The transportation industry has continued to thrive over the previous six months, but there are several trends that freight forwarders and organisations that regularly transport freight need to be aware of this year.

With political and environmental factors playing a key role in the freight world, it’s important to monitor any changes that may have an impact on operations. That’s why this month we wanted to explore some of those trends.

Companies will compete on customer experience

As with any sector, the experience that a customer receives through a company can have a great impact on whether a relationship continues in the future. You might not think it, but this still applies to the freight industry.

With enhanced technologies, easier-to-navigate websites and applications, freight forwarders will be able to communicate and build relationships with their customers, whilst ensuring that their exact requirements are met throughout the process.

Focusing on enhancing customer experience not only helps in increasing brand reach and awareness, it also helps companies compete against their competitors. Everyone needs to invest time in revitalising customer experience, as a happy customer is a repeat customer.

There will be a digital transformation

Throughout the rest of the year, freight forwarders will have great opportunities to embrace new digital equipment. As explained by Supply Chain Brief, dropping profit margins and the demand for scalable technologies will mean more carriers are turning to digital channels to sell products directly to shippers.

At the same time, there will be a rise in online interactions between freight forwarding companies and their customers, with more back-end office procedures becoming automated. These will help to reduce any unforeseen delays, as well as the associated costs that come with them.

There will be a rise in data-driven logistics

Alongside the aforementioned digital transformation, we believe that there will be a rise in the demand for data-driven logistics. “Big Data” algorithms and greatly enhanced data-visualisation could give freight forwarders a whole new way of approaching supply chains.

Manufacturers need to ensure that they are utilising this data so that they can predict what supplies are required before they are actually needed. Freight forwarders will also be able to utilise any data that has been collected to inform their customers of any delays that may occur, meaning that they can take a proactive approach to freight forwarding, rather than a reactive one.

Air freight volumes will continue to increase

This is largely because the demand for air freight space has slowly been increasing over the last few years, and may grow beyond its natural capacity in the coming years.

The retail supply chain has undergone a huge transformation, as retailers are now looking to leverage their physical stores so that they can compete with the e-commerce retail giants such as Amazon.

Companies who sell popular items such as clothes and electronics will look to become more accessible to international customers, meaning that the demand for a reliable freight forwarding company will increase too.

Expect the unexpected

When it comes to international freight, it’s important that manufacturers, suppliers and freight forwarders come to expect the unexpected, especially when it comes to the adverse weather conditions around the world.

It can be hard to foresee a hurricane or a flood, but we already know that contingency planning and exception management have never been more important for freight forwarders and other supply chain professionals.


So there we have it, some of the trends that we predict will have an impact on their freight industry this year. What do you think? Are there any that you think that we’ve missed? We’re always interested in hearing from our readers; so make sure that you let us know in the comments below.

If you’re looking to import or export, then why not take a look at the range of services that we’re able to offer. Alternatively, you can get in touch with a member of our team today to discuss your own exact requirements.