• 27. März 2020
  • 13:30
  • Economy

Poland: Container shipping and rail transport nearly as planned

Poland is an important market for the port of Hamburg. By barge, train and truck, it is well-connected to Hamburg. In 2019, Poland was Hamburg’s 10th most important trading partner for seaborne container volume, with more than 200.000 TEU.

So far, container shipment in Poland has proved to be largely robust in the face of the Coronavirus crisis. Although handling in Polish seaports decreased by just under 2 percent in February, there is a total increase of 4.4 percent in January and February. With 10 percent less throughput, the highest declines in container volume were registered at BCT terminal Gdynia. According to Port of Hamburg Marketing representative Maciej Brzozowski in Warsaw, this was due to BCT terminals excellent performance last year and not because of the Coronavirus crisis. BCT terminal's container throughput was still 6 percent higher than in January. Our colleague Maciej Brzozowski reports that more severe losses could occur in April, when many companies in Poland and other countries shut down their production. Delays are already visible in the pick-up of certain export containers. A great majority of procurement managers interviewed by Optibuy report delivery delays. The delays amount to 28 days on average. More than half of the respondents feel well-prepared in view of the current developments.

With a market share of 29.5 percent in 2018, Poland is the leading EU-country in international road transport. A quick poll by the International Road Transport Union on 9th March surveyed that some polish truck carriers lost half of their freight orders during the last weeks. This particularly affects transports from/to Italy, but also to other Southern European countries and Germany. In Poland, very few trips abroad are made, as entry requirements change daily. A 30 percent decline in road transport volume on weekdays and 50 percent on weekends comparing calendar week 12 to 10 was reported by Poland's General Directorate for National Roads and Motorways (GDDKiA).

Maciej Brzozowski sees no restrictions in rail transport. The connections between polish terminals and the port of Hamburg are fully operating. Like other countries, Poland was affected by omitted transports from China in February and early March. Currently, volumes in import and export traffic with China are once again increasing. Many companies already began loading their stock with goods from China.

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    Bengt van Beuningen

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