It is necessary to understand logistics performance at the country level in order to better evaluate and target trade and transport facilitation policy efforts over time and across countries. A sound and comprehensive set of national-level performance indicators is critical for high-level policy dialogue, preparation and implementation. Policymakers need a better understanding of the level of logistics costs in absolute terms and relative to other costs; the main drivers of logistics costs, and how costs and deficiencies in performance affect certain sectors in the economy.
This discussion paper presents and categorizes available national-level assessments of logistics costs, including the methods applied and comprising: (1) survey instruments based on primary data, and their results; and (2) models of logistics costs based on national accounts and other relevant data.
It is organized in three main parts: the concept of logistics costs, an overview of national-level cost studies, and policiy implications.
This document was produced as a Background Paper for the 2012 Summit of the International Transport Forum, on Seamless Transport: Making Connections, held from 2-4 May 2012 in Leipzig, Germany.