In the freight forwarding industry, managing a business or being a freight forwarder becomes more challenging due to the number of uncertainties and external factors constantly impacting your work.

Freight forwarding metrics and KPIs play an important role in this process.

In spite of the high transportation rates in the market, you must keep track of key performance indicators (KPIs) that provide insight into your business performance in order to stay on top of your freight forwarding company, provide the best service to shippers and carriers, and maintain profitability.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) help measure the performance and efficiency of your freight forwarding operations. Some examples of KPIs:

  • Delivery time accuracy: Measures the accuracy of delivery times promised to customers.
  • Cost per shipment: Measures the cost of shipping per shipment.
  • Carrier performance: Measures the performance of carriers in terms of delivery times and service quality.
  • Damage rate: Measures the percentage of shipments that are damaged during transit.
  • Customer satisfaction: Measures customer satisfaction with the freight forwarding service.

Let’s discuss the most important KPIs your business should analyze to stay competitive and Boost your profitability.

  1. Based on Time and Tracking


  • On-Time Delivery- In accordance with the delivery Estimate, this metric calculates the proportion of shipments that reach the customer on time.

It is crucial for freight forwarders to analyze their capacity to satisfy supplier requirements and give customers accurate information on trustworthy shipping routes and carriers.

With a high percentage of deliveries made on time, you can tell that your company is satisfying customers’ needs and building loyalty among them. When clients choose a forwarder for their needs, they can compare them against this ratio.

Additionally, it assists freight agents in determining how frequently and successfully their carriers fulfil their ETAs and in recognising the potential need for any partner changes.

  • On-Time Pickup – It measures the percentage of shipments picked up from the supplier within the specified timeline, much the same as On-Time Delivery does. A strong on-time pickup rate shows that you successfully handle logistics parameters and satisfy supplier requirements.


  • Average Wait Time – By measuring the time from the truck’s arrival at the loading warehouse until the container is loaded and leaves the place, this calculates how long it takes to load cargo into a truck or other form of transportation.

If there are long delay times, companies charge high fees. Forwarders should do this calculation when they handle freight rates.

Understanding and spotting potential delays is important since freight forwarders work as middlemen for both the carrier and the shipper throughout the delivery process.


  1. Metrics based on Freight Rates


  • Average Freight Cost Per Ton Shipped – The last few years have seen a lot of fluctuation in freight prices. When compared to movements made using a fixed-rate card, there has also been an increase in shipments at the Official rate.

Customers favor a forwarder’s services because of the additional knowledge they contribute to choosing an economical route for their cargo.

Understanding freight charges for every route is essential for a forwarder to provide clients with better advice and accurate industry trends. This ratio can be divided based on routes and seasons and is calculated as a total value in common countries.

  • Cost Ratio of Value added (Surcharges) – In addition to the actual cost of freight, ships and customs authorities are required to add a number of additional fees.


These changes based on the ports of origin and destination, the type of cargo, the routes taken, the fuel used, and even the security needs. Forwarders are expected to be knowledgeable about the specifics and help people in reducing their exposure to these surcharges.


In order to attract and keep customers, freight forwarders must map the ratio and expenses associated with surcharges.


This ratio can be determined whether in real numbers in a common currency or in terms of the overall freight shipment cost.


  • Average Margin – Irrespectively of the industry, all freight forwarding companies base their performance on this important business metric.


It is calculated by adding all expenses and all revenue. It is calculated as a percentage by dividing the profit value by the entire amount given to the consumer.


Over an extended period, there may be different levels of profit margins for each customer. Hence, taking an average of them gives the forwarder a better idea of the typical profit margin he operates at.


While a normal margin may be added when the quote is raised, margins are frequently adjusted to keep or gain customers. It is crucial for digital forwarders to monitor their average profit margin as a result.


  1. KPIs based on Internal Business Operations


  • Quote Conversion Ratio – When a potential client accepts a quote and changes it into a firm order A estimate conversion, used in the freight forwarding sector.


At this point, both the pricing team and the field agent or sales team are contributing their efforts.


The rate at which target clients accept quotes generated by the pricing team is determined through this quote conversion ratio.


Digital forwarders can use this indicator to assess the key factors by customer or shipment type and re-engineer their quote production process for greater efficiency and improved quote conversion rates.


  • New Sales Leads Numbers – New sales leads can be mapped or tracked by the field sales team in a variety of ways, including manually on paper or automatically through platforms.

Digital forwarders could learn about the future of their business by looking at the quantity of fresh sales leads in the pipeline and the quote conversion rate.


This helps management in determining where further efforts should be focused and whether or not fresh sales leads should be generated using various marketing techniques.


At one particular time, this measure is reported as a full number.


  • Shipment Quantity and Utilization of Space or Volume – This refers to the efficiency with which the available container or truck space is utilized. It is expressed as a percentage and is considered an important metric in the cargo transportation industry.

Achieving 100% capacity utilization is a key goal for all cargo movers, as any unused space represents a financial loss and a lack of operational efficiency.

In addition to being of interest to shippers and customers, capacity utilization data can also be analyzed by forwarders to gain valuable insights. Forwarders can use this information to demonstrate their expertise and value by highlighting their ability to optimize capacity utilization for their clients.

By analyzing capacity utilization trends, forwarders can provide informed advice to clients and shipping lines, helping them to improve their own operational efficiency and reduce waste.


In conclusion, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are crucial for measuring the performance and success of a logistics company’s freight forwarding operations. By tracking and analyzing KPIs such as delivery time, shipment accuracy, cost efficiency, and customer satisfaction, companies can identify areas for improvement and make data-driven decisions that boost their competitiveness and profitability. To remain ahead in the industry, it is crucial for logistics companies to adopt KPIs and utilize technology to automate their tracking and analysis, leading to quicker and smarter services.