Logistics and production dominate the region

When it comes to talks about the warehouse market in Poland, the region around Katowice is always mentioned in the first instance. The importance of the region are confirmed by new investments including an engine plant of General Motors to be built in Tychy.

The Katowice agglomeration and the greater Upper Silesia region are today one of the most significant industrial warehousing hubs of Poland and CEE, according to Jones Lang LaSalle. Then, Colliers International researches say that Katowice will become on of Europe’s main logistics hubs by 2020. Radosław Krochta, vice president of MLP Group – Poland’s largest developer of industrial space for the light industry sector, expressed oneself in a similar way in an interview for the Warsaw Business Journal. „The majority of the warehouse investments are located in Silesia, the historic center of Polish industry, especially in cities such as Katowice, Mysłowice, Gliwice and Sosnowiec. […] About half of the inquiries and investments now concern the region. When we add Wrocław [which is nearby], without a doubt Silesia is the warehouse capital of Poland – especially the Katowice agglomeration. Warsaw primarily attracts services, while logistics, warehouse, light manufacturing and packaging are located in Silesia” – Radosław Krochta said.

Analysts say that Poland remains attractive to foreign warehouse and logistics investors for its lower rents, short travel distances, good infrastructure as well as cheap and qualified workforce. MLP Group also contributes to this trend – the developer has recently started a construction work on the first building of the MLP Bieruń warehouse park near Katowice. In total, the complex will deliver 55 000 sq. meters of new space for lease (22 900 sq. meters within the first stage). The park is being built in the Katowice Special Economic Zone. The first tenants include two companies of the automotive sector: Flexider Poland will lease 8 300 sq. meters and Auto Partner will occupy 14 700 sq.meters.

The Katowice agglomeration becomes the Polish capital not only of logistics and warehouse but also of light manufacturing and production. Earlier this year, General Motors signed an agreement to purchase the remaining 40% shares of Isuzu Motors Polska’s plant in Tychy and now it operates as “GM Powertrain Poland”. GM has already owned 60% interest of the engine plant since 2002. The company says that „its purchase of the remaining 40% underlines the importance of Europe for GM, as this is one of the most competitive car markets in the world with highest customer demands in terms of fuel economy and CO2 standards.”

The Tychy plant was established in 1996 and started production in 1999. Since then the plant manufactured over 2,5 million engines. Currently it employs 522 workers. According to „Polskie Radio”, the plant will be expanded by another engine production site worth approximately PLN 1,5 billion. GM is about to create another 200 workplaces within the expansion. Tychy were competing against other locations in Hungary, Germany and Turkey to win the project.

Tychy has also a place of another new investment – an engine component producer Dayco will open a 20 000 sq. meters production plant in Segro Park Tychy to be operated within the Katowice Special Economic Zone. The production will be commenced in the fourth quarter of 2013, about 300 people will be employed. Dayco provides the research, design, manufacturing and distribution of a broad range of belts, tensioners, hoses, pulleys and hydraulics equipment for the automotive, trucking, construction, agricultural, ATV, snowmobile and industrial markets.

Jones Lang LaSalle revealed in July, that presently, the modern warehouse stock in Upper Silesia totals almost 1,4 million sq. meters, accounting for over 19% of the national volume, which ranks this region the second largest market in the country (lower only to Warsaw).