The freight forwarding market has always been a dynamic one, and now, as freight rates gradually subsidize and normalize to pre-pandemic levels, forwarders are evaluating multiple other functions that they can fulfill along the logistics supply chain.
Collaborating with over 900 forwarding partners from diverse industries, to conduct research and publish its ‘Freight Forwarder Survey Health Improvement Report 2023’ for the freight forwarding market, is ECU360, the cutting-edge digital logistics platform of global LCL consolidation leader ECU Worldwide.
Freight forwarders are a vital element of the global shipping and logistics ecosystem and play an important role in facilitating trade and commerce.
Identifying their needs, challenges, and growth patterns and trends is an ideal way to collaborate and enhance efficiencies, so shippers can experience the convenience of seamless, end-to-end global cargo movements.
Consequently, global logistics major ECU Worldwide delves into freight forwarders’ challenges in day-to-day operations, growth and decline of forwarding businesses, future of booking services, solutions and services that freight forwarders would like to offer, and more in its research report.
Key insights and pointers
With e-commerce growing rapidly, more than 50% of the forwarding businesses serve either the trading or manufacturing industries, as per responses received. Moreover, LCL, FCL, and air freight emerged as the top three most valuable services for freight forwarders.
Among forwarders who have reported an increase in business growth, 29% have stated ‘New customers’ as a key reason for growth, as compared to 27% in the previous year. 30% of respondents report a combination of ‘New Customers’ and ‘Price increase’ as the key reason for growth, as compared to 23% in the previous year.
By 2023, the use of apps and portals for booking freight is expected to increase by 70% compared to the current 35%.
In terms of solutions being offered, freight forwarders of different categories and sizes of business lay emphasis on digital quotes, booking, and cargo tracking. Additionally, trade finance is another valuable service that forwarders are inclined to offer.
An overview of all the responses to the survey certainly points in the direction that the future of booking is digital. While apps and digital portals are preferred by most forwarders, emails have remained to be the main booking channel for smaller businesses, surpassing apps. When it comes to booking via chat, large freight forwarders seem less keen on it as compared to small and medium-sized ones.
Building capabilities as a powerful partner
ECU Worldwide’s excellence in LCL consolidation, neutral FCL, and air freight, with operations in 180 countries, services across more than 2400 direct trade lanes, and door-to-door deliveries in over 50 markets is perfectly aligned with the demands of the freight forwarding market.
Additionally its cutting-edge digital logistics platform, ECU360, provides a wide range of features that include instant quotes, quick bookings, access to advance sailing schedules, reports and analytics, all in just a few clicks.
Another important reason why ECU Worldwide is a preferred choice of its forwarding customers, is the vast network, exceptional local expertise, and synergies between origin and destination offices, which help create a remarkable competitive advantage.
With customer centricity imbibed in its DNA, ECU Worldwide continues to reiterate its position as a reliable partner for freight forwarders.