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Connections is a weekly series of knowledge notes from the World Bank Group’s Transport & Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Global Practice. It covers projects, experiences, and front-line developments.

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    Competitiveness of South Asia's Container Ports: A Comprehensive Assessment of Performance, Drivers and Costs
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2017-10) Herrera Dappe, Matias ; Suárez-Alemán, Ancor
    South Asia’s seaports are crucial to the region’s economy. The region transports 75 percent of thevalue of its exports and imports by sea. Shipments are concentrated at the 14 largest container ports, which handle close to 100 percent of total container traffic. The performance of these ports has a crucial effect on the competitiveness of the region’s trade. Even though the South Asian port sector has experienced significant changes since the late 1990s — when the governments of India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka reformed their port sectors to allow private participation—the performance of South Asia’s ports has received little attention. The World Bank undertook a comprehensive assessment of South Asia’s container ports to support South Asian governments and stakeholders in the sector. It sought to understand the links between performance and its drivers and costs and to identify whether and how performance might be improved. The study proposes an approach for improvement based on regional and global experience.
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    Unlocking the Potential of Freight Logistics in India
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2016-12) Aritua, Bernard
    New, comprehensive analysis of data on the current routing of goods in India have positioned the country to break through its freight transport gridlocks and logistics inefficiencies. With a growth rate of more than 7 percent since 2014, India is the fastest growing major economy in the world. But as a share of its GDP, its logistics costs for moving freight are as high as 14 percentpercent of GDP, markedly more than the 8–10 percent for most advanced economies. The gap arises from excess costs generated by inefficiencies in the transport system, greater costs of storage and inventory and procedural delays. Closing that gap would give a major boost to India’s growth prospects. Studies of logistics improvements in advanced economies have shown that, with sufficiently detailed data on freight flows, targeted interventions in specific corridors andsubsectors can enable transformational changes in freight logistics performance. Researchersand logistics experts from the World Bank and South Africa’s Stellenbosch University have assembled and modeled such data for India, identifying bottlenecks and opportunities for morestrategic investment and collocation of activities to achieve production synergies and lower thecosts of logistics and trade.