Freight Forwarding Services Industry Profile

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Excerpt from Freight Forwarding Services Industry Profile

Companies in this industry provide freight forwarding and customs brokerage services. Major companies include CH Robinson Worldwide, Expeditors International of Washington, and UPS Supply Chain Solutions (all based in the US), along with CEVA Logistics (France); DB Schenker and DHL Supply Chain (Germany); Kuehne+Nagel (Switzerland); Nippon Express (Japan); and Sinotrans (China).

China, Singapore, and South Korea are home to the world's busiest container shipping ports, as well as some of the busiest airports based on cargo volume, according to Hemisphere Freight Services (HFS). France, Germany, Dubai, Japan, the Netherlands, and the UK also host major international cargo hubs, according to Airports Council International (ACI). Freight forwarders are targeting the Asia/Pacific region for growth, according to PR Newswire.

The US freight forwarding services industry includes about 22,000 establishments (single-location companies and units of multi-location companies) with combined annual revenue of about $65 billion.


Demand is driven by domestic manufacturing output and levels of international trade. The profitability of individual companies depends on efficient operations, extensive relationships in shipper and carrier networks, and industry expertise. Large companies have advantages in account relationships and access to advanced logistics technologies. Small operations can compete effectively by serving a local market, specializing in cargo transfer with specific countries, and facilitating the transport of unusual goods. The US industry is fragmented: the top 50 companies account for about a third of revenue.

Competitive Advantages:

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