Łódź thrives on e-commerce

30 january 2024

Łódź thrives on e-commerce


Around 4 million sq m of warehouse space in the Łódz province is dedicated to e-commerce operations, according to data from global real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield, making it the second most popular destination for online retailers in Poland. Another contributor to the appeal of the Łódź market is the recently completed motorway orbital route around the city, which has significantly increased the region’s chances of attracting new investments and warehouse projects. Land secured in the Łódź province by developers offers 2.5 million sq m of warehouse development opportunities, says Cushman & Wakefield in its report Tailor Your Business in Łódź. Warehouse & Production Market in Central Poland.

It is nothing new to say that the Łódź province is ideally located near the interchange of two motorways that makes for improved transport connectivity, shorter lead times and optimized supply chains. Recently, however, Łódź has been in the news again on account of the just over 100 km long orbital route around the city, which was completed following the opening of the last section of the S14 expressway - it is formed by stretches of the A1 and A2 motorways and the S8 and S14 expressways.

Łódź is the first large metropolitan area with a complete orbital route of fast roads. It takes less than an hour to drive the entire route within the speed limit - an important factor as it has long been known that it is last-mile logistics that generates the highest costs in a supply chain.

“According to Cushman & Wakefield’s ‘Last Link: Quantifying the Cost’ report, the last link of the e-commerce supply chain can account for 50% or more of total supply chain spend. It is no wonder that today, in the environment of great economic uncertainty, e-commerce companies are increasingly looking for new locations in the Łódź area to cut lead times and offer customers a choice of the most convenient collect and return options, which is particularly relevant given the rise of re-commerce,” comments Damian Kołata, Head of Industrial & Logistics, Head of E-Commerce CEE, Cushman & Wakefield.

According to Cushman & Wakefield’s report E-Commerce is Bursting at its Seams and Warehouses are Following, e-commerce warehouse space across Poland amounted to 7.35 million sq m in 2022, accounting for 30.7% of the country’s total warehouse stock. By comparison, the Łódź province had nearly 4 million sq m, constituting 30% of the region’s total.

“The Łódź province ranks second, after Lower Silesia, in terms of percentage of warehouse space leased to e-commerce versus Poland’s total stock of such space - it stands at 14%. It is worth emphasizing that this proportion has remained relatively stable since our 2019 survey, which showed that 34% of the province’s total warehouse stock of 2.6 million sq m, i.e. 887,000 sq m, was warehouse space dedicated to e-commerce,” adds Katarzyna Misztal, Negotiator, Cushman & Wakefield.

Cushman & Wakefield forecasts that the completion of the orbital route around Łódź may see the city become one of Poland’s first smart cities.

“A smart city is a city that is comfortable to live in and is perfectly organised in terms of last mile logistics. Łódź is very likely to become one. Time has shown that evolution is taking us from distribution centres being the last link in warehousing to an extended network of courier sorting facilities, urban warehouses and micro-hubs that will play a key role in the logistics of a smart city,” explains Renata Krzyżanowska, Associate, Cushman & Wakefield.

Local labour market benefits Łódź

A strong labour market is necessary to launch new projects, especially large scale projects such as warehouse and logistics developments. The Łódź province is one of the most attractive locations in this respect. The Łódź labour market has experienced steady growth in recent years. The region attracts investors from such sectors as business services, manufacturing, logistics and technologies, and provides a favourable environment for companies seeking to hire employees.

According to Randstad’s data, the working age population accounts for 60% of the total population of the Łódź province of nearly 2.5 million. The pre-working population has remained at a steady level for several years, suggesting a regular number of new people entering the labour market.

“Average employment in the Łódź province has recently remained largely unchanged at approximately 350,000, underlining the fact that the local labour market is stable and the region is strengthening its position as an attractive investment destination. Łódź alone has more than 138,000 people in work1. According to the latest Workmonitor from Randstad, it usually takes three months on average to find a job, which is not only an incentive for candidates to apply for new jobs, but above all facilitates recruitment. A strong and efficient labour market is one of the region’s key competitive advantages in attracting investments, including in logistics and e-commerce,” concludes Joanna Kubik, Senior Strategic Business Development Manager, Randstad.

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