Is the Polish transport and logistics (T&L) industry ready for deglobalisation?

One topic that has been attracting more and more attention recently is the process of decoupling between the US and China, i.e. reducing the interdependence between these two countries. With the ensuing sanctions and trade restrictions, the term “deglobalisation” is beginning to gain traction. Can Poland take advantage of China’s weakening global trade position? Here is our view on whether the Polish T&L industry is ready for such changes.

Are we facing a deglobalisation period?

According to the “Agility Emerging Markets Logistics Index 2023” report, out of the 750 surveyed senior managers who manage global logistics as many as 20.5% are planning to withdraw production and procurement sources from China within the next 5 years. The pandemic and then Russia’s attack on Ukraine have had some additional consequences that may entail huge global changes in production and procurement.

How will Poland gain from potential deglobalisation?

Based on data from last year’s survey by Maersk and Reuters Events, carried out among 368 supply chain managers from across the world, Poland ranks fourth among the most attractive countries when it comes to relocating production or procurement. With Poland named by 13% of respondents, only Vietnam (21.2%), India (20.7%) and Germany (13.7%) rank higher.

Poland is perceived as a middle-income country with low innovation potential. It competes with Mexico, Turkey, Romania and Hungary.

But for European companies looking for new locations, Poland is a clear winner. It was chosen by the largest proportion of respondents (23.3%). If the deglobalisation of production does indeed continue over the next few years and global supply chains become shorter, we will have the chance to make a giant leap forward in terms of economy and civilisation. The logistics industry is expected to play a key role in this, because that is what our country is valued for.

“We definitely have some bragging rights here, because we have some of the best assets in the region, including a Western business culture, mature transport and warehousing markets, proximity to sales markets and an educated workforce. Moreover, moving European production to Poland makes sense economically and also environmentally, given our axial geographical location,” the Polish President of Spedimex admitted, speaking to Rzeczpospolita.

Is the Polish transport and logistics (T&L) industry ready for deglobalisation?

The Polish T&L industry is seen as fairly attractive, yet it still has a lot of growing to do. Numerous significant investments are currently underway (or in the planning phase), such as the construction of the Centralny Port Komunikacyjny transport hub. The capacity and significance of Polish harbours also continues to increase; a new container terminal is set to open in Gdańsk in 2025.

In addition, Poland can offer the following:

  • large warehousing space (20% of new space delivered in Europe according to a JLL report),
  • some of the lowest hourly wages in the transportation and warehousing industry in the EU,
  • solid credit rating.