News and analysis of freight forwarding, NVOCCs, third-party logistics, and shipper strategies

The latest Forwarding News & Analysis

Dynamics behind Flexport’s leadership change signal digital forwarding’s natural endpoint

Eric Johnson, Senior Technology Editor | Sep 19, 2023, 4:24 PM EDT

Much criticism has been leveled at the digital forwarding model, but steep declines in topline revenue during a year of weak demand are a sign that digital forwarders have had trouble differentiating themselves from the pack.
ForwardingLogistics technology

Estes expands international forwarding, raises bid for Yellow terminals

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor | Sep 14, 2023, 5:55 PM EDT

Estes Forwarding Worldwide, a subsidiary of the LTL trucking provider, is buying Superior Brokerage Services, a step that increases Estes’ ability to offer end-to-end logistics services as other providers look to do the same.

Logistics software helping blur lines between forwarder, shipper processes: WiseTech CEO

Eric Johnson, Senior Technology Editor | Sep 14, 2023, 1:00 PM EDT

Richard White said in an interview with the Journal of Commerce the logistics industry is stuck in a pattern of tackling small problems instead of viewing international trade as a large, connected system.
Logistics technologyForwardingAir cargo forwardingSupply Chain

Forwarders now liable for export control violations as US tightens shipping security

Mark Szakonyi, Executive Editor | Sep 14, 2023, 10:49 AM EDT

Washington is urging NVOs and forwarders to “know their customer,” a steep challenge for co-loaders who bundle multiple shipments for multiple customers into a single container, writes Journal of Commerce Executive Editor Mark Szakonyi.
Transport, trade and regulationContainer shippingContainer linesForwarding

‘Golden Week’ surge turns to bust as trans-Pacific rates fall, blank sailings rise

Michael Angell, Associate Editor | Sep 14, 2023, 8:00 AM EDT

The gains in spot rates for ocean freight are eroding again as US importers see little need to book more space ahead of the holiday shopping season.
Trans-PacificContainer shippingContainer linesForwarding

Flexport’s bumpy evolution shows, ultimately, people and relationships matter

Peter Tirschwell | Sep 13, 2023, 9:34 AM EDT

As many have observed in disparaging the notion of a “digital” forwarder, of which Flexport was the prototype, forwarding at its core is a business of people solving real-world problems for which there is not — and probably never will be — a technology solution, writes Peter Tirschwell.
ForwardingTrans-PacificLogistics technology

Rapid rail transit via sanctions-hit Russia has limited appeal for European shippers

Greg Knowler, Senior Editor Europe | Sep 12, 2023, 10:57 AM EDT

Sanctions imposed on Moscow following its invasion of Ukraine continue to limit the attractiveness of transport times as low as 12 days offered by forwarders on the China-North Europe rail network.
RailForwardingInternational rail

Flexport lost touch with customers under brief Clark reign: Petersen

Eric Johnson, Senior Technology Editor | Sep 12, 2023, 6:00 AM EDT

Flexport founder and CEO Ryan Petersen refused to pin the blame for the company’s abrupt change in leadership on waning freight demand, saying the forwarder “has been through worse macro environments.”
ForwardingSupply Chain

Clark departs Flexport amid differences with founder over strategic shift

Eric Johnson, Senior Technology Editor | Sep 6, 2023, 5:00 PM EDT

A difference of opinion over Flexport’s strategic shift toward fulfillment aimed at small businesses has prompted CEO Dave Clark to depart the company only a year after he came aboard.
ForwardingContainer shippingAir CargoAir cargo forwardingSupply ChainLogistics technology

Market interest ‘should be very high’ in DB Schenker sale: CEO

Greg Knowler, Senior Editor Europe | Sep 6, 2023, 9:24 AM EDT

The German-based forwarder remains the largest and most attractive takeover target in a cash-rich industry where the main players are all looking for opportunities to consolidate.
MaritimeForwardingTruckingInternational railAir CargoAir cargo forwardingSupply Chain

OOCL Logistics joins growing group intrigued by trade finance potential

Eric Johnson, Senior Technology Editor | Sep 5, 2023, 1:56 PM EDT

Development of trade finance tools for small and medium-sized shippers continues to grow, evidenced by OOCL Logistics launching a trade finance platform with fintech provider Stenn.
Logistics technologyContainer linesForwardingSupply Chain

NVOs chase market share or margin in demand downslope

Eric Johnson, Senior Technology Editor | Aug 28, 2023, 3:44 PM EDT

Supply overcapacity coupled with mediocre freight demand has the top 25 trans-Pacific non-vessel-operating common carriers deciding whether to chase lower margin business or suffer volume losses.
Container shippingMaritimeForwardingTrans-Pacific

CEVA expands India footprint with contract logistics takeover

Greg Knowler, Senior Editor Europe | Aug 21, 2023, 9:57 AM EDT

The CMA CGM subsidiary’s latest acquisition will significantly increase its presence in South Asia that is growing in importance as supply chain routes shift across the region.
Supply ChainForwardingIndustrial real estateLast mileCool Cargoes

