Freight Forwarding Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2021 - 2026)

The Freight Forwarding Market is segmented by Mode of Transport (Air, Sea), by Service (Freight Transport, Warehousing, Value-Added Services), and by Geography.

Market Snapshot

Study Period:

2016 - 2026

Base Year:


Fastest Growing Market:

Asia Pacific

Largest Market:

Asia Pacific


>4 %

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Market Overview

The global freight forwarding market is expected to grow steadily with a CAGR of more than 4% during the forecast period.

  • The growth in international trade volumes is a major driver for freight forwarding market. Moreover, the rise in trade agreements between countries is also contributing to growth of the market.
  • The growing demand for transport of perishables and life sciences/Healthcare sector is also expected to drive the growth of the market during the forecast period.
  • The global freight forwarding market witnessed contraction in 2019 for first time since the global financial crisis. The slowdown in global economy and global trade has affected the freight forwarding industry. According to industrial estimates, the situation is expected to continue through 2020.
  • In 2019, the air freight forwarding witnessed declines when compared to 2018 while the Ocean freight forwarding has registered lower growth. In 2020, with lockdown in many countries and major focus on the production of necessity products, the volumes of air and ocean freight has fallen further.
  • It is estimated that shippers are booking more than 10% of their volumes through online platforms.
  • With the number of Small and Medium sized enterprises (SMEs) increasing, the freight forwarding companies are looking to increase their business from SMEs. The online freight quote and booking platforms provide opportunity for SMEs to expand to international markets, as these platforms have large number of connections when compared to their traditional (brick-and-mortar) counterparts.
  • The freight forwarding business being non-asset based, the sector is facing high competition from other players in supply chain and technology based companies which are disrupting the freight forwarding market.

Scope of the Report

A complete background analysis of global freight forwarding market, market overview, market size estimation for key segments and emerging trends by segments, market dynamics and Covid-19 impact on the market worldwide are covered in the report.

By Mode of Transport
Air Freight Forwarding
Sea Freight Forwarding
By Service
Freight Transport
Value-added Services (Customs Clearance, Packaging, etc.)
By Geography
North America
United States
United Kingdom
Rest of Europe
South Korea
Rest of Asia-Pacific
South America
Rest of South America
Middle East & Africa
South Africa
United Arab Emirates
Saudi Arabia
Rest of Middle East & Africa

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Key Market Trends

Sea Freight Forwarding to experience high growth rate through the forecast period

With the rise in global merchandise trade, the global maritime trade has been growing steadily driving the sea freight forwarding market. International seaborne trade grew at a rate of 2.7% in 2018. Asia was by far the largest trading region. In 2018, 4.5 billion tons of goods were loaded, and 6.7 billion tons unloaded in Asian seaports. The other continents registered less than half of these amounts. The trade of containerized cargo is expected to grow at a faster rate with multimodal transport gaining popularity.

As the shipping liner companies are focusing on reducing the costs, they are looking to acquire or investing in a freight forwarding company. This increases the competition and also affects the established freight forwarding businesses to some extent. For example, the acquisition of a major freight forwarder CEVA logistics was completed in 2019 by the French shipping liner CMA CGM.

Freight Forwarding Market trend 1

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Asia-Pacific is anticipated to witness high growth through the forecast period

The global logistics industry is going through an uncertain period due to Covid-19. The Asia-Pacific market is one of the few regions that are still growing despite the pandemic. For the freight and logistics market, Asia-Pacific is the fastest-growing region globally. This is due to the increasing logistics in the ASEAN countries and the presence of major economies like China and India. Additionally, the high government support for logistics sector in the region is also a factor boosting the industry growth. China is the largest manufacturer in the region and the world, with increasing demand for pharmaceutical products and essentials, China reopened its factories way before other countries. China is the leading freight forwarding market globally.

Freight Forwarding market trend 2

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Competitive Landscape

The global freight forwarding market is made up of large number of players. However, the top 20 players dominate the market accounting for more than 50% of the total market. Leading players in the market include DHL Supply Chain & Global Forwarding, Kuehne + Nagel International AG, DB Schenker, DSV, Sinotrans and Expeditors International. As the freight forwarding market is growing steadily and there exists abundant opportunity, the players need to embrace technologies, become more digitized, and increase the scale and efficiency of their operations. Kuehne + Nagel is one of the early technology adopter in the market. Having a strong network spanning across the globe is important for the companies. As the industry is highly competitive and witnessing huge transformations, the companies need to develop specialized solutions to improve the customer experience.

