February 11, 2021

Freight Forwarding Challenges: Top 5 Risks Affecting Freight Forwarding in 2021

Miles Varghese
Miles Varghese
Helping independent freight forwarders/brokers better stay in-sync, collaborate, and improve operations with their shippers/clients. Co-founder & CEO @ Cargologik.com
freight forwarding challenges

The supply chain, both domestically and internationally, already faces many challenges that have never been dealt with before. The positive and negative effects of the worldwide pandemic, worker shortages, route disruptions, financial burdens, and freight forwarding challenges, big and small alike, have changed the way the freight forwarding industry operates and how it promotes features and benefits.

Adapting to and Overcoming Freight Forwarding Challenges

Freight and logistics managers have a lot to deal with a lot when it comes to freight forwarding challenges. 

According to Supply Chain Management Review, “We are learning lessons about the impact on supply chain and what we need to change or correct. Disruption of the supply chain showed the importance of being adaptable to unexpected changes in the market, while identifying emerging risks. Emerging risks require a different approach. History tells us that events trigger a change and correction.” 

Here are the top 5 challenges freight forwarders should start preparing for now and heading into the rest of 2021.

1. The Pandemic and Its Continuing Impacts

Obtaining, transportation, circulation, customs compliance, automation, export routes,  team, as well as client management, are essential to overcome freight forwarding challenges during the global pandemic. 

COVID-19 has shined a light on the broken kinks within the supply chain.  They have tested almost every aspect of the traditional logistics process, especially coupled with the unprecedented demand and surge in things such as e-commerce. What once were small inefficiencies, “nice-to-have” technologies, and magnified their importance. Most importantly, profitability, differentiation, and bottom-line impact. Customers expect more and more of you every day.  Don’t use the pandemic as an excuse for inefficiencies and failures, instead, run straight towards those related problems and solve them. The sooner you do, the better off you and your client will be.

2. Market Volatility Due to Political Change

Awareness of how import and export impacts local, national, and global markets and communities is also key to harnessing freight forwarding services’ potential. 

Due to the sheer complexity and expansiveness of modern supply chains, the global market is at the heart of freight forwarding challenges. On top of that, political changes can be challenging to cope with but must be considered regularly. Take advantage of local and federal resources, contact your local SBA, bank, or one of the many institutions and resources that can provide guidance and support to help you overcome this volatility.

3. Weather Uncertainty Following an Overly Active Hurricane Season

While climate change is still a hot button topic and is the subject of much debate, the truth remains, the weather has always had an enormous impact on the freight and shipping industry. Luckily, these issues tend to be generally regional – so plan, plan, plan!  Try brainstorming alternative methods and go through thought exercises considering what the further order consequences will be.  Weather will always be one of the significant freight forwarding challenges and is predicted to be especially challenging in 2021.

4. New Trade Deals or Changes to Existing Trade Agreements

Freight forwarders marketers need to understand their clients’ needs and be aware of what regulations, agreements, tariffs, and fees may apply to their products or services. It’s essential to understand in any case but especially true when dealing with freight forwarding challenges, which are more impactful than ever with the global market. 

Staying on top of these trade agreements through media, content, social channels, consultant engagements (if you can afford them), and more simply seek the advice of your experienced peers on social networks.  Last but not least, actively listening to customer challenges can all help you better understand, and plan for, how these trade shifts may occur. 

5. Limited Container Capacity

To survive these unusual times, every involved party requires a commitment to overcoming freight forwarding challenges. For freight forwarders who work in the global shipping market, container capacity is a major obstacle that can be affected by costs, availability, cargo type, container design, and product needs and demands. There are a few startups out there and even more advanced (and costly) consultants that can help with the movement and procurement of containers but no clear and obvious industry-wide solution has come together just yet.  Working with your industry peers through trade associations and good old fashioned business development. Often when we band together, as this industry has done many times, we can come up with new ideas, solutions, and resources.

Overcome the Risks With a Digital Freight Forwarding Platform in Your Business

It’s time to start your plan to cover risks associated with freight forwarding challenges as a freight forwarder. Recognize the truth about how global risks contribute to unrest in logistics and use that information to stay proactive throughout the current and next disruption. 

Visit or sign up for Cargologik today to learn more about services and pricing to safeguard your freight future now.

To get the most out of our platform, book your free, personalized training call with our Success Team

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