As we conclude our look at some of the (very) high level highlights from DHL’s Global Connectedness Index report, we’ll end with two items that caught our attention. The first is a fascinating statistic looking at the global average distance traversed by international interactions.
For merchandise trade (i.e., physical goods), the average distance for international transactions is nearly 3,100 miles. Said another way, a typical widget moving from one organization to another in a cross-border trade setting is not quite the distance between Boston and London. In contrast, the average distance for tourists (moving between countries) is less than 1,800 miles.
Even if the merchandise trade statistic suggests a not terribly green supply chain given the distances goods often travel, the economic benefits of expanding trade are very real. Yet what items are holding back global trade the most? The DHL report sites an other study from the World Economic Forum that notes, “World GDP could rise by 4.7% (and trade by 14.5%) ‘if every country improved just two key supply chain barriers – border administration and transport and communications infrastructure and related services – even halfway to the world’s best practices.’”
In other words, our borders, ports, airports, roads and rail systems in most developing – and still many leading – world economies are our own worst enemy to trade and economic growth on a global basis. Remember that next time you have a container held up or a shipment that’s been bumped!