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Logistics and delivery: A guide to the Polish market

05.06.2024

In today’s dynamic business environment, logistics and delivery play a key role in a business’s success. Delivering goods to customers quickly, efficiently, and reliably is essential to maintaining competitiveness and building customer satisfaction.

Do you know that:

  • The logistics market in Poland is worth over PLN 200 billion and is growing at a rate of 5% annually.

  • E-commerce already accounts for 20% of Polish retail sales, and this trend will intensify.

  • Companies that optimize their supply chains can reduce costs by up to 10%.

  • Improperly organized logistics can lead to the loss of up to 30% of customers.

Unfortunately, the Polish logistics market is struggling with many challenges, such as a shortage of qualified employees, outdated transport infrastructure, and rising costs. As a result, many companies need help optimizing their supply chains and achieving the desired performance levels.

This guide is for you if you want to optimize your supply chain, reduce costs, and increase customer satisfaction. It contains everything you need to become an expert in logistics and delivery in Poland.

 

Logistics market in Poland – overview

According to the latest data, the Polish logistics market is worth over PLN 200 billion (data from 2023). It is said to be one of the largest and fastest-growing logistics markets in Central and Eastern Europe. Its value is estimated to have increased at an average rate of 5% per year over the last five years. What influences this?

First, the dynamic development of e-commerce and the increase in online sales. Poland is increasingly expanding its e-commerce and logistics network to increase international trade and export Polish goods abroad. This is undoubtedly supported by the development of industry and the increase in industrial production. This aspect also contributes to building a more modern transport and logistics infrastructure.

Forecasts for the future

The Polish logistics market is poised for significant growth and is projected to expand at a steady rate of 4-5% annually over the next 5 years. This growth will be driven by the burgeoning e-commerce sector, the increasing demand for logistics services from Polish companies, and the substantial investments in infrastructure. Projections suggest that the value of the Polish logistics market could reach PLN 300 billion by 2028, underscoring the market’s vast potential for stakeholders and investors.

Discussion of the structure of the logistics market in Poland

As a growing logistics hub in Central and Eastern Europe, Poland has its own logistics market structure based on several aspects. Belong to them:

Sectors

The dominant sector is road transport, accounting for approximately 70% of the market. It covers land transport of various goods, from parcels to large loads. The leading players are transport companies, both local and international.

Another important sector is rail transport, especially for transporting bulk goods over long distances. The market share is approximately 15%. The key players are PKP Cargo and private railway companies.

The development of maritime transport is also worth mentioning, especially in the context of access to the Baltic Sea. The market share is approximately 10%. Seaports such as Gdańsk, Gdynia, and Szczecin and shipping companies play the main role.

On the other hand, air transport is mainly used to transport high-value and time-sensitive goods. The market share is approximately 5%. The leading players are cargo airports such as Warsaw Chopin and Katowice-Pyrzowice and air freight forwarding companies.

Each sector can handle different services, such as warehousing, forwarding, and distribution.

Players

  • 3PL logistics operators: Companies providing comprehensive logistics services to other companies. They offer various services such as warehousing, transportation, forwarding, and distribution.
  • Forwarding companies: Companies specializing in organizing the transport of goods. They do not have their own transport infrastructure but cooperate with various carriers.
  • Carriers: Companies with their own transport infrastructure and goods transport services. They may specialize in a specific type of transport (e.g., road, rail, sea, air) or offer multimodal services.

Polish e-commerce market

Key trends shaping the Polish logistics market

When discussing trends shaping the Polish logistics market, the first thing that comes to mind is the development of e-commerce and its impact on supply chains. This is primarily related to the rapid growth in online sales and the growing popularity of online shopping, which has led to changes in supply chains. As a result, companies must adapt their supply chains to support smaller but more frequent orders, faster deliveries, and lower costs.

An essential trend is the growing importance of city logistics and the so-called “last mile” deliveries. However, the growing demand for fulfillment and warehousing services dedicated to e-commerce is causing companies offering the above-mentioned services to appear on the market.

It is worth mentioning that in Poland, we are dealing with the growing importance of multimodal transport and combining different means of transport. Companies are increasingly combining various modes of transport (e.g., road, rail, sea, air) to optimize costs and delivery times. Significantly, the popularity of intermodal transport, which uses containers and other transport modules to transport goods by various means of transport without reloading, is growing. The importance of supply chain logistics is also gaining popularity. It covers the management of the flow of goods throughout the entire supply chain, from the manufacturer to the end user.

Automation of logistics processes and implementation of technologies such as robots, drones, and artificial intelligence (AI)

Automation of logistics processes is becoming increasingly common, which allows for increased efficiency, lower costs, and improved safety. Robots are used to automate tasks such as sorting, packing, and palletizing goods. Drones, in turn, are used for last-mile deliveries, especially in hard-to-reach places. Meanwhile, AI supports processes related to the optimization of transport routes, demand forecasting, and inventory management.

It’s important to delve into the specific challenges that the e-commerce sector faces in this context.

One of the key challenges is the high implementation costs associated with new technologies like robots, drones, and AI, which can strain a company’s budget.

  1. Need for integration with existing systems: New technologies must be integrated with companies’ existing IT systems, which can be complicated and time-consuming.
  2. Changes in organization and processes: Implementing new technologies may require changes in the company’s organization and logistics processes, which may encounter employee resistance.
  3. Data Security and Privacy Issues: New technologies may pose new risks to customer data security and privacy.

However, we cannot forget about the opportunities that e-commerce owners can count on:

  1. Increase efficiency and reduce costs: New technologies can help companies increase efficiency, reduce costs and improve competitiveness.
  2. Improving customer service: New technologies can help companies better serve customers, for example, through faster deliveries and more accurate order status information.
  3. New business opportunities: New technologies can open new business opportunities for companies, for example, by offering new services or entering new markets.
  4. Increasing sustainability: New technologies can help companies reduce their carbon footprint and operate more sustainably.

Increasing environmental awareness and emphasis on sustainable logistics

Let us also not forget about the trend that is increasingly affecting the activities of this economic sector in Poland. Companies are not just paying attention to the impact of their activities on the natural environment, they are taking proactive steps to reduce their carbon footprint. This is evident in the growing popularity of ecological logistics solutions, such as electric transport, biodegradable packaging, and optimized transport routes. Customers themselves are increasingly choosing companies that operate sustainably, recognizing and appreciating these efforts.

Choosing the right logistics service provider

Choosing the proper logistics provider is crucial for any company looking to optimize its supply chain and achieve success in today’s dynamic business environment. A logistics service provider can help a company reduce costs, increase efficiency, and improve customer service.

Key factors to consider
When choosing a logistics service provider, many factors must be considered. These include, among others, the scope of services. The supplier should offer a wide range of logistics services that meet the company’s needs, such as warehousing, transportation, forwarding, distribution, and customer service.

For an e-commerce owner, experience in serving companies from a similar industry and an established reputation on the market are of great importance. An example of such a logistics service provider is OEX Fulfilio, part of the listed OEX company. Present on the market for over 20 years, OEX has developed a reputation and is expanding its competencies in modern logistics services for partners from Europe and the world.

Additionally, the supplier should have appropriate infrastructure to provide high-level services, e.g., warehouses, vehicle fleet, and IT systems. The price offer also plays a key role. For example, OEX Fulfilio, in addition to standard service price lists, adapts its offers to customers’ individual requirements and budget possibilities. The contract with the supplier should be clear and understandable, and the scope of services, prices, completion dates, and conditions for terminating the contract should be specified.

It’s also worth considering the level of customer service. The supplier should provide a high level of customer service and be readily accessible, ensuring that they are always available in case of questions or problems.

Choosing the right logistics partner for e-commerce purposes

Types of logistics service providers

Many different types of logistics providers are available, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. The most popular types are:

  • 3PL Logistics Operators (Third-Party Logistics): 3PL operators provide various logistics services to other companies. They may have their infrastructure or cooperate with other providers. An example of such a company is OEX Fulilio. In addition to having its warehouses adapted for storing, packing, sending, and receiving shipment complaints, it has comprehensive delivery options thanks to cooperation with the largest courier companies.
  • Freight forwarding companies: Such companies specialize in organizing the transport of goods. They need their transport infrastructure but cooperate with various carriers.
  • Carriers: Carriers have their transport infrastructure and provide freight transport services. They may specialize in a specific type of transport (e.g., road, rail, sea, air) or offer multimodal services.

Negotiating contracts with logistics service providers

When negotiating a contract with a logistics provider, it is essential to read all terms carefully and make sure you understand all obligations. You should also negotiate prices, lead times, and other essential terms.
You can also consider the following steps to find the right logistics provider as efficiently as possible.

Checklist to remember when working with a logistics partner

Supply chain optimization

As is widely known, a supply chain is the network of people, companies, resources, and activities involved in delivering a product or service from the manufacturer to the end customer. Supply chain optimization, a process that aims to improve the flow of goods and information, brings significant benefits. It increases efficiency, reduces costs, and, most importantly, enhances customer service, making it a crucial aspect of any business operation.

Critical stages of the supply chain

The supply chain is divided into several key stages. It is worth getting to know each of them well to understand the nature of a well-selected logistics service.

The first is planning. This stage includes determining product demand, planning production and purchases, and managing inventories.

The next stage involves procurement. It allows you to purchase appropriate raw materials and components from suppliers.

The production stage involves transforming raw materials and components into finished products.

Once the products are manufactured and delivered to the warehouse, the logistics operator comes into play and offers fulfillment services. During the warehousing stage, products are stored until they are shipped to customers. Along with storage, the customer can count on distribution, i.e., transport of products to end customers, after prior packaging and labeling.

Companies like OEX Fulfilio also provide adequate customer support. This stage includes providing customer service and troubleshooting.

Ways to optimize the supply chain

There are many ways to optimize your supply chain, including:

  1. Process Analysis: All supply chain stages must be identified and analyzed to identify areas for improvement.
  2. Implementing a supply chain management strategy: There are many different supply chain management strategies, such as just-in-time (JIT) and lean manufacturing, that can help optimize the flow of goods and information.
  3. Leverage Tools and Technology: Many tools and technologies, such as supply chain management systems (WMS) and shipment tracking software, can help you optimize your supply chain.
  4. Collaboration with partners: It is essential to work closely with suppliers, customers, and other supply chain partners to optimize the flow of goods and information.

Supply chain management strategies

For the supply chain management process to function flawlessly, it is worth learning about the various strategies that support it.

The Just-in-time (JIT) strategy involves delivering raw materials and components to the production plant exactly when they are needed for production. This helps reduce inventory and storage costs.

In turn, the Lean manufacturing strategy focuses on eliminating waste and increasing efficiency. Lean manufacturing can help shorten production times, lower costs, and improve product quality.

Appropriate tools and technologies also support supply chain optimization strategies. Popular among them are:

  • Supply chain management systems (WMS),
  • Shipment tracking software,
  • Automation technologies such as robots and drones can help sort, pack, and palletize goods.

Risk management in the supply chain

We also must remember how to manage risk in the supply chain properly. It is exposed to many potential threats that may disrupt its operation and lead to financial losses. Supply chain risk management aims to identify, assess, and mitigate potential threats to protect the supply chain from negative impacts.

Potential threats to the supply chain

The most common potential threats to the supply chain include interruptions in transport. These can be caused by factors such as bad weather, strikes, accidents, and breakdowns. We also cannot forget about natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes, which can cause significant damage to infrastructure and disrupt supply chains. Similarly, cyberattacks can disrupt IT systems and cause major disruptions in the supply chain.

Also, changing customs and security regulations can increase the costs and complexity of the supply chain. Let’s also not forget about human errors and geopolitical threats, during which political instability, wars, and sanctions can disrupt supply chains.

Risk management strategies

So, what can you do to minimize the risk? Several strategies can help protect your supply chain.

These include identifying hazards, assessing risks, and developing risk mitigation strategies. The first step in risk management is identifying potential threats that may impact the supply chain. Once threats have been identified, their likelihood of occurrence and potential impact on the supply chain must be assessed. For each threat, a risk mitigation strategy should be developed to reduce the possibility of its occurrence or potential impact on the supply chain.

After implementing risk mitigation strategies, you should first monitor their effectiveness, regularly review and update all activities, and make strategic decisions to benefit business development.

Supply chain insurance

Supply chain insurance can protect your company against financial losses caused by events such as transportation disruptions, natural disasters, and cyberattacks.

Supply chain business continuity management (SCCM) ensures that a supply chain can continue operating during a disruption. Some of the best SCCM practices include:

Develop a supply chain business continuity plan. This plan should outline the steps to be taken in the event of a disruption.

  • Testing your supply chain business continuity plan: Your plan should be tested regularly to ensure its effectiveness.
  • Stakeholder communication: Communicating with all supply chain stakeholders regarding the business continuity plan is essential.
  • Employee training: Employees must be trained in supply chain business continuity procedures.

Examples of companies that have successfully implemented supply chain risk management strategies

EXAMPLES OF COMPANIES THAT SUCCESSFULLY IMPLEMENTED RISK MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES

Remember:

These are just a few examples of companies successfully implementing supply chain risk management strategies. Many other companies use various strategies to protect their supply chains from potential threats.

Each company must develop a supply chain risk management strategy tailored to its needs and risks.

The future of logistics and deliveries in Poland

Poland’s logistics and delivery sector is developing dynamically and is driven by growing e-commerce, globalization, and technological progress. As we enter a new era, companies must be prepared to adapt to changing trends and implement innovative solutions to remain competitive and meet customer expectations.

Key trends shaping the future

Understanding the trends that shape the future of e-commerce allows you to implement appropriate technological and personnel solutions in logistics companies.

Without a doubt, one of them is the development of artificial intelligence. It could revolutionize many aspects of logistics and delivery, from route optimization and inventory management to process automation and demand forecasting.

Another example is using robots for increasingly advanced work, which may replace human hands. Robots are increasingly used in warehouses and distribution centers, performing tasks such as sorting, packing, and palletizing goods.

3D printing opens up new possibilities in production and supply chains, enabling local production of goods and reducing delivery times. IoT devices, on the other hand, collect real-time data about the state of the supply chain, enabling greater visibility and control over the flow of goods.

Increasing pressure to protect the environment drives companies to implement sustainable logistics and delivery practices, such as using green transport and packaging.

Challenges and opportunities

Introducing these trends is associated with several challenges and opportunities for Polish companies.

Challenges and opportunities for polish companies

success in the future of logistics and delivery checklist

Summary and Conclusions

Logistics and delivery are crucial to business success, regardless of industry. Efficient supply chain management allows you to optimize costs, shorten delivery times, and provide high-quality customer service. In Poland, due to growing e-commerce and globalization, the importance of logistics and deliveries is constantly increasing.

Companies operating in Poland must be prepared to adapt to changing trends and implement innovative solutions to remain competitive and meet customer expectations. New technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, 3D printing, and the Internet of Things (IoT) open up new opportunities in logistics and delivery but also pose challenges such as investment costs, the need for system integration, and changes in work organization.

To succeed in the future of logistics and delivery, Polish companies must:

  • Invest in new technologies
  • Develop employees’ digital skills
  • Collaborate with partners
  • Be flexible and adapt to changes

Our guide is only a starting point for further research and analysis in the field of logistics and deliveries in Poland. Many areas require in-depth research, such as the impact of new technologies on the labor market, sustainable development in logistics and supply chains, and specific challenges and opportunities for Polish companies operating in various sectors.

We encourage further research and discussion on logistics and delivery in Poland to build a strong and competitive economy.

 

 

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