Leipzig, 22-24 May 2019

For the fourth time since its creation in 2018, the members of the Global Maritime Logistics Dialogue have gathered in Leipzig to resume their exchanges.

The Global Maritime Logistics Dialogue brings together stakeholders from the maritime logistics chain, including representatives from Members States, the shipping sector, shippers, ports, terminals and freight forwarders.

ITF OECD 1        ITF OECD 2

The main topic for discussion was performance indicators for the maritime logistics chain.

The maritime logistics chain consists of many different actors with different roles that are highly interdependent. This means that the performance of the individual actors is to an important extent determined by the behaviour of other actors.

There are no comprehensive performance indicators for the maritime logistics chain. Most of the performance indicators that exist focus on part of the maritime logistics chain (e.g. on liner shipping connectivity, schedule reliability, terminal productivity).

Although important, these indicators seen in isolation are only helpful to a limited extent, as they generally do not result in honest exchanges between stakeholders on where collaboration could help to improve maritime logistics chains. In this respect, the only holistic performance indicator that is widely used is the World Bank Logistics Indicator, but it covers logistics as a whole rather than maritime logistics and cannot be used as a sufficiently precise indicator for the efficiency of maritime logistics.

Performance indicators for maritime logistics could provide possibilities for interpretation and improvement. This means that an important part of the indicators would need to deal with the interfaces between the different actors. It also means that the data set should be relatively easy to comprehend and interpret; it should include a limited number of the most significant indicators. Once aggregated at national or supra national level, indicators could be translated into themes that might be relevant for national policies aiming at removing bottlenecks.

Before starting discussions, the ITF Global Maritime Logistics Dialogue moderator, Mr Olaf Merk, invited representatives of Hapag Lloyd, PSA and the Port of Los Angeles to present recent initiatives they have implemented to improve efficiency, performance and communication between the different actors of the maritime logistics chain.

FEPORT and other representatives expressed real interest for the discussion on performance indicators but underlined the importance for metrics not be used defensively but constructively (i.e. as a diagnosis of common challenges that can be solved via collaboration). This is why it will be crucial to agree on the methodology and source of data which should be publicly available or that can be collected fairly easily to conduct the performance assessment.

Participants agreed to meet before the next Global Maritime Logistics Dialogue meeting in Brussels end of November 2019, to agree on working procedures and terms of reference for the working group on performance indicators.