The World Bank’s inaugural logistics performance index (2007) ranked New Zealand 19th, with an overall score of 3.75 on a 5-point scale. It would be the highest ranking and score New Zealand would achieve for some time. In fact, the 2016 edition placed New Zealand 37th, with an average score of 3.39, well below the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) mean of 3.80. This is why the announcement in July that New Zealand had entered the top 15 for the first time, with an overall score of 3.88, is welcome news for exporters.
The Logistics Performance Index (LPI) is an interactive benchmarking tool that assesses the performance of 160 countries across six categories – quality of trade and transport infrastructure, ease of arranging competitively priced international shipments, quality and competence of logistics services, ability to track and trace consignments, and timeliness (i.e. the frequency with which international shipments reach their destination within the scheduled window of delivery).
Surveys and interviews of logistics professionals from each country’s key trading partners are the primary means for constructing the index. In other words, New Zealand’s score derives from the input of logistics-related respondents in Australia, China, the United States, Japan and the European Union. Quantitative data, drawn from cross-border transactions, adds to the robustness of the index.