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Truck, Airplane, Shipping Container for Logistics

Top Freight Forwarders In 2024

Jude Abraham

If you’re an importer or exporter, you need a good freight forwarder to help with your international freight shipping. But with so many options,  how can you know you’re choosing one that’s a good fit for you and your business?

We’ve got your back. Keep reading for a list of some of the world’s best freight forwarders to get you started.

Along with a list of top forwarders, we’ll share some parameters for evaluating providers, along with an overview of of the difference between larger forwarders and smaller ones.

Finally, we’ll provide greater detail about these top-performing freight forwarders.

Need a refresher on what a freight forwarder does? Head to our guide to learn about the role freight forwarders play in global shipping. 

List of top 10 freight forwarders

Here’s a list of the top 10 global ocean forwarders:

ProviderGross Logistics Revenue ($ Millions)Ocean(TEUs)Air(Metric Tons)
Kuehne + Nagel20-50K4-5 million 2-3 million 
DHL20-50K2-4 million 2-3 million 
DB Schenker20-50K2-4 million 1-2 million
Expeditors10-20K1-2 million1-2 million
C.H. Robinson20-50K1-2 million300K-500K
CEVA Logistics10-20K1-2 million 300K-500K
Nippon Express10-20K0.5 -1 million0.5 -1 million
GEODIS10-20K0.5 -1 million300K-500K
Hellmann Worldwide Logistics3-5K0.5 -1 million0.5 -1 million
Bolloré Logistics5-10K0.5 -1 million0.5 -1 million

Source: A&A’s Top 25 Global Freight Forwarders List

How were these forwarders ranked?

The ranking criteria considered for this list were the scale of operations, locations, services, and industry expertise. As a result, this list leans toward multinational enterprise freight companies that tend to service larger global importers or exporters and may be less adroit at servicing smaller companies or entrepreneurs.

You know your business best. Choosing your freight forwarder will depend on the parameters that matter the most to you.

How to rank the best freight forwarding services for your business

Finding a reliable freight forwarder is a major business decision. The right freight forwarder can help boost operational efficiency and increase profit margins by providing faster shipping time, lower transportation costs, and exceptional services.

Here are some important factors to consider when choosing a freight forwarder:

Industry expertise

Which businesses and sectors does the company serve? Does it specialize in any particular industries or niches?

Location 

Where is the company headquartered? In how many locations and countries does it operate? Does it serve all the countries you trade with?

Services 

What solutions does the company provide? Does it provide any extra services? What is its area of service expertise?

Track record

What do experienced customers say about this forwarder? Are services usually late or mostly on time? How is customer support?

Scale of operations and capacity

Does the company have the infrastructure to handle your shipping requirements and freight volume? How many ocean TEUs and air metric tons can it handle annually?

Speaking of TEUs, here’s a brief intro to freight volumes – so you can see what forwarders mean when they talk about the amount of freight they handle.

What are ocean TEUs?

TEU is an acronym for a 20-foot equivalent unit.

In ocean freight, TEU refers to one 20 ft shipping container. A 40 ft container is equal to two TEUs. A vessel with a capacity of 1000 TEUs can fit 1000 standard 20 ft containers.

Ocean TEUs are also used to determine shipping rates.

If freight forwarding companies have higher ocean TEUs, they can handle more ocean freight, which often means a better chance of dependable service for you.

The larger freight forwarders, like Sinotrans, handle more than 10 million TEUs of containers annually – owing to their large network of partners, global logistics operations, and integrated range of services across industries.

What are air metric tons?

As a unit of weight, a metric ton refers to 2204.6 pounds or 1000 kilograms. An air metric ton measures the weight of cargo shipped by air freight in tons.

As with ocean TEUs, freight forwarders with capacity for higher volumes of air metric tons are often more reliable.

Looking for live quotes from vetted forwarders?

Top 10 freight forwarders of 2024 – a closer look

1. Kuene+Nagel

Founded 1890, HQ Schindellegi, Feusisberg, Switzerland

Company Overview

Kuehne + Nagel started as a forwarder and later expanded across different logistics verticals. A global transport conglomerate, it now offers highly specialized integrated logistics solutions across industries.

Services

Kuehne Nagel offers carbon-free global transportation and biofuel shipments to promote sustainable logistics. Their collaborative platform myKN helps customers track and manage shipments in one place.

Expertise

Kuehne Nagel offers carbon-free global transportation and biofuel shipments to promote sustainable logistics. Their collaborative platform myKN helps customers track and manage shipments in one place.

Regions served

1300+ locations in 100+ countries

  • Europe (based in Hamburg, Germany)
  • Middle East and Africa (based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
  • North America (based in Jersey City, New Jersey, United States)
  • Central and South America (based in Santiago de Chile, Chile)
  • Asia Pacific (based in Singapore, Singapore)

Industries served

  • Aerospace
  • Automotive
  • FMCG
  • Healthcare
  • High-tech
  • Perishables
  • Industrial

2. DHL

Founded 1969, HQ Bonn, Germany

Company Overview

DHL is one of the oldest names in freight forwarding. It offers global logistics, supply chain, transportation, e-commerce, and digital freight forwarding services.

