Logistics performance and export competitiveness: European experience


Logistics performance has become a decisive factor in export competitiveness. At the same time, and as a result of the continuous enlargement processes it has undergone, the European Union (EU) is a very interesting case to study how the reforms that enhance logistics performance have affected exports. Therefore, this paper aims to analyse the importance of logistics performance in regard to EU exports over the period 2005–2010 in an attempt to identify possible advances on behalf of Member States. Several gravity equations are estimated using the Logistics Performance Index (LPI) and its components as characteristic proxy variables of trade facilitation. In order to avoid the possible heterogeneity caused by sample bias, the two-stage model proposed by Heckman is used. The estimations of the gravity models using the two-stage Heckman model for all 26 EU countries have led us to conclude that logistics was more important for exporting nations than importing nations in both 2005 and 2010, reinforcing the interest in the exporter side of the paper. In reference to the components of the LPI, Competence and Tracking has acquired greater importance in recent years, in keeping with the weak domestic demand in European countries and the search for new international markets.

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Fig. 1
Fig. 2


  1. 1.

    Behar et al. (2009); Behar and Venables (2010).

  2. 2.

    The LPI has been used in other papers to capture the quality of trade facilitation (Hertel and Mirza 2009; Felipe and Kumar 2012).

  3. 3.

    All 26 European countries have been removed in order to consider only non-EU exports.

  4. 4.


  5. 5.

    The coefficients of all the variables have been standardised in order to facilitate comparison.


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Correspondence to Rosa Puertas.



See Tables 4 and 5.

Table 4 Estimation results. EU-26 period 2005
Table 5 Estimation results. EU-26 period 2010

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Puertas, R., Martí, L. & García, L. Logistics performance and export competitiveness: European experience. Empirica 41, 467–480 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10663-013-9241-z

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  • Logistic Performance Index
  • Trade
  • European Union
  • Gravity

JEL Classification

  • C5
  • F1
  • H54