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The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) will launch within a few weeks a portal that will provide data useful for the logistics industry.

The Logistics Observatory, a portal to be made available on DTI’s website, will have information provided by the private sector, such as port operators and associations, and the public sector, such as port authorities, aviation and land transportation agencies, according to a presentation by Roberto Galang, senior private sector specialist of the World Bank-International Finance Corp. (WB-IFC), during the press conference at the recent 2nd Logistics Services Philippines Conference and Exhibition.

WB-IFC is helping DTI create the portal, which is part of the 10 Commitments of the Philippine Logistics Services Industry pledged to by several industry organizations in December 2018.

Stakeholders have found it difficult to secure data on the industry as information is usually either unavailable or needs to be sourced from several agencies.

The observatory aims to foster a culture of knowledge sharing and benchmarking, and would allow the private sector to optimize transport and logistics costs through the use of quantitative data.

Galang said the observatory would enable the public and private sectors to “understand and predict within a few weeks” problems, which can then be jointly resolved. As an example, he noted the use of data to check whether a port is approaching congestion.

“The more information we have, the better we are able to find solutions together,” Galang said.

He pointed out that issues in the logistics industry are usually not just caused by one entity “but it’s really a function of the entire system.”

Initially, the data will be uploaded to the observatory as submitted to DTI, but Galang said monthly updates are eventually eyed. DTI will maintain the portal.

Aside from data, the observatory will have a link to the Logistics Efficiency Index (LEI), another DTI project that measures efficiency of the country’s logistics sector and compares it with other Asian countries’. DTI, together with WB, launched the results of the first LEI survey in 2017.

DTI and WB are now working on a second LEI survey, the results of which may be out by December 2019. – Roumina Pablo

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