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Country report: Poland

Food logistics at the hub connecting the East and the West

Many associate Poland with cities like Kraków, Warsaw, Gdańsk or Szczecin; cities which are characterised by their historical sites and attractions. Poland is important not only from a cultural point of view but also logistically. The country acts as a hub for international transports and is home to Nagel Polska.

Poland is primarily known as a transit country due to its central location in Europe. Many routes connecting northern and southern Europe, and western and eastern Europe, and vice versa go through the country. Poland is a unitary state consisting of 16 so-called voivodeships, administrative districts which historically resemble a duchy. President Andrzej Duda is Poland's head of state. Ms Beata Szydło is the prime minister.

Around 38.4 million inhabitants live in an area covering 312,679 square kilometres. Warsaw is the capital and the largest city of this parliamentary republic. Poland is a member of the EU. It shares its borders with seven countries: Russia, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Germany. The Polish Baltic coast is 528 kilometres long. Polish is the second most spoken Slavic language after Russian.

Logistics – expansion of motorways

The road network in Poland spans 412,264 kilometres, out of which 1,645 kilometres are motorways, and 1,763 kilometres dual carriageways. The infrastructure has improved considerably in recent years. Poland has expanded its motorway network by 672.5 kilometres, which has almost doubled from 2007 to 2012. In addition to motorways and dual carriageways, trunk roads spanning 18,368 kilometres are of great importance to national and international long-distance transport. The roads in Poland are the most important mode of transport for the logistics sector.

Since joining the European Union in 2004, Poland has recorded a notable increase in transport volume, in both road and rail. The Polish railway operator "PKP" with its extensive rail network is one of the largest railway operating companies in Europe. In addition, cargo throughput at three of the biggest ports in Poland: Gdańsk, Gdynia, and Szczecin-Świnoujście shows a clear positive trend. However, air and inland navigation transport systems only play a minor role in terms of transport services. For this reason, the Ministry of Maritime Economy and Inland Navigation was founded at the end of 2015 to improve the role of inland waterways in the transport of goods.

Poland – European leader in export of apples

According to the Fraunhofer Center for Applied Research on Supply Chain Services SCS in its "Top 100 in European Transport and Logistics Services 2015/2016", the turnover for the Polish logistics sector amounted to 53.4 billion euros in 2015/2016. In a European comparison, Poland was among the top ten in 2014. According to the Deutsche Verkehrs Zeitung (specialist magazine for German transport), the country's transport capacity was 251 billion tonne-kilometres in 2015. According to World Integrated Trade Solution, Poland's import and export values are equally balanced at around USD 200 billion.

According to the Central Statistical Office in Poland, foodstuffs belong to the most important commodity in terms of import value for Poland. This figure was slightly more than 3 billion euros in 2014. The export value of foodstuffs was even higher, at around 13 percent. For instance, in international comparison, Poland is one of the leading exporters of apples worldwide. It is the biggest European exporter of apples internationally, ranking second behind China and ahead of Italy.

Poland as a worldwide trading partner for foodstuffs

Agricultural production is one of the main focal points of the Polish food industry. Poland is the largest producer of cabbage, wheat, carrots, mushrooms, raspberries, and currants in the EU. Poland sells its agricultural products and foodstuffs in more than 75 countries worldwide. Germany and China are its main trading partners.

The Polish cuisine has been influenced by the culinary traditions of many countries including Russia, Lithuania, Germany, and Italy. Festive meals in Poland are very time-consuming and require great effort. Twelve meatless dishes are served for Christmas, including fish and the famous Polish "borscht", a soup made with beetroot.

Headerimage: © Aleksandar Mijatovic - Fotolia.com

Nagel Polska, the Polish subsidiary of the Nagel-Group

Nagel Polska was founded in 2002. It marked the Nagel-Group's first step into Eastern Europe. The subsidiary has six branches in Błonie, Gliwice, Gdańsk, Wrocław, Lublin, and Komorniki, which is also the company's headquarters. Nagel Polska has around 50,000 square metres of storage and handling area. Around 600 employees manage the distribution and storage of approximately 3 million pallets annually.

Poland is one of the largest consumer markets in Eastern Europe for the Nagel-Group. This significant factor as well as the well-trained staff and the stable infrastructure with direct traffic from Nagel Polska to the most important urban centres of Europe contribute to the success of the Nagel-Group.

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