Predicting the future of global trade

DHL’s Global Trade Barometer tracks international trading data, giving our customers greater insight into future trade patterns in their industries.

DHL Global Trade Barometer

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Proper planning requires accurate forecasting

How can you predict US automotive sector exports in the future? By analyzing Mexican auto part imports today. The ability to harness big data and the rise of AI have given us a unique opportunity to combine our expertise as the world’s largest logistics provider with available import and export data to predict future trade patterns.

Our dedicated team tracks international trading data for seven key economies in early and mid-cycle commodities to forecast trade flows within entire industry sectors. The result is the DHL Global Trade Barometer.

Deep dive into your sector 

In addition to providing a picture of the current state of world trade, the DHL Global Trade Barometer provides a deep look into specific issues, such as the main macroeconomic factors that are affecting trade trends or the countries and regions that are driving global trade. By breaking down the global supply chain, we can identify volume trends within industry sectors, which point to outperforming and declining sectors.


Key insights for your business

At DHL, we use our Global Trade Barometer to provide customers with insights that help them optimize their business processes. For example, they use our forecasts to guide investment decisions, allocate resources, and manage supply chains. We also leverage this valuable instrument to plan and fine-tune our own international logistics operations.

But the added value of the barometer goes well beyond logistics. Based on the high quality of the data and the accurate forecasts of worldwide trade and economic growth, banks, economic research institutes, and other financial service providers can integrate the DHL Global Trade Barometer into their forecast models. 














We have established a range of initiatives that share insights on globalization, empower SME’s and help raise prosperity for people in developed and developing countries across the planet.

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Bottom-up modelling: How the Global Trade Barometer works

Launched in January 2018 and published on a quarterly basis, the DHL Global Trade Barometer is an aggregated index drawing on several industry sectors across seven countries. It leverages high volumes of logistics data and artificial intelligence to provide an outlook on future trade along with prospects for the global economy. The barometer analyzes import and export data for a number of early and mid-cycle commodities used in industrial production, such as clothing labels, car bumpers or mobile device touch screens. The information is sourced from aggregated air and containerized ocean freight data in seven countries, which account for more than 75% of world trade. Using AI and statistical models, we calculate individual scores for both global trade and each of the seven countries evaluated. The index represents the weighted average of the current growth and the upcoming two months of global trade. For example, a score of 50 and up indicates a positive trend. Below 50 point points to a decline in world trade. Tests with historical data have revealed a high correlation between the DHL Global Trade Barometer and real containerized trade, providing a three-month forecast.

Published: October 2020

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