Next-Generation Approaches To Drive Freight Forwarding Profits

In 2016, the global freight forwarding market grew .5% over the previous year to a rate of 2.7%. This Industry expansion reflected adjusted growth that was normalized to mitigate variables like changing fuel prices and exchange rates. Indicative of a mature Industry, this growth was directly tied to such market factors as:

  • expansion in overseas shipping via air and sea;
  • lower year-over-year profit margins; and
  • prices kept relatively low due to excess capacity and relatively low fuel prices.

Yet international cargo shipping is expected to still increase to a growth rate of 4.1% over the next 4 years [1]. This not only presents an opportunity to pursue long term growth, but also a prospect to increase market share and to expand profit margins for freight forwarding companies.

The question is, “What does it take to develop a truly sustainable source of competitive advantage” in the this industry?" and "What are the next-generation solutions that will make it happen?"

In answer, many companies will highlight that the solutions come from leveraging technology for optimization that drives your business’s operating and sales pipeline. While there are certainly some strategies to make your business more efficient (and therefore profitable) that are pretty straight forward and simple, there are others (such as instant rate quoting tool/calculator) that present a true game changing opportunity.

As has been historically shown, the key factors that distinguish a successful freight forwarder from one that is not successful, is the ability to drive efficiency into the booking/shipping process such that historically “high touch, high volume” clientele get converted to ones that are “low touch, high volume.” The ability to do this successfully is what can propel a solid freight forwarding business into a spectacular one. The following is a list of forthcoming blog posts that are meant to show just this:

  • Accelerated Exporting To Increase Market Share
  • How To Lock International Container Shipping Rates Fast!
  • The “Ins” And “Outs” Of A Spectacular Freight Forwarding Sales Pipeline… And Why You Need It!
  • How To “Top-Out Your Bottom-Line” As A Freight Forwarder
  • Fast Rates = More Customers And Better Service!
  • How Good Fright Forwarding Service Reduces You Customer Acquisition Cost
  • How To Integrate Freight Forwarding Operations Into Your Freight Forwarding Sales Staff
  • What Is The Deal With All These International Shipping “Fees” And Are They Really Needed?

So why should anyone care about these aforementioned topics? Within the industry, there is a culture in place that requires, as an inherent part of the entry cost to become a freight forwarder and conduct overseas shipping, that businesses engage via established competitive maxims. This culture sub-optimizes the manner in which freight forwarders and NVOCCs identify, compete, and obtain business by requiring competition to occur on a "head-to-head" basis. What if this culture could be changed?

After nearly two decades working in the freight forwarding and logistics business, we realize that a business model that seeks to not just be another "competitor" in the crowd, but to instead enable door to door cargo shipments via more efficient exporting solutions for others, can enable cultural change and do so in a manner that is aligned with (versus against) existing forwarders and NVOCCs today. Whether you are a seasoned pro or someone that is looking to make a new splash in the industry, the tools and insights exist to provide a source of true competitive advantage for your business. We invite you to follow our XPort blog and to be a part of what will be an ongoing conversation to establish next-generation approaches that, we believe, can help your company take the next step in driving growth in your profit margins!

[1] Waters, Will - Transportation Intelligence Inc 2017 Global Freight Forwarding Report (


The Xport Guide to Next-Generation International Shipping

Innovation Begins With Inspiration!

The XPort blog brings you next-generation ideas to build a lasting source of competitive advantage for your company.  Dedicated to unraveling the many secrets of the International Shipping Industry, this blog will help readers:

  • export goods with ease
  • optimize core business services
  • build strategies for generating revenue
  • stay synch'ed with industry thought leaders

Recent Posts