Kuehne+Nagel tops ranking of largest freight forwarders

London, UK: Transport Intelligence’s latest report, Global Freight Forwarding 2011 has revealed that Swiss-based Kuehne+Nagel topped the ranking of the world’s largest freight forwarders.

Switzerland-based Kuehne+Nagel was the largest international forwarder in 2010, handling nearly a tenth of the world’s air and sea freight business by revenue, according to Transport Intelligence.

Kuehne+Nagel reported $21.3bn in revenue in 2010. Germany-based DHL Global Forwarding ranked second, followed by DB Schenker Logistics and Panalpina.

European forwarders dominated the market by accounting for six of the top 10 positions. Expeditors International of Washington, the top US forwarder, ranked fifth, followed by Sinotrans, CEVA Logistics, Agility, UPS Supply Chain Solutions and DSV.

“Forwarders are enjoying somewhat of a golden period,” says Transport Intelligence chief executive John Manners-Bell. “Air and sea volumes are still growing, albeit not as rapidly as last year.”

He believes that forwarders’ gross margins will expand because of the softening of rates caused by increased sea and air shipping capacity.

Some 43% of forwarders said their international customers were outsourcing more of their logistics functions compared to last year; 45% were operating as they did last year; and 12% were outsourcing less.

In the United States, however, two-thirds of forwarders said their customers were outsourcing as they had in 2009; one-fifth were outsourcing more; and 17% were bringing logistics operations back in-house.