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Improving seaport infrastructure is a key driver of Tricity’s economy

Michał Rafałowicz, Head for the Pomeranian Region, Cresa Poland.

With further seaport investments in Gdansk and Gdynia, upgrades in rail access to the seaports, improvements in road infrastructure of the Baltic-Adriatic Corridor, maritime logistics in the Tricity region will play an increasingly important role in global supply chains. Seaport projects provide warehouse developers and tenants great opportunities for growth and scale, says Michał Rafałowicz, Head for the Pomeranian Region, Cresa Poland.

In 2019, a record 52 million tonnes of goods were handled in Gdansk and nearly 24 million went through Gdynia. Thanks to its strong performance in the first quarter of 2020, Gdansk came second in the ranking of Baltic seaports in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is due to the versatility of seaports which are diversifying freight groups. The seaports of Gdansk and Gdynia will see their freight tonnage hit new records as a result of further extensions and upgrades.

The potential of the seaports of Gdansk and Gdynia will significantly increase following the completion of the PLN 2.6bn redevelopment program of rail infrastructure by PKP Polskie Linie Kolejowe S.A. that will improve rail access to the ports, increase the volume of cargo transported by rail and facilitate the dispatch of heavier and longer trains. This will increase the cost effectiveness and competitiveness of rail services over road transport. The project foresees the replacement of 187 km of tracks and 577 railroad switches, upgrades to 15 road/rail crossings, construction/extension of the Local Signalling Centres, new overhead lines, construction of four bridges, four flyovers and 23 culverts. The completion of the works is scheduled for late 2021. Rail projects worth a total of PLN 6bn in the Pomeranian region will undoubtedly improve the transportation capacity of the Baltic-Adriatic Corridor and accelerate road and rail projects in other parts of the country.

There is currently a growing interest in warehouse and logistics developments in Tricity, with warehouses being built by leading developers such as Panattoni, 7R, and Goodman. In addition, seaport authorities are developing their own warehouse and storage projects.

“We anticipate further growth in demand for warehouse space amid the limited capacity to increase supply near the seaports. Developers will focus on projects in well-connected neighbouring locations. Optimization of goods customs clearance is also an important factor in deciding where to locate. The decisions of the seaport authorities and municipalities to extend the borders of the seaports to include more sites will also play a major role,” says Michał Rafałowicz, Head for the Pomeranian Region, Cresa Poland.

Very ambitious plans for turning Gdansk Port into a fifth generation port foresee construction of the Central Port on the waters of the Gdansk Bay. The completion of the PLN 12bn project would require further rail and road improvements. The construction of the External Port in Gdynia is expected to cost approximately PLN 5bn. These projects will increase the growth dynamics of the warehouse market in terms of quantity and quality of space delivery. Demand for warehouse space is likely to grow further. The Central Port in Gdansk and the External Port in Gdynia are expected to be completed around 2030.

“High warehouse occupancy rates within existing facilities in Gdansk and Gdynia are encouraging developers to look for alternative locations such as Tczew (south of Tricity), where 7R is currently building out a modern warehouse project. Panattoni have also turned their attention towards Rumia, a city neighbouring Tricity, where their ca. 45,000 sqm project is nearing completion albeit we expect this project to also expand in the future,” adds Michał Rafałowicz.

Elbląg, which has the potential to become a supplementary cargo port, is also likely to attract developers and investors. Smaller cities to the south of Tricity are also being increasingly considered.

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