After a successful trip to the Kingdom of Denmark in 2017, YPL² and Jong Logistiek Nederland (JLN) decided to further deepen their European cooperation and to organise a second trip this year. From September 5th – 9th 2018 both organisations were travelling to Poland to visit Gdansk in the Pomeranian special economic zone and the capital Warsaw. The country, being in the heart of Europe is still one of the most attractive investment destinations in Europe. Therefore, we would like to get familiar with its economic, cultural and especially logistics particularities.
Within the next years Luxembourg would like to become a Startup Nation – In order to create the required open culture, different innovation hubs have been built up throughout the country. Travelling to Poland in cooperation with Jong Logistiek Nederland we would like to know if such communities already exists over there. Gdańsk in Pomeranian Voivodeship or Pomorskie Region is one of the pioneers when it comes to open data initiatives and entrepreneurship.
quicker to develop with us rather than solo. Starter increases start-ups’ chances for success by motivating to think out of the box and to be creative from the beginning.
Starter is a community of different start ups and entrepreneurs which increases start-ups’ chances being successfull. Visiting the community on September 6th we got an insight of the startup scene in Gdańsk in the north of Poland (another example is clipster, other hubs are planned i.e. maritime hub)
The keywords that perfectly describe the character of it are “Space, Knowledge and Networking”:
Space: Incubatorstarter supports coworking, there are offices for young as well as experienced companies, secluded places for meetings and huge conferences. The building provides creative space to support employees in the out of the box thinking. Especially the unique atmosphere of the so called Crazy Room ( have look at the picture below it´s really crazy 🙂 ), where people can be creative without being confronted of other influence from the outside. All these opportunities wait for you in Starter! If all that you need is the address for your company – they provide a virtual office to you!
Knowledge: There is a range of possible services you can profit from, for instance creative workshops, business training courses, advisory services, coaching or meetings for exchange of experiences. This, and much more as a boost of knowledge offered by Starter can help your company to grow. You shouldn’t look for ordinary offers – know more, see things better. Usually, new employees coming from different industries first need some adoption time due to differences in working surroundings and behaviours but until now they always learned to show their openness towards the concept.
Networking: Especially in times of the digitalisation developing a network of business contacts has become an unarguably need of every businessman. Starter offer not only new contacts, but also a chance for business development after you acquired them. Join the creative Starter community!
After visiting the initiative our common conclusion was that the Starterincubator can and probably will support the region´s reputation and finally attract more young experts in the near future. To get more familiar with the economics and logistics of the Pomorskie region a representative gave us an overview in the meantime:
Pomorskie region as an economic zone
The north of Poland plays a key role in the Baltic Adriatic Transport corridor towards northern countries such as Sweden, but especially for Poland itself. Between 2007-2013, in the Pomeranian area huge investment processes have been realised with funds of the European Union.
These projects mainly focus on the aces to seaports and deepening of port channels. It helped making the Pomeranian area a connector for the rest of the country out of a transport logistics perspective (motorways, expressways, railway, last mile). But investment has not been stopped yet, the best examples are the two maritime connections E40 to link Gdańsk and east and E70 to built up the inland waterway north to west. Until 2020, the main projects intend to modernize and deepen already existing tracks, a better aces to the ports, implement and extend terminals as well as adapt the required infrastructure.
In the afternoon we met with representatives of the port of Gdansk and the Deepwater Terminal Gdańsk to visit their facilities and to see the above developments in real.
Port of Gdańsk
The (inner) Port of Gdansk with its rapidly increasing business plays an important role as a key link in the Trans-European Transport Corridor No. 1 connecting the Nordic countries with Southern and Eastern Europe. Main businesses are passenger ferries and Ro-Ro vessels, Fish and wood industry, passenger cars, citrus fruit, sulphur, phosphorites and other bulk such as rolled steel products, oversize and heavy lifts, grain, artificial fertilizers, ore and coal. In the next years the port intends to modernise the raod and rail network of the outer port.
