Freight Forwarding Market Research
To better understand the benefits of Freight Market Research, one must first understand what freight is and why it is crucial.
What is Freight?
Freight is the transportation and distribution of bulk goods via truck, train, ship, or aircraft. The adequate transportation of freight is crucial to the success of the global economy – enabling worldwide distribution of manufactured goods, foodstuffs, natural resources, and more.
Advancements in freight transportation have allowed companies to establish intercontinental supply chains, effectively reducing inventory levels and streamlining order fulfillment. E-commerce, international business, and expedited shipping have all been made possible through the evolution of the freight industry.
What is the Freight Industry?
The freight industry is the conglomeration of transportation methods, freight brokers, supply chains, distribution centers, data centers, and people. These entities collaborate domestically and internationally to track, monitor, and manage the delivery of goods.
The freight industry increases the value of goods by relocating them to locations where their demand and value are much higher and fosters greater competition and productivity by expanding the spatial boundaries of commodity and labor markets.
Why is the freight industry important?
The freight industry employs millions of individuals worldwide and has become a necessary proponent in advancing humanity. Nearly every item that someone owns, except those locally produced, has passed through the hands of a freight company.
The freight industry stimulates economies by demanding investments in infrastructure, adopting new technologies, and simplifying supply chain operations. Additionally, it inspires innovation towards more effective data management, cleaner fuels, and new transportation methods.
Trends in the Freight Industry
Success in the freight industry relies heavily on a freight company’s ability to track, monitor, and deliver goods safely and efficiently.
Physical & Digital Infrastructure
Many freight organizations have focused on replacing aging infrastructure to streamline deliveries and reduce uncertainties in scheduling. However, old roads, unnecessary container weight, and inefficient fuel consumption can negatively impact the bottom line.
Investments in digital infrastructure have allowed freight providers to track order collection and distribution much more effectively. It has also enabled companies to communicate delivery times better, reduce theft, and meet rising demands.
Increased capabilities in data management and order tracking have allowed freight companies to provide more transparency and certainty in the delivery of goods.
The rapid growth of the e-commerce industry has forced freight providers to invest in capabilities that allow quick, reliable delivery. The trucking and railroad industries have been essential in this process.
Adopting cleaner-burning fuels has led to more efficient transportation methods, which ultimately lowers transport prices and increases the bottom line.
Freight companies have initiated the transition to renewable energies, cleaner-burning, and sustainable technologies to meet increasing environmental regulations.
To meet the rising demand for quick, efficient delivery, many organizations have established mergers to increase capacity and capitalize on capabilities.
A high number of collaborations in this space have allowed freight organizations to withstand market fluctuations. Companies are diversifying to overcome possible supply shortages, regulation restrictions, and territory constraints.
Challenges in the Freight Industry
Heavy material goods decrease transportation efficiency and impact fuel consumption. In the freight industry, even grams can make a difference in cost.
Freight providers struggle with finding innovative solutions for shipping heavy materials that remain profitable.
Asset management is essential to the success of a freight company. Freight companies must protect their customers’ assets at all costs, but managing several transportation channels and global distribution processes can be a challenging experience.
Companies lacking a robust inventory management system and order tracking capability put themselves and their clients at risk.
Governmental and non-governmental organizations have placed regulations on transporting goods across airspace, bodies of water, and land. These regulations are updated regularly and can prove costly to freight organizations that do not meet their requirements.
Rising demands for goods are placing added pressure on freight companies to find ways to remain profitable. Pressure for increased delivery rates mean increased fuel consumption, less time for preparation, minimal room for error, and less time for upgrading capabilities.
Opportunities in the Freight Industry
- Investments in data analytics will enable freight providers to understand inefficiencies in their current operations and find ways to mitigate them.
- The urbanization of rural communities across the globe will provide new transportation channels, markets, and economies for freight companies to enter.
- Rising fuel costs will further push the trend toward cleaner or renewable solutions for transportation. Companies that adopt these solutions early will position themselves for future success.
- Shifts in production locations will open doors for freight companies to serve new territories and find new customers.
New Technologies in the Freight Industry
- Automated inventory management and order tracking
- Real-time customer updates for delivery status
- Electric and autonomous vehicles
- Drone deliveries
- Robotic automation
- Big data analytics
- Artificial intelligence
- 3D Printing
- IoT (Internet of Things)
The Role of Blockchain in the Freight Industry
Blockchain is a distributive ledger technology that allows the tamperproof linkage of digital assets within a network. It functions as a digital file system that grows more extensive at the introduction of every transaction. As a result, all network participants possess a full copy of the ledger, facilitating full transparency and more accessible information sharing.
What Can Blockchain Do for the Freight Industry?
- Blockchain can facilitate rapid information sharing by eliminating trade via paper, email, fax, or mail.
- Blockchain allows enhanced privacy by enabling peer-to-peer information sharing on a privatized, encrypted network. Every transaction on a blockchain adds to an audit trail of shipments and ensures the confidentiality of user identities.
- Port authority, carriers, and freight forwarders can view blockchain-based system tracking in real-time – boosting their logistics capabilities by offering a view of the entire shipping process.
- Blockchain records are irreversible and cannot be changed, significantly reducing the chance of fraud within a transaction.
Freight Market Research?
Freight market research is the study and analysis of key trends, opportunities, insights, and challenges within the freight industry. It allows critical decision-makers and business leaders in the freight industry to make data-driven decisions when navigating the vast market of the freight industry. These insights are crucial to long-term success and enable companies to differentiate themselves in a crowded market. Freight market research carries no boundaries in its execution and, when conducted correctly, can answer particular insights which an organization deems essential.
Qualitative research in the freight industry can enable businesses to capture the voice of their customer and leverage it for tailored marketing tactics, new market opportunities, and product development. It can also provide detailed sentiment around specific offerings, allowing companies to enhance their pre-existing solutions.
Companies can leverage quantitative insights to guide fact-based decision-making at any level of the organization. Quantitative data provides a numerical system for decision-making, allowing businesses to segment their customer profiles, understand competitive positioning, and gain statistically significant understandings of satisfaction with a product or service.
Freight organizations can also benefit from competitive landscaping, market size estimates, and trends analysis – all of which provide a competitive edge when entering new territories, offering new products, or creating industry-specific marketing campaigns.