Understanding trends that shape the future of any industry can immediately catapult to becoming a respected figure in your commerce. Freight forwarding is one of the most competitive industries to work within, and by understanding the latest and future trends throughout freight and logistics, you can compete with some of the biggest multinational companies. Here is a list of some of the most important developments you should either be directly involved with or keeping an eye on, to help you maximise your business.

Rising Rates

The rising cost of air and ocean freight rates is a constant trend that will continue onward from 2017. For smaller, independent freight forwarders understanding the rising cost of air and ocean could be detrimental to customer satisfaction and overall time efficiency. Making sure you understand how these rising rates, compared to the time and cost efficiency of other distribution methods, will mean that, potentially you could offer a cheaper service, and advise that it is just as efficient as any other form of delivery.


The current use of cloud-based paperwork and regulatory work has transformed the industry. The amalgamation of the IoT and both immersive and virtual reality are changing the end user experience. Precision tracking through different distribution methods relayed back to a central hub which can predict delays could be a futuristic way to ensure that your customers. The plethora of e-commerce and automation platforms throughout the industry is a testament to the trend that is technology is having, and will continue to have, on the way we work.

Customer Expectations

What this does overall is change the customer experience. In years gone by if end-users had a complaint, the delay between a central hub, a driver and a customer is a too long and this could potentially lose repeat business for your company. Customers expect a lot more from freight forwarders and as the rest of 2018 unfolds, they will continue to expect you to push your customer relations skills, whilst simultaneously working on technology and all other aspects that make you stand out from the rest of the freight forwarders.


A trend throughout 2018 has been the rise in collaborations between freight forwarders. Independent freight forwarders have understood over the last few years that their strength most definitely lies within their numbers. By working with each other to transport from hub to hub and making the entire supply chain process as seamless and efficient as possible could result in an unprecedented spike in mergers throughout the industry. This could potentially see the birth of new multinationals in years to come, and more investment due to the strength of combination and collaboration.

Matt Dailly | Editor | FORWARDER Magazine