With the tremendous growth of eCommerce, the shipping and logistics industry is extremely busy.
Airfreight, in particular, is booming. At the same time, ocean transport rates are spiking. It’s no surprise these industry trends are showing up in advertising.
Which shipping and logistics ad buying behaviors are changing, and which are returning to 2019 patterns?
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The Current Status of the Shipping & Logistics Industry
Major shipping companies are doing exceptionally well amid the pandemic.
DHL, for example, reported that they earned $5.8 billion in profits in 2020. These record levels were $900 million higher than previously expected. The largest drivers of these profits came from Express and eCommerce Solutions units. These services delivered products to homes and businesses often by airfreight.
Airfreight boomed during the pandemic, and construction isn’t slowing down. Largely spearheaded by Amazon, U.S. airports are dedicating more space to freight shipments. Analysts predict that air cargo will hit 45 million tons each year by 2050.
Some forecasters don’t think it’s a sustainable model. Yet, Amazon is now focused on buying aircraft rather than leasing, and other shipping companies, like French container-shipping firm CMA CGM, are now investing in airbus jets.
Meanwhile, ocean freight rates for dry bulk goods spiked 17% between March 1st and 2nd, mostly due to large countries, like China, stocking up in case of another shortage.
“The freight story is all about demand and supply for dry bulk vessels,” said a former U.S. grain trader. “There’s just too much dry bulk movement right now and not enough vessels to cover it.”
The large demand for dry goods currently far outweighs the available transports, but analysts are hopeful that rate increases will be short-lived.
In January and February of 2021, there were 392 shipping advertisers spending $3.3m in the B2B space. The same period in 2020 saw 291 brands spending $3.7mm.
Overall, spend fell 11%, while the number of brands grew. More brands advertising in the B2B space may be looking to capitalize on this industry’s growth during the pandemic.
Print has started to see a resurgence in the B2B shipping and advertising space. 93% of the $3.3mm ad spend in B2B shipping and logistics was placed in print. Though digital advertising increased in 2020 and print fell dramatically (53% overall), spending trends in 2021 are starting to return to patterns observed in 2019.
The top 10 brands spending in both digital and print media in 2020 accounted for 30% of total ad spend in the category. It’s important to note that even though DHL hit record operating profit levels, the company currently doesn’t have any advertising presence.
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