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Opportunities and Challenges:

The international freight forwarding industry, including global (T25), regional and local hero forwarders, has been a long-term, multi-decade beneficiary of globalization. During COVID, international freight forwarders benefitted from a covid bump from a consumer spending shift of services to goods, especially around technology goods and household items. With this shift ending and inventory levels resetting, the business faces increased volatility putting even more emphasis on optimal spread management between buying and selling capacity at the optimal price.

Both the air cargo and sea freight subsegments face challenges that will further restructure the industry. With the reset of the air cargo supply chain, belly capacity will come back online allowing more routing options at a lower price while there is also the risk of oversupply from increased freighter capacity. For sea freight, the period of high prices due to tight supply is cycling to a period of increased capacity with new deliveries arriving between 2023-2025.

As the limits of globalization have been hit and off-/near-/on-shoring is happening, the re-architecture of supply chains poses challenges for the industry and forwarders have to be responsive in terms of their network footprint, trade lane structure. Future growth opportunities require improved productivity in the back offices (transactions per FTE), optimal spread management and a long-term e-commerce strategy for both domestic last-mile deliveries and international/intercontinental cross-border ecommerce shipments.

Industry Sub-segments: 

  • Global T25 Air and Sea Freight Forwarders

  • Major Regional Freight Forwarders

  • Local Hero Forwarders in a specific region/country

  • Industry-segment Specialist Forwarders

    • Aviation and Aerospace,

    • Marine,

    • Automotive,

    • Biotech/healthcare,

    • Technology sector

  • Project Logistics Freight Forwarders

  • Expedited Trucking

  • Customs brokerage and compliance

Previous Experience 

  • Significant buy and sell-side due diligence across various size segments, geographies and industry segments

  • Helped position regional and niche firms for sale and successfully being sold at premiums in the market through sell-side next investor studies

  • Conducted network profit segmentation with a focus on trade lane strategy to understand buy-side and sell-side economics including price optimization studies for top 10 global forwarders, including

    • Establishment and restructuring of airfreight pricing system,

    • Procurement work for air cargo, truckload, LTL and container shipping space (optimal buy/sell spread)

  • Significant investments in integration external and internal market signal to enable management buy/sell spread with proprietary external market size and supply databases with real-time pricing signal

  • Worked extensively on technology strategy with various freight forwarder' operating systems whether purchased, hybrid, or custom-built implementations with focus on data engineering and automated pipelines to provide real-time signal

  • Working with large public company divisions that own freight forwarding companies and several large and middle market PE firms and privately held firms

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