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UM Center for Advanced Supply Chain Management studies Trinidad and Tobago logistics performance

Study looked at logistics 'friendliness' using World Bank methodologies

Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago (May 30, 2013) – The University of Miami's Center for Advanced Supply Chain Management (CASCM), in collaboration with Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business (ALJGSB), recently completed a study to develop the Logistics Performance Index (LPI) for Trinidad and Tobago. Established by the World Bank, LPI measures logistics "friendliness" of the countries for operators trading in and with those countries.

According to The World Bank, LPI helps countries identify the challenges and opportunities they face in their trade logistics performance and what they can do to improve. Supported by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Investment of Trinidad and Tobago, InvesTT, and The Shipping Association & Plipdeco, the UM study has followed the methodologies and metrics adopted by the World Bank. The results of the study were reported to Honorable Minister Vasant Bharat on May 28, 2013 in Port of Spain. UM ranked Trinidad and Tobago 68th of 155 countries they ranked.

The LPI is calculated based on feedback received from surveys conducted with logistics companies operating at domestic and/or international levels. It integrates both qualitative and quantitative measures into a single score ranging from 1 to 5 for a country. A higher score signifies a better performance in logistics friendliness in trade related operations. The index is compiled as weighted average of six distinct scores including efficiency of the clearance process at customs, quality of trade and transport related infrastructure, ease of arranging competitive pricing for shipments, competence and quality of logistics services, ability to track and trace consignments, and timeliness of shipments. The scores are used to build country rankings to demonstrate relative performances.

World Bank conducts the LPI Survey every two years to improve the reliability and value of the country scores. Due to lack of response volume from surveys, Trinidad and Tobago has not been included in the World Bank's LPI reports. While the study was initiated with the goal of gaining valuable insights pertaining to Trinidad and Tobago's trade logistics performance, it was also motivated by the efforts towards the country's inclusion in the World Bank's coverage.

Dr. Miguel Carrillo, the director of ALJGSB of Trinidad and Tobago emphasized this point. "The study is quite instrumental in providing critical information regarding the state of the business logistics in Trinidad and Tobago and thus, enhancing the awareness of our community at large and the logistics sector in particular," he said. "We anticipate that this will lead to increased participation in the LPI World Bank surveys for this country that has become an active player in international trade in recent years with her rich natural resources."

"This study has been significant from two standpoints," commented Dr. Murat Erkoc, the director of University of Miami's CASCM and an associate professor of Industrial Engineering. "For one, this has been an exemplary collaboration between two educational institutions at international level with different academic disciplines. While as engineers we were running algorithms and crunching numbers, our partners at ALJGSB in overseas put our figures into perspective for their country," he said. "Second, this study has been a great opportunity for our Center in learning and conducting research about supply chains in the neighboring regions. We distinguish ourselves from our sister centers across the nation with our research primarily focusing on Latin America, Caribbean Basin and South Florida," he added. "This only makes sense as we are located in South Florida which has been and is continuing to be the primary logistical hub of North America for those regions."

The results of the study were presented and delivered to the Minister by Salvador Romo, the Industry advisor of CASCM and a Ph.D. candidate at the UM Department of Industrial Engineering in an event held in Port of Spain on May 28. The full study is available upon request.

Annette Gallagher | EurekAlert!
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