Why is not there the matching service between shippers and forwarders?

Hello, it’s IINO.
I would like to broadcast IINO san’s Logistics Radio today.

I’d like to answer a question from a radio listener.

I received a question like this one. “Why isn’t there a matching service between shippers and forwarders? Please tell me.”

I’d like to share with you my views on this question.

Daily Logistics Radio by IINO san in 20th Sep. 2021

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The current state of matching between shippers and forwarders

In conclusion, I think it is because the demand is not big enough.

Are there really no matching services between shippers and forwarders at all? I did some quick research and found that there are about two companies in Japan that operate such a service.

There may be others if you look for them, but I personally don’t think there is a big demand for such services for the following reasons.

Forwarders themselves match shipping companies and airlines

Basically, a forwarder’s job is to rent space from shipping companies and airlines and provide it to shippers.

In addition to ocean and air transportation, many of them also arrange transportation of trailers and warehouses by using the facilities of other companies.

Of course, there are cases where major forwarders own their warehouses and trailers, but basically, the characteristic of forwarders is that they can operate with non-assets.

Therefore, it can be said that forwarders themselves are a matching service for international logistics.

Possible to arrange logistics of remote areas

Forwarding, the job of arranging international transportation, can be arranged even from remote areas domestically. In fact, our company uses a forwarder in Tokyo to transport goods from Kagoshima in Kyushu to Bangkok.

It is needed trailers and customs clearance are handled locally. However, ocean and air transportation internationally can be arranged from anywhere in the country.

Because of this feature, you don’t have to search for forwarders through a matching service, you can find them through a general search.

Digital Forwarders

From now on, digital forwarders will be a matching service using their own platform.

This is a system in which shippers can enter their loading and unloading points, cargo information, etc. Then, shipping companies and ocean freight rates that meet their requirements will be displayed, which makes it much easier to book a vessel.

Nowadays, shipping companies have also introduced a booking system, but only for marine transportation.

Compared to a shipping company who handles port-to-port transportation, it is the difference that a forwarder can handle door-to-door transportation.

The forwarder matching service is a service that proposes total logistics.

Forwarder to forwarder matching services exist

In the case of forwarding, which arranges door-to-door transportation, the forwarder needs to cooperate with the exporter and importer to transport the cargo.

Major global forwarders may have branches all over the world, but general forwarders cooperate with them in different countries by signing agency agreements.

Since it is necessary to work with agents in each country, forwarders often belong to the Freight Forwarder Network. Within that network, they find a forwarder in a specific region and make a contract with them to arrange cargo for the shipper.


In summary, the reason why there are not many matching services between shippers and forwarders is because the demand is not large and the forwarders themselves are like matching service for shippers and various logistics providers.

In the future, it will take the form of digital forwarder which will make international logistics arrangements simpler for shippers.