Bigger space for M.W. Logistics in Słubice
The coronavirus and 13 months of the pandemic did not halt the dynamic growth of the industrial and logistics market. One of the outcomes of the restrictions and measures repeatedly introduced with regard to the retail sector, along with the fear of becoming infected while shopping at traditional stores and the obligation to stay at home to quarantine, is the increasing willingness of the Polish population to shop online. In turn, the rapid growth of the e-commerce sector means there is greater demand for industrial and logistics space and distribution centres; particularly those located closest to the end consumers. It transpires that distribution centres, commonly called the last mile logistics facilities, tend to operate and grow exceptionally well along the western border of Poland. Słubice is one such location.
The pandemic has led the Polish population to change its shopping habits. The Poles now prefer smaller local stores to the large ones. The real winner here, however, is online shopping; over the course of the past year it has become popular even amongst those who had preferred the traditional shopping experience before. Currently, more and more consumers declare that they value online shopping not only because of the safety aspect, but above all for the ease and convenience it offers. Businesses with an already well-established online sales channel were not the only ones to have benefited from the online shopping option during the pandemic. There is also quite a considerable number of new stores that have gained from it. All this means that the coming years will be record-breaking for the Polish e-commerce market, while everything related to the efficient handling of logistics processes can be used as leverage for further growth of the online retail sector. This includes modern industrial and logistics space.
The development of express roads has connected Poland with the logistics corridors of Western Europe. This greatly increased the attractiveness of the country, particularly those locations along the western border. But this is not the only advantage we can use today to attract manufacturing and distribution investors and gain a better position in the e-commerce sector as a whole. We have modern, high-class industrial and logistics space, some of it highly automated. We know how to take care of qualified staff and how to catch investors’ attention with attractive costs. The conditions created in the special economic zones to boost growth continue to be of importance too. And let us not forget that Poland is also a large and increasingly rich market. These are solid foundations for growth, even during the coronavirus crisis – Igor Roguski, Head of Industrial and Logistics at BNP Paribas Real Estate Poland
In recent years, new warehouse facilities started to appear in less obvious locations throughout Poland; some of them along the western border. And, as it turns out, they are of great importance today when Polish logistics operators are successfully collaborating with our western neighbour. Słubice is one such location; a place of strategic importance in terms of distribution to and from Germany, while at the same time playing a crucial role in the growth of the e-commerce sector across Central and Western Europe.
Robert Pawłowski, Associate Director in the Industrial and Logistics Department at BNP Paribas Real Estate Poland, points out that Słubice is today a logistics location of supraregional importance. The city effectively uses its location at the intersection of the key routes utilized by all nodes of transport to a great advantage. A location such as this gives priceless access to markets in Poland, Europe and worldwide.
If we look at the growing availability of logistics and industrial space and quality staff, Słubice is becoming an extremely attractive place to position and develop businesses from the logistics industry. We recently had the pleasure of advising M.W. Logistics, which has leased an additional 6 500 sqm of space to establish a state-of-the-art warehouse for its logistics operations – adds Rober Pawłowski.
Today’s market reality shows that the dynamic growth of the e-commerce sector and the continuous work on improving the supply chain pose new technological challenges for logistics companies. Automation is the only way to gain an advantage over competitors in the rapidly changing market conditions. This is the direction followed by M.W. Logistics in an effort to meet the requirements of today’s consumers and ensure high efficiency within the supply chain. Knowledge, experience, and investments in modern warehouse infrastructure in Słubice allow the company to grow within a retail sector dedicated to B2C, B2B and FBA (a sales model in which e-commerce businesses do the selling and the logistics operator takes care of all logistics, i.e. storage, packaging, shipping as well as all customer service and return handling).
We took the decision to invest in an innovative robotics system involved in the handling of 75% of the goods stored by us. There were several reasons for our company to do that: flexibility currently required of logistics operators, the need to minimise costs and shorten delivery times, as well as the changes taking place in respect of the human factor, i.e. the currently observed decline in productivity and the aging population – Krzysztof Roszyk, Director of Operations at M.W. Logistics
Paweł Pawlaczyk, in charge of logistics at the Słubice warehouse, emphasizes that 57 autonomous robots work in