The Global Freight Forwarding market to avoid contraction only narrowly in 2023

Global freight forwarding growth is expected to contract in real terms by 2.4% in 2022 and reach a market value of €263,133m. Air and Sea freight forwarding markets are forecasted to contract in 2022 by 2.7% and 2.2%, respectively.

Over the past two years, the freight forwarding industry has been impacted by COVID-19 restrictions, the rise of inflation, and the increase in the price of fuels coupled with decreasing consumer demands. The continuing effect of these factors will weigh on growth in the global freight forwarding market in 2023, which will expand by only 0.7%.

According to Ti’s market sizing, the emerging markets will drive growth, and the outcome of China’s COVID-19 policy could have a major impact on when demand will return. 

The air freight forwarding market is forecasted to expand by only 0.8% in real terms in 2023. Real growth in the sea freight segment in 2023 is expected to be positive at 0.7%. The general trend is that demand for sea freight services will be lower in developed countries, but developing countries will prevent a collapse in volume growth. Combined with reduced port congestion, overcapacity and a weak base year, the sea freight market is headed for muted growth in 2023.

Total Global Freight Forwarding Market Size and Growth 2011 – 2026

Source: Ti

Of the three largest freight forwarding markets, Asia Pacific will experience the strongest growth in 2023. Europe and North America will be below the average global growth rate of 0.7%. 

The Asia Pacific region will dominate global growth through 2023, supported by the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), efficient supply chains and competitive costs. Asia Pacific will experience a 1.3% growth in real terms in 2023 (Air: 1.3%; Sea: 1.3%). In addition, Southeast Asia and India will benefit from trade diversification away from mainland China, and the trend is reflected in the regions’ freight forwarding forecasts.

Europe faces a winter recession as unusually high energy prices weigh on household purchasing power due to the impact of the war in Ukraine. Rising energy costs pose a long-term threat to the competitiveness of the European industry. As a result, Europe will experience a shy 0.5% growth in real terms in 2023 (Air: 0.6%; Sea: 0.5%).

The North American region will experience only a 0.1% growth in real terms in 2023 (Air: 0.1%; Sea: 0.0%). The US economy is expected to experience a mild recession due to inflation and economic disruptions caused by the decrease in consumers and the slowdown in Europe, a major US trading partner. 

For more in-depth information, download the Global Freight Forwarding market forecasts for 2022 and 2023 Whitepaper, which contains market size and growth figures for the full year 2022, and forecasts growth data projection for 2023 with analysis of air and sea freight. In addition, the paper assesses regional performance and how current supply chain constraints will influence recovery over the coming years.

Supply chain strategists can use GSCiTi’s online data platform – to identify opportunities for growth, support strategic decisions, help them stay abreast of industry trends and development, as well as understand future impacts on the industry. 

Visit GSCI subscription to sign up today or contact: Michael Clover for a free demonstration: [email protected] |  +44 (0) 1666 519907 

Source: Transport Intelligence, 13th December 2022

Author: Marta Chiriatti