In 2009 when Agility and Transport Intelligence first began work on the Emerging Markets Logistics Index, it was against a backdrop of manufacturers, retailers and logistics service providers undertaking bold expansion plans in global emerging markets. As advanced economies became gripped by the Great Recession, the search for new sourcing opportunities, lower cost manufacturing options and the next emerging consumer market came into sharper relief as it became clear that established operations – and their supply chains – would need to adapt to a new reality.
In the decade since, what that new reality looks like has become clear. In the midst and immediate aftermath of the Great Recession, emerging markets came to the fore as they withstood and prospered in wider economic malaise. Meeting demand for lower cost alternatives from manufacturers and retailers in developed markets, emerging economies began to see rapid growth, with skills and domestic market development quickly following. China is the prime example of this – while its transformation began in 1978, the decade since the Great Recession has seen it take a position on the global stage as an economic and political power, as well as a source of goods, a vital link in many global supply chains and, not least, as a highly valuable domestic market in its own right.