Growth Forecast for Freight Forwarding

(Global) 5.2 Percent Growth Through 2024

The global freight forwarding industry is poised for a bounce back in 2021 as the impacts of impact of Covid-19 lessen, according to research consultancy Transport Intelligence.

The firm predicts that the global freight forwarding sector will post a compound annual growth rate of 5.2 percent between through 2024, with a rebound seen in both the air and sea freight markets.

“The air freight market has been the most impacted over 2020 but it is expected to see higher growth than the sea freight market between 2020 and 2024, at a CAGR of 5.4 percent. The sea freight market is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 5.0 percent,” said Holly Stewart, an analyst at Ti.


Ti forecasts that along with a return to normal as vaccines are deployed, a thawing in international trade tensions in some regions may also provide a fillip for freight forwarders.

The recent launch of the CPTPP free-trade agreement between Canada, Mexico, Peru, Chile, New Zealand, Australia, Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam and Japan is also seena a major driver for growth, providng an "almost complete liberalization of tariffs among the participants."

“The potential addition of the UK and US [to CPTPP], after Brexit and Biden becomes president of the U.S., would support the increase of volumes between countries,” Stewart added.

“In some areas, such as on Transpacific lanes, trade growth has comfortably surpassed pre-Covid levels. This gives credence to the view that global trade and freight forwarding will recover to pre-pandemic levels in the near future,” Stewart said.

Trade Truce?

With global trade tensions having defined the last four years, the potential for frictionless transport is positive but Ti notes caution.

“Though the Biden administration is expected to have a more open trade policy and a better relationship with China than Trump’s, it is not likely the trade war will end with his entrance to the White House,” Stewart said.

Headquartered in Bath in the UK, Ti provides market research for the global logistics industry.
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