UofL launches logistics-distribution index
University of Louisville engineering researchers have developed an economic indicator, the Logistics and Distribution Index, aimed at helping area businesses monitor their market’s well-being and guide them in future investment decisions.
The LoDI Index, named after the UofL-based Logistics and Distribution Institute (LoDI), will be issued monthly and is expected to broaden to a national scope, said Sunderesh Heragu, the institute director, an industrial engineering professor and the Mary Lee and George F. Duthie endowed chair in engineering logistics at the J.B. Speed School of Engineering.
The index, developed by Heragu, industrial engineering professor Gail DePuy and doctoral student Erin Gerber of Louisville, is a number between 1 and 100. Lower values represent a decline and higher values an increase in regional logistics and distribution activity. It is intended to gauge potential risk and reward, Heragu said, adding that he hopes the index will become a tool similar to the Consumer Confidence Index used in the marketplace.
Heragu and university officials announced today that the April 2012 index value is 58.
Primary users are expected to be logistics-related businesses and warehouses around Louisville and southern Indiana. Other potential users could be government, chambers of commerce and individuals, he said. The institute plans to issue the index on the last Thursday of each month and to offer the information in advance to subscribers.
The index uses data primarily from the four transportation modes (road, air, rail and river) that are important to the region’s logistics and distribution economy. Organizations that are part of Greater Louisville Inc.’s Advanced Manufacturing and Logistics Network have provided data for the model.
For more information or to subscribe to the index, email Heragu or contact him at 502-852-2741.