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Europe’s Eight Key Future Logistics Corridors

Joanna Sinkiewicz, Partner, Dyrektor Działu Powierzchni Przemysłowych i Logistycznych, Cushman & Wakefield

Cushman & Wakefield has today released a new report which identifies the important new transportation corridors which will emerge between now and 2030 to support the evolution of the European logistics industry.

The report – ‘The Changing Face of Distribution: The Shape of Things to Come’ – states that Europe’s primary distribution corridor, from the Benelux countries to northern Italy and dubbed the logistics ‘Blue Banana’ due to its distinctive shape, has transformed into multiple corridors in response to EU expansion and new motorway additions.

However, Europe’s logistics corridors are set to evolve further due to factors including: increasing freight volumes, expected to rise by 22% over the next decade; transport costs; labour shortages; and road congestion. Major change is also being driven by eCommerce, new technology, such as the Internet of Things (IoT), multi-modal connectivity and transport networks. In addition, political issues including the UK’s departure from the European Union will have a significant impact.


The new logistics corridors are classified as either new markets, 2025 markets or 2030 markets depending on when they are expected to be fully operational (with some reliant on availability/reliability of infrastructure
or the outcome of legal impediments). The eight future distribution corridors identified by Cushman & Wakefield are:

Osiem przyszłych korytarzy dystrybucyjnych wyodrębnionych przez firmę Cushman & Wakefield:

  • Original blue banana – Channelling international trade into Europe via the Benelux ports, through the German Rhineland to northern Italy. The growing importance of Mediterranean ports is likely to extend the blue banana to include Genoa, Italy.
  • UK corridor – Post-Brexit, when the UK’s maritime, road and rail networks officially cease to be part of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) North Sea-Mediterranean corridor, UK supply chains will be increasingly domestically focused. Brexit is expected to increase the logistics industry’s reliance on UK ports.
  • Irish corridor – A new short-sea shipping route is being established between the ports of Cork and Dublin in Ireland and the ports of Zeebrugge and Antwerp in Belgium. It’s likely that the small capacity of Zeebrugge port will redirect demand for space to nearby Ghent, Belgium, or even Zeeland, Netherlands.
  • Iberian corridor – Available skilled and lower-cost labour pools in Spain and Portugal are already attracting German automobile manufacturers. New rail lines and other transport connections mean distribution traffic is expected to increase over the next 5-7 years.
  • Central Europe corridor – TEN-T motorway and rail developments have already improved distribution along this existing corridor. Should this corridor eventually extend to northern Italy, it may connect to the original blue banana via Bologna and Milan.
  • North Sea corridor – Distribution along this corridor that connects the port of Hamburg with Copenhagen and Malmo will improve substantially with the 2021 completion of Rodby-Puttgarden tunnel that will be accessible to both lorries and freight trains.
  • Black Sea corridor – A future distribution corridor that will be connected to the Central Europe ‘banana’ once TEN-T Rhine-Danube rail and motorway network’s branch connecting Budapest with the Black Sea is completed. As a result, Romanian markets such as Bucharest are expected to play a crucial role.
  • Baltic corridor – The Baltic’s growing importance as a manufacturing location will depend on the construction of TEN-T motorway road and rail networks that will connect this region with Finland, Poland, the Czech Republic and Germany. Significant infrastructure investment is necessary, so this distribution corridor is likely to develop over the long term.

Cushman & Wakefield’s latest publication focuses on an analysis of EMEA transportation corridors and their development prospects in the coming years. Increasing freight volumes, rising costs, road congestion and labour shortages are key factors driving change in addition to the growth of e-commerce and new technologies. Further development of the Central Europe corridor and the Baltic corridor is particularly interesting from our perspective. Further significant infrastructure investment is necessary, but Poland – benefiting from its favourable location in the central part of the continent, its competitive labour market and a large consumer market – will remain an important link in the European distribution network. This is also driving directly the rapid growth of the warehouse sector as the rising number of logistics centres is improving supply chain processes of many Polish and international firms for which Poland is becoming an increasingly important distribution hub to service European markets - says Joanna Sinkiewicz, Partner, Head of the Industrial and Logistics Agency, Cushman & Wakefield.

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