United States Digital Freight Forwarding Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2022 - 2027)

The United States Digital Freight Forwarding Market is segmented by Mode of Transportation (Ocean, Air, and Land) and Firm Type (SMEs and Large Enterprises and Governments). The report offers market size and forecast for the US digital freight forwarding market in value (USD billion).

Market Snapshot

United States Digital Freight Forwarding Market Size
Study Period: 2017- 2026
Base Year: 2021
CAGR: 21.67 %
United States Digital Freight Forwarding Market Key Players

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Market Overview

The US digital freight forwarding market is expected to register a CAGR of 21.67% during the forecasted period.

The freight shipping sector in the United States, initially crippled by COVID-19, is emerging with a new purpose and confidence that digitization could be the legacy of the pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic impacted marine shipping and air freight services in the country in early 2020, resulting in canceled sailings and flights, port delays, and container shortages. These interruptions were particularly severe for shipments from Northeast Asia to the United States. The interruptions exacerbated volatility in maritime and air freight prices across regions and created considerable delays in the delivery of US merchandise imports when combined with COVID-19-related shifts in demand. The consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on merchandise imports and the disruptions in maritime commerce can be separated into two categories. In the first half of 2020, US maritime container imports decreased by 7.0% in volume compared to the same period in 2019. However, container imports increased significantly in the second half of 2020. Containerized imports increased by 9.5% by volume in the second half of 2020 and 16.4% Year-over-Year in the fourth quarter, compared to the same time in 2019.

Digitization is continuing to be one of the key drivers supporting the growth of the American economy. Companies like Convoy, Uber Freight, and uShip are coming up with new platforms to fill in the gaps in the logistics industry. With digital freight forwarding, the manual process will be reduced. All the quotations for freight forwarding will be available on one platform without the hassle of hours of conversation and paper trails. The major benefits of digital freight forwarding include instant quotes, transparent pricing, comparison of rates and carriers, tracking, easy documentation, and others. The logistics industry is developing into a paperless digitized industry supporting the growth of the market.

Despite the difficulties at first, ocean and air freight carriers have been able to react quickly. They also made more money due to the volatility and quick changing of asset plans. By mid-April 2020, there were signs of a recovery, and container ship movements were increasing, with Asia leading the way. Demand for shipments from China was heading up, and market data essentially pointed to an upturn in the sector.

Many companies are now embracing digital freight services. For example, Uber Freight's owner-operator activation nearly doubled in the six months leading up to April 2021, and new authority carriers increased by more than 300% year over year by May 2021. In the first quarter of 2021, the company closely monitored this driver supply shift as well as other macro developments affecting the industry, such as American labor trends and supply-chain bottlenecks.

Scope of the Report

Digital freight forwarder uses digital tools that help in smooth communication flow and get status updates regarding any shipment in a short timeframe. Digital freight forwarder employs a completely transparent system that provides a comparison of various shippers to offer the best deal to the customers. It aims to reduce paperwork by generating, uploading, and sharing all documents on the web platform, providing easy access to all stakeholders. The US digital freight forwarding market is segmented by mode of transportation (ocean, air, and land) and firm type (SMEs and large enterprises and governments). The report offers market size and forecast for the US digital freight forwarding market in value (USD billion).

By Mode of Transportation
By Firm Type
Large Enterprises and Governments

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Key Market Trends

The Booming E-commerce Industry Driving Digital Freight Forwarding Market in the United States

In the first half of 2021, US retail e-commerce sales amounted to almost USD 438 billion. Sales revenue from April to June of 2021 exceeded USD 222 billion, up from some USD 215 billion in the first quarter. Overall, retail e-commerce sales outdid the quarterly sales records registered in 2020.

During the second quarter of 2020, as COVID-19 spread globally, the quarterly e-commerce revenue in the United States reached USD 200 billion for the first time in history. In 2021, online retail sales accounted for 10% of total retail in the country. Clothing and accessories, including footwear, are one of the largest B2C e-commerce merchandise categories.

Online customers expect order accuracy, same-day or same-hour delivery, and free returns. E-commerce companies are exploring ways to reduce order delivery times and operational costs. The e-commerce industry drives the demand for transparency, affordability, convenience, speed in delivery, and compelling frictionless returns.

To cater to this need, it is essential to create new business models and solutions by digitalizing the logistics operations and automating material handling systems, warehouse management systems, and distribution management systems. This has ensured faster and more varied fulfillment services, especially in terms of last-mile delivery options and seamless returns processes.

United States Digital Freight Forwarding Market Trends

The Ocean Segment of the Freight Forwarding Driving the Market

There is a need for ocean freight-related ingenuity. Logistics tech companies are beginning to fill the space. As the world expects goods to be delivered as quickly as Uber and Amazon can fulfill, it is expected to see a shift toward e-commerce companies becoming 3PLs, and possibly 3PLs becoming e-commerce companies.

