Co-sponsored by the World Bank
International trade can affect jobs, consumption and poverty reduction. Logistics is a primary source of international trade costs. In developing countries, especially landlocked least developed countries, transport and logistics costs are disproportionately high, accounting for 20-60 percent of prices. A key indicator in international logistics is the dwell time – the average delay between unloading and exit – of import containers in ports. In ports with efficient freight transport, warehousing, border clearance and payment systems, to mention but a few, dwell time can be just two (2) or three (3) days. In the main ports gateways for most developing regions, it is no longer than seven (7) days or so. But in Sub-Saharan Africa, it is a staggering 14 days on average.
Supply chains – only as strong as their weakest links – are becoming more and more complex, often spanning many countries while their efficiency remains critical to national competitiveness. At the same time, logistics performance is strongly associated with the reliability of the supply chains and the predictability of service delivery available to producers and exporters.
A recent report by the World Bank – Connecting to Compete 2012: Trade Logistics in the Global Economy – makes the case that increasing logistics performance could boost trade by nearly 15 percent and benefit all firms and consumers through lower prices and better quality service. The report assesses and ranks the logistics performance of 155 countries, including the United States.
More About the Speakers
Monica Alina Mustra
Trade Facilitation and Logistics Specialist, The World Bank
James M. Roberts
Research Fellow For Economic Freedom and Growth