Case Study

Ti Consulting: China freight forwarding survey helps tech company target sales


The Brief


The Client asked Transport Intelligence to undertake a primary research study in order to gain a quantified understanding of market needs for manufacturers/retailers, freight forwarders, carriers and other key participants in the sea freight export market in China.

The Client was keen to identify the needs of exporters using sea freight to move goods out of China, segmented by shippers and forwarders and then also by size of organisation. The objective was to gain intelligence in order that it could better focus the sales effort of its market-leading technology products as well as identify new services that it could offer via its online platform.

In particular the Client wished to identify:

  • Main customer segments and estimated associated export volumes within a defined set of supply chain business processes
  • Use of manual vs electronic channels for key interaction points
  • Pain points associated with these interactions.
  • The Client also required a map of the competitive landscape and estimates of market share of the leading players in each competitive segment.

Ti's Approach and Methodology


Ti allocated a senior consulting team to the project combining many years of operational freight forwarding experience with expertise in survey design and management. Ti’s own resources were augmented by its external consulting network and long established partners in the region.

Ti undertook an electronic survey (translated into Mandarin) in order to provide quantitative data whilst at the same time undertaking interviews with both the Client’s staff in China and selected customers which provided qualitative input. The results were used to help populate Ti’s market sizing models, which it developed for the project.

The dual approach had the benefit of keeping the costs and complexity to a minimum whilst, at the same time, ensuring completed sample sizes large enough for the Client to place a high level of confidence in the findings. Industries and logistics markets covered included 3PLs, freight forwarders, CPG/FMCG companies, retailers, automotive, pharma/healthcare, industrial, fashion/textiles,

high-tech, and other manufacturers and in total over 200 executives took part in the programme.

Ti collated the survey results which were then analysed by its senior consulting team, assessing the differing levels of interaction between the vested parties and segments of the market when booking sea freight exports from China.


The Results


The resulting review of the market highlighted the key sectors which the Client needed to focus on as part of a targeted sales and marketing strategy. It indicated the types of customers which were most likely to be attracted

to the Client’s technology products and highlighted what the Client needed to do in order to develop its presence in the market.


Contact Joel Ray, Ti’s Head of Consulting for more information on [email protected] or call +44 (0)1666 51990