Navigating the Changing Landscape: A Market Update for Freight Forwarders

Daniel Herbert

July 25, 2023 • 3 minutes read

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The freight forwarding industry is experiencing significant shifts and uncertainties, driven by changing market dynamics, carrier investments, and global economic conditions. This market update will explore the latest developments and trends shaping the industry landscape. As a leading technology provider, GoFreight is committed to equipping our customers with the tools and insights they need to thrive in this evolving environment.

Market Share Growth and Technology Advancements

Freight forwarders are gaining a larger market share, reaching 53.9% in May, as intermediaries leverage technology to meet the demands of modern supply chains. Importers are increasingly valuing high service levels over whether providers own assets. Furthermore, carriers like Maersk and CMA/CGM are investing in freight forwarders, reinforcing their significance in the industry. The recent acquisition of BDP by the Port of Singapore also highlights the evolving landscape.

Source: Journal of Commerce 

Ocean Carrier Trends

Ocean carriers are reducing blank sailings and deploying larger vessels, resulting in the lowest level of canceled sailings since November. Despite this, spot rates have not seen substantial support as increased capacity balances the market. However, the arrival of more ships at ports indicates the start of seasonal imports, which may impact spot rates. This dynamic pressures small to midsize shippers to fulfill volume commitments during contract negotiations.

Source: Journal of Commerce 

Uncertainty and Growth Outlook

Recent indications are that the peak season is returning to a normal growth cycle all be it on smaller volumes. Load volumes in May were 8% higher than pre-pandemic levels. While market volumes have increased in recent months, uncertainties persist due to varying economic conditions across different sectors. Labor disputes on the U.S. West Coast have subsided, leading to a shift of cargo back to the Western Ports. Additionally, the impact of past monetary policy tightening is becoming evident as the global economy slows down. However, executives and analysts project a rebound in the second half of 2023, particularly during the peak season for containerized U.S. import volumes.

Global Economic Landscape

The economic outlook varies across regions. In the United States, consumer demand has remained resilient despite high inflation and borrowing costs, supported by robust labor markets and accumulated savings from the pandemic. In Europe, mild growth acceleration is expected in the services sector, but challenges remain due to high inflation, tightening credit conditions, and external uncertainties. In China, a rebound in services sector activity has been followed by a slight contraction in manufacturing, suggesting a more tempered pace of recovery.

Navigating Uncertainty with Technology

Amidst market uncertainties, technology plays a vital role in empowering freight forwarders. GoFreight’s advanced technology solutions enable our customers to compete directly with carriers and other forwarders, streamlining their operations, increasing efficiency, and capturing a growing market share. With our comprehensive platform, freight forwarders can simplify their workflows, enhance customer service, and succeed tremendously in this dynamic industry.


As the freight forwarding industry undergoes significant transformations, keeping a pulse on market trends and leveraging technology will be critical for success. While uncertainties persist, the outlook for a rebound and peak season remains strong. By partnering with GoFreight and embracing innovative solutions, freight forwarders can position themselves for growth, understand their margins and customer performance, and navigate the challenges of an ever-evolving global economy. Together, we can seize opportunities and drive success in the dynamic world of freight forwarding.

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