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Institute launches logistics-distribution index to help businesses

by UofL Today last modified Mar 29, 2012 11:35 AM

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.

Institute launches logistics-distribution index to help businesses

Sunderesh Heragu

The LoDI Index, named after the UofL-based Logistics and Distribution Institute, 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 uses data primarily from the four transportation modes (road, runway, rail and river) that are important to the region’s logistics and distribution economy to calculate a number value between 1 and 100. Lower values represent a decline and higher values an increase in regional logistics and distribution activity. Organizations that are part of Greater Louisville Inc.’s Advanced Manufacturing and Logistics Network have provided data for the model.

The April 2012 index value is 58, announced Heragu and Speed School Dean Neville Pinto on March 29.

A value greater than 50 is good, Heragu said.

Index users can use monthly data to gauge short-term potential risk and reward, he said, and as the index ages, they will be able to analyze trends. Heragu said that he hopes the LoDi Index will become a tool similar to the Consumer Confidence Index used in the marketplace.

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.

Heragu developed the index with industrial engineering professor Gail DePuy and doctoral student Erin Gerber of Louisville.

To subscribe to the LoDI index, contact Heragu at 502-852-2741 or s.heragu@louisville.edu

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