- Spending on logistics set to increase by €7.3 billion over three years
- Contract logistics set to grow by 89%
Analytiqa’s latest research, “Central and Eastern European Logistics 2008” reveals that spending on contract logistics services across six key markets is set to increase by almost €7.3 billion over the next three years as the size of outsourced contract logistics market grows by 89%.
Whilst it is all to easy to focus on the negative aspects of developing an immature logistics industry across Central and Eastern Europe, such as the poor quality of the regions’ transport infrastructure, or a chronic shortage of adequately trained logistics employees, the region nonetheless presents an enormous opportunity for the sustained growth of contract logistics activity.
Although growing from a relatively small base makes it somewhat easier to reach ‘headline’ making growth, the figures are nonetheless impressive. Between 2005 and 2007, the largest individual market for logistics in the region, Poland, grew by 33%. Looking ahead, Analytiqa forecasts that smaller, less developed logistics markets such as Bulgaria and Romania are set for explosive growth rates. Logistics markets in Bulgaria are set for 82% growth by 2010, as Romanian markets grow by more than 22% per year... with 3PLs set to capture a significant share of this growth.
A growing market presents its own challenges
Analytiqa’s report also focuses upon the challenges faced by logistics professionals in the Central and Eastern European region, identifying the obstacles and hurdles that will have to be overcome by 3PLs if they are to take a share of the massive growth that is set to be realised. Not least of these are problems associated with transport and warehouse infrastructure, technology and supply chain visibility, or the lack of established professional qualifications available for logistics people in what are very immature markets.
Another key area for concern is the labour drain, as many local logistics professionals from these countries continue to migrate to the West, creating a further set of dynamics surrounding the value of, and return received, of training, together with the rising incomes and costs of logistics professionals, which is slowly narrowing the differential between Central and Eastern European markets and more developed markets in the West.
As the likes of Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary are no longer the extreme low cost production centres that they once were, significant cost differentials nonetheless remain. As such costs rise in time, Analytiqa expects manufacturers to find even cheaper locations in Bulgaria and Romania, or even in the Ukraine and Russia, where they would also be able to target the expanding domestic markets in these countries. Logistics dynamics will also develop in tandem as regions of the Czech Republic, Hungary and even Bulgaria become logistics ‘hubs’ and the cross-docking stations of the future, enlarged, Central and Eastern European region.
Multinational 3PLs: a cautious approach
Within the Central and Eastern European region itself, a common feature of service provider activity has seen road transport companies expanding their service portfolio to offer more traditional 3PL operations. A number of the larger established transport companies, trading in freight forwarding and groupage operations, are extending their range of services to include contract logistics.
Whilst many Western European 3PLs follow their customers into Central and Eastern European markets, domestic service providers are much more likely and willing to take risks in the development of speculative warehouse facilities and will seek to benefit from prime locations in forthcoming years.
That said, it is increasingly likely that it will be the local subsidiaries of Western-based 3PLs that bring improvements in technology with them into Central and Eastern European markets which will ‘raise the bar’ in terms of acceptable standards of practice.
Analytiqa’s report, Central and Eastern European Logistics 2008 reflects the results of an extensive primary research process which saw Analytiqa’s Analysts contact logistics professionals across Central and Eastern Europe to conduct in-depth interviews to assess market sizes, performance and the operational issues facing the region. The report provides 301 pages of unique insight, including 139 tables and 71 charts, all of which can be downloaded into your own reports and presentations courtesy of Analytiqa Interactive.