Logistics Trends & Insights LLC, an Atlanta, Georgia-based consultancy, is conducting its third “Evolving Freight Forwarding Survey, and invites LM readers to participate.
“Unprecedented change continues in the freight forwarding market,” observes the consultancy’s president, Cathy Roberson. “New startups, new competitive threats, new technology offerings and new services are all occurring within the market. How are the traditional forwarders such as DHL, Kuehne + Nagel and Panalpina addressing these changes?”
For starters, she adds, many forwarders are investing in technology to compete against a host of online freight marketplaces that have popped up over the past few years. In addition, many forwarders have embraced supply chain digitalization and have either built out their own solutions, partnered with technology providers, formed startup accelerator programs or acquired assets to further digitization efforts.
“In our 2017 survey, 92% of respondents noted that digitization brings value to forwarders,” says Roberson
This leads her to wonder if it is the technology itself leading the charge or are shippers demanding market changes? Regardless, forwarders are faced with the possibility of consolidation and the need to differentiate from the thousands of forwarders available globally. The 2017 survey found that while 45% of respondents indicated that technology investment was how forwarders would differentiate, niche services was a close behind at 42%.
“Lastly, has the role of the freight forwarder changed? Perhaps even more important, with all the available technology such as blockchain and AI are forwarders still relevant? We’ve asked both questions for the past 2 years and the results have indicated that the forwarders’ role is evolving and while more than half the respondents indicated that forwarders are still relevant the results from 2017 showed a slight decline in noting that they were still relevant versus the 2016 results,” notes Roberson.
This year Logistics Trends & Insights LLC will partner with G2 Capital Advisors in this endeavor. G2 is an integrated multi-product, industry-focused investment bank focused on crafting bespoke operational and financial advisory solutions for corporate and investor clients.
LM readers taking the survey will receive a copy of the results for participating.