Coordination and Implementation of National Logistics Policies: Improving the Global Interface of Logistics

Coordination and Implementation of National Logistics Policies: Improving the Global Interface of Logistics

There are several tools behind the setting of national logistics policies. One relates to improving the global interface of logistics with gateways, corridors, and hinterland accessibility strategies. If this interface is improved, it is expected that the national economy is more competitive and can attract international investments. The most common strategies involve:

  • National gateways. Develop gateways (ports and airports) as locations of national strategic interest by improving the capacity and throughput of ports or airports (new or existing facilities). This requires identifying and coordinate transport infrastructure investments in the gateway area, particularly where are the main physical bottlenecks, and they could be remediated. The stated goal is often to facilitate modal shift (to modes that are judged to if higher performance such as rail and barge) and effective inland freight distribution. The risk usually involves competing for national gateways vying for public capital, which can lead to the duplication of infrastructure investments.
  • Concessionning. Open terminal facilities to global private terminal operators, which is a strategy that often takes place when major terminal facilities are publicly owned and operated. The goal is to improve the productivity of terminal operations by concessioning to private terminal operators the would provide investment terminal equipment and automation as well as providing more effective management. The ownership remains public. Concessionning often results in better connectivity to global maritime shipping since the terminals tend to be more productive. This allows as well to use and coordinate regional transportation more effectively since terminal operators can undertake strategic alliances with main hinterland transport operators. The risk of concessionning involves a potential loss of control in terminal (port and airport) development since they are managed by private interests. The productivity of private terminal operators is also associated with a reduction in employment since they have more mechanization and automation. The profits made from terminal operations may be expatriated and invested elsewhere.
  • Privatization. A more comprehensive strategy than concessionning where public terminals, transporters, or distributors can be privatized. The goal is to improve the efficiency of the privatized firms since their focus becomes profit-driven and less politicized. This enables the entry of new providers that may be more innovative and competitive. The drawback is, like concessionning, that there is a likely reduction in employment due to efficiency improvements.
  • Corridors and connectors development. Develop or expand key transport connectors between gateways and the logistical activities they service. This improves key capacity bottlenecks by coordinating the operations and investments of various stakeholders. Corridor development focus on improving hinterland transport capacity, efficiency, and reliability with the expectation that economic opportunities will arise. Along corridors, better asset utilization and modal shift are expected to take place, but there is a risk of the duplication of connectors if several jurisdictions are involved. The setting of national gateways is often coordinated with corridor development strategies.