Retailers and brands are no longer tracking their products after import once it arrives in the United States. The Amazon Effect and the warehouse pull-through it creates put more emphasis on overall cycle times, and more sellers are taking orders of inventory as soon as it ships at the port of origin. This makes ocean containers the warehouses of today and tomorrow, bringing ocean freight visibility to the forefront of supply chain professionals’ and consumers’ minds.

In June 2021, Hapag-Lloyd and Singapore-based Ocean Network Express (ONE) Pte Ltd announced they had completed integration onto the TradeLens platform, helping ensure a more timely and consistent view of logistics data for their containerized freight around the world. TradeLens is a neutral, third-party platform launched by IBM and AP Moller - Maersk to help modernize the world’s supply chain ecosystems and is run on IBM Cloud and IBM Blockchain.

United States Digital Freight Forwarding Market Analysis

Competitive Landscape

The US digital freight forwarding market is competitive and fragmented with the presence of many players. Digital freight forwarders (DFFs) use a digital platform to offer a broader range of logistics services than marketplaces and connectivity providers. DFFs build their core value proposition around a seamless user experience of shipping goods from one point to another while aggregating information on one platform with a single user interface.

Recent Developments

June 2021: Convoy, the country's most efficient digital freight network, and Flexport, the global logistics platform, announced a long-term strategic relationship to deliver end-to-end shipment automation over land, sea, and air.

Flexport's international client base and Convoy's North American carrier network combined to provide customers with seamless logistics services, while expanding both companies' business capabilities through a new shared data exchange that seamlessly integrates shipments across both platforms.

June 2021: American Airlines announced a partnership with Cargo.one, a platform for scheduling and marketing air freight capacity. European freight forwarders will have access to real-time cargo capacity from the United States and will be able to book with immediate confirmation.

The company's partnership with Cargo.one is a strategic move to expand the cargo capacity available in the industry. With American Airlines Cargo as a launch partner, the company is ushering in a new era of customer-centric air cargo sales in North America, demonstrating the company’s desire to become the go-to platform for freight forwarders in the United States and abroad. The Cargo.one group is dedicated to digitizing the air freight industry.

Table of Contents


    1. 1.1 Study Assumptions

    2. 1.2 Scope of the Study


    1. 2.1 Analysis Methodology

    2. 2.2 Research Phases



    1. 4.1 Current Market Scenario

    2. 4.2 Value Chain/Supply Chain Analysis

    3. 4.3 Investment Scenarios

    4. 4.4 Government Regulations and Initiatives

    5. 4.5 Technology Development in Online Freight Forwarding and Digital Platforms

    6. 4.6 Overview on E-commerce Logistics and Freight Forwarding in the United States

    7. 4.7 Value Propositions of E-platforms Vs Competitors

    8. 4.8 Impact of COVID-19 on the Market


    1. 5.1 Drivers

    2. 5.2 Restraints

    3. 5.3 Opportunities

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

      1. 5.4.1 Bargaining Power of Suppliers

      2. 5.4.2 Bargaining Power of Consumers

      3. 5.4.3 Threat of New Entrants

      4. 5.4.4 Threat of Substitutes

      5. 5.4.5 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry

  6. 6. MARKET SEGMENTATION (Market Size By Value)

    1. 6.1 By Mode of Transportation

      1. 6.1.1 Ocean

      2. 6.1.2 Air

      3. 6.1.3 Land

    2. 6.2 By Firm Type

      1. 6.2.1 SMEs

      2. 6.2.2 Large Enterprises and Governments


    1. 7.1 Market Concentration Overview

    2. 7.2 Company Profiles

      1. 7.2.1 Flexport

      2. 7.2.2 Twill

      3. 7.2.3 Forto

      4. 7.2.4 Expeditors International

      5. 7.2.5 InstaFreight

      6. 7.2.6 Transporteca

      7. 7.2.7 Kontainers

      8. 7.2.8 Kuehne + Nagel International (KN Freight Net)

      9. 7.2.9 Turvo

      10. 7.2.10 iContainers

      11. 7.2.11 DHL Group

      12. 7.2.12 NYSHEX

      13. 7.2.13 Agility Logistics Pvt. Ltd

      14. 7.2.14 Convoy

      15. 7.2.15 Uber Freight

      16. 7.2.16 uShip*

    3. *List Not Exhaustive


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Frequently Asked Questions

The United States Digital Freight Forwarding Market market is studied from 2017 - 2026.

The United States Digital Freight Forwarding Market is growing at a CAGR of 21.67% over the next 5 years.

Flexport, Uber Freight, DHL Group, Agility Logistics Pvt. Ltd , Kuehne + Nagel International are the major companies operating in United States Digital Freight Forwarding Market.

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