Top Shipping Carriers Dominating Major Trade Routes in 2023

In the intricate and ever-evolving realm of global logistics, a dynamic tapestry of trade routes weaves together businesses and consumers across the globe. As the pulse of commerce beats relentlessly, the performance of shipping carriers along major routes becomes a crucial focal point for businesses navigating the complexities of supply chain management. In this fast-paced environment, gaining insights into the dominance of top shipping carriers on key trade routes is paramount, empowering businesses to optimize their logistics strategies and navigate the seas of global trade with precision and foresight.

Leading Carriers in Key Cross-Border Routes Within Europe

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Here are some routes that have achieved prominence in Europe in 2023:

1) CZ-DE: Czech Republic to Germany

Germany and the Czech Republic share close economic and commercial ties, with the total trade value between both countries reaching €168 billion in 2022. In 2023, the cross-border trade route between both countries was one of Europe’s most active, easing the flow of goods and services between both countries.

The Czech Republic relied on Germany for almost 30% of its foreign trade, with the latter exporting US$79.2 billion in just 2022. DHL Paket, DPD Germany, and Bauhaus are a few of the logistics carriers that have dominated parcel movements between these countries. These logistics companies are distinguished by their impressive speed, delivering parcels at an average time of 2.83 days. Their delivery success rate, rated at 94.4%, is equally remarkable.

2) NL-DE: Netherlands to Germany

With strong bilateral links and cooperation across various sectors, from agriculture and industry to trade and finance, Germany and the Netherlands enjoy a good deal of cooperation.

This link is of special strategic importance to Germany as the Netherlands is the world’s fourth largest exporter and the second on the global list of agricultural products exporting countries. The Netherlands’ exports mainly serve Europe’s needs, as slightly over 70% of its exports go to countries within the continent, and Germany receives around 25% of this export trade.

It is no surprise, therefore, that Germany and the Netherlands have Europe’s second busiest shipping route between them. The NL-DE route cross-border logistics trade is led by DHL Paket, GLS Germany, and DPD Worldwide. These companies recorded an excellent delivery success rate of 94.1% and an average parcel transit time of 2.75 days.

3) DK-DE: Denmark to Germany

Germany’s shipping carrier route with its northern neighbor Denmark makes the list as the third busiest in Europe. In 2021, Denmark received $24.7B worth of goods from Germany, mostly in the form of cars and oil products, according to OEC. In return, Denmark received $3.5 billion worth of mainly transportation goods from Germany. In July 2023 alone, Germany’s exports to Denmark reached €1.62 billion.

While the trade traffic has been especially heavy on this route, they are also delivered in a timely and efficient manner. GLS/CJ GLS and UPS, some of the route’s biggest carriers, reach a parcel transit time of 3.07 days and have an average delivery success rate of 92.9%.

Leading Carriers in Key Cross-Border Routes in the United States

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1) US-CA: United States to Canada

Boasting a GDP of 25.44 trillion dollars, the United States (U.S.) is widely regarded as the world’s strongest economy. Placing it as one of the world’s most desirable trade partners. Canada, the U.S.’ immediate neighbor to the north, is one of its most important trading partners, a fact which is recognized and promoted by political leaders on both sides. For example, in March 2023, President Biden visited Canada to reaffirm the commitment to the “North American Roadmap for Cooperation,” prioritizing improved trade relations between both countries.

Shipping between these two North American neighbors is controlled by carriers such as DHL eCommerce, USPS, Passport, APC Postal Logistics, and Landmark Global, companies that pride themselves on their range of delivery options from normal to express and impressive delivery records. These prominent carriers have average transit times of around nine days and first-attempt delivery success rates of around 88%.

2) US-UK: United States to United Kingdom

US-UK ties go beyond the economy to cultural and historical factors. Though geographically distant, both countries have maintained a high volume of shipping trade with each other. DHL eCommerce and Passport are the two major logistics companies serving this route, with an overall average transit time of 8.52 days and an impressive average delivery success rate of 96.5%.

3) US-AU: United States to Australia

They may be thousands of miles apart, but the U.S. trade with Australia is one of the world’s busiest. United by cultural and economic ties, both countries forged strong international trade collaborations in 2023. In that year, trade in goods and services between both countries reached a staggering $82.4 billion, marking a 7.2% increase from 2022. The U.S. exported $40.2 billion, and Australia sent $42.2 billion worth of goods to the U.S., driven by commodities like iron ore, coal, liquefied natural gas (LNG) worth of goods to the U.S. driven by commodities like iron ore, coal, and liquefied natural gas (LNG).

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Today, around 21% of Australia’s imports originate from the U.S., conveyed to the land down under by logistics companies such as DHL eCommerce, among others, according to our exclusive data. The leading carriers on this route have an average delivery success rate of 96.8% and an average parcel transit time of 14.9 days.

Leading Carriers in Key Cross-Border Routes Within Asia

Boasting several strong economies such as Japan, Indonesia, and China, the Asian region is particularly important in international cross-border trade today. In the continent, a range of logistics providers have emerged, offering innovative solutions for the region’s unique needs.

(Image Source: Unsplash)

1) CN-JP: China to Japan

In 2023, the China-Japan (CN-JP) shipping route was the busiest on the continent. Bilateral trade between China and Japan reached $372.3 billion in 2023, marking a 6.5% increase from the previous year. This substantial surge can be attributed to rising demand for electronics, machinery, and textiles alongside a recovering global economy.

Today, while established players like DHL Express, Nippon Express, and Yusen Logistics lead the way, emerging companies like Cainiao and 4PX are gaining traction, particularly in e-commerce logistics, fostering competition and driving innovation. Other companies include CIRRO.

2) CN-TH: China to Thailand

The trade between China and Thailand has also experienced a rapid increase in recent times. Bilateral trade between the two countries surged to $165.4 billion in 2023, a noteworthy 12.8% increase. Thailand’s emergence as a regional manufacturing hub and China’s demand for agricultural products and tourism services fueled this impressive growth. Logistics carriers like DHL Express and J&T International Logistics dominate the cross-border transport business between the two countries, as well as 4PX, which has distinguished itself with an exceptional delivery success rate of 95.1%.

3) CN-VN: China to Vietnam

Vietnam’s manufacturing prowess and its geographical location have placed it as one of the world’s busiest cross-border trading hubs. A variety of logistics companies, such as DHL Express, J&T International Logistics, and CIRRO, handle the trade between China and Vietnam, with an average parcel transit time of 4.69 days and a great first-time delivery success rate of 87.5%.

Bilateral trade between China and Vietnam surged to $261.5 billion in 2023, marking an impressive 18.4% increase. Governmental policies point to even greater economic cooperation between the two in the future. For example, the implementation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) in 2023 promises reduced tariffs and smoother customs clearance, influencing carrier selection and routing strategies for increased efficiency. Moreover, the China-led Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) seeks to enhance connectivity between China and Vietnam, improving logistics efficiency and potentially creating new trade routes.

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