Let’s first define freight forwarders. Freight forwarders are intermediary agents that organize the safe, economical and efficient storage and transportation of goods for industries from manufacturers to the final point of distribution. Their long-term contracts include shippers, airline carriers, and road and rail freight operators.
In terms of delivery mode, the Global Freight Forwarding market can be classified as follows: ocean freight forwarding and air freight forwarding. In terms of service, the Global Freight Forwarding market can be broadly classified into four segments: Packaging, Labeling, Documentation, Transportation and Warehousing, and VAS.
There has been a shift to Ocean Freight from Air Freight which has affected the market in a major way. For heavy bulk materials, ocean freight is king. Air freight generally involves transportation of light goods. According to the recent report by Research and Markets, one of the key factors driving market growth is the shifting trade lanes, especially in emerging markets, which results in new opportunities for the freight forwarders. The economic progress in various emerging markets such as those in South Asian and Africa is increasing trade among these markets, which is driving business for logistic providers, especially forwarders, to provide their supply chain expertise.
A constant challenge is the increase in international fuel prices. Carriers and shippers charge forwarders high freight rates, but the latter cannot easily pass on the costs to end-users. This often results in increased service charges. DB Schenker was named a leading vendor in this industry.