Deepwater Container Terminal DCT Gdansk
DCT Gdansk (in the outer port) has become the largest container terminal in the Baltic Sea after focussing on feeder vessels first. Since 2010, it´s the only Deeptwater Container Terminal for polish exports, imports as well as transshipments to other Baltic ports. After having unloaded the world biggest container ships, which gave a boost to the whole operations, the port provided further development possibilities. Nowadays, the terminal is one of the fast growing ones in the world (huge space extension is foreseen). Due to direct connection with Asia, a lot of investments are planned and this allows DCT a very stable market position. For some of us it was the first visit at a Deepwater Terminal therefore it was quite impressive to see such huge vessels and the operations, apart from the entire information flow in behind.
Some important key facts about DCT Gdansk:
Annual throughput capacity: 3.000.000 TEU Terminal operational area: 71 hectares
Berth specifications: 1300m of quay length with up to 17m depth
STS cranes :11 / RTG cranes: 35
Storage capacity: 55.000 TEU / Reefer Plugs: 1072
BASF Poland offices
On September 7th the first company visit took place on Friday morning, we were visiting the newly opened BASF Poland offices. After arriving in the office, the visitors group was impressed by the working environment which provides light full, green and comfortable working space, including shared desks and a terrace. The company decided to involve their employees in the planning of the office space, quite smart when you think on their increased happiness.
After a warm welcome and an office tour, we followed a presentation about the Polish economic sector in general. We started an open discussion to learn more about the economics and, especially, the contemporary challenges such as labour shortage. The presenter explained BASF Poland with its coating business and the Polish logistics of BASF. For the Young Professionals especially the new high bay warehouse in the automated production plant for mobile emissions catalysts in Sroda Slaska was from high interest and resulted in many questions.
Reception in Embassy of Germany
Last year visiting Denmark, we decided to meet up with ambassadors in order to get a deep inside into the countries specialities but also topics such as the social question of a country. So being in Warsaw, we met the German ambassador and representatives of the Luxembourgish and Dutch Embassies who joined our discussion round. It has been a lively discussion, below there are some examples of the points we have discussed with them:
Taking the example of the new intermodal terminal in Bettembourg, Poland is keen to save $700 million in transport costs by developing inter-modal transport links. This is vital, given two major transport corridors cross the country: East-West link and North-South or Baltic-Adriatic route, which starts in Gdynia on Poland’s northern coast, a spate of rail upgrades is underway. Also included in this program are track enhancements and construction of key trunk lines.
China’s “Belt and Road” plan is a multi-billion initiative aimed to link Asia with Europe and Africa, and the countries in between it brings together the landside Silk Road Economic Belt and Maritime Silk Road developments. The involvement of Logistics in Poland into the Belt and Road initiative China is existing and therefore huge investments are possible ( i.e. DCT Gdansk).
Visiting of Denmark last year was one of the best examples how to develop a high level of sustainability (industry, social, politics work close together) . ii.eState of Green as an umbrella organisation supporting many start ups in making the country greener. Sustainability in Poland has to be improved in the future, initiatives such as „ Lean and Green“ could support companies in reducing their carbon dioxide emissions.
Other topics were the labour shortage, which can be partly filled by Ukrainian workers, environmental issues (i.e. increasingly repeated droughts) and corruption that has improved during the recent years.
In the afternoon we organised a visit at the logistics service provider Raben Group. In the past Raben developed a strong focus in controlling it´s whole logistics, improving processes and therefore gained a high market share in Europe. The experienced, flat and team oriented company structure enables quick decisions and long term development. Fresh Logistics is responsible for 30% of group business including logistics and transport management of different FMCG types required such as fresh products, baby food, beverages, ped food, ready meals and others. We went to their controlled temperature warehouse for fresh products like fats, fruit, meat products, salads, fish, etc. its helps to maintain the required individual customers needs. In addition to the warehousing itself, the operations has a high know-how in value adding customer services for example labelling or foiling.
Raben could make use of synergy effects and cost savings in domestic and international distribution due to its own infrastructure such as a dense transport network, cross dock warehouses, or own developed IT solutions.
Raben group at a glance:
10,000 qualified Employees open to the needs of Customers
150,000 m² of diversified warehouse capacity
8,000 modern means of transport
over 130 locations
modern IT infrastructure and procedures
network of regular domestic and international transport connections
certificates ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 22000 (HACCP)
All in all, we spent four exciting and very varied days in the north of Poland. It was particularly interesting to see how different companies coming from the industrie/logistics, initiatives such as starter and the EU, helped to develop the Pomeranian region economically and to make it even more attractive for future investments.