DHL’s global trade logistics barometer to offer future global trade outlook

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January 20, 2018: DHL has recently introduced a new and unique early indicator for the current state and future development of global trade. 

The DHL Global Trade Barometer is based on large amounts of logistics data that are evaluated with the help of artificial intelligence. 

Since global trade fuels the world economy, the DHL Global Trade Barometer not only provides an outlook on future trade, but also on the prospects for the global economy. The indicator has been developed in cooperation between DHL and Accenture and will be published quarterly.

'As the world's leading logistics provider, DHL has both, a deep understanding of the driving forces behind global trade volumes and the industry expertise to analyse and interpret market data. Our network, knowledge and experience uniquely position us to understand global supply chains in order to derive a global trade outlook,' said Tim Scharwath, CEO of DHL Global Forwarding. 

'The DHL Global Trade Barometer shows impressively how digitalization%u2014with the use of big data and predictive analytics%u2014opens up entirely new opportunities that we can use for the benefit of our customers,' said Scharwath.

According to reports, Accenture will provide data modelling and predictive analytics to forecast future trade trends for DHL. DHL will receive one unified view of the insights which will give them a stronger understanding of current and future state of global trade logistics for its customers.

DETAILED BOTTOM-UP DATA MODELLING

The DHL Global Trade Barometer 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, including brand labels for clothes, bumpers for cars or touch screens for mobile devices. 

Sources for the index are aggregated market data from air and containerized ocean freight in seven countries, which account for more than 75 percent of world trade. Using artificial intelligence and various statistical methods this data is compressed to a single index value, which is published on a global level and individually for the seven countries evaluated.

The DHL Global Trade Barometer index 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. 

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

The DHL Global Trade Barometer for January 2018 indicates that global trade will continue to grow within the next three months. On its initial release, the index scored 64, which is slightly below the values calculated for previous months. That means that world trade is still considered to be in an expansive mode, but growth loses momentum. 

The decline is due to weakening prospects for Chinese and Japanese trade, which is only partially offset by improved prospects for India, South Korea and Great Britain.

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