Freight forwarder, is it really profitable?
The myth of creating wealth in the cross-border e-commerce logistics industry is never lacking in stories.
The legend of "one car in 7 days, one apartment in half a year", "freight forwarders earning 500000 yuan per year, I feel sour", "freight forwarders earning over 100000 yuan per month this year is a very normal thing"... The legend of overnight wealth with one capital and ten thousand profits has spread everywhere, adding another spark to the booming freight forwarding industry.
In the past two yearsCross border e-commerceExport transactionsHot and beneficialhavelogistics,Especially in the case of sea freight, the editor learned that during the tight supply of containers,Even at a Buy It Now priceThe $35000 container is also very popular, and there is still a market for it to be sold for $40000.The soaring sea freight prices have convinced people that freight forwarders areMake money lying down!
Wealth seems too easy to obtain, which not only attracts cross-border sellers to become freight forwarders, but also inspires ordinary people outside the cross-border circle with the most basic secular desires to come one after another. Data shows that the number of new companies entering the freight forwarding industry in the past year has exceeded9500, while only 15000 freight forwarding companies have been established in the past three years.
The rapidly developing freight forwarding industry is not just top-notchThe halo of 'sudden wealth' also carries many curses. The freight forwarding industry, where money never sleeps and is still in a period of windfall and dividend, has emitted more rotten odors under the catalysis of the epidemic. The frequent news of freight forwarding bosses running away is a testament to this.
Various theories are prevalent, however, these freight forwarders who are at the center of the topic clearly feel very aggrieved and puzzled.
Freight forwarders lie on their backs to earn money? Why don't you come and do it? "In the process of accompanying the editor, multiple freight forwarders expressed their helplessness with questioning tone. Unlike the widely rumored income outlook, many freight forwarders in reality are cursing that junk jobs are not as good as dogs. In addition to denying income rumors one after another, a group of small and medium-sized freight forwarders are still pouring out bitterness. "The epidemic is causing them to undergo a stress test, with almost every link in the logistics chain in a state of crisis, and many peers are stepping on a tightrope
When rumors and reality are in conflict, the true income of freight forwarders is worth carefully scrutinizing; When chaos is visible to the naked eye but helpless, how freight forwarders can regain public trust is also an important issue
How much money can freight forwarders earn?
I heard that the freight forwarding industry has taken off,Their average monthly salary is30000 yuan, the monthly salary for doing a good job is 300000 yuan!This statement is not uncommon in the past two years.
”“A friend who works as a freight forwarder,this yearYear-end bonusMore than my entire year's salary”,At the year-end prize competition, a cross-border seller once again realized that they were not doing as well as freight forwarders. Sellers generally felt that they were working for freight forwarders after working hard all year.
Doing cross-border e-commerceIn recent yearsSince then, IAll freight forwarders who have cooperated with usallComing out to work alone, the freight forwarding industry has really taken off in the past two years!” The increasing number of people working alone in the freight forwarding industry has once again convinced sellers of the fact that this industry makes money.
I want to switch to being a freight forwarder! "With the prevalence of the" nouveau riche "theory, the freight forwarding industry is becoming unprecedentedly popular. According to data, there are over 30000 international freight forwarding companies registered and registered with the competent authorities in China, with over 2 million employees, increasing by 5% to 10% annually. According to industry estimates, apart from these formally approved freight forwarding companies, there are still over 100000 affiliated "second generation" and "third generation" companies, with roughly tens of millions of employees involved.
Freight forwarderThe "status" improvement occurred after the beginning of the COVID-19, which was dominated by freight forwarders engaged in shipping.Maritime transportation has always been an important component of international trade, with approximately80% of trade volume and over 70% of trade volume are completed through sea transportation. In the repeated epidemic, factors such as increasing demand and limited supply have led to a shortage of containers, resulting in continuous increases in freight rates, which has also led toCross border maritime transport development ushers in a second spring.
A close practitionerIndustry insiders in the past 20 years have stated that in the past two years, many logistics service providers have indeed made a lot of money, and there are also cases of monthly earning a house in Shenzhen. When information asymmetry resources are scarce, in the entire cross-border logistics chain, not only are there top tier agents, but in fact, there are people who "become wealthy overnight" in every link.
The freight forwarding industry creates miracles, but miracles do not come to everyone.
“Some people can quickly pick up luxury cars in just a short amount of time.”A freight forwarder saw the rising income of his solo colleagues, and while feeling envious in his heart, he lamented that his colleagues had different lives. He said,Previously, the freight forwarder did notsuchEarn, in the past two yearsFreight forwarders with resources,It does make money,Even the level of earning moneyYesuseOne year to ten yearsTo describe,However, all of this is limited to the availability of resources, and there are alsoFreight forwarders can earn money quickly when doing business, as long as they do well and are struggling in other directions.”
In real life, a monthly income of just over ten thousand may actually be the most real life state of most freight forwarders.
A member of the Bureau who changed his business from foreign trade to freight forwarder has burst the foam of freight forwarder making wealth in his imagination.“Unconsciously2021 has passed, and in the past year, I have always felt that I haven't made much money, haven't made much progress, and it's very painful and painful. Without performance, I can only get a basic salary of 3000 yuan.”
After becoming a freight forwarder in foreign trade, there is more than one freight forwarder in the same situation. At the end of the year, Xiao Zhang is particularly irritable with the working methods of freight forwarders, to the point where he suspects that giving up foreign trade as a freight forwarder is not worth it,I make phone calls all day long, and there are hardly any inquiries every day, but I have already reached this stage in my life. I am 25 years old in 2022, and I don't know how long I can persist in this industry
After joining the company, it was discovered that freight forwarders did not make as much money as they imagined, nor did they do as well as they imagined. This is a consensus among many people.A freight forwarder stated that theirIn 2015, I received 3000 yuan, and by 2018, I started to receive 10000 to 20000 yuan. I worked from 10am to 11pm, answering phone calls, and doing all kinds of work,To be familiar with various international trade terms, it is necessary to control related costs and risks, and also to master the art of speakingThe following conversation may not be unfamiliar to you:
customerPlease quote me a price from the United States.
Freight forwarderTo which address? Send it to me.
customerWhy do you have so many things to do when other companies can quote without an address?
Freight forwarder: Dear, it's like this (under explanation)
A freight forwarder stated that manyThe customer's position is that freight forwarders are omnipotent,butThe ship was not built by the freight forwarder, nor was it manned by the freight forwarder,When encountering unexpected situations, I am willing to patiently explain, after all, this is my own job, but many times, I still hope that customers can rationallyLooking at the issue of shipping delays.
It is reported that the people that freight forwarders need to face include customers, peers, shipping companies, venues, customs declarers, fleet drivers, dispatchers, factory workers, and even customs, among others. These personnel have different levels of quality, and the biggest difficulty may not be in operating procedures or documents, but in dealing with this group of people.
“The boatman is God, the customer is God, the driver is the boss, the warehouse is Sister, and I am the freight forwarder and also the sandwich of the sandwich cake. I was crushed to death”In real life, freight forwarders' roast are widespread.
A freight forwarder's dog is a real dog. A good weekend is filled with work. What about the agreed weekend weekend weekend? My flag this year is to escape from the freight forwarder next year. "A freight forwarder said that during the freight forwarder's vacation, he always feels strange without turning on his computer." Has he been released? Has he entered the port? Has he opened the port? Check it before going to bed so that he can wash and sleep with peace of mind? "He worries too much and thinks he is in his twenties, With a face in his thirties,The repeated epidemic and rising prices have once again increased the difficulty of work, but have not led to much increase in income.
An industry insider also stated that the higher the shipping cost, the more difficult it is for freight forwarders to handle:
1The unit price is high, the same quantity of goods, the same accounting period, and the freight forwarder needs to advance more funds, resulting in higher pressure on funds.
2. Leaving aside the issue of turnover, the risk will also increase.
3. Profit, when the UPS is priced at 30 yuan/kg, the profit is 1-2 yuan. When the UPS is priced at 80 yuan/kg, the profit may also be 1-2 yuan, greatly reducing the profit margin. Some people say that operating fees are additional profits, but in fact, they are all officially charged.
4. Unregulated timing can lead to delays and compensation.
5. The accounting period with the shipping company has changed, and the financial pressure has increased.
Many freight forwarders are losing money,One end is driven to death by the customer, and the other end is driven to death by the price”A freight forwarder said he felt that he was about to lose support in this industry.
On one hand, one is making a lot of money, and on the other hand, it's struggling to change careers,The survival status of freight forwarders shows us the magical reality of this industry.
Participants in cross-border logistics: Who is making money?
In the past year, due to the continuous impact of the global epidemic, there has been a shortage of labor in major overseas ports, a general decline in dock operation efficiency, a surge in vessel waiting phenomena, and a shortage of effective global transportation capacity supply, highlighting the supply-demand contradiction. International authoritative shipping research institutions predict that the global effective transportation capacity will be lost due to factors such as port congestion17%, but due to increased congestion in recent months compared to the previous period, the actual loss of effective transportation capacity will be higher.
“In the past two years, the epidemic has squeezed transportation costs to the sky, and capitalists have been cutting our leeks.”In the eyes of freight forwarders, the epidemic is causing them to undergo a stress test, with almost every link in the logistics chain experiencing various conditions, and many peers are stepping on the tightrope to pass by! If there is any problem, the freight forwarder will have to bear the blame, but the shipping company will take advantage of it.
“If we compare shipping companies to landlords, freight forwarders are intermediaries, and their profits are limited. It is the shipping companies that truly make money!”It is widely rumored that freight forwarders are making a lot of money, which has been criticized by many freight forwarding colleagues. However, on the matter of making money for shipping companies, everyone's views are surprisingly consistent.
Shipping companies are making profits: a series of skyrocketing data is the best evidence.
Recently, Taiwan's largest shipping companyEvergreen ShippingStarting to distribute year-end bonuses to employees, someone unexpectedly received up toA bonus of over 40 times the monthly salary, calculated based on a base salary of NT $60000 (approximately RMB 13900), earns over NT $2 million (approximately RMB 463000) in one go.
I've never seen so much money before“Issue year-end bonusIt's reallyJust like sending paper”Many people's first reaction when they see the news is that their cognition has been refreshed again. As news of the year-end bonus distribution from other shipping companies continues to flow out, cross-border people are starting to exclaim non-stop:
Yangming Shipping employees are dissatisfied with their own company before sendingThe chairman of the company, considering the gap with peers, has decided to issue an 8-month bonus;
The year-end bonus plan for Wanhai Air Transport is12 times the monthly salary plus 1 million New Taiwan Dollars (approximately 230000 RMB);
The male ticket belongs to COSCO Shipping Group, and this year's cleaning aunts have it allMore than 30000 year-end bonuses
In the face of the rising net profit of the shipping company, Volkswagen has assumed that all information about the year-end bonus distribution of the shipping company is true.
It is reported that COSCO Holdings has announcedAnnouncement of expected increase in annual performance for 2021. Announcement content display,The company expectsIn 2021, the net profit attributable to shareholders of the listed company was approximately RMB 89.28 billionCompared to the same period last year, it increased by approximately 79.35 billion yuan, an increase of approximately 799.3% year-on-year.
COSCO Haikong Annual Profit89.28 billion yuan, earning over 240 million yuan per day, a figure that ordinary people cannot imagine. It can be foreseen that the annual performance of other shipping companies in 2021 is definitely at an unparalleled level. Below are Maersk, Dafei, COSCO Haikong, and othersBig Shipping CompanySummary of performance in the first half of 2021:
MaerskThe operating revenue was 26.6 billion US dollars, and the net profit was 6.5 billion US dollars. It is expected that the annual profit will exceed the sum of the past 7 years;
DafeiOperating revenue is22.48 billion US dollars, with a net profit of 5.55 billion US dollars, a year-on-year increase of 29 times;
COSCO Marine ControlOperating revenue is139.3 billion yuan (approximately 21.54 billion US dollars), with a net profit of approximately 37.098 billion yuan (approximately 5.74 billion US dollars), an increase of nearly 32 times year-on-year;
HerbrotThe operating revenue was 10.6 billion US dollars, and the net profit was 3.3 billion US dollars, an increase of more than 9.5 times year-on-year;
HMMOperating revenue was $4.56 billion, net profit was $310 million, and a loss of approximately $32.05 million was achieved in the same period last year, turning losses into profits.
Evergreen ShippingOperating revenue is6.83 billion US dollars, with a net profit of 2.81 billion US dollars, a year-on-year increase of over 27 times;
Wanhai Air TransportThe operating revenue was NT $86.633 billion (approximately US $3.11 billion), and the net profit after tax was NT $33.687 billion (approximately US $1.21 billion), a year-on-year increase of 18 times.
Yangming ShippingThe operating revenue is NT $135.55 billion, approximately US $4.87 billion, and the net profit is NT $59.05 billion
Coins, approximatelyUSD 2.12 billion, a year-on-year increase of over 32 times.
Star shippingThe operating revenue was 4.13 billion US dollars, and the net profit was 1.48 billion US dollars, a year-on-year growth of nearly 113 times.
Predicted by relevant institutions,The global effective transportation capacity is expected to lose 12% in 2022, and the container market will still be in a state of supply shortage in 2022.
The status of the shipping company's profit will not change at least in the short term.
Freight forwarder reputation crisis
Shipping industry fromFrom 2008 until now, I have finally turned around!Is today's maritime dividend period honey or arsenic for the freight forwarding industry?
As long as cross-border e-commerce is still there, there will always be opportunities for cross-border logistics, and the development prospects are still quite good, "a freight forwarder told me. The dividend period of maritime transportation under the epidemic has not disappeared, and many freight forwarders have seized the opportunity to make small or large profits in the past two years. In fact, as cross-border e-commerce exports became increasingly popular before the epidemic, the number of cross-border logistics entrants has been increasing year by year.
Fish and dragons are mixed, and the freight forwarding industry has been facing a reputation crisis in recent years.
A reasonable profit margin for freight forwarders can provide good services and optimize products, thereby providing better quality services. This is a virtuous cycle!Most freight forwarders are also following this market rule, however, there are always people breaking the rules.
In the past two years, there have been more people entering our industry with a mentality of making quick money, and few have settled down. Many have cheated and fled. It is reported that low prices are the key to some people's success in making quick money. After receiving goods at low prices, foreign countries have been fooling around, withholding, running away, and continuing to do so without deducting. In 2021 alone, there are countless such incidents.
A scammer will meet the seller's needs for low prices, delayed compensation, and long payment periods. Only when there is a problem will the seller discover that all the advantages they have will be returned. "An insider revealed that although some freight forwarders may sign high compensation terms with the seller, this prerequisite is that the seller provides a price n times higher than the market situation. The special channels promised by the freight forwarders are actually in order to increase the probability of risk occurrence, Actually, they all operate according to normal procedures. When a problem really occurs, small amounts may be compensated, while large amounts are basically hopeless. Even so, they can still switch to a new vest and reopen. "Last year, the company had a major problem, and this year, we will change the company name and legal representative to continue digging holes
In fact, there are still many chaotic operations in the freight forwarding industry, such as receiving and dispatching Meisen Express, and receiving Meisen Express and dispatching slow ships... "A competitor, Meisen, received goods at a low price, with some going on January 26th and some going on February 2nd, which is a very sophisticated approach." A freight forwarder told me that the price difference between Meisen on the 26th and No. 2 is 6-8 yuan per kilogram, 100 kilograms, 30 kilograms going on No. 26, and 70 kilograms going on No. 2. This profit is very scary.
Overall, there is no regulation in this industry, so there have always been people digging and jumping into pits.Is the extensive growth of the freight forwarding industry driven by dividends sustainable?
“The entire cross-border logistics industry is entering the stage of technological logistics and capital logistics. If logistics service providers only rely on information asymmetry, earning price differences, and other means to make money, it will definitely not be a long-term solution.”A senior freight forwarder said that the freight forwarding industry is very easy to operate, and if you set a low price, you can receive goods. This industry is also difficult to do, "It is not a long-term solution to do it as an assembly line. How to do it more finely and as a career? I am still exploring
This senior practitioner has personally experienced freight forwarding