The Upper Silesia warehouse market offers attractive investment economic situation in the southern part of Poland is formed by the automotive and logistics company, but not only. Apart from the automotive industry, the potential of this location has been noticed by e-commerce companies. The Upper Silesian market chose among other giant e-commerce company – Amazon. The company has its own warehouse with a usable area of over 100,000 sqm. in Sosnowiec, and another one in Gliwice under construction.
The dynamic development of the Upper Silesian market is confirmed by numbers. In the first quarter of this year, there was 386,000 sqm. storage space under construction. The growing demand for warehouses in this region generates high activity of developers and the presence of all the largest players in the industry: Panattoni, Goodman, Logicor, Prologis, Segro, Hines, MLP, 7R and Hillwood.
The southern part of Poland attracts more and more tenants and investors with strong assets that it wins with other locations. Location in the Upper Silesia, close to strategic communication routes is one of them. Direct access to two motorways A1 and A4, S1 and S11 expressways or Drogowa Trasa Średnicowa route enable efficient organization of the supply chain in the national and CEE region. The A4 motorway provides a connection with Germany and Ukraine. The A1 motorway, also as European E75 route, creates a north-south transport corridor and runs from Norway via Finland, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia and Macedonia to Greece. Both of these highways mean that Upper Silesia is also the main hub for Central and Eastern Europe. For foreign investors – especially for international logistics operators and manufacturing companies that provide direct distribution, such a location is a strong argument.
Aside from excellent location Upper Silesia also offers the availability of employees. The Katowice agglomeration has over 2.200 million inhabitants, and the whole Śląskie Voivodeship has about 5 million people. Although unemployment in the region is systematically falling down, Silesia is in the forefront of voivodships with the largest number of new jobs created. However, in some locations, the unemployment is still relatively high. For example, in Bytom, the cities of the Będzin region (Będzin, Siewierz, Czeladź), Dąbrowa Górnicza or Sosnowiec. In the last one has recently been proof that new investments can dynamically change the situation on the labour market. Lately, the highest number of new investments was created in Sosnowiec, where the unemployment rate in February 2017 amounting to 10.1%, at the end of the 2017 year fell to 8%.
The less popular cities are more interests in view of the availability of the staff and also lands. In previously crowded and heavily exploited locations, the availability of land is becoming more and more limited. Currently, a larger selection of plots for warehouse projects is possible on the shore of the region in the western part near Gliwice and in the north within the range of Dąbrowa Górnicza or Siewierz. The most noticeable shortage of investment plots for warehouses is visible in the south of the region near Bielsko-Biała. Hilly area and large fragmentation of plots are not conducive to storage investments in this part of Upper Silesia.
The Silesian Katowice Special Economic Zone also has a huge contribution to the development of the region. In it, many investments were located, mainly from the automotive industry. In the KSEZ, as much as 63% of investments belong to this sector. Both the Gliwice Opel plant and the Isuzu plant are in the zone. The automotive industry is the main pillar of the Upper Silesian economy.
However, the market also attracts investments from other industries such as construction, metal, food and e-commerce. Entrepreneurs from the USA are eager to invest in the region (as much as 36% of investments), Italy (22%) and our western neighbours – Germany (about 10%). At the moment, the KSEZ operates about 300 companies that create over 60,000 jobs. The Katowice Special Economic Zone was recognized as the best free zone in Europe according to the Business Financial Times ranking three years in a row, in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
Forecasts for the warehouse market in the southern part of Poland are optimistic. This area still has a huge potential for further development of the warehouse industry. Wherefore it will remain at the leading of locations that enjoy popularity among tenants as well as the activity of developers. Due to its location and road infrastructure within the country as well as a small distance from the border Upper Silesia region can increasingly be chosen by e-commerce companies. New investments will be created in the western and northern part of the region. Due to the high availability of land. The locations along the A1 motorway from Pyrzowice to Częstochowa may soon become prospective locations as this section is to be put into use entirely in July 2019. And Częstochowa has a great opportunity to become another key location on the warehouse map in the southern part of Poland.