Comments: “Freight forwarding as a standalone business will be virtually extinct”

“Freight forwarding as a standalone business will be virtually extinct”

The McKinsey 2067 outlook for the Container Shipping business continues:

“[This because] digital interactions will have reduced the need for intermediaries to manage logistics services for multiple participants in the value chain.” [1]


Seems like a bold prediction. With more complex supply chain networks, the need for a “director” of the traffic routed on these networks increases. While tech giants (e.g. Amazon) might dominate client relationships [2], routing cargo through worldwide networks will still require highly specific and valuable knowledge – also in 50 years from now.

It is unlikely such talent and activities will not be pooled, and we are nowhere near automation of such expertise in expert systems or other AI [3].

While digitization will no-doubt change the role of the freight forwarder, it is only a first step to enable more value-adding activities and digitization alone will not “reduce the need to manage logistics services”.



[1] Read or download the full McKinsey “Container shipping: The next 50 years” report at (oct 2017)

[2] Excellent longread on dynamics of power on the web by André Staltz: (oct 2017)

[3] Sea Working Group chairman Jens Roemer at the FIATA World Congress. Interesting report of speech at (oct 2017)

Share this post with your network

We are hiring! Will you revolutionize logistics with our team?