Freight Outlook 2024: Explore Industry Data & Innovation

The freight industry is at the start of significant transformation driven by technology breakthroughs and green initiatives. This freight outlook explores market data as well as the key areas of innovation and their implications for companies worldwide.

The 2024 Freight Outlook provides an in-depth analysis of the sector’s current landscape and future projections. This report highlights trends, growth metrics, and investment activities shaping the industry. It also explores advancement in freight optimization, logistics platforms, and cold chain logistics and offers insights into the innovations that drive efficiency and growth.

This freight report serves as a reference for stakeholders within the industry, investors, policymakers, and economic analysts, providing a snapshot of the industry’s health to map its trajectory for innovation and growth in the coming years.

StartUs Insights Freight Outlook 2024


Executive Summary: Freight Industry Outlook 2024

This report is created using data obtained from the Big Data and AI-powered StartUs Insights Discovery Platform, covering more than 4.7 million global companies, as well as 20K+ technologies and emerging trends. We also analyzed a sample of 1600+ freight startups developing innovative solutions to present five examples from emerging freight industry trends.

  • Industry Growth Overview: The freight market outlook shows an industry that comprises over 31220 companies, with an annual growth rate of – 2.05%.
  • Manpower & Employment Growth: The sector employs 3.6 million individuals. It experienced an employee growth of 168100+ in the last year.
  • Patents & Grants: The industry includes 6470+ patents and has been awarded 550+ grants.
  • Global Footprint: The top five country hubs (USA, India, UK, Canada, Australia) and city hubs (Dubai, Mumbai, Sydney, Singapore, Melbourne) serve as key centers of textile innovation.
  • Investment Landscape: With more than 3360 funding rounds closed, the sector received an average investment value of USD 74.5 million per round.
  • Top Investors: The leading investors in the sector include Alibaba Group, Cainiao Logistics, Agility, and more. The combined investment from top investors exceeds USD 4 billion.
  • Startup Ecosystem: The top five startups in this industry include Freight Science (real-time advanced analytics), Cedric Millar Integrated Solutions (prescriptive analytics), HAULOG (cloud-based freight management software), HAPTIK (blockchain automation), and CloudFret (empty truck return optimization).
  • Recommendations for Stakeholders: Investors should prioritize funding companies that develop advanced logistics and automation technologies, such as AI-driven route optimization and autonomous vehicles. While entrepreneurs should explore opportunities in digital freight platforms and sustainable transportation solutions, they should also capitalize on the growing demand for green logistics.

Explore the Data-driven Freight Report for 2024

The freight report 2024 uses data from the Discovery Platform and encapsulates the key metrics that underline the sector’s dynamic growth and innovation. The heatmap provides an overview of the current freight market. Our database includes 1641 startups and a total of 31220 companies. Despite a slight decline in industry growth by 2.05% last year, innovation remains strong with over 6470 active patents and 550 grants awarded.

The global workforce in this sector reaches approximately 3.6 million, with employee growth of over 168100 in the last year. The top five country hubs driving this growth include the USA, India, the UK, Canada, and Australia, while the leading city hubs include Dubai, Mumbai, Sydney, Singapore, and Melbourne. This heatmap above visualizes these key data points and highlights the market’s dynamic nature and geographical distribution.

What data is used to create this freight report?

Based on the data provided by our Discovery Platform, we observe that the freight industry ranks among the top 5% in the following categories relative to all 20K topics in our database. These categories provide a comprehensive overview of the industry’s key metrics and inform the short-term future direction of the industry.

  • News Coverage & Publications: 70 news articles were published on freight technology in the last year.
  • Funding Rounds: Over 3360 funding rounds were closed in this sector.
  • Manpower: The industry employs over 3.6 million workers. It added more than 168100 new employees in the last year.
  • Patents: Over 6470 freight companies registered patents.
  • Grants: More than 550 companies dealing with freight technologies received grants.
  • Yearly Global Search Growth: Yearly global search growth for the market increased by 162.77%.
  • and more. Book a demo to explore all data points used to create this freight report.

A Snapshot of the Global Freight Industry

The freight report highlights the market’s growth and investment landscape. It employs a workforce of 3.6 million individuals. Over the past year, the industry experienced an employee growth of 168100 people. The market shows a competitive landscape with more than 31220 companies operating within this segment.

Explore the Funding Landscape of the Freight Industry

The average investment value per round stands at USD 74.5 million. The market attracted over 1900 investors and contributed to the closure of more than 3360 funding rounds. This investment is distributed across more than 1470 companies. These data points illustrate a market characterized by manpower, employee growth, active companies, investment activity, investors, and funded companies.

Who is Investing in Freight?

