Multinationals Decline. Independents Rise.

It was all supposed to be so straightforward. Industry analysts, multinational freight forwarder executives and MBA business students all fell into line in 2009, predicting that the global downturn would largely kill off the independent freight forwarding sector and consolidation would leave the global logistics companies with a rapidly growing and dominant role that would never be reversed. This misinformation was peddled as fact – only the largest logistics companies and a handful of niche operators were equipped to prosper in the 21st Century and small- and medium-sized companies would gradually be marginalized, driven out of business or swallowed up in takeovers. Hermann Ude, head of DHL Global Forwarding in 2009, very publicly stated that smaller forwarders would collapse and “many of these companies will just disappear.” Ude, in fact, has been proved completely wrong as the independent sector is now more vibrant and successful than ever, despite the global economic woes of the past few years.