Jamaica's logistics indicators improve rapidly

Jamaica's logistics indicators improve rapidly


Friday, March 21, 2014

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JAMAICA'S global logistics ranking at 70 out of 160 nations improved faster than most of the world allowing it to fall below triple-digits for the first time.

It comes as the Government aims to attract investors to construct a multi-billion-dollar logistics hub.

Germany led the world whilst the Caribbean countries of Bahamas at 66 and Dominica Republic at 69 surpassed Jamaica in the 2014 study entitled 'Connecting to Compete 2014- Trade Logistics in the Global Economy' published yesterday by the World Bank.

Nations were ranked using the Logistic Performance Index (LPI) which measures the time, cost and reliability to transport goods using air, sea and rail transport.

"The LPI and its components help countries understand the challenges that they and their trading partners face in making their national logistics perform strongly," indicated the report which added that scores are only an indicator of trade performance.

"A country's actual ranking or score should not be interpreted in isolation...whether it ranks among the best or worst performers. The LPI allows leaders in government , business and civil society to better assess the competitive advantage created by good logistics and to understand the relative importance of different interventions."

Jamaica showcased improvement in all major indicators of study. The improvement came over a two-year period since the last study was released, which ranked Jamaica at 124 out of 158 nations in 2012; 108th in 2010; and 118th in 2007.

The island received its highest indicator subrank for customs at 54 out of 160 nations. Mailed queries to Jamaica Customs on the study were not immediately returned up to print. Other key subrank scores included infrastructure at 61 out of 160; international shipments at 71; timeliness at 83; logistics quality and competence, at 84; and tracking & tracing at 89. All these subrank categories scored higher than 119 in the previous report.

Last week at the public session of the People's National Party's (PNP's) 75th annual conference Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller reportedly made the latest platitude on her Administration's drive to build the logistics hub. However she remained silent on specific financing arrangements with the Chinese Government or other overseas investors.

"The LPI is trying to capture a rather complex reality: attributes of the supply chain," said Jean-François Arvis, senior transport economist and the founder of the LPI project on the report . "In countries with high logistics costs, it is often not the distance between trading partners, but reliability of the supply chain that is the most important contributor to those costs."

The report found that high-income countries dominate the world's top 10 performers whilst Somalia scored the lowest. Among low-income countries, Malawi, Kenya, and Rwanda showed the highest performance. In general, the trend across past reports has been that countries are improving and low-performing countries are improving their overall scores faster than high-performing countries, stated the World Bank.

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