Market Trends of Freight Forwarding Industry
Growth in Cross-Border and Sea Trade Driving the Market
As multiple shocks weigh on the global economy, global trade is expected to lose momentum in the second half of 2022 and remain subdued in 2023. WTO economists now forecast a 3.5% growth in global merchandise trade volumes in 2022, up from 3.0% in April 2022. However, they predict a 1.0% increase in 2023, a significant decrease from the previous estimate of 3.4%. Import demand is expected to soften as growth in major economies slows for a variety of reasons. High energy prices caused by the Russia-Ukraine conflict will reduce household spending and raise manufacturing costs in Europe. Monetary policy tightening in the United States will have an impact on interest-sensitive spending in areas such as housing, automobiles, and fixed investment.
Canada's merchandise imports increased by 3.9% in February 2022, following a 7.5% decline in January 2022. Meanwhile, exports increased by 2.8% in February 2022, owing primarily to increased exports of energy products. As a result, Canada's global merchandise trade surplus fell from USD 3.1 billion in January to USD 2.7 billion in February. Imports of basic and industrial chemicals, plastics, and rubber products increased 5.6% in February, owing in part to record-high imports of fertilizers, pesticides, and other chemical products (+18.4%). A slew of recent events has had an impact on this industry, including lower Chinese output, new Russian fertilizer export quotas, and the Ukraine conflict. These occurrences raise concerns about the availability and cost of these products, resulting in a typical movement for Canadian fertilizer imports.
For those working in the container shipping industry, 2022 was a profitable year. The end of the pandemic is expected to make the shipping scenario more stable than it has been in the previous two years. The volume of international container exports increased by around 2-3% in 2022. This is due not only to last year's backlogs but also to the maritime shipping sector's slow recovery. Furthermore, port congestion is expected to normalise in the coming months around the world. However, this was heavily dependent on the pandemic, as another COVID-19 outbreak could worsen the situation.
Increasing Air Freight to Reduce Time Propelling the Market Growth
The air freight industry is currently dealing with several issues, including grounded planes, route reductions, and a drop in demand. Some multinational air freight companies are reporting a drop in demand compared to the pandemic period. The peak season for e-commerce has already begun, with less than two months until the start of the holiday season. However, despite the time of year, the air freight sector is experiencing a drop in consumer demand, as opposed to the previous two years' burgeoning demand for goods. Simply put, air freight companies anticipate a subdued fourth quarter of 2022 due to several factors.
Customer needs are fueling a growing trend toward omnichannel techniques. Airlines are recognising the need to expand their operations beyond traditional airport-to-airport routes, and airlines and other stakeholders are already recognizing the benefits of providing end-to-end assistance. As this trend resumes, agreements between airlines and shippers are likely to prosper. Air shipment will most likely adopt an omnichannel strategy in the future, making it easier to compete for limited cargo capacity and reasonable pricing. In addition to the opportunities for air cargo, there are additional challenges, with the significant concession feigning recruitment crises for the business on both freight and passenger positions, as it is for various sectors.