Shippers reluctant to shoulder high cost of decarbonization: executives

Greg Knowler, Senior Editor Europe | Aug 18, 2023, 11:33 AM EDT

Getting shippers to commit to premium-priced, low-emissions shipping services is a hard sell for ocean carriers and forwarders as cargo owners enjoy rates that are now mostly below pre-pandemic levels after two years of record highs.
MaritimeContainer shippingContainer linesForwardingTrans-PacificTrans-AtlanticAsia-Europe

Logistics technology investment slowing post-pandemic: survey

Eric Johnson, Senior Technology Editor | Aug 16, 2023, 10:18 AM EDT

A study of global logistics professionals around hurdles to technology investment found that respondents were uninterested in linking financial rewards with software adoption.
Logistics technologyForwardingSupply Chain

Asia-US container spot rates keep rising amid more blank sailings

Bill Mongelluzzo, Senior Editor | Aug 14, 2023, 6:04 PM EDT

Spot rates in the eastbound trans-Pacific continue to move higher, although a planned general rate increase this week could be the last one for a while, as carriers are scheduled to add a significant amount of new capacity into the global fleet beginning later this year.
Trans-PacificContainer shippingContainer linesForwardingNorth American ports

Logistics industry tiptoeing toward AI adoption: Freightos research

Eric Johnson, Senior Technology Editor | Aug 10, 2023, 1:23 PM EDT

Shippers and forwarders recently surveyed by Freightos believe artificial intelligence will reduce headcounts in the logistics industry, even if they have yet to figure out how best to use the still-emerging technology.
Logistics technologyContainer shippingForwardingAir cargo forwardingSupply Chain

Maersk’s lagging ‘integrator’ plan now needs to winnow costs: Clerc

Michael Angell, Associate Editor | Aug 4, 2023, 3:30 PM EDT

Maersk has invested $10.5 billion in its logistics and services business to date, but results are falling behind plan after last year’s volumes evaporated.
Container linesContainer shippingForwardingSupply ChainLast mile

Change management key to unlocking AI’s productivity potential for 3PLs

Eric Johnson, Senior Technology Editor | Jul 28, 2023, 10:57 AM EDT

Forwarders have an opportunity to reduce labor costs and improve margins using artificial intelligence (AI), but managing the transition away from a human workforce could prove difficult.
Logistics technologyForwardingSupply Chain

Major forwarders riding out slow return of traditional freight markets

Greg Knowler, Senior Editor Europe | Jul 25, 2023, 2:10 PM EDT

The CEOs of DSV and Kuehne + Nagel, shrugging off heavily distorted year-over-year comparisons, described their second-quarter results as “solid” and reflective of the evolving normalization of the air and ocean markets.
ForwardingContainer shippingAir cargo forwarding

Forwarders eager to transition to digital ocean freight booking: study

Eric Johnson, Senior Technology Editor | Jul 21, 2023, 8:39 AM EDT

Research by ECU Worldwide found that about half of ocean freight bookings are made via email, highlighting the importance of connecting booking platforms to email systems.
Logistics technologyForwarding

Email technology provider Sedna snares funding targeting maritime, forwarding sectors

Eric Johnson, Senior Technology Editor | Jul 20, 2023, 11:24 AM EDT

Sedna’s approach of allowing companies to retain their email systems while extending their value has won new forwarding and bulk customers and a fresh capital infusion.
Logistics technologyMaritimeContainer shippingForwardingSupply Chain

Logistics technology market grappling with pandemic period overhiring

Eric Johnson, Senior Technology Editor | Jul 18, 2023, 11:38 AM EDT

A return to normal freight demand is part of the reason for layoffs across the logistics technology sector, but just as important is investor focus on cost controls and a path to profitability.
Logistics technologyMaritimeContainer shippingContainer linesForwardingSupply Chain

CIMC, Singamas issue profit warnings on weak demand for new containers

Keith Wallis, Special Correspondent | Jul 14, 2023, 1:40 PM EDT

The expected declines followed a drop in demand for marine containers due to weakened economic and trade growth this year, both companies said in filings to the Hong Kong stock exchange.
Container shippingContainer linesForwardingTrans-Pacific

Raft's focus on AI yields fruit as investors re-up in logistics software provider

Eric Johnson, Senior Technology Editor | Jul 11, 2023, 6:00 AM EDT

A variety of technology providers are aiming to arm forwarders with AI-backed tools that help with areas like customer service and rate quoting, while others are focused on technology enabling internal operational efficiency.
Logistics technologyForwardingSupply Chain

Logistics integration partnerships defy freight demand downturn

Eric Johnson, Senior Technology Editor | Jun 30, 2023, 2:43 PM EDT

Growing partnerships between software vendors and integrators with expertise in their solutions and their customers systems highlight the importance of the technological plumbing that underpins logistics networks.
Logistics technologyForwardingSupply Chain

Generative AI likely to be impactful in logistics, just not in a public-facing way

Eric Johnson, Senior Technology Editor | Jun 30, 2023, 8:00 AM EDT

ChatGPT made so-called generative AI more accessible to the general public, including logistics professionals, and some software vendors believe it will change how humans interact with core transportation systems.
Logistics technologyForwardingSupply Chain

Zim forwarding arm Ship4wd targets small shippers with new finance tools

Eric Johnson, Senior Technology Editor | Jun 28, 2023, 10:05 AM EDT

Zim said the financial products are particularly needed amid a slowdown in freight demand as small and mid-sized businesses continue to battle significant financial friction.
Logistics technologyForwardingSupply Chain

Nuvocargo rides Mexico-US freight surge to land fresh investment

Eric Johnson, Senior Technology Editor | Jun 27, 2023, 12:25 PM EDT

Nuvocargo will use the new funding to expand its service footprint to all major over-the-road border crossings between the US and Mexico.
ForwardingTruck brokersLogistics technology invites out-of-network providers to build connectivity to its integration customers

Eric Johnson, Senior Technology Editor | Jun 27, 2023, 10:01 AM EDT CEO Brian Glick’s initial vision for the company centered around the idea of making logistics system connectivity open to all vendors to allow shippers and logistics companies to better utilize their software.
Logistics technologyForwardingSupply Chain

Small, mid-sized US shippers find falling trans-Pac spot rates hard to ignore

Bill Mongelluzzo, Senior Editor | Jun 27, 2023, 9:26 AM EDT

With most new trans-Pacific service contracts in effect only since late May, container lines are already nudging shippers to meet their minimum quantity commitments instead of taking advantage of spot rates that have been cratering for approximately three weeks, sources say.
Trans-PacificContainer shippingContainer linesForwardingNorth American ports

NVO share of US imports from Asia growing in post-COVID ocean market

Peter Tirschwell | Jun 22, 2023, 9:32 AM EDT

Non-vessel-operating common carriers handle a growing percentage of US imports from Asia, but that hasn’t stopped traditional asset-owning companies from attempting to leverage core assets in a bid to differentiate themselves, writes Peter Tirschwell.
Container shippingContainer linesForwardingTrans-Pacific

Weaker ocean rates, China sourcing shift drive rise in LCL shipments

Greg Knowler, Senior Europe Editor | May 31, 2023, 11:07 AM EDT

An emerging trend of sending smaller shipments more frequently is leading to growing demand for LCL services across the major trade lanes.
Container shippingContainer linesForwardingInternational ports

Forwarders locked in margin-destroying price war in post-COVID ocean market

Greg Knowler, Senior Editor Europe | May 25, 2023, 10:16 AM EDT

Price is once again on the side of shippers, with excess ocean capacity allowing them to extract lower rates from service providers.
MaritimeContainer shippingForwardingTrans-PacificTrans-AtlanticAsia-Europe

Uber Freight’s Driegert jumps to Flexport to lead new brokerage unit

Eric Johnson, Senior Technology Editor | May 18, 2023, 2:39 PM EDT

Flexport has lured a key figure in the development of Uber Freight and Coyote Logistics in a move likely to shake up the domestic third-party logistics market.
Truck brokersForwardingLogistics technology

Trans-Pac carriers showing flexibility in service contract negotiations: forwarders

Bill Mongelluzzo, Senior Editor | May 17, 2023, 11:34 AM EDT

With import volumes sharply lower than last year, trans-Pacific carriers are more willing to consider requests for fixed-rate pricing and inland transportation bookings in 2023-24 service contracts, sources say.
Container shippingMaritimeContainer linesForwardingTrans-PacificNorth American ports

FLOW gains momentum with ‘give-to-get' data-sharing model

Eric Johnson, Senior Technology Editor | May 15, 2023, 2:12 PM EDT

The growth in participation in FLOW is a signal that the private sector views the voluntary nature of the project as more amenable than governmental data-sharing mandates or legislation.
Logistics technologyContainer shippingContainer linesForwardingPortsTransport, trade and regulation

CMA CGM puts ball in Bolloré’s court for deal on logistics unit

Michael Angell, Associate Editor | May 8, 2023, 4:01 PM EDT

Bolloré said it will bring the carrier’s $5.5 billion offer to the rest of the group for consideration after an exclusivity period for negotiations expired Monday.
ForwardingContainer shippingContainer lines

Forwarders’ digital journey not complete yet: Magaya survey

Eric Johnson, Senior Technology Editor | May 8, 2023, 7:30 AM EDT

More than half of forwarders have migrated completely to cloud-based software, a study of 70 global logistics services providers has found.
Logistics technologyForwardingSupply Chain

Renewed focus on purchase order management leads to tech vs. service dilemma

Eric Johnson, Senior Technology Editor | May 5, 2023, 1:55 PM EDT

Tethering purchase order technology to operations can help expedite drastic decisions, but pure software vendors offer a level of neutrality that logistics providers can’t.
Logistics technologyForwardingSupply Chain