DHL releases Global Connectedness Index
DHL recently released the first DHL Global Connectedness Index (GCI), a detailed country-by-country analysis of the flows that connect the world. The study indicates that globalization is still not as advanced as most people believe and that continued economic integration could spur global gross domestic product gains of five percent or more.
GCI ranks 125 countries according to the depth and breadth of their integration into the world economy and also examines the relationship between global connectedness and welfare. The study documents that global connectedness has enormous room to expand, even among the most “connected” countries.
The GCI study was unveiled against the backdrop of the APEC CEO Summit and Leaders’ Week in Honolulu, a global summit where heads of state and business leaders meet annually to discuss international economic issues. The study was commissioned by DHL and conducted by world-renowned global business strategist and economist, Pankaj Ghemawat, Professor of Global Strategy at the IESE Business School, Barcelona.
The study was conducted by world-renowned global business strategist and economist, Pankaj Ghemawat, Professor of Global Strategy at the IESE Business School, Barcelona.
“Our research shows that global economic integration is not as deep as perceived. Therefore, we see untapped potential for growth for each country and globally,” Ghemawat said. “Increasing global connectedness is likely to spur further growth by adding trillions of dollars to global gross domestic product.”
The 2011 GCI found that the 10 most connected countries are the Netherlands, Singapore, Ireland, Switzerland, Luxembourg, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Belgium, Hong Kong (China) and Malta. The diversity of the leading countries is even greater in the top 50 list, which includes representatives from all six continents.
These patterns indicate that the benefits of connectedness are accessible to a broad range of countries, not just trading hubs that lead many other globalization indices.
“The positive impact of global connectedness on world prosperity will continue to be of great importance. The misgivings some political leaders have about increasing global integration are misplaced; its benefits far outweigh the potential downsides,” said Ghemawat.
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Unlike existing indices, the GCI analyzes not only the depth of countries' cross-border interactions but also their geographic breadth – distinguishing countries that are truly connected across the globe from those with deep ties only to a small set of partner countries. Additionally, it is based exclusively on hard quantitative data.
Roger Crook, chief executive officer, DHL Global Forwarding, Freight was particularly excited with the depth of the report.
“This research provides evidence that a connected world is a better world, in terms of global welfare and individual development. The free trade of products and services contributes significantly to global prosperity,” Crook said. “The data findings of DHL’s study will likely be of benefit to corporate as well as political and economic leaders as they shape business and trade strategies.
“By calibrating how truly connected we are, countries can identify opportunities and the channels through which they can improve their prosperity.”
The DHL Global Connectedness Index 2011 examines data on 10 different types of international flows, covering the categories of trade, capital, information and people, over the years from 2005 to 2010.
Edited by Kevin Scarpati
Cainiao Network Launches Customer-Centric Logistics
As the logistics division of the Alibaba Group, Cainiao Smart Logistics Network has decided to provide its Southeast Asian customers with unsurpassed service during its annual shopping festival. Based on customer feedback surveys, the company will expand its real-time customer service support and speed up delivery times. ‘By expanding and deepening our services, we aim to provide a stronger logistics infrastructure that can bolster the booming eCommerce sector, support merchants’ expansion into new markets and diversify retail options for consumers’, said Chris Fan, Head of Cross-Border, Singapore, Cainiao Network.
Who Is Cainiao?
According to TIME Magazine, Cainiao ‘is far from a typical logistics firm’. The company controls an open platform that allows it to collaborate with 3,000 logistics partners and 3 million couriers. This means that merchants can choose the least expensive and most efficient shipping options, based on Cainiao’s real-time logistics analytics. The company’s goal is to ship packages anywhere in the world in under 72 hours—and for less than US$3.00.
For countless small business owners around the world, from coffee-growers to textile-weavers, this could change everything. Usually, it costs about US$100 to ship a DHL envelope from Shanghai to London in five days. Cainiao aims to change that. Said its CEO Wan Lin: ‘The biggest barrier to globalisation is logistics’.
What’s Part of the Upgrade?
Throughout the Tmall festival, Cainiao’s logistics upgrade will be divided into four critical segments:
- Real-time customer service support. Cainiao has launched a direct WhatsApp channel for customers to receive logistics updates and ask questions.
- Expansion of air freight parcel size and weight limits. Packages can now be up to 30 kilograms or 1-metre x 1.6 meters to help ship large items such as furniture.
- Daily air and sea freight connections. Shipping frequency will almost double to seven times weekly to maintain resilience and efficiency.
- Compensation for lost or damaged packages. Customers will be reimbursed up to RMB 2,000 (US$311).
Where is the Company Headed?
From June 1st to June 20th, the finale of Tmall, Cainiao will ensure that its customers feel confident in the company’s ability to deliver their packages. Despite global shipping delays due to COVID, the show will go on. Said Fan: ‘This series of customer-centric logistics upgrades reaffirms our goal of pursuing value-added services to enhance customers’ shopping experience while mitigating challenges posed by external factors’.
Furthermore, Cainiao has recently expanded its Southeast Asian operations, achieving revenue growth of 68% year-over-year. In Malaysia, the logistics operation has partnered with BEST Inc. and Yunda; in Singapore, the company has partnered with Roadbull, Park & Parcel, and the Singapore Post. And if its recent measures help retain and grow its customer base, the company will be well-poised to lead the industry in resilient and customer-centric global logistics. ‘COVID-19 made everyone realise how important the logistics infrastructure backbone is’, said Wan. ‘And it gave us a peek at what Cainiao should look like in three years’.