Trade Logistics in Developing Countries: The Case of the Middle East and North Africa

22 Pages Posted: 23 Mar 2005


This paper presents an analysis of obstacles facing exporting firms in developing countries by diagnosing the efficiency of trade logistics in the Middle East and North Africa region (MNA). Using logistics chain analysis for six export commodities, it presents evidence that transport and non-transport logistics costs for export commodities from the MNA region are quite substantial, ranging from 7-25 per cent of landed product prices. Underlying these costs are key bottlenecks identified as: inefficient trucking and transport services, low export volume leading to long shipping times and the need for costly inventory accumulation, aggressive, obstructive customs authorities and procedures, low and inconsistent product quality, an underdeveloped transport intermediary sector, inefficient cross-border transit procedures and others. Recommended actions to address developing a national transport policy, overhauling the regulatory regime for the trucking sector, export promotion measures, increasing competition in port and air freight services, reorienting customs authorities towards trade facilitation and developing cross-border transit procedures similar to the TIR Carnets model.

Suggested Citation

Devlin, Julia and Yee, Peter, Trade Logistics in Developing Countries: The Case of the Middle East and North Africa. The World Economy, Vol. 28, No. 3, pp. 435-456, March 2005. Available at SSRN:

Julia Devlin (Contact Author)

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Peter Yee


No Address Available

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