Table of Contents


    1. 1.1 Study Assumptions and Market Definition

    2. 1.2 Scope of the Study




    1. 4.1 Current Market Scenario

    2. 4.2 Value Chain / Supply Chain Analysis

    3. 4.3 Government Regulations and Initiatives

    4. 4.4 Technological Trends and insights on E-Freight Forwarding Market

    5. 4.5 Insights on E-Commerce Industry in the Region (Domestic and Cross-Border)

    6. 4.6 Spotlight - Freight Transportation Costs/Freight Rates

    7. 4.7 Brief on Freight Transport Corridors

    8. 4.8 Impact of Covid - 19 on the Freight Forwarding Market


    1. 5.1 Market Drivers

    2. 5.2 Market Restraints/Challenges

    3. 5.3 Market Opportunities

    4. 5.4 Industry Attractiveness - Porter's Five Forces Analysis

      1. 5.4.1 Threat of New Entrants

      2. 5.4.2 Threat of Substitute Products

      3. 5.4.3 Bargaining Power of Buyers/Consumers

      4. 5.4.4 Bargaining Power of Suppliers

      5. 5.4.5 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry


    1. 6.1 By Mode of Transport

      1. 6.1.1 Air Freight Forwarding

      2. 6.1.2 Sea Freight Forwarding

    2. 6.2 By Service

      1. 6.2.1 Freight Transport

      2. 6.2.2 Warehousing

      3. 6.2.3 Value-added Services (Customs Clearance, Packaging, etc.)

    3. 6.3 By Geography

      1. 6.3.1 North America

        1. United States

        2. Canada

        3. Mexico

      2. 6.3.2 Europe

        1. Germany

        2. France

        3. United Kingdom

        4. Netherlands

        5. Italy

        6. Russia

        7. Belgium

        8. Rest of Europe

      3. 6.3.3 Asia-Pacific

        1. China

        2. Japan

        3. Australia

        4. India

        5. Singapore

        6. Malaysia

        7. Indonesia

        8. Vietnam

        9. South Korea

        10. Rest of Asia-Pacific

      4. 6.3.4 South America

        1. Brazil

        2. Chile

        3. Argentina

        4. Rest of South America

      5. 6.3.5 Middle East & Africa

        1. South Africa

        2. United Arab Emirates

        3. Saudi Arabia

        4. Qatar

        5. Rest of Middle East & Africa


    1. 7.1 Overview (Market Concentration, Major Players)

    2. 7.2 Company Profiles

      1. 7.2.1 DHL Supply Chain & Global Forwarding

      2. 7.2.2 Kuehne + Nagel International AG

      3. 7.2.3 DB Schenker

      4. 7.2.4 DSV

      5. 7.2.5 Sinotrans

      6. 7.2.6 Expeditors International

      7. 7.2.7 Nippon Express Co., Ltd.

      8. 7.2.8 CEVA Logistics

      9. 7.2.9 UPS Supply Chain Solutions

      10. 7.2.10 Kerry Logistics

      11. 7.2.11 Bollore Logistics

      12. 7.2.12 C.H.Robinson Worldwide Inc.

      13. 7.2.13 GEODIS

      14. 7.2.14 Yusen Logistics/NYK Logistics

      15. 7.2.15 Agility Logistics*

    3. *List Not Exhaustive

  9. 9. APPENDIX

    1. 9.1 Freight Volume Movement Statistics for Key Countries

**Subject to Availability

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Frequently Asked Questions

The Freight Forwarding Market market is studied from 2016 - 2026.

The Freight Forwarding Market is growing at a CAGR of >4% over the next 5 years.

Asia Pacific is growing at the highest CAGR over 2021- 2026.

Asia Pacific holds highest share in 2020.

  • Deutsche Post DHL Group (DHL Global Forwarding)
  • Kuehne + Nagel International AG
  • DB Schenker
  • Expeditors International
  • DSV Panalpina A/S

Are the major companies operating in Freight Forwarding Market.

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