Global Freight Forwarding 2017
The global freight forwarding market is estimated to have grown by 2.7% in real terms (excluding the impact of price and currency movements) in 2016. However, collapsing air and sea freight rates have seen revenues for most forwarders fall significantly.
Sub-Saharan Africa is expected to grow faster in real terms than any other region between 2016 and 2020.
The top three air and sea freight lanes offering the best prospects for volume growth in the next five years will originate in Asia, according to the Global Freight Forwarding Survey 2017, conducted by Ti.
Supply chain professionals acknowledge the threat of losing volume share to other parties such as carriers, tech start-ups, Amazon etc. over the next five years. A greater proportion of respondents expect this to occur in air freight than sea freight.
Freight forwarders continued to adapt their strategies and product solutions during 2016 to cope with the competitive pressures and market forces. Their strategies are being increasingly shaped by consumers’ demand for real-time information and visibility, urging forwarders to step up their investment in technology in order not to get left behind.
Excluding the impact of volume and rate changes, a majority of survey respondents see margin pressures in freight forwarding intensifying. 30% said they would remain about the same.
The majority of start-up companies are looking to serve sector incumbents, but the more ambitious could potentially disrupt the industry.
Several freight forwarding quotation and booking platforms are providing an increasingly compelling service.
A majority of those freight forwarders to have trialled online quotation and booking services have adopted them for official usage.
profitability divide has already arisen between the companies investing in technology and those which are not. Artificial Intelligence will widen this divide.