International transport and insurance costs of merchandise trade - OECD (Edition 2017)

Although the costs associated with the international transport and insurance of merchandise trade (also referred to as CIF-FOB margins) are an important determinant of the volume and geography of international trade, remarkably little (official) data exist. Combining the largest and most detailed cross-country sample of official national statistics on explicit CIF-FOB margins to date with estimates from an econometric gravity model, and using a novel approach to pool product codes across World Customs Organization Harmonized System (HS) nomenclature vintages, the OECD has developed a new Database on International Transport and Insurance Costs (ITIC) that aims to fill this gap. The Database shows that distance, natural barriers and infrastructure continue to play an important role in shaping regional (and global) value chains.