Reflecting on a year of growth and where next for the global economy in 2022

Reflecting on a year of growth and where next for the global economy in 2022

Date: 06/01/2022

The progress made and lessons learnt in 2021 provide a great platform for the year ahead.

Cargo trucks at warehouse


Last year traders were forced to overcome disruption from the Suez Canal blockage, manage the closure of key Chinese manufacturing hubs, and navigate heavy congestion at ports around the world, as the knock on effects of the pandemic continued to be felt across the global trade ecosystem.

In light of these headwinds, traders sought to build more resilient supply chains, and with that the World Logistics Passport (WLP) continued to grow and expand into key markets in Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Middle East and indeed Europe.

The progress made and lessons learnt in 2021 provide a great platform for the year ahead.


The growth of the WLP network

Over 60 new Partners joined the program in 2021, growing our global network to more than 20 countries. With each new joiner to the WLP, we continue to increase the immense business and trade potential of our offering.

Major economies that signed up include Brazil, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, South Africa and, most recently, China, meaning that our network covers approximately 30% of global GDP (nominal) – a bloc that would be larger than any single market economy anywhere in the world.

As a result, WLP members can reach new markets while also receiving Benefits that build supply chain resilience and increase trading volumes.

And as the WLP grows its reach across the world, it’s also deepening its presence in our existing markets, where a critical mass of Partners is delivering ever-increasing Benefits.


Spotlight: Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan is a perfect microcosm of the WLP’s growth.

After the Central Asian country became a WLP Hub in December 2020, an additional eight new Partners joined the program in 2021 and – in doing so – further connect local traders and freight forwarders with new and developing markets.

As part of our deepening relationship with the country, the WLP has also spoken at the Kazakhstan Trade and Investment Forum in Dubai and presented the WLP to a Kazakhstan Trade Mission in Dubai and the Almaty Investment Forum.


The WLP’s impact

The impact of our growth last year is evident in the sheer volume of trade that our Members are moving. Across our Hubs the WLP helped contribute to an increase in trade of up to 1.5%. As the programme continues to expand, we anticipate accelerating trade volumes across the network in 2022.


Spotlight: Viracopos International Airport

An example of the impact being made by the WLP every day, look no further than Viarcopos International Airport in Sao Paulo, Brazil. After joining the program as a Partner in May 2021, the WLP has been helping Viracopos Airport to facilitate the safe movement and transportation of vaccines into Brazil.

Thanks to a new partnership between the airport, the Internal Revenue Service, the National Health Surveillance Agency and Pfizer/BioNTech, customs clearance time for vaccines coming into the airport has been significantly reduced from six days to just 17 minutes – helping to get vaccines

Reducing custom clearance times and thereby streamlining the transportation of goods is just one of many benefits for WLP Members. In this instance, the positive impact of efficient trading operations is being felt by people nationwide.


Where next?

The interconnected nature of supply chains means there is no quick fix to the challenges that impact the smooth flow of goods through the global economy. 2022 will not be without its challenges.

We can expect to see larger industrial manufacturers resetting assembly lines to make them more resistant to the sort of outages that have hit the automotive sector, where semiconductor shortages continue to impact production.

And businesses will likely continue to consider restructuring their supply chains closer to home and turn to near shore manufacturing.

Nonetheless, the current state of global trade represents a real opportunity to consider how best to build the resilience and efficiency of supply chains around the world.

As our network continues to expand, thanks to the diverse, multimodal infrastructure provided by WLP Partners, we are helping to overcome barriers to trade by better connecting countries and businesses to different regions and markets. That way, future global disruptions to trade can be kept to a minimum.

There is lots in store for the year ahead – here’s to the hope that we can push forward in an environment which is just a little bit more predictable than what we have become used to of late!

Mahmood Ahmed Al Bastaki is General Manager of the World Logistics Passport