Top freight forwarders losing ground, WorldACD reports

Kuehne + Nagel headquarters in Schindellegi, Switzerland

Air cargo market data analyst WorldACD says the top 20 freight forwarders saw their worldwide market share decline from 44.5 per cent to 43 per cent in 2015 – based on revenue, measured in US dollars.

The Amsterdam firm bases figures on the inputs of more than 60 (mostly large) airlines, who provide their full worldwide air waybill data every month.

WorldACD also says the top 10 forwarders remained unchanged from the previous years and the group accounts for 32 per cent of worldwide air cargo volume while the composition, but also the ranking within the group, remained the same as in 2014.

Behind DGF, the largest forwarders are Kuehne + Nagel (K + N), DB Schenker, Expeditors and Panalpina. K+N, Expeditors, Nippon Express, CEVA and DHL Express achieved growth exceeding the worldwide average of two per cent, but DGF, DB Schenker, Panalpina, UPS SCS and Kintetsu lagged behind.

As in 2014, WorldACD says airlines saw the average yield realised through large agents drop more than the yields realised through the group of forwarders outside the top 100.

Differences between best and worst performers in each group were also significant WorldACD explains. In the top 10, the volume growth ranged from minus 10 per cent to plus seven per cent. Among numbers 11-20, the numbers varied between minus 10 per cent and plus 11 per cent.

WorldACD says: “The group of the top 100 forwarders saw growth of 0.9 per cent, and the many thousands of forwarders outside the top 100, accounting for 43 per cent of total business, achieved better results with an average growth of 3.8 per cent.

“In none of the worldwide regions the top 20 global forwarders outgrew their smaller rivals. In North America, the balance between the two groups was more or less maintained. But this elite group realized a lower growth, and thus lost share, in all other areas.”

WorldACD notes the largest difference in Europe (plus one per cent versus plus seven per cent) and Latin America (minus seven per cent versus minus two per cent).

The share of the top 20 was largest in Europe (53 per cent) and North America (49 per cent), but smallest in Africa (12 per cent) and ME&SA (21 per cent).