The competitive environment within the last few years has become quite harsh in the logistics sector. We’ve witnessed consolidation, which is still in progress. We saw some new market participants entering the market; here, I’m talking about digital freight forwarders, which could be more successful, but they still took their piece of the cake. Some fast-emerging end-to-end logistics service providers exist, like DP World and Amazon Freight. We have also witnessed some power plays, especially in sea freight, where container lines are trying to work directly with customers. In such an environment, many individual, small, or medium business owners are forced to think about retaining and gaining new customers; in this article, we will share critical areas where you can excel.

The Hard Areas for Competition

First, it’s essential to identify and discuss areas where competing with the big logistics players will be pretty hard.

They are better financed, so they will be better at building value-added services that require assets. For example, it’s easier for such players to offer new value-added services like EV car shipping and battery storage. Those companies also have more funds to invest in technology, various certificates, and optimization initiatives.

Such companies can benefit from the economy of scale, so they can often offer better prices for their customers; if they are serious about getting a customer, they can even lower the cost to unimaginable levels for other players.

Of course, such companies have established strong brand recognition, substantial marketing budgets, and built trust over the years.

Large companies have a global reach, allowing them to handle international shipping and cross-border logistics efficiently.

Areas Where to Put All the Attention

In case your organization competes in those areas where the big guys are good, there is a considerable chance that you will fail; there are almost no chances, with some minor exceptions, that you will be able to offer lower freight rates or build up wholly new services fast, etc. However, it’s worth paying attention to those areas where such companies fall behind. These are the areas where you, as a small or medium business owner, can genuinely excel and carve out your niche in the market. Below, we will be sure to list the most critical ones.

1. Flexible Services

Usually, big players, because of their size, are not very good at providing highly flexible and personalized services. This is where small and medium-sized logistics businesses can shine. Being smaller allows you to be more agile and responsive to the unique needs of your customers. You can offer tailor-made solutions, be more adaptable to last-minute changes, and provide a level of personalized attention that larger firms might struggle to deliver.

Focus on offering bespoke services and building close relationships with your clients. Understand their specific needs and adapt your services to meet those requirements quickly. This flexibility can be a significant competitive advantage.

2. Effective Sales

While large companies may have vast sales teams and extensive resources, smaller companies can focus on building strong, personal relationships with their clients. Moreover, not all big companies have a flexible sales process adopted for each customer segment. Therefore, this can be your chance. Use a consultative sales approach, where you understand your client’s specific needs and offer customized solutions. Develop a bulletproof sales process that is easy to follow and can be done by any level of sales rep.

Train your sales team to be knowledgeable about the industry and your company’s unique advantages and show them how to incorporate this knowledge into their sales messages. Be sure they understand how to build trust through transparency, reliability, and exceptional service. Effective sales strategies can help you win and retain clients who value personalized attention and bespoke solutions over generic, large-scale offerings.

Do not forget that going the extra mile with your services is the best option for you, as this way is never crowded.

3. Guerrilla Marketing

Big logistics companies often have substantial marketing budgets, but smaller businesses can still make a significant impact through creative and cost-effective guerrilla marketing strategies. Focus on local and digital marketing techniques that maximize visibility without breaking the bank.

Use social media platforms to engage directly with your audience, share success stories, and highlight your unique selling points. Participate in and create events, sponsor community activities, and leverage word-of-mouth marketing to build a solid local presence. Guerrilla marketing can help you stand out and attract customers who appreciate your innovative and community-focused approach.

Aligning marketing with sales is another option. This is a challenging process; even big companies are not doing it, so it can be a great option to speed up new business development activities.


Competing with the big players in the logistics industry is undoubtedly challenging, but it is not impossible. Small and medium-sized logistics businesses can carve out a competitive edge by focusing on areas where large companies often fall short, such as flexible services, effective sales, and guerrilla marketing. Embrace these strengths, and you can build a loyal customer base and achieve sustainable growth in this dynamic industry.

Suppose your organization wants to develop a clear roadmap of what to do and where to go to speed up new business development activities and differentiate from the competition. We’d like to invite you to book a discovery call with us in such a case.

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