Saturday 18th Nov 2017 - Logistics Manager

Does supply chain make people happier?

If you live in Switzerland, congratulations – you are officially one of the happiest people in the world. At least that is one of the conclusions of the World Happiness Report, published by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network.

Malory Davies FCILT, Editor.

Malory Davies FCILT, Editor.

What is very clear from it, is that the countries that score highest are all wealthy western nations (with one or two exceptions). The top five are Switzerland, Iceland, Denmark, Norway and Canada. The UK comes 21st while the United States is 15th.

And the countries that score lowest tend to be in the developing world – the bottom ten include Togo, Burundi, Benin, Rwanda and Chad. War torn countries such as Syria and Afghanistan are also down there.

But looking at this from a supply chain perspective, is it possible to draw a parallel between supply chain development and happiness? After, all efficient supply chains are all about satisfying human need. So logically, there should be a connection.

The World Bank produces a Logistics Performance Index which ranks countries by six measures of the efficiency of their logistics networks. So logically, Switzerland should top this table as well. It doesn’t – in fact it is 17th.

Top of the logistics table is Germany, which is 26th for happiness. The Netherlands is second in logistics and seventh for happiness. But Belgium, which is third for logistics is 19th for happiness. Japan is thirteenth for logistics but only 46th for happiness.

And then there are one or two countries like Costa Rica comes 12th for happiness, but only 90th for logistics.

But despite these anomalies, it is apparent that Europe and the US tends to be at the upper end of both lists, and developing countries in Africa and Asia come towards the bottom.

Obviously, this is simply an impression – it would fascinating to look more deeply at this: is our industry making people happier?

 Click here for the World Happiness Report

Click here fore the Logistics Performance Index