Transport companies in Poland are in crisis. The ones on the road and in at sea

The transport sector also in Poland is experiencing a crisis just like other sectors of the economy. However, companies will not feel the improvement for a long time. The economic situation on the European market in the first half of 2023 is weaker than in the same period of 2022, but also in pre-pandemic 2019. 

Entrepreneurs have no way to provide work for their drivers, cars have to “stand under the fence”. – Compared to last year, the demand for transport services is clearly lower, in some cases by as much as 15-20 percent. – estimates the sales director of the transport exchange, Marcin Haładuda.

No significant improvement in the transport sector

This shows how huge the scale of this phenomenon is. Experts do not predict a significant improvement, it is even possible that the current state will stay with entrepreneurs for longer, the forecasts will stabilise. 

According to data from the Timocon Cargo Exchange, in the second quarter of 2023, there was an average increase of 46.3 percent. fewer freight offers than in the corresponding period of the previous year. In addition, the average freight price per kilometre also fell – in Europe in the second quarter it was lower by 14.1 percent. than in Q2 2022, and in the last year the decrease reached at least 10%, even to EUR 1.07/km in tarpaulin transport.

In addition to the poor transport situation, there are also labour law issues – the minimum wage in Poland increased from EUR 700 in 2013 to EUR 1,500 in July this year. (purchasing power parity). This is good news for employees, but worse for entrepreneurs who have to take into account higher costs of running a business. 

As a result of these changes, costs have been higher than revenues since the beginning of the year. – Transport has become unprofitable, the rates are at the level from eight years ago, and salaries are five figures, which was not mentioned eight years ago – confirms the managing director of Imex Logistics, Łukasz Grajcar.

This can be confirmed by statistics on bankruptcy and restructuring proceedings – in the first half of 2023, 208 companies declared bankruptcy, including seven from the road freight transport industry, i.e. the same number as in the whole of 2022. However, 2,367 bankruptcy and restructuring proceedings were carried out, while throughout 2022, there were 2,730 of them, and in 2019 – 1,051.

Same situation at sea

The situation at sea is similar – it is estimated to be 6 percent decrease in container transport, which was recorded by both shipowners and reloading terminals in Poland (in the Baltic Sea) and in the North Sea – indicates the chairman of the Polish Chamber of Forwarding and Logistics, Marek Tarczyński.



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