicles and facilities.
The survey found that all top performers showed strong cooperation between the public and private sectors, good cooperation between policymakers, practitioners, administrators and academics and a comprehensive approach in the development of services, infrastructure and efficient logistics.
“Trade logistics is key to economic competitiveness, growth, and poverty reduction,” said World Bank VP for poverty reduction and economic management Otaviano Canuto.
Trade facilitation is crucial to economic development, the World Bank said, adding that countries with better logistics can grow faster, become more competitive, and increase their investments, further boosting their logistics network.
However, the report pointed to a continued logistics gap between rich and poor countries, and the global recession and European debt crisis shifting attention away for logistics reform.
High-income economies dominated the top logistics rankings, while the least-developed countries, which are also often landlocked, small islands, or post-conflict States, showed the worst performance.
- Related reading: LOGISTICS COSTS AND COMPETITIVENESS: MEASUREMENT AND TRADE POLICY APPLICATIONS, Ben Shepherd, 2011. The report can be accessed here.