Policies and Plans

Though logistics are a fundamentally private activity, the role of the public sector is decisive, because its actions define the conditions under which private enterprise operates, generating institutional mechanisms and defining priorities for action and investment in the freight logistics sector. Influencing the logistics agenda implies acting upon its multiple determinants: provision of infrastructure, regulation of services, private sector performance and international trade procedures.

The cross-cutting nature of logistics poses a challenge to public actors in terms of coordinating the actions of organisms whose organization has traditionally had a sectoral bias. Added to that is the necessity of aligning initiatives with the private sector, and incorporating its vision about the challenges and priorities of the agenda.

Freight logistics is a national endeavor, thus the competitiveness of an economy is measured at the country level; however, many important actions take place at the sub-national level: improving land access and port procedures, urban by-passes, urban logistics for distribution of goods, or development of logistics platforms and multimodal logistics centers. Therefore, on top of its multi-sectoral nature, the logistics agenda has a wide-reaching jurisdictional dimension that requires the development of institutions and efficient mechanisms of coordination.

The design of policies and plans is an effective instrument to organize public action. Several countries have advanced in this sense with the support of the IDB. The processes adapt themselves to the specific needs of each country but have common elements: the creation of spaces for dialogue with the private sector and of mechanisms to strengthen coordination between public actors.