- 28. Mai 2020
Updated status report of the Port of Hamburg Marketing Representative Office in PolandPoland's economic results were unsatisfactory last month: According to the Central Statistics Office, industrial production in April 2020 was almost 25 percent lower than in April 2019. As a result, cargo volumes in the Polish ports also decreased. The most affected sectors are automotive and furniture (export) as well as retail and fashion (import).
The automotive industry partially resumed production at the end of April, but only to a limited extent: Only Volkswagen (VW) produces finished vehicles, when other factories are halting production. Fiat Chrysler Automotive’s (FCA) operations in Tychy are scheduled to start production on June 1, while PSA Group (operations in Gliwice) is still waiting. Demand is very weak, with 66 percent fewer cars and small vans (up to 3.5 t) and 37 percent fewer trucks registered in Poland in April. That is why VW is slowly rolling its assembly lines at around 20 percent of its usual capacity. It was reported that some employees will be fired, most likely around 450 at VW. According to Maciej Brzozowski, Head of the Port of Hamburg Marketing Representative Office in Warsaw, current forecasts show that exports of new vehicles and components will decrease by a third in 2020. In 2019, Poland's automotive industry accumulated 27.85 billion EUR in export (around 45 percent of which were components).
Container handling in Polish seaports has stabilized in recent weeks. In Gdansk, double-digit losses of more than 10 percent compared to the same period last year are expected in April and May. This is, however, a significant improvement after the catastrophic March with a decrease of 30 percent. In Gdynia, the second most important container port in Poland, the drop in container throughput was barely noticeable in March, but decrease of 15 to 20 percent can be expected in April and May this year. This is due to the fact that Gdynia has a relatively high share of short sea shipping, which is particularly impacted by the pandemic. However, there is hope that relaxing the restrictions in European countries - including Poland - will bring an improvement in the transport sector in May, including the maritime sector.
Very positive reports come from the Port of Szczecin, where container handling grew by almost 30 percent in the first four months of this year, even though at a relatively low level.
On the rail corridor along the New Silk Road, however, the situation is already much more optimistic. Several rail operators report significant improvements in April and May after the weak first quarter of 2020. Metrans, who transports containers from China via Poland to Hamburg and the Czech Republic, reported a record result on this route in April. Other sources also report that rail traffic with China is developing at high speed. Langowski Logistics, which is heavily involved in LCL rail traffic to / from China, processed about 25 percent more shipments in the first four months of 2020 than in the same period last year l. In April alone, the company reported twice as many shipments compared to 2019.According to the company Cargotor, the subsidiary for infrastructure management of the Polish State Railways (PKP), 379 trains (250 of which were container trains) passed the broad gauge at the border crossing in Kobylany (Malaszewicze) in April this year. In April 2019 it was 335 trains (25,000 wagons).