The UAE narrowly missed the global top 10 in the latest Logistics Performance Index (LPI) published by the Washington-based World Bank Group.

The UAE scored 3.96 on the index, losing by mere 0.01 point to Finland.

Germany occupied the top rank globally, scoring 4.2, followed by Sweden (4.05) and Belgium (4.04). Austria and Japan were tied in fourth position, each scoring 4.03.

Iran and Oman improved their rankings the most relative to other Middle East countries.

The sultanate advanced five positions to reach 43rd place among the 160 countries included in the survey, while Iran, ranked 96th globally in the previous LPI index published in 2016, rose 32 ranks to reach 64th place.

Lebanon and Iraq, advanced 3 and 2 positions, respectively, to place 79th and 147th, globally.

Qatar, the region’s second-from-top ranked logistics centre after the UAE, maintained its previous position (30th).

The performance of all the other states, led by Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain and Kuwait, deteriorated.

Country LPI rank Change in rank
2016 2018
UAE 13 11 2
Qatar 30 30 0
Bahrain 44 59 -15
Oman 48 43 5
Egypt 49 67 -18
Saudi Arabia 52 55 -3
Kuwait 53 63 -10
Jordan 67 84 -17
Algeria 75 117 -42
Lebanon 82 79 3
Morocco 86 109 -23
Iran 96 64 32
Libya 137 154 -17
Iraq 149 147 2
Source: World Bank Group

The LPI is an interactive benchmarking tool that helps countries identify the challenges and opportunities they face in their performance on trade logistics and what they can do to improve their performance.

It is based on a worldwide survey of global freight forwarders and express carriers, which provide feedback on the logistics “friendliness” of the countries in which they operate, and those with which they trade.

Most countries in the Mena region are aiming to become global logistics centres and aspire to follow Dubai and the UAE’s lead.

Oman’s long-term vision includes becoming one of the world’s top 10 global logistics hubs by 2040.