2017 Guide: Keep Your Shipments Moving with the Top Transport Companies

Moving your shipments internationally is no easy task no matter how you look at it. If your job entails importing and exporting shipments for your company, chances are you face high stress levels and frustration. Thankfully, freight forwarding companies are emerging to help ease this burden.

With freight forwarders, you can shrug off most of the logistical responsibilities, instead placing them on the forwarding agent that you hire. This can improve delivery times and, believe it or not, occasionally lower your costs.

Best Freight Forwarders & Agents

Award Emblem: Top 6 Best Freight Forwarders & Agents

The trick is finding the best transport companies so that you can be assured your freight will make it from Point A to Point B without any issues or damage. Unfortunately, finding the top freight forwarding companies is not always easy to do, and with so many options, the search process can be frustrating.

When you are looking for a freight forwarding agent, you likely have many questions, such as:

  • What are freight agents and why do you need one?
  • What should you look for in freight forwarding services?
  • Do all freight agents offer both ocean and air freight shipping services?
  • What are the top freight forwarding services?

Throughout this 2017 guide, we will answer the questions you have surrounding freight transport and forwarding. We will explain what a freight forwarding agent does and what to look for in the top freight services. Finally, we will provide a detailed review of the six best freight forwarding services.

See Also: Doba Reviews & Pricing | What You Need to Know about Doba Drop Shipping

AdvisoryHQ’s List of the Top 6 Best Freight Shipping Companies

List is sorted alphabetically (click any of the freight companies below to go directly to the detailed review section for that freight shipping company):

Top 6 Best Freight Shipping Companies| Brief Comparison & Ranking

 Best Freight Shipping Companies

Air vs. Ocean

(Metric Tons vs. TEUs)

Annual Gross Revenue (USD Millions)

DB Schenker

1,128,000 / 1,942,000


DHL Supply Chain & Global Forwarding

2,109,000 / 2,930,000



872,480 / 1,043,880


Kuehne + Nagel

1,250,000 / 3,820,000


Sinotrans Limited

522,600 / 2,801,300


UPS Supply Chain Solutions

935,300 / 615,000


Table: Top 6 Best Freight Forwarders | Above list is sorted alphabetically

Detailed Overview: What Is a Freight Forwarding Agent?

You often concern yourself with the idea that your freight needs to be moved from A to B. But how does it get there? How does your freight move through air, land, and sea to reach its final destination?

That is where freight forwarding companies come into play. Many businesses need to import or export goods and services to keep running smoothly, but the logistics of freight shipping can seem daunting. You don’t have established relationships along the way, but thankfully, freight forwarding companies do.

Freight agents essentially act as in intermediary between you and the logistical network that gets your shipments from A to B. Simplistically, freight forwarders are companies that arrange the exporting and importing of goods for you.

freight forwarder

Source: Pixabay

These freight services specialize in the storage and transportation of your merchandise. That means from the warehouse to the ship yard or airport and to the final destination, these freight transport agents work to ensure that everything is moving along.

Generally, freight companies are responsible for preparing shipping and customs documents, booking cargo space, negotiating transportation charges, consolidating freight, securing cargo insurance, and even filing any insurance claims that may arise along the way.

If it seems like transport companies do a lot of work, that’s because they do. The benefit of having freight forwarding services is that this is then work that you don’t get stuck doing. 

Detailed Overview: What to Consider When Choosing Freight Shipping Companies

So much goes into organizing your freight from the time it leaves your warehouse to the time that it arrives at its destination. Especially when you are dealing with international shipping, it is easy to become overwhelmed and struggle to process the logistics. Often, this can be quite impossible if you don’t have the knowledge of and relationships with the different cogs throughout the supply chain.

This is why freight services are essential to have for companies that are operating on an international scale. While it’s easy to understand that you need a freight transport provider, the real trick is trying to find the top freight shipping companies. There are so many options available to you that it can be very easy to get confused and overwhelmed with the process.

The whole reason you hire freight forwarding companies is so that you can avoid having to manage logistics, but if you are unsure what to look for in a freight forwarder, the search can seem impossible.

