Logistics Performance Index (Part 2)

In a recent post I discussed the World Bank Logistics Performance Index for 2014. Here is a follow up which includes the index for the years 2007, 2010, 2012 and 2014. The rankings indicate that the US lags behind EU trading partners as well as Hong Kong, Singapore, and Japan. Lowest scores are in the areas of  Customs Clearance and Ease of International Shipments. US ranks fairly high in Infrastructure which is surprising.

The category Ease of Shipments refers to the ease of arranging international shipments.  Ad Hoc Logistics can handle the quoting, documentation, and follow up of international shipments  for your company. Contact mitch@ for a free initial consultation.


Wicked Problems

I came across the term “wicked problem” in the text that I am using for my SNHU course International Supply Chain Management.* A wicked problem involves multiple stakeholders, each with different interests and values. As a result there is no single common goal , no clear mission, and no universal solution. Any solution, after being implemented, will generate waves of consequences and can result in making the problem worse.  A suggested framework for tackling a wicked problem consists of 4 levels of increasing complexity:

Level 1- Process Engineering and inventory management– This is the engineering approach focusing on what is being carried (work, cash, information) and process design within and between organizations. Risk management is about improved visibility and control.
Level 2- Assets and Infrastructure- This is the insurance and financial approach. Nodes and links are examined and strengthened to avoid disruptions along the supply chain.
Level 3- Organizations and Inter-organizational networks– this is strategic level problem solving involving outsourcing, partnering, and offshoring.

Level 4- the Macro Environment- This level uses PEST  (Political, Economic, Social, and Technological) analysis of environmental changes. Issues include green and legal/regulatory as well as geo political factors.

Fortunately, not all logistics problems are wicked problems. If you need help with international logistics contact Ad Hoc Logistics.

*Global Logistics & Supply Chain Management by John Mangan, Chandra Lalwani, Tim Butcher, and Roya Javadpour

World Bank Logistics Performance Index

The World Bank has posted their Logistics Performance Index for 2014. The index benchmarks 6 areas of performance and gives nations a score from 1-5 for each area. The benchmarks are 1) Efficiency of customs clearance process, 2) Quality of trade related infrastructure,  3) Ease of arranging competitive pricing for shipments,  4) Competence and quality of logistics services,  5) Ability to track and trace shipments,  and 6) Timeliness of shipments in reaching destination within scheduled time of arrival.

For 2014 the US ranks 9th overall with an average score of 3.92 for the 6 benchmarks. Surprisingly, the highest US score is 4.18 for infrastructure, and the lowest is 3.73 for customs clearance.

The 8 nations ranking higher than the US are:




United Kingdom






Details @



Need help with logistics? Contact mitch@ for a complementary consultation.

Is Importing/Exporting For You?

In the years that I have taught Supply Chain courses, many students have expressed the desire to start their own importing or exporting business. In some cases they were motivated by an interest in a particular product they encountered on an international trip. Others wanted to turn a hobby into a business. In these early stages the nuts and bolts of international logistics are less important than the product, the markets, and realistic expectations on the part of the student. As an instructor I always want to provide guidance and assistance along with real world business facts. The attached Twenty Questions are a good way to start the process,


US Customs Brokers info

Mitch Kostoulakos

Mitch Kostoulakos commented on a discussion in U S Customs Brokers.


  • Mitch KostoulakosMitch Kostoulakos Raul, I had the same question for the port of Boston a few months ago. You can apply for a permit as an individual license holder. If you have an individual license but want a permit in a company name you first need to apply for a license as a corp, partnership, or association. You need to complete CF314 License App, and supply articles of incorporation, credit report, and fingerprints. You should check with your port but hope this helps.