Services

The company facilitates all types of freight transportation including air, ocean, rail, and road. They also offer other services like customs, cargo insurance, e-commerce parcel delivery and documentation for small, medium, and large enterprises.

Expertise

Hi-tech infrastructure, global presence, digital solutions and end-to-end tailored freight forwarding services provide a great shipping experience with full transparency over shipments.

Regions served

220+ countries

Industries served

  • Auto-mobility
  • Chemicals
  • Consumer
  • Energy
  • Engineering
  • Manufacturing
  • Healthcare
  • Retail
  • Technology

3. DB Schenker

Founded 1872, HQ Essen, Germany

Company Overview

DB Schenker is a global logistics and supply chain solution provider. One of the largest freight forwarders globally, it offers services across ocean, air, and land. It was acquired by the Deutsche Bahn group in 2002 and continues to expand.

Services

It offers services including land transportation, air freight, ocean freight, contract logistics, lead logistics, and complete supply chain operations including procurement, warehousing, storage, management, and distribution logistics.

Expertise

DB Schenker operates its own ERP solutions for freight forwarders as a mark of its industry dominance and authority. Their internal tracking tool ‘eSchenker’ offers support at different stages of the supply chain with data analysis, reporting, and other features.

Regions served

1850+ locations worldwide

(Air & ocean freight: 550+ , Land transport: 450+)

Industries served

  • Automotive
  • Technology
  • Consumer goods
  • Special transport
  • Industrial
  • Healthcare
  • Retail and fashion
  • Perishables
  • Oil and gas
  • Semicon & solar

Looking for freight quotes?

4. Expeditors International

Founded 1979, HQ Essen, Seattle, Washington, United States

Company Overview

Expeditors is a leading freight forwarding services provider in the US. Along with logistics and transportation, it also provides customized supply chain solutions, with end-to-end service efficiency and optimization.

Services

It offers global air, ocean, multimodal, ground, and project cargo transportation services. Expeditors also provides warehousing, distribution, customs, risk management, and insurance solutions.

Expertise

Expeditors specializes in tech and digital solutions for freight forwarders. Its  unique Saas offerings include ocean forecasting, sensor-based logistics, trade management software, and a booking platform.

Regions served

350+ locations across 100+ countries, specializing in Canada and the US

Industries served

  • Automotive & mobility
  • Fashion & retail
  • Aviation & Aerospace
  • Healthcare
  • Manufacturing
  • Oil & energy
  • Technology

5. C.H. Robinson

Founded 1905, HQ Essen, Eden Prairie, Minnesota, United States

Company Overview

C.H. Robinson is a global third-party logistics (3PL) company and supply chain management solution provider. It has a huge network of 85,000+ carriers, 17,000+ supply chain experts, and freight forwarding partners. Note that CH Robinson is one of the freight forwarders that is indeed available for freight price comparison, booking and management on Freightos.

Services

With solutions for shippers and carriers, C.H. Robinson provides intermodal, ocean, air, and rail shipping services. Other services include trucking, customs, trade compliance, contract logistics, project logistics, last-mile delivery, supply chain consulting, and warehousing.

Expertise

Along with specializing in comprehensive freight forwarding services and supply chain solutions, CH Robinson also offers surface transportation in North America, Canada, and Mexico for perishables logistics and temperature-controlled goods.

Regions served

150+ countries including major presence in North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Oceania

Industries served

  • Aerospace
  • Automotive
  • Energy solutions
  • Chemicals and plastic
  • Floral
  • Food and beverage
  • Industrial
  • Paper and packaging
  • Perishables

Freightos

Founded 2011, Miami, Florida, United States

Company Overview

Freightos isn’t actually a freight forwarder – but it does offer a digital freight booking platform that makes international shipping faster, more cost-effective, and more reliable. In addition, Freightos offers a range of other services and data for logistics professionals.

Services

The Freightos.com marketplace allows importers and exporters to instantly search rates from dozens of freight forwarders, and then book and manage their shipments all in one place. Additional services offered by The Freightos Group include rate management and digital booking for freight forwarders, and global freight pricing data and market intelligence for professionals across the logistics industry.

Expertise

Freight rate comparison and booking, shipment management, e-booking for freight forwarders, industry data, and price benchmarking.

Regions served

Worldwide coverage on digital freight marketplace; specializes in Asia exports, North America, UK, and Western Europe imports, and domestic and cross-border freight within Europe.

Industries served

Commercial shipping; general goods shipped by air, ocean, express, LTL, and rail. 

6. CEVA Logistics

Founded 2007, HQ Marseille, France

Company Overview

CEVA Logistics is the logistics arm of the CMA CGM group, one of the top freight forwarders in the world. It is known for its extensive port, maritime, and logistics services with end-to-end supply chain management and e-commerce solutions.

Services

It provides a range of freight forwarding solutions including ocean freight, air freight, ground freight, contract logistics, and project logistics. Other value-added services include customs brokerage, warehousing and storage, cargo insurance, and smart packaging solutions.

Expertise

CEVA Logistics specializes in automotive logistics and is considered one of the best freight forwarders for shipping to China. It is also the official logistics partner of Scuderia Ferrari (Formula 1).

Regions served

1300+ locations across 170+ countries

Industries served

  • Automotive
  • Consumer Goods
  • Healthcare
  • Industrial
  • Aerospace
  • Technology
  • Energy

7. Nippon Express

Founded 1872, HQ Tokyo, Japan

Company Overview

Nippon Express is one of the top 10 freight forwarders globally providing one-stop transportation solutions. It started as a ground transportation business and later expanded to integrated logistics solutions provider.

Services

It offers truck, rail, sea, and air freight forwarding services. It also provides other services like cross-border freight solutions, insurance, supply chain management, specialized transportation, warehousing, distribution, customs clearance, packaging, compliances, and cargo delivery.

Expertise

Nippon Express specializes in international truck transportation services in ASEAN countries including Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Vietnam. They’ve set up many logistics hubs for storage and distribution with cold chain facilities for perishables.

Regions served

739+ locations across 49 countries

Industries served

  • Automotive
  • Aerospace and aviation
  • Food and perishables
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Telecommunication
  • Electronics
  • Consumer goods
  • Fashion and retail
  • Railway

8. GEODIS

Founded 1904, HQ Levallois-Perret, France

Company Overview

GEODIS is a leading transport, logistics, supply chain, and freight forwarding services provider. It started as a rail freight company for transporting luggage and packages. It later shifted to road transport and grew across France. The business was taken over by an SNCF subsidiary, which expanded its business offerings internationally.

Services

It offers 3PL solutions for sustainable ocean shipping, overland transport, air freight, and project logistics. The company also offers value-added services such as purchase order and vendor management, customs and foreign trade, emission reporting, fast fashion logistics, dangerous goods handling, and transport insurance, among others.

Expertise

GEODIS specializes in five verticals: supply chain optimization, freight forwarding, distribution and express, road transport, and contract logistics.

Regions served

Direct presence in 65+ countries, with partners in 120 countries

Industries served

  • FMCG
  • Retail
  • High tech
  • Aerospace and defense
  • Healthcare
  • Automotive
  • Industrial

9. Hellmann Worldwide Logistics

Founded 1871, HQ Osnabrück, Germany

Company Overview

Hellmann Worldwide Logistics is one of the largest freight forwarders and international logistics providers. It provides hi-tech digital services for shippers to boost operational efficiencies and improve vendor management..

Services

It provides extensive freight forwarding services across sea, air, rail, and road. Other services include customs brokerage, cargo insurance, e-commerce solutions, freight safety solutions, smart tracking, buyer consolidation, real-time visibility, and integrated supply chain solutions.

Expertise

Hellmann Worldwide Logistics specializes in logistics solutions for live animal transportation, project cargo solutions, and contract logistics.

Regions served

173+ countries

Industries served

  • Automotive
  • FMCG
  • Fashion
  • Marine and Cruise
  • Renewables
  • Perishables
  • Healthcare

10. Bollore Logistics

Founded 1986, HQ Puteaux, France

Company Overview

Bollore Logistics is a subsidiary of the Bolloré group of companies. It is a global logistics and freight forwarding services provider with multimodal, e-commerce, and industrial logistics solutions.

Services

Services include international transportation, air freight, sea freight, rail & road services, customs, 3PL and 4PL solutions, end-to-end supply chain optimization, green logistics, customs and brokerage, contract logistics, supply & distribution centers, and reverse logistics solutions.

Expertise

Bollore Logistics has the largest integrated logistics network in the African continent. It is also one of the biggest freight forwarders in oil distribution.

Regions served

110+ countries across Africa, the Americas, Europe, Middle East, South Asia, and Asia-Pacific regions

Industries served

  • Aerospace
  • Consumer and retail
  • Healthcare
  • Energy
  • Perfumes and cosmetics
  • Aid and relief material
  • Manufacturing
  • Engineering
  • Food and Beverage
  • Soft commodities

While Freightos.com works with freight forwarders, we are not a freight forwarder ourselves. Read more about the Freightos.com marketplace here.

The information provided on this page is for the user’s convenience. While Freightos does try to provide accurate information, obtained from sources believed to be reliable, it does not guarantee the accuracy and completeness of the information presented here. Company names are trademarks of their respective holders. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with them, or endorsement by or of them.

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