The 2018 World Bank Logistics Performance Index (LPI) ranks South Africa as the third most competitive market behind Thailand and China in terms of logistics performance among upper-middle-income economies.
Brand South Africa on Thursday welcomed the results of the LPI, which also sees South Africa rank as number 33 of 160 countries assessed in the index.
Brand South Africa research GM Dr Petrus de Kock said that, in general terms, South Africa performed quite well in the LPI, but noted that in the overall ranking the country retreated from 20 out of 160 in 2016, to 33 out of 160 in 2018.
The six core components used to measure performance focus on the efficiency of customs and border clearance, the quality of trade and transport infrastructure, the ease of arranging competitively priced shipments, as well as the competence and quality of logistics services and the ability to track and trace consignments.
Further, the frequency with which shipments reach consignees within scheduled or expected delivery times, is also measured.
De Kock said that “logistics performance is vital for a country's economic growth and refers to cost, time and complexity in accomplishing import and export activities”.
He added that the ability of South Africa to offer diverse logistics services was partly driven by the quality of physical infrastructures, such as road, rail and ports.
“We are pleased with the upward trend in South Africa’s performance in the LPI’s pillar of quality of transport infrastructure, which sees the country’s ranking improve in 2018 to 36 from a position of 38 in 2014. The investment made by the South African government and private sector in infrastructure was also recognised in the 2017 to 2018 World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index, which reported that the country improved by three positions at 61 out 137 countries, compared to 64 in the 2016/17 index.”
This year, the World Bank also released a report that provides aggregate performance of all countries based on data from 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018. When viewed in aggregate terms over the 2012 to 2018 period, South Africa’s overall rank is 29 out of 160.