Trends / Reading time: ~ 1 Min.

Lead indicator for Global Trade


DHL is using artificial intelligence for trade forecasting. This gives companies an additional source of information for their business decisions. The DHL Global Trade Barometer feels the pulse of global trade. The new index developed by DHL in cooperation with Accenture is based on the analysis of large volumes of logistics data using artificial intelligence. DHL customers are thus able to optimize their logistics processes. For example, the index provides valuable information for decisions about investments or supply chains. Also DHL will use it to optimize their resource planning.

Indicator for global growth

The benefits of the DHL Global Trade Barometer go even further: Because world trade is an engine for macroeconomic development, the forecasts also provide valuable information on the trend of the global economy. Thanks to the high data quality, it is possible to integrate the index as an indicator into the existing forecasting tools of banks, associations, and economic research institutes. “As the world's leading logistics provider, DHL has both a deep understanding of the driving forces behind global trade volumes and the industry expertise to analyze and interpret market data. Our network, knowledge, and experience uniquely position us to understand global supply chains in order to derive a global trade outlook,” said Tim Scharwath, CEO of DHL Global Forwarding, Freight. “The DHL Global Trade Barometer shows impressively how digitalization – with the use of Big Data and Predictive Analytics – opens up entirely new opportunities that we can use for the benefit of our customers.”

Summarized in brief: the basic parameters for the Global Trade Barometer [Graphics: DHL]
Summarized in brief: the basic parameters for the Global Trade Barometer [Graphics: DHL]

How the DHL Global Trade Barometer works

The data framework is based on import and export data for intermediate products and early cyclical goods, which serve as a basis for further industrial value creation. Included are, for example, textile labels for clothing, bumpers for cars, or touch screens for mobile devices. The Index reflects aggregated market data from air and container ocean freight from China, Germany, the United Kingdom, India, Japan, South Korea, and the United States – countries that account for more than 75 percent of global trade. The data is condensed into an index value and also calculated individually for each of the seven countries. The index is the weighted average of the current and next two months. An index value above 50 indicates positive development, a value below 50 indicates a decrease in global trade. Tests have shown that predictions can be made for a period of three months. According to this DHL publishes the Barometer quarterly.

DHL Global Trade Barometer for April
The evaluated data shows that solid growth can be expected for global trade over the next three months. From 64 points from the first survey (January 2018), the index has risen to 66 points in March. This indicates that growth is once again gaining momentum. The Barometer predicts an increase in trading activity for each of the seven countries surveyed. India has the highest value for trade expectations overall.

You Want to Learn More about this Topic?

The authors of our article will be happy to answer your questions. Just send us a message using the contact form and we will go deeper into the topic together.

Related articles


Significant gains in March

[Comparing the figures from December 2016 and the same month in the year before, the heavy truck registrations within the European Union grew by 16.1 percent. The country with the most gain is Italy (+ 200 percent).

30. May 2017 / Reading time: ~ 1 Min.

Always on the move

[The EU Commission has proposed a new set of rules for road transport. They concern road charging, market access and social conditions applicable to drivers. All of which are valued by DHL Freight.

10. October 2017 / Reading time: ~ 1 Min.