That is why you need to have an idea of what you are looking for when you are trying to compare transport companies. When you are looking at freight shipping services, it is important to consider the following:


Everyone always looks at the cost of freight forwarders, which is understandable. There is so much emphasis placed on minimizing costs that you want to secure the best prices possible. However, cost cannot be the only thing that you consider, because you need to choose a freight forwarder that meets your needs.

Global Reach

One of the most crucial things to look at when you are trying to choose between freight shipping companies is their global reach. You want a company with relationships and partners in the areas that you are looking to ship your goods into and/or out of. The best transport companies will have a wide global reach for you to utilize and multiple contacts that can help you find alternative routes if need be.

Commodity Specialization

Something else to consider is freight forwarding companies’ ability to handle the goods that you are looking to ship. Some companies will handle all types of commodities, but others specialize in certain commodities. Be sure that the freight forwarding company you choose can meet your needs.

Financial Strength

This variable is often overlooked, but it is crucial to consider. You want financially strong transport companies handling your goods because they need to be able to pay the vendors they use to transport your goods. Just because you pay them doesn’t mean the money is going directly to the transportation of your shipments.

Customer Service

When you are sending multiple shipments throughout the world, it is crucial to have an idea of where these products are at any point in time. Choosing freight forwarding companies that have strong and responsive customer service teams will definitely help with that. That means when your boss swings by asking about shipments, you can hop right on the phone to check their status.

There are many aspects that need to be considered when you are trying to find the best freight shipping companies. The goal is to hire these agents to do the work for you, which means you need to choose one that can meet your shipment-specific needs.

Don’t Miss: How to Find Dropshipping Suppliers for Your Business | Free Complete Guide

All-in-One Change Management Tools

Top Rated Toolkit for Change Managers.

Get Your Change Management Tool Today...

Advisory HQ’s Selection Methodology

What methodology does AdvisoryHQ use in selecting and finalizing the credit cards, financial products, firms, services, and products that are ranked on its various top-rated lists?

Please click here “AdvisoryHQ’s Ranking Methodologies” for a detailed review of AdvisoryHQ’s selection methodologies for ranking top-rated credit cards, financial accounts, firms, products, and services.

Detailed Review – Top Ranking Best Freight Forwarders

Below, please find the detailed review of each freight forwarding agent on our list of freight shipping services. We have highlighted some of the factors that allowed these freight companies to score so highly in our selection ranking.

DB Schenker Review

DB Schenker is one of the top transport companies in the world and can definitely be a good choice for your freight forwarding needs.  For over 140 years, DB Schenker has been offering supply chain management and logistic solutions for businesses.

When it comes to freight shipping companies, it is hard to beat what DB Schenker offers. They provide land transport through 720 land transportation branches, air freight for timely deliveries and large cargo, and even ocean freight. The company ships over 5,500 containers a day to ports throughout the world.

If you are worried about managing your supply chain, DB Schenker can help. They offer contract logistics to help you navigate through the world of shipping and they are one of the few freight shipping companies that provide experts for you to plan with.

Bottom Line

When it comes to freight forwarders, DB Schenker is a company that is worth considering, especially with the vast global reach they have.

DHL Supply Chain & Global Forwarding Review

If you are trying to find transport companies with a wide reach, DHL Supply Chain & Global Forwarding definitely fits that criteria. They are number one in coordination and movement of freight throughout the world. The sheer size of DHL, along with the experience they possess, enables them to claim a spot as one of the top freight forwarding companies in the world.

The great thing about DHL is that they are able to scale their services up and down to meet the needs of your company. If you are a small business looking to move a container or less, they can assist you. If you are an experienced international shipper looking to move large quantities, DHL is still one of the best transport companies for you.

They offer air, land and sea logistical solutions and can handle a variety of commodities. The great thing about DHL Supply Chain & Global Forwarding is that they are also able to provide tracking services.

Bottom Line

If you want freight shipping companies with a large supply network and expertise to get the job done, you may want to consider DHL.

Related: How to Start a Drop-Shipping Business | Details on Starting a Drop-Shipping Business

Expeditors Review

Expeditors is one of the freight forwarding companies that offers services worth your consideration. They have over 16,000 long-term employees who know the logistics business inside and out. By putting these individuals to work for you, you can ensure that your shipments move fluidly throughout the world.

If you are looking for freight shipping companies that can provide start-to-finish logistics management, Expeditors might be a good fit for you. The company offers services including supply chain performance, transportation, customs & compliance, and warehousing & distribution.

Expeditors is one of the transport companies that services a wide variety of industries, and you likely won’t have a problem with them managing whatever freight you’re shipping.

Bottom Line

This Fortune 500 company is based in Seattle, Washington and hosts a global network of 331 locations through 109 countries. This is one of the freight forwarding companies that can get the job done.

Kuehne + Nagel Review

Kuehne + Nagel is another one of the top freight forwarding companies for you to consider when looking for a freight forwarder. They have been in business for over 125 years and have the knowledge and experience you are looking for.

Founded in Bremen, Germany in 1890, Kuehne + Nagel started small but has since grown into one of the largest freight forwarders in the entire world. They have over 1,3000 offices throughout 100 countries. With an employee network soaring above 70,00o, you know that they have the experience and personnel to deliver quality service and customer service.

Their sea freight services offer solid partnerships with an extensive range of ocean carriers and their air freight had Global Cargo iQ Phase 2 certification. As a leader in innovative shipping, Kuehne + Nagel has earned their top-tier status.

Bottom Line

Kuehne + Nagel might be one of the best freight forwarders for you. They offer advanced technology and innovative solutions learned through their 125 years in business.

Sinotrans Limited Review

If you want a forwarding service that has vast industry knowledge, then look no further than Sinotrans Limited. This is one of the transport companies that has been around for quite some time. Since the 1960’s when they were founded, Sinotrans Limited has continued growth by offering reliable services.

Their freight forwarding services are backed by a standardized operating process and vast industry knowledge. They offer both sea and air freight forwarding services for businesses big and small.

Their services include booking, cargo delivery and collection, customs clearance and CIQ declaration, and storage. They also offer haulage service, distribution, and dispatching services. If you are interested in international transit shipment services, this is one of the freight shipping companies that can assist.

Bottom Line

With a variety of services offered, Sinotrans Limited is definitely one of the freight forwarders to consider.

UPS Supply Chain Solutions Review

UPS Supply Chain Solutions is one of the freight forwarders that offers a global network of logistics solutions. This household name is backed with a strong reputation and on-time delivery guarantee that is hard to pass up.

UPS Supply Chain Solutions offers both air and ocean freight shipping, and they can also assist with contract logistics for those interested. A great thing about UPS Supply Chain Solutions is that they can scale their businesses to those big and small, making them one of the transport companies that anyone can take advantage of.

Another great thing about UPS is that they offer assistance with cargo claims, offer insurance, and have great tracking features. This is helpful for keeping an eye on where in the world your shipments currently are.

Bottom Line

UPS is a name that you know, and their reputation precedes them. With strong on-time delivery rates and great tracking features, this is a great freight forwarder.

Popular Article:  What Is Dropshipping? The Different Types of Dropshippers (Fashion, Clothing, Furniture, Jewelry, etc.)

Conclusion – Top 6 Best Transport Companies

Freight forwarders can be a great asset for companies that are functioning on a global scale.

They are able to handle storage and transportation of your freight, from the warehouse to the point of delivery. That means they handle negotiating prices, consolidating shipments, and even preparing import and export paperwork.

freight forwarding

Source: Pixabay

Their task list is large and you need to make sure that you choose the right company from the large list of freight forwarders to handle your goods.

When you are comparing these freight shipping companies, it is important to find a company that has a global reach in the areas you ship to, is financially strong, and can handle the commodity you are shipping. Strong customer service and tracking features are simply icing on the cake.

Read More: Quick Tips to Budget and Manage Your Money Better

AdvisoryHQ (AHQ) Disclaimer:

Reasonable efforts have been made by AdvisoryHQ to present accurate information, however all info is presented without warranty. Review AdvisoryHQ’s Terms for details. Also review each firm’s site for the most updated data, rates and info.

Note: Firms and products, including the one(s) reviewed above, may be AdvisoryHQ's affiliates. Click to view AdvisoryHQ's advertiser disclosures.