India stands out in annual logistics Index, but executives show concern about 2017
BAAR, Switzerland – Jan. 24, 2017 – Nearly 69% of logistics professionals say they worry about a retreat from free trade in 2017 following the UK’s Brexit vote and the collapse of global and regional trade talks, a new survey shows.
The survey of more than 800 global logistics and supply chain executives is part of the 2017 Agility Emerging Markets Logistics Index, an annual snapshot of industry sentiment and a ranking of the world’s 50 leading emerging markets by size, business conditions, infrastructure and transport connections.
A significant minority – 43% — said the International Monetary Fund’s 2017 emerging markets growth forecast of 4.6% is too optimistic.
India was a standout in the survey and country rankings. Logistics professionals picked India as the emerging market with the most logistics potential and the country where their companies are most likely to invest. India climbed past United Arab Emirates to No. 2 in the Index after China.
2017 Index highlights:
- Twenty-four of the 50 countries – including seven of the top 10 — experienced a year-over-year deterioration in their Index scores, reflecting stagnation in global trade growth and turbulence in emerging markets.
- China, the world’s second-largest economy, remains the world’s leading emerging market. In the survey, supply chain executives identified the direction of China’s economy as the factor most likely to drive global economic and trade growth in 2017. Seventy-six percent said China’s slowing economy is slowing, but only 17% said the slowdown is significantly hurting the transport and logistics sector. Sixty-six percent said lower growth will not alter their plans in China.
- Robust growth and long-anticipated tax and economic reform pushed India to No. 2 in the Index and impressed the logistics executives surveyed. Even so, India’s surprise decision to remove high-denomination bank notes from circulation and encourage cashless payments could be jarring for the economy in 2017.
- UAE, No. 3 overall in the Index, again topped the rankings in the areas of business climate, and in logistics infrastructure and transport connections. Gulf countries UAE, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait claimed six of the top 10 spots for best business conditions.
- Iran climbed eight spots in the Index rankings to 18th overall and leaped to 9th from No. 15 among emerging markets countries that executives view as having the most potential to grow as logistics markets. Iran’s gains were the biggest of any country in the Index or the survey.
Africa’s biggest economies – Nigeria and South Africa – were among the countries that fell most sharply in the Index. Smaller African markets – Uganda, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Kenya – improved their rankings in 2017.
Brazil held its No. 7 Index ranking despite a painful recession and the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff. In the survey, logistics executives again picked Brazil as the the market with the most logistics potential after India and China. One reason for their optimism: nearly 57% expect commodity prices to rebound in 2017, although most do not expect significant increases.
Bahrain jumped five spots in the latest Index to No. 23 after years of social unrest that hurt its ranking. Argentina, attempting to end years of international economic isolation, climbed three places to No. 28. Kazakhstan shot up four spots to No. 14, largely on the strength of business conditions that ranked behind only those of four Gulf countries – UAE, Qatar, Oman and Bahrain.
Turkey weathered the effects of an attempted coup and extremist violence, moving from 10th to No. 9 in the latest Index. Russia fell from 9th to No. 10, a modest slip suggesting that has contained the fallout from Western economic sanctions and low energy prices.
The Index, in its eighth year, ranks emerging markets countries by factors that make them attractive to logistics providers, freight forwarders, shipping lines, air cargo carriers and distributors.
Essa Al-Saleh, CEO of Agility Global Integrated Logistics, said logistics providers and their customers are concerned that anti-globalization feeling and populist policies in the UK and United States could spread and harm trade in emerging markets that rely heavily on exports.
“Emerging markets continue to deliver the highest growth rates in the world, but as links in the global supply chain, countries can be extremely hard to evaluate,” Al-Saleh said. “The Index and the survey are useful when it comes to identifying the relative strengths and weaknesses of individual markets.”
Transport Intelligence (Ti), a leading analysis and research firm for the logistics industry, compiled the Index.
John Manners-Bell, Chief Executive of Ti, said: “Uncertainty and volatility have characterized many emerging markets in 2016. This has been compounded by the political environment in Europe and the U.S., which will have direct consequences on trade with Latin America, Asia and Africa. However there have been many positives too — for example, the strong performance of India. More than ever, the Index identifies and contrasts those markets which will prosper from the most vulnerable and poorest performing.”
2017 Agility Emerging Markets Logistics Index: www.agility.com/2017index
Index video: www.agility.com/Index2017video
Agility Ventures is an investor, board member and advisor for Eunimart, an India-based e-commerce startup. Eunimart CEO Shayak Mazumder attended a World Economic Forum event at the invitation of Agility Ventures.
I recently attended a World Economic Forum (WEF) event in Tianjin, China, as part of the Agility delegation. To say that it was a great opportunity for a fledgling startup like Eunimart would be an understatement. This is exactly the kind of opportunity that can help catapult a startup from a second-tier city like Hyderabad in India to a world stage, helping us get access to global investors and bigger business partners, and overall acting as a catalyst for rapid growth.
By Shayak Mazumder, CEO Eunimart
I have been a part of several startup ecosystems. What new technology companies typically need is to get a co-founder/idea to mentorship, investment and validation. Remember, traditional businesses operate with existing business models and bring forth incremental change, but startups bring about a paradigm change in the way we operate. That’s why investing in startups is a practical way to stay ahead of the curve and is beneficial for all members in the ecosystem. The WEF event brought together the people and elements needed for companies like ours to accelerate formation of their ecosystems.
International collaboration for greater synergy
It was during my MBA at INSEAD that I first truly understood the value of collaboration and bringing globally diversified thought processes to bear on problems that have a global scale. This not only creates unique solutions and more sustainable results, but, most importantly, provides a global market to validate ideas. At the WEF, the first startup I met was from Namibia and the second from Argentina. I ended the event with partnership plans in several countries.
Mentorship from industry experts and thought leaders
I have never met so many thought leaders in one space. While I work to help SMEs sell their products globally in a scalable manner through our platform, the sheer variety of topics, technologies and expertise at the WEF is unprecedented. I reveled in this unique opportunity to open my mind to new ideas and technologies and in the three-day period grew more in my understanding of tech than I had in the last one year.
Policymakers and technologies need to collaborate
There is nothing more important than policymakers and governments remaining abreast of what changes technology can bring. While early stage startups seldom look to collaborate with policymakers, simply due to the small scale of their operations, they fail to grasp the massive impact that policy and regulation have on their business models. Policymakers, on the other hand, tend to automatically connect new tech with existing business models rather than imagining new business models enabled by innovation. WEF provided us with an opportunity to hobnob with various government agencies. We were able to educate them about how existing problems could be solved through new technologies.
Bringing the various ecosystems together
More than anything else, WEF brings several ecosystems together. There are governments, corporations and other institutions, all trying to promote startups and doing great work. So you see Startup India, for example, promoting 30K startups in India! At WEF, what’s impressive is the sheer volume of opportunity — where Startup India looks to collaborate with Startup Bahrain and incubators in Pakistan end up joining hands with Malaysian ecosystem enablers.
The awe that I felt a first was mixed with a sudden dose of reality. It was like someone doused me in cold water and left me exposed and shivering. The volume of people and ideas was humbling. Once I got used to the enormity of the event, I was overwhelmed by the number of amazing people I met – and the sense that I should be trying to meet more. How in a setting like that can you figure out who is most important to you and would create that extra value for you? The only strategy is to be open and to start conversations with as many people as you can, explore their ideas and discuss your ideas with them. I met several potential business partners and investors. What impressed me was how open and like-minded everyone was. In what can be a gloomy world, the event left me with optimism. It was a breath of fresh air.
Our host nation, China did not disappoint, whether it was police officers who dropped their duties to give me a lift or hotel receptions where only payment options were through QR codes. China’s aspirations to be a global leader came through clearly. It all added up to a WEF with a potent mix of amazing talent and opportunities to use new connections and ideas to our benefit. I’m a believer. I would love to go back as often as I get the opportunity. My thanks to Agility.
Eunimart is India’s leading cross-border, e-commerce company, using AI technology to enable small merchants sell globally. Eunimart provides end-to-end cross border solutions for e-commerce, connecting SMEs to multiple international market places, including Amazon Global, eBay global, Lazada, Linio, Bonanza, Souq, Wadi, and Wish. Agility Ventures works with Eunimart to help facilitate entry into new markets, and offers Eunimart access to the Agility logistics/customer networks for use of their services. Agility Ventures, which has a seat on the Eunimart board, advises the company on performance and on securing additional investment.
ACCRA, Ghana – October, 19, 2016 – Agility, a leading global logistics and infrastructure provider, has opened a distribution park near Ghana’s main port, the first of a network of logistics parks it intends to build across Africa, bringing world-class warehousing and logistics capabilities.
Tenants at the 45-acre Ghana Agility Distribution Park in the Tema Port Free Trade Zone Enclave include multinationals entering the West African market and small and medium-size Ghanaian companies using the park to expand their operations in light manufacturing and export and import.
Agility is developing distribution parks in Cote D’Ivoire, Tanzania, Nigeria, Mozambique and Angola. It has additional sites available in Senegal, Mauritius and Cameroon.
“One of the biggest constraints to companies starting to do business in Africa is the lack of quality logistics and infrastructure,” said Geoffrey White, CEO of Agility Africa. “This is inhibiting the growth of trade, imports, exports and manufacturing.”
The Agility parks provide 24-hour security, reliable power and connectivity, and international-standard warehousing and logistics services. In addition, Agility develops “Build-to-Suit” options for customers to meet their specific requirements.
“Agility is a world leader in developing logistics parks around the globe. We are committed to using this in-depth experience to establish a network of quality facilities in Africa,” White said. “By developing and leasing much-needed warehousing, the Agility Distribution Parks help companies operate in Africa with the reliable, modern and secure infrastructure they need to grow their business, allowing them to access new markets without committing large amounts of capital.”
To meet demand, Agility is building seven more warehouses at the Ghana park in a second phase of development. It is also finalizing proposals for several large Build-to-Suit facilities at the Ghana park, each tailored to specific customer requirements with sizes ranging from 5,000 sqm to 25,000 sqm.
Agility Distribution Parks meet international environmental standards and use eco-friendly construction materials. Agility used energy efficient roof and side insulated panels; wind-driven roof fans; skylights for natural lighting; LED and energy-saving bulbs; and solar-powered street lights. The site will recycle paper, plastic, metal, and carton waste. It provides eco-friendly waste management services and carbon footprint reporting.
The 2016 Agility Emerging Markets Logistics Index ranked Ghana as one of the most promising markets in Africa. Africa’s growing middle class and consumer spending were identified as the most significant drivers for Africa’s growth in the Index, an annual ranking of the world’s most attractive emerging markets countries.
To provide training in management and logistics-related skills, Agility has developed leadership programs for Africa that are available to local employees and university graduates. Trainees will have the opportunity to gain experience working with Agility in Ghana and around the world.
“Agility is investing in the future of Africa by funding and developing projects that build long-term sustainable businesses. The Ghana distribution park is just the first step,” White said. “We are proud to be supporting Ghana’s economic growth, and the economic growth of Africa as a whole.”
Agility brings efficiency to supply chains in some of the globe’s most challenging environments, offering unmatched personal service, a global footprint and customized capabilities in developed and developing economies alike. Agility is one of the world’s leading providers of integrated logistics. It is a publicly traded company with more than $4.1 billion in revenue and more than 22,000 employees in over 500 offices across 100 countries. Agility’s core commercial business, Global Integrated Logistics (GIL), provides supply chain solutions to meet traditional and complex customer needs. GIL offers air, ocean and road freight forwarding, warehousing, distribution, and specialized services in project logistics, fairs and events, and chemicals. Agility’s Infrastructure group of companies manages industrial real estate and offers logistics-related services, including e-government customs optimization and consulting, waste management and recycling, aviation and ground-handling services, support to governments and ministries of defense, remote infrastructure and life support.
Across Africa, Agility is developing a network of international-standard distribution parks to provide warehousing, reliable infrastructure and secure environments that offer consistent power and connectivity. Agility’s experience in emerging markets enables it to move cargo from anywhere in the world to any destination safely, on time and on budget for consumer goods makers, energy and mining companies, and other customers. In addition to logistics solutions, Agility also develops and manages fuel infrastructure and distribution, airport services and ground handling, remote site camps and catering, and customs modernization solutions across Africa.
- For more information about Agility, visit agility.com
- Twitter: twitter.com/agility
- LinkedIn: linkedin.com/company/agility
- YouTube: youtube.com/user/agilitycorp
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