The 2014 global freight forwarding market recovered some of its 2013, loss but it still remains below 2012 levels. The market is in change and freight forwarders are working to adapt to these changes. Whether this has come in the form of M&A, organic growth, new services or operational changes, it has been a struggle. Challenges persist in the sea freight market. Excess capacity, the continued introduction of mega-ships and falling rates resulted in volume gains for many forwarders. However, for many forwarders, these volume gains proved difficult to translate in to profits. The air freight market made a strong finish at the end 2014, as some shippers shifted from sea freight to air freight, primarily because of congestion problems at ports, particularly the US West coast ports and in The Philippines.
Meanwhile, as forwarders dealt with challenges in the freight market, rising competitive threats from e-commerce could eventually make the traditional freight forwarder, as we know it, obsolete. These online marketplaces give shippers the ability to compare rates, book freight shipments, track progress in real-time and perform data analysis.