2011 Q4Q Winners: FREIGHT FORWARDERS
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Reining supreme in a volatile market
While international cargo levels certainly improved over the course of 2010, our current reporting finds that the global trading system still seems to be experiencing a high level of volatility region by region.
Over the past 12 months, the world’s freight forwarders witnessed improved business throughout Europe and the U.S., as well as a mini-air-cargo boom across most of the Asia-Pacific region. And, as we roll through the current year, analyst forecasts call for specific areas of improvement that may be reflected in an uneven performance of the overall forwarding industry at the end of 2011.
According to John Manners-Bell, CEO of London-based analyst firm Transport Intelligence (Ti), the recent trends point to improved exports out of the U.S. and Europe, especially Germany, over the next six to 12 months. However, he adds that the Asia-Pacific markets are in for a bit of lull compared to the quick pace the region was on in terms of freight movement in early 2010 when many multinationals were busy restocking or re-locating depleted inventory.
However, Manners-Bell tells Executive Editor Patrick Burnson that he believes that the world’s forwarders are going to start seeing a return to Services pulls in with the top score in “normality” over the coming years with more traditional growth patterns as global markets eventually stabilize. In fact, Burnson digs into Ti’s complete Global Freight Forwarding 2011 report in the September issue of LM.
And while market volatility may still be with us for now, we can report with some assurance that the nine forwarders listed below were able to offer shippers world-class service despite myriad operating challenges.
Leading the category this year is Lynden Air Freight with a 46.54 overall weighted average. While Lynden posted the top score in On-time Performance (11.84), we find that the other top attribute scores were spread all over the board. Kintetsu World Express posted the top mark in Value (10.50); shippers say UPS SonicAir has some of the best IT (8.46); Yusen Logistics lead the way in Customer Service (9.71); while Pilot Freight Services pulls in with the top score in Equipment & Operations (7.98).
2011 Quest for Quality Winners Categories
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