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United States Digital Freight Forwarding Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2022 - 2027)

United States Digital Freight Forwarding Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2022 - 2027)

  • March 2022
  • 194 pages
  • ID: 6155708
  • Format: PDF
  • Mordor Intelligence LLP


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The United States Digital Freight Forwarding Market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 21.67% during the forecasted period.

The freight shipping sector in the United States, initially crippled by COVID-19, is emerging with a new purpose and confidence that digitization could be the legacy of the pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic impacted marine shipping and air freight services in the country in early 2020, resulting in canceled sailings and flights, port delays, and container shortages. These interruptions were particularly severe for shipments from Northeast Asia to the United States. The interruptions exacerbated volatility in maritime and air freight prices across regions and created considerable delays in the delivery of US merchandise imports when combined with COVID-19-related shifts in demand. The consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on merchandise imports and the disruptions in maritime commerce can be separated into two categories. In the first half of 2020, US maritime container imports decreased by 7.0% in volume compared to the same period in 2019. However, container imports increased significantly in the second half of 2020.Containerized imports increased by 9.5% by volume in the second half of 2020 and 16.4% Year-over-Year in the fourth quarter, compared to the same time in 2019.

Digitization is continuing to be one of the key drivers supporting growth of the American economy. Companies like convoy, Uber Freight and uShip are coming up with new platforms to fill in the gaps in the logistics industry. With Digital freight forwarding the manual process will be reduced. All the quotations for freight forwarding will be available at one platform without the hassle of hours of conversation and paper trails. The major benefits of digital freight forwarding include instant quotes, transparent pricing, comparison of rates and carriers, tracking, easy documentation and others. The logistics industry is developing to a paperless digitized industry supoprting the growth of the market.

Despite the difficulties at first, ocean and air freight carriers have been able to react quickly. They also made more money due to the volatility and quick changing of asset plans. By mid-April 2020, there were signs of a recovery, and container ship movements were increasing, with Asia leading the way. Demand for shipments from China was heading up, and market data essentially pointed to an upturn in the sector.

Many companies are now embracing digital freight services. For example, Uber Freight’s owner-operator activation nearly doubled in the six months leading up to April 2021, and new authority carriers increased by more than 300% year over year by May 2021. In the first quarter of 2021, the company closely monitored this driver supply shift as well as other macro developments affecting the industry, such as American labor trends and supply-chain bottlenecks

Key Market Trends

Booming E-commerce Industry Driving Digital Freight Forwarding Market in the United States

In the first half of 2021, US retail e-commerce sales amounted to almost USD 438 billion. Sales revenue from April to June of 2021 exceeded USD 222 billion, up from some USD 215 billion in the first quarter. Overall, retail e-commerce sales outdid the quarterly sales records registered in 2020.

During the second quarter of 2020, as COVID-19 spread globally, the quarterly e-commerce revenue in the United States reached USD 200 billion for the first time in history. In 2021, online retail sales account for 10% of total retail in the country. Clothing and accessories, including footwear, are one of the largest B2C e-commerce merchandise categories.

Online customers expect order accuracy, same-day or same-hour delivery, and free returns. E-commerce companies are exploring ways to reduce order delivery times and operational costs. The e-commerce industry drives the demand for transparency, affordability, convenience, and speed in delivery, and compelling frictionless returns.

To cater to this need, it is essential to create new business models and solutions by digitalizing the logistics operations, automating material handling systems, warehouse management systems, and distribution management systems. This has ensured faster and varied fulfillment services, especially in terms of last-mile delivery options and seamless returns processes.

Ocean segment of freight forwarding driving the market

There is a need for ocean freight-related ingenuity, logistics tech companies are beginning to fill the space, As the world expects goods to be delivered as quickly as Uber and Amazon can fulfill, it is expected to see a shift toward e-commerce companies becoming 3PLs, and possibly 3PLs becoming e-commerce companies.

One thing is certain. Retailers and brands are no longer tracking their products after import once it arrives in the United States. The Amazon effect and the warehouse pull-through it creates put more emphasis on overall cycle times, and more and more sellers are taking orders of inventory as soon as it ships at the port of origin. This makes ocean containers the warehouses of today and tomorrow, bringing ocean freight visibility to the forefront of supply chain professionals’ and consumers’ minds.

In June 2021, Hapag-Lloyd and Singapore-based Ocean Network Express (ONE) Pte Ltd announced they had completed integration onto the TradeLens platform, helping ensure a more timely and consistent view of logistics data for their containerized freight around the world. TradeLens is a neutral, third-party platform launched by IBM and AP Moller - Maersk to help modernize the world’s supply chain ecosystems and is run on IBM Cloud and IBM Blockchain.

Competitive Landscape

The United States Digital Freight Forwarding Market is competitive and is fragmented with presence of many players. Digital freight forwarders (DFFs) use a digital platform to offer a broader range of logistics services than marketplaces and connectivity providers. DFFs build their core value proposition around a seamless user experience of shipping goods from one point to another while aggregating information on one platform with a single user interface.

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