The ‘Global Freight Forwarding 2017’ report contains more than a decade of market size and forecast data, profiles of the largest forwarders, trade lane analysis, an examination of the technology disrupting freight forwarding and the view from the industry thanks to Ti's freight forwarding survey. This is all put into context by the introductory chapter: the past, present and future of freight forwarding.
Exclusive highlights on technology in the freight forwarding industry
- 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 profitability divide has already arisen between the companies investing in technology and those which are not
- Artificial Intelligence will widen this divide
Exclusive highlights on Ti's freight forwarding market size and forecasts
- The global freight forwarding market is estimated to have grown by 2.7% in real terms in 2016.
- Both air and sea markets experienced higher growth than in 2015.
- The North American air freight market experienced flat growth in 2016.
- Sub-Saharan Africa is expected to grow faster than any other region between 2016 and 2020.
- 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.
- A profitability divide has already arisen between the companies investing in technology and those which are not. Artificial Intelligence will widen this divide.
About the authors
Having obtained a Masters in Economics David is now Ti's resident Economist. David manages one of Ti's core strengths, that of quantitative analysis of a range of logistics markets, including sizing and forecasting. David contributes to the GSCi portal, Ti Reports and consultancy projects.
As a graduate in International Relations, Alexander Le Roy brings a variety of knowledge and interest to his role as an Analyst at Ti.
Alexander joined the Ti research department in 2013. Since joining the company, he has contributed to 9 top selling Ti reports, in addition to the Global Supply Chain Intelligence portal. The breadth of his analysis includes content on logistics providers, logistics markets and supply chain software. Alexander has developed a significant body of work in the evaluation of log-tech start-ups, and holds a keen interest in the latest technological developments in the industry.
Violeta Keckarovska is a research analyst with vast experience in the design, implementation and analysis of electronic and person-to-person surveys. Having worked across a number of sectors, including retail, luxury goods and FMCG, Violeta is experienced in gaining valuable insights across brand perception, voice of customer and strategic re-positioning intelligence campaigns for B-to-B and B-to-C clients.
As a member of the Market Research Society, Violeta brings best practice in research, insight and analytics across Ti.
Andy Ralls is a quantitative analyst at Ti. He graduated from the University of Southampton with a Mathematics with Finance degree in 2014. In his studies, he chose a final year project on actuarial modelling and forecasting and enjoyed modules on statistical distribution theory, financial mathematics and macroeconomics.
Andy has since worked for a top accountancy firm and for a wealth management company. These experiences give him a strong understanding of company accounts and investment products and has given him a wider understanding of the financial sector
Table of Contents
1. The past, present and future of freight forwarding
- 1. Globalisation and trade patterns
- 2. Volume growth
- 3. Rate growth
- 4. Profitability
- 5. Competitive landscape and consolidation
- 6. Technology
- 7. Complexity
2. The Global Freight Forwarding 2017 survey
- 1. View from the industry on key issues facing freight forwarding
3. Technology and freight forwarding
- 1. Why is digitisation so important for freight forwarding?
- 2. Which technologies are changing the industry?
- 3. Spot market platforms in practice
- 4. Why forwarders will adapt to technology and survive
4. Vertical sector trade flows
- 1. Regional trade flows by vertical sector
- 2. Top 50 country-to-country trade lanes by vertical sector
5. Market sizing and forecasts
- 1. Largest forwarders by revenue and volume, by air and sea
- 2. Market sizing, growth rates and forecasts (air, sea and total) of 89 countries, 7 regions and the world
- 3. Market analysis and commentary
6. Profiles of the largest freight forwarders
- 1. Strategic background
- 2. Strategic outlook
- 3. SWOT analysis
- 4. Financial data
- 5. Operational data
- 1. All market sizing and trade data in one place