The coronavirus pandemic has negatively impacted numerous industries and businesses, with the tourism, hotel, and restaurant sectors particularly hard hit. Despite the extreme conditions, the transport and logistics industry remains relatively strong, as the global health threat has created new market opportunities.
Personnel Service Company, a recruitment and human resource management firm, has conducted research indicating that the logistics industry faces no threat of massive layoffs. Experts forecast stable demand for logistics services.
The Hotel, Restaurant, Catering / Cafe (HoReCa) sector was the first to be hit by government-imposed quarantine measures. At the same time, food, cosmetics, and medical device manufacturers were operating at full speed and increasing demand for transport services in these sectors.
The pandemic has also accelerated the development of the e-commerce market. The introduction of official anti-virus measures and restrictions on traditional shopping formats have led to a growing interest in online commerce. Consumer habits have shifted towards online shopping and have driven a subsequent increase in demand for deliveries of online purchases. Until now, the popularity of online shopping had only reached such high levels around winter holidays and annual Black Friday / Cyber Monday sales.
Over the past three months, there has been notably more activity in the Polish domestic logistics market, which focuses on short-distance deliveries. The trend is driven mainly by e-commerce and online sales.
According to a Deloitte Global State of the Consumer Tracker study, Polish consumers have not fully returned to their pre-quarantine habits. Instead, their priorities have changed. End customers now care more about a store’s convenient location than the prices of its goods. According to Deloitte survey respondents, 53% of Poles are willing to buy Polish products, even at above-average prices. This consumer behavior has contributed to the success of small, local firms.
Global supply chains are expected to gradually scale back. As a consequence, domestic and intra-European trade will grow. Perhaps over time there will be a need to move warehouses closer to Poland or lease more storage space due to increased stocks. Changes in legislation may affect this.
Fewer available supplies from China can lead to an economic boom for European producers. Restrictions placed on Chinese imports will have an effect here, as will lower volumes of parcels arriving from Asia. This is another opportunity for small and medium-sized businesses to develop, particularly in Poland.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Polish carriers have been regularly fulfilling domestic and cross-border transport orders. The volume of domestic traffic is comparable to that before the pandemic struck. According to an April 2020 report from INELO, the creator of the GBOX telematics system for coordinating freight traffic, Polish transport providers have quickly adapted to the changing market conditions.
“To maintain regular traffic flows and optimize costs, the logistics industry needs to go digital. Proper route planning will increase companies’ financial results. Changing consumer behavior, new technologies, and digitalization will change the face of the industry and bring tangible benefits to local businesses,” says Mariusz Borkowski, Poland Country Manager for Poland at AsstrA.