The 2021 Agility Emerging Markets Logistics Index reports that logisticians do not expect a full economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic until 2022 or beyond.

51.5 percent of the 1,200 industry executives said that they do not expect a full recovery in the logistics market until 2022-2024, despite the expectation that Asia, North America and Europe will rebound this year. Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa will be the last regions to bounce back.

The index is a broad gauge of countries’ competitiveness based on their international and domestic logistics strengths and business fundamental. For 2021, it found that China and India remain atop the charts, while Vietnam climbed three spots to eighth.

Asia-Pacific and Middle East Gulf markets dominated the top ten. Nigeria also climbed five spots to 30th – the highest climb for a sub-Saharan Africa country in the twelve-year lifetime of the index.

The duration of the Covid-19 pandemic was deemed to be the biggest factor determining a global economic recovery, and respondents viewed US-China trade relations, Brexit, and protectionism, as secondary.

Logistics executives felt disruption across the entire supply chain last year, saying they struggled to cope with port congestion (19.6 percent), transportation capacity (18.4 percent), supplies of parts and inputs (16.9 percent), distribution and delivery (16.1 percent), maintaining international operations (15.1 percent), and storage (13.8 percent).

Chris Price, ceo of Agility Global Integrated Logistics (GIL), said: The companies, markets and regions poised to recover most quickly are likely to be those using digital technology to collect data, share information, get supply chain visibility, and transact with customers and stakeholders.”

41.3 percent of industry executives said they are speeding up adoption of technology and online business capabilities in order to protect their supply chains.

Another trend gaining momentum is sustainability. 26.9 percent of executive reported that their companies are boosting implementation of environmentally sustainable practices in the wake of the pandemic.

John Manners-Bell, chief executive of Ti, said: “The strength of the Agility Emerging Markets Logistics Index has always been to differentiate between those emerging markets which demonstrate resilience in the face of adversity and those which are more fragile.” He added that those countries that have failed to embrace market, trade, governmental and social reforms will be hardest hit from the fallout of the pandemic.

The Agility Emerging Markets Logistics Index, compiled by Ti, is an annual snapshot of industry sentiment and ranking of the world’s 50 leading emerging markets.