Upper Silesia with its key city of Katowice is amongst the 40 main logistics hubs in Europe, according to the latest report of Colliers International. The property consultants also ranked the region as the 4th best location for the manufacturing sector in terms of operational costs.
The analysts checked how the most mature and emerging logistics and industrial centers in Europe compare with each other against a series of key parameters that typically play a determining role in site selection for manufacturing and distribution activities.
The key finding for the Eastern European region says that this is the best location for low cost manufacturing but its distribution benefits remain of a local or sub-regional nature.
- The factors considered in the study were categorized into six different groupings:
1. Infrastructure & Accessibility – scores each location in terms of accessibility to European ports/market entry points, and the quality of existing transport infrastructure
2. Market Access – the size and depth of the surrounding catchment area in terms of both population, GDP and forecast GDP growth
3. Operational Base Costs – basic operational costs including comparable labour, rental and land costs
4. Labour Market Capacity – size of working population and volume of unemployment
5. Logistics Competence – specialized workforce and logistics indices
6. Business Environment – ease of doing business
In addition to looking at the corresponding ranking for each of the categories listed above, Colliers have analyzed the relative attractiveness of each city according to three main scenarios. Each scenario applies a different weighting per category, highlighted below:
In the balanced scenario, Upper Silesia (Katowice) obtained the 18th score and, together with Bratislava, Prague and Budapest, was the only city from the CEE region. Dusseldorf, Antwerp and Rotterdam top the table.
Kiev occupies the highest spot in the manufacturing scenario, followed by Istanbul, Bratislava, Upper Silesia (Katowice) and Sofia. Often cited regarding BPOs, Polish regions such as Upper Silesia (4th) score well under Colliers cost-driven ranking, despite labour costs here being significantly higher than in Sofia (5th): 9 000 vs. ca 3 800 EUR/annum/worker. In the distribution scenario, the region was out of the top 20.
The analysts point out that all the Western European cities in the top league have a distinct industrial heritage and some of them have partly managed to preserve it, in some cases by reorienting their specialization towards higher added value industrial production, not least through publicly-funded incentive schemes. Colliers gives an example of the UK’s East Midlands region that has gradually seen its production base shift away from coal-mining to car assembly. Very similar situation can be observed in the Upper Silesia region where companies of the automotive sector are dominant investors in the Katowice Special Economic Zone.
Last year, Colliers also named Upper Silesia one of emerging distribution hubs by 2020.
source: Colliers International