Polish freight lorry transporting from UK to Poland

Polish Freight Services

Poland and the UK are important trading partners – but freight costs can be prohibitive.

Anglo-Polish relations have always been close, both in terms of trade and culture. Choose your freight partner wisely to keep shipping costs competitive.

Polish is the second most widely spoken language in the UK after English, and both trade and social links between the countries have never been closer.

Poland’s total annual imports have almost doubled over the last ten years, from around €100 billion in 2006 to €175 billion in 2016. UK exports to the country amount to around €5 billion per year, making it Poland’s eighth highest importer, and this figure is rising year on year.

Increased trade means increased transport options, and UK exporters need to think carefully about choosing the right freight service to Poland to control costs and stay competitive in this growing market.

A long-term relationship

Polish–British relations go way back to the 8th century. Historians believe that King Cnut the Great, King of England between 1016 and 1035, was the grandson of Mieszko I, the first King of Poland. Form that day to this, trade links have been strong. The 16th century saw a significant rise in early modern diplomatic relations between Poland and England, exemplified by Krzysztof Warszewicki, a notable Polish diplomat, attending the marriage of Queen Mary I of England and King Philip II of Spain in 1554.

In more recent history, it was largely in reaction to the German invasion of Poland in 1939 that the UK declared war on Germany, signalling the start of World War II. Since the collapse of the communist regime in 1989, democratic Poland has maintained close relations with Britain. The UK is one of the few countries that has allowed equal rights to Polish workers since their 2004 accession to the EU, and as a result, around 400,000 Poles have registered to work in the UK over the past 12 years.

Poland today

Currently, Poland has one of the fastest growing economies in the EU. It has remained largely unaffected by the global economic troubles of the past eight years, and is the only European economy to have avoided recession during this period.

This can be put down to its strong domestic market, low levels of private debt and the fact that it is not overly dependent on any single export sector.

In terms of infrastructure, Poland is located right in the heart of continental Europe and the trans-European road network. The country has 412,000 kilometres (around 250,000 miles) of national roads that enable rapid delivery anywhere in the country, from Gdansk in the north to Krakow in the south and all places in between.

While most exporters use the excellent road links to Poland, the country also has around 770 km (480 miles) of coastline on the Baltic Sea, where the major sea ports of Gdyina, Gdansk and Kolobrzeg can be found.

Exporting to Poland

Poland is attractive to UK investors for a number of reasons. Its location and road infrastructure gives easy access to around 250 million consumers within a thousand-kilometre radius. The Polish market is in itself significant, comprising around 38 million consumers.

The main exports to Poland (from all markets) are as follows:

  • Industrial machinery (25%)
  • Electrical machinery (23%)
  • Motor vehicles and parts (18%)
  • Furniture (9%)
  • Plastics (6%)
  • Oil and mineral fuels (4%)
  • Iron and steel goods (3%)

The top UK exporters are those operating in the engineering, electronics, software, life sciences, transport, retail, and food sectors.

Future trade

Whatever else might happen in the EU, Britain’s relationship with Poland is one that has been built over many centuries and will continue to thrive. Make sure your business plays its part in this long term partnership, but choose the right freight service in order to save money and deliver to your customer on time.

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Larry Walker

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