The combined investment value of the top investors in the industry exceeds USD 4.1 billion. This financial backing reflects the confidence and interest of major investors in the sector’s growth potential. Here are the top investors along with their investment details:

  • Alibaba Group invested USD 1.2 billion in 3 companies.
  • Cainiao Logistics invested USD 954.4 million in 2 companies.
  • Agility contributed USD 851 million to 2 companies.
  • SoftBank Vision Fund invested in 4 companies with about USD 643.9 million.
  • Andreessen Horowitz financed 3 companies with a total of USD 498.5 million.
  • and more. Book a demo to explore all investment data in the freight technology industry.

Here are the top trends in the freight technology industry along with the firmographic insights:

Freight Optimization includes 63 companies that enhance freight efficiency and reduce costs. These companies employ a total of 11600 individuals reflecting their operational scale. Over the past year, the industry added about 500 new employees. The annual trend growth rate of 16.91% demonstrates freight optimization technologies’ increasing importance and adoption.

The Logistics Platform sub-sector expanded with 1365 companies identified in this space. These companies employ a workforce of 267.3K individuals showcasing the sector’s extensive reach. In the past year, the industry saw an increase of 18900 new employees. The annual trend growth rate of 37.03% emphasizes the demand for integrated logistics solutions.

Cold Chain Logistics involves 956 companies specializing in temperature-controlled supply chain solutions. These companies employ 203.8K individuals. In the past year, the sector grew by 10.9K new employees. The annual trend growth rate of 6.37% highlights the increasing demand for reliable cold chain solutions.

5 Top Examples from 1600+ Innovative Freight Startups

The five innovative startups showcased below are picked based on data including the trend they operate within and their relevance, founding year, funding status, and more. Book a platform demo to find promising startups, emerging trends, or industry data specific to your company’s needs and objectives.

Freight Science provides Real-Time Advanced Analytics

US startup Freight Science builds an advanced analytics platform for the modern carrier business model. The platform integrates with existing transportation management systems (TMS) to eliminate operational silos and outdated workflows. Improved network visibility allows the organization members to stay informed about balances and exceptions needing attention. Real-time guidance aids in decision-making to increase profitability, balance, and utilization. The startup’s forecasting tools enable better long-term planning and decision-making. In addition, its enterprise dashboard and tender acceptance analytics enhance operational efficiency and customer alignment.

Cedric Millar Integrated Solutions offers Prescriptive Analytics

Canadian startup Cedric Millar Integrated Solutions integrates business data into one platform, Beacon Analytics, to provide prescriptive analysis. The platform offers dashboards, visualizations, reporting, and predictive analytics for optimizing business operations. The analytics-as-a-service (AaaS) technology organizes, analyzes, and presents data to convert analytics maturity from descriptive to prescriptive solutions. It combines historical data, real-time feeds, and machine learning for recommendations and early course corrections. The platform maximizes savings and streamlines supply chain processes with its cost-effective solutions.

HAULOG develops Cloud-Based Freight Management Software

Indian startup HAULOG offers advanced SaaS-based logistics solutions to simplify and optimize freight management. Its cloud-based freight management software optimizes pricing, streamlines workflows, and enables data-backed decisions. Its ShipperFMS, designed for shippers and manufacturing businesses, manages transporter networks and accesses competitive spot rates. CarrierTMS, tailored for carriers and 3PL providers, facilitates load management, real-time tracking, and streamlined quoting and billing processes. Both tools provide real-time tracking and valuable insights to enhance business performance.

HAPTIK builds Blockchain Automation

German startup HAPTIK digitizes bills of lading for freight forwarders, carriers, and shipping lines. The startup’s software utilizes blockchain technology to automate processes and save time and costs. The platform ensures global acceptance with Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA)-built solutions on bill of lading standards to facilitate stakeholder communication. Moreover, using blockchain technology provides document security and protects against fraud and forgery.

CloudFret optimizes Empty Truck Return

French startup CloudFret builds a digital platform to connect shippers and carriers across Europe and Africa and optimize transport operations with AI technology. The platform reduces empty returns for freight trucks and saves costs for shippers. With this, it also increases carrier revenues while minimizing CO2 emissions. It benefits carriers with a network of shippers, and fast payments to maximize revenue. Similarly, the platform assists shippers with varied fleet options to enhance their shipping choices. In addition, CloudFret offers Full Truck Load (FTL) services for large shipments and less than truckload (LTL) groupage for smaller loads to increase efficiency and cost savings. The platform’s geolocation system enables real-time tracking and digital document management to streamline the shipping processes.

Looking for Comprehensive Insights into Freight Trends, Startups, or Technologies?

The 2024 Freight Industry Outlook shows continued expansion. It highlights the sector’s adaptability while tackling challenges such as supply chain disruptions, cyber security, transportation costs, and labor shortages. Key trends such as freight optimization, logistics platforms, and cold chain logistics enhance efficiency and performance improvements. Book a platform demo to explore all 1600+ startups and scaleups, as well as all industry trends impacting freight companies.


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