DHL introduces new indicator for world trade

Source:Xinhua Published: 2018/1/19 6:31:44

Germany-based DHL Express on Thursday launched here a new and unique early indicator for the current state and future development of global trade.

The indicator, named the DHL Global Trade Barometer (GTB), is based on import and export data for a number of intermediate and early-cycle commodities that serve as the basis for further industrial production, e.g. brand labels for clothes, bumpers for cars or touch screens for mobile devices.

Relying on large amounts of logistics data that are evaluated with the help of artificial intelligence, the DHL GTB not only provides an outlook on future trade, but also on the prospects for the global economy, as global trade fuels the world economy.

As one of the world's largest logistics providers, "DHL has both, a deep understanding of the driving forces behind global trade volumes and the industry expertise to analyze and interpret market data," Tim Scharwath, CEO of DHL Global Forwarding, Freight, said at a conference Thursday.

The index shows impressively how digitalization - with the use of big data and predictive analytics - opens up entirely new opportunities for the benefit of customers, he added.

Sources for the index are aggregated market data from air and containerized ocean freight in seven countries, including Germany, China, the US, Japan, the U.K., South Korea and India, which account for more than 75 percent of world trade.

The DHL GTB represents the weighted average of the current growth and the upcoming two months of global trade. An index value above 50 indicates a positive development; values below 50 point to a decline in world trade.

The GTB indicator has been developed in cooperation between DHL and Accenture and will be published quarterly.

Tests with historical data have revealed a high correlation between the DHL GTB and real containerized trade, providing a three-month forward-looking estimate, said Scharwath.

On its initial release, the DHL GTB for January 2018 scored 64, which is slightly below the values calculated for previous months. This figure means that world trade is still considered to be in an expansive mode within the next three months, but growth loses momentum.

"With the DHL Global Trade Barometer, we are contributing greater transparency and predictability in a world characterized by volatility and uncertainty," said Scharwath.

DHL Express, which is part of Deutsche Post DHL Group, has about 350,000 employees in more than 220 countries and territories worldwide.

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