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Freight Forwarding Market Size - By Mode of Transportation (Ocean Freight Forwarding, Air Freight Forwarding, Road Freight Forwarding, Rail Freight Forwarding), By Customer Type (B2B, B2C), End-user & Global Forecast, 2023 - 2032

  • Report ID: GMI6509
  • Published Date: Aug 2023
  • Report Format: PDF

Freight Forwarding Industry Analysis

Freight Forwarding Market size was valued at USD 191.6 billion in 2022 and is anticipated to register a CAGR of 4% between 2023 and 2032. Globalization and the expansive growth in international trade are major factors propelling market growth. As businesses extend their reach across borders, the need for efficient, reliable & cost-effective movement of goods becomes paramount. Freight forwarders navigate intricate customs regulations, optimize supply chain routes & ensure timely deliveries, playing a pivotal role in facilitating the seamless flow of goods across the global marketplace.

Freight Forwarding Market

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The rise of emerging markets presents a compelling opportunity for the freight forwarding industry. As these economies experience rapid growth and industrialization, the demand for efficient logistics services surges. Freight forwarders with a strong presence in these regions can tap the expanding trade flows, thereby connecting these markets with the global supply chains. By offering reliable transportation, customs expertise, and localized solutions, freight forwarding companies can position themselves to serve as a vital conduit for trade & commerce in these burgeoning markets.

Volatility in fuel prices can impede freight forwarding market growth by introducing uncertainty and unpredictability into the cost structures. Fluctuating fuel costs directly impact transportation expenses, affecting the profit margins of both freight forwarders and their clients. This can lead to challenges in pricing, budgeting, and overall financial planning. Moreover, frequent price shifts can deter businesses from committing to long-term shipping contracts, disrupt operational efficiency, and compel companies to seek alternatives, thereby slowing down the market's size trajectory.

COVID-19 Impact

The COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacted the freight forwarding market. Lockdowns, travel restrictions, and supply chain disruptions led to reduced demand & logistical challenges. Fluctuations in global trade volumes affected freight flows, thereby altering the traditional trade routes. Air cargo capacity shortages and port congestions further hampered operations. While essential goods witnessed an increase in demand, the non-essential sectors faced decreased shipments.

The COVID-19 pandemic underscored the need for resilience, adaptability, and digital transformation in the freight forwarding industry. In the post-pandemic period, the freight forwarding industry rebounded by adapting to the new normal. Companies adopted digital solutions for remote operations, enhanced supply chain visibility, and realigned logistics networks. With the reopening of economies, air cargo capacity gradually improved and trade volumes picked up.

Freight Forwarding Market Trends

The increased demand for efficient & reliable transportation of goods, owing to the surge in e-commerce logistics, is propelling the freight forwarding industry growth. The continuous growth in online retail has intensified the need for seamless cross-border shipping, timely deliveries, and optimized supply chains. Freight forwarders play a crucial role in providing specialized solutions including last-mile delivery, customs clearance, and multi-modal transportation for e-commerce businesses, thereby driving industry outlook.

Freight Forwarding Mode of Transportation Segmentation

Freight Forwarding  Market Size, By Mode of Transportation, 2021 – 2032, (USD Billion)

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The ocean freight mode of transportation segment accounted for 25% of the freight forwarding market share in 2022, led by the transportation of bulky & voluminous goods. The capacity of ocean freight to efficiently accommodate substantial loads and larger volumes makes it a preferred choice for industries dealing with oversized commodities. Sectors including mining, construction, and manufacturing benefit from the cost-effectiveness & logistical convenience of ocean freight for the transportation of heavy machinery, raw materials, and other sizable cargo, thereby bolstering its prominence in the global supply chain.

Freight Forwarding Customer Type Segmentation

Freight Forwarding Market Share, By Customer Type, 2022

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The B2B customer type segment held over 55% of the freight forwarding market share in 2022. B2B customers exert their dominance in the market through their involvement in intricate supply chain networks. In B2B transactions, the goods often go through a complex journey involving multiple stages, i.e., from the sourcing of raw materials to manufacturing & distribution. Freight forwarders play a pivotal role in coordinating these multifaceted processes, which helps in ensuring the seamless movement of goods across various regions and modes of transportation. Their expertise in optimizing these convoluted supply chains solidifies the influence of B2B customers in the market.

Freight Forwarding Regional Analysis

U.S. Freight Forwarding Market Size, 2021 -2032, (USD Billion)

North America freight forwarding market with a major share of over 30% in 2022. The dynamic North American manufacturing and industrial sectors form the cornerstone of the region's economy. These industries demand a seamless flow of raw materials, components, and finished goods across vast geographic areas. Freight forwarding plays a pivotal role by offering efficient transportation solutions to connect production centers with distribution networks. The diverse range of products & industries, encompassed by manufacturing & industrial activities, fuels the constant need for reliable logistics, thereby making freight forwarding an indispensable driver of economic growth and competitiveness in the region.

Freight Forwarding Industry Leaders

Major companies operating in the freight forwarding market are Bollore Logistics, CEVA Logistics, DB Schenker, DHL Global Forwarding, DSV Global Transports and Logistics, Expeditors International, FedEx Corp., Kuehne + Nagel International AG, Nippon Express Co. Ltd., and United Parcel Service. These key companies adopt strategies, such as technology integration, global network expansion, specialized services, supply chain optimization, and customer-centric solutions, to stay competitive in the market.

Freight Forwarding Industry News:

  • In August 2023, OnBoard Logistics, a company headquartered in the U.S., collaborated with the logistics platform, Raft. By leveraging Raft's technology, OnBoard Logistics implemented a fully automated warehouse pre-check process. This innovative approach optimizes the receipt & processing of cargo prior to its physical arrival, mitigating potential errors and bolstering operational streamlining & cost savings.
  • In May 2023, Nippon Express, a Tokyo-based logistics services company, signed a deal to purchase Austrian logistics firm, Cargo-Partner for USD 1.5 billion. This move, a part of the company’s growth strategy, aligns with Nippon Express's ambition to evolve into a worldwide mega-freight forwarder.

This freight forwarding market research report includes in-depth coverage of the industry with estimates & forecast in terms of revenue (USD Billion) from 2018 to 2032, for the following segments:

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Market, By Mode of Transportation

  • Ocean Freight Forwarding
  • Air Freight Forwarding
  • Road Freight Forwarding
  • Rail Freight Forwarding

Market, By Customer Type

  • B2B
  • B2C

Market, By End-user

  • Manufacturing
  • Retail
  • Healthcare
  • Oil and Gas
  • Food and Beverage
  • Others

The above information has been provided for the following regions and countries:

  • North America
    • U.S.
    • Canada
  • Europe
    • UK
    • Germany
    • France
    • Italy
    • Spain
    • Russia
  • Asia Pacific
    • China
    • India
    • Japan
    • South Korea
    • ANZ 
  • Latin America
    • Brazil
    • Mexico
  • MEA
    • UAE
    • South Africa
    • Saudi Arabia


Authors: Preeti Wadhwani

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) :

The market size of freight forwarding reached USD 191.6 billion in 2022 and is set to witness 4% CAGR through 2023-2032, due to globalization and the expansive growth in international trade.

Ocean freight forwarding segment registered 25% of market share in 2022, impelled by rising application scope in the transportation of bulky & voluminous goods.

North America held 30% of the freight forwarding market share in 2022, due to the increasing advances in the manufacturing and industrial sectors in the region.

Some of the leading freight forwarding companies are Bollore Logistics, CEVA Logistics, DB Schenker, DHL Global Forwarding, DSV Global Transports and Logistics, Expeditors International, FedEx Corp., and Kuehne + Nagel International AG.

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Premium Report Details

  • Base Year: 2022
  • Companies covered: 15
  • Tables & Figures: 261
  • Countries covered: 18
  • Pages: 300
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