The internally increased economic scale in Eastern Europe and externally increased scale in Asia is to drive new supply routes and infrastructure requirements over the next ten years, according to Colliers International’s Industrial and Logistics white paper.

Emerging Trading Hubs
Due to a continual shift in world trading patterns, China and India’s share of world is set to increase markedly over the next ten years while significantly impacting Europe’s logistics infrastructure. This implies increased trade between Asia and Europe, relative to the more traditional trading route between the US and Europe. Given pressure to lower both business and environmental costs in supply chains, Colliers’ expects an increased push for additional trade with Asia to begin to flow increasingly through Europe’s southern entry points – via the Suez Canal sea route and the rail link via Istanbul.

New Consumption and Production Centres in Europe
Low wage rates, strong transport links with Germany and central Europe, and independent, floating currencies will prove key in driving manufacturing growth in Eastern Europe. In return this growth will play a main role in influencing new infrastructure and supply chains within Europe. Overall, the largest growth in manufacturing activity in Europe will be in Germany and Poland, whose economies will remain entwined. What is also noteworthy is the strong showing of both the Czech Republic and Romania. Both are expected to report increases above that of much larger Western European economies.

Turkey Key Trade Facilitator
Turkey is set to play a key role in facilitating trade between Europe and Asia. The emergence of new deep-water ports in the country will help to facilitate increased transshipment activity in the Eastern Mediterranean. Additionally, Istanbul is already integrated into the European rail network and the additional 14,336 km of extra track scheduled for development by 2023 will drive increased freight through Europe’s south easterly border.

Infrastructure Main Factor for Eastern Europe’s Forecasted Economic Growth
The large increases in the scale of consumption and production in Eastern Europe that we expect to see in the next decade and beyond, will begin to exert increasing pressure on supply chains. Logistics activity around the major ports, such as Hamburg, will gradually become less optimal compared to options such as shipping straight to Tricity or using transshipment hubs in the Eastern Mediterranean to feed the ports in the North Adriatic. Capacity expansion plans of these ‘emerging’ ports alongside a concurrent improvement in road and rail links will further advance their deployment as growing logistics centres, provided that planned investments are seen through.

Emerging Distribution Hubs 2020

  • Gdansk / Gdynia
  • Lodz
  • Katowice / Wroclaw
  • Bratislava / Brno
  • Koper and Trieste
  • Izmir
  • Belgrade / Nis
  • Istanbul to grow into major hub
  • Moscow and St. Petersburg to grow into
    major hubs


Editors' Note
Greek Industrial and Logistic Market
Ana Vukovic, Managing Director of Colliers International Hellas comments: “Greece has the opportunity to upgrade its role in the international trade network due to its strategic location between the 3 continents Africa via Suez, Asia & Europe. However the expected growth of Istanbul allows mainly for a complementary importance of the main ports of Piraeus, Thessaloniki and Patras. Despite that China and India’s share of world is set to increase markedly over the next ten years while significantly impacting Europe’s logistics infrastructure, Greece needs to accelerate its planned developments in order to underpin its presence in the international competition and especially in the eastern side of the Mediterranean Basin”

The implementation of the highways of the E65 and the vertical axis of Egnatia Highway that lead to the Balkan countries and central Europe, combined with the current modernization of the inland freight rail transport (Patras – Athens – Thessaloniki – Eidomeni – Promahonas) can shift these services towards the needs of the European central zone markets.

Additionally, the expected development of 235,000 m2 of organized logistics space at Thriasio Pedio near the port of Piraeus is expected to stimulate the domestic logistics activity and form a gate for the countries of Europe. Additionally, Cosco and the Piraeus Port Authority (OLP) show significant achievements regarding the performance of the commercial port of Piraeus. The Container Terminal of PPA SA (Pier I) operated by OLP showed a significant throughput increase of 45,63%, during the first quarter of 2012, according to the relevant directorate. It must be highlighted that the new terminal (Pier III) will be rail linked to the logistics project at Thriasio. Upgrades of machinery and equipment (strengthening of activity in the area of container handling) and new construction works take place in the following 3-4 years for the Piers II & III and are going to increase significantly the capacity and competitiveness of the port.

Editor’s note: This paper is the first of series of white papers on Europe’s Industrial and Logistics markets. Colliers International has looked at how parallel infrastructure development, often under the auspices of the EU, is likely to shape supply chains. This is providing it continues on its current trajectory, considering the current uncertainty over the euro zone. However, much of the scheduled development is set to be funded through the EU budget, which is yet to come under great pressure. Hence current economic concerns are not likely to severely impact infrastructure development in the short to medium-term.