China ranks highest among 50 emerging markets in an annual index that looks at factors making countries attractive to logistics providers, freight forwarders, shipping lines, air cargo carriers and distributors.
After China, others in the top 10 of the 2019 Agility Emerging Markets Logistics Index are India, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Indonesia, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Qatar, Turkey and Vietnam.
China, India and Indonesia rank highest for domestic logistics; China, India and Mexico are tops for international logistics; and UAE, Malaysia and Qatar have the best business fundamentals.
Agility also surveyed more than 500 global supply chain professionals.
India was their top selection for near-term logistics potential; China was their second choice.
Nearly 56% surveyed say a 2019 growth rate of 5% for developing economies is “about right.”
Emerging markets expanded by 4.7% in 2018, and the International Monetary Fund now forecasts 4.5% expansion for 2019.
At the same time, 47.1% of logistics executives surveyed say an emerging markets crisis is “likely” or “highly likely.”
2019 Index and survey highlights
- The strongest clusters of emerging markets are in the Arabian Gulf and Southeast Asia, thanks to business-friendly conditions and core strengths – the Gulf’s energy wealth and Southeast Asian manufacturing power – that draw logistics activity.
In the Gulf, UAE (No. 3), Saudi Arabia(6), Qatar (8), Oman (12), Bahrain (16) and Kuwait (18) rank highly.
Among ASEAN countries, Indonesia (4), Malaysia (5), Vietnam (10), Thailand (11) and Philippines (20) are strong.
- Brazil, in the midst of a severe economic downturn and political upheaval, tumbles from No. 9 to 15 in the Index, ranking behind smaller Latin economies Mexico (7) and Chile (13). Brazil’s business fundamentals, a priority for new President Jair Bolsonaro, were 39th out of 50 Index countries.
Despite the poor performance, executives surveyed see enormous promise: 44.5% said they were “optimistic” or “strongly optimistic” about Brazil.
- 60% of industry executives expect more outsourcing of last-mile delivery by retailers.
47.4% expecting more e-fulfilment outsourcing.
- Brexit could benefit emerging markets.
59% of executives surveyed expect emerging markets to seek trade concessions and new deals from the UK.
70% think emerging markets will be unaffected by Brexit.
- The UAE and Malaysia are tops for business fundamentals.
Gulf countries Qatar, Oman and Saudi Arabia also score high.
Among the 50 Index countries, it’s hardest to do business in Venezuela, Angola, Myanmar and Libya.
Transport Intelligence (Ti), a leading analysis and research firm for the logistics industry, compiled the Index.
John Manners-Bell, Chief Executive of Ti, says: “This year’s Index highlights the range of challenges and opportunities many markets face.
“The uncertainty which surrounds trading relationships, combined with implementation of new trade barriers, threatens to derail integration of emerging markets with the rest of the world.”
“It is essential that obstructive trade policy does not stand in the way of commercial opportunities which help drive growth in emerging markets.”
Read the full 2019 Agility Emerging Markets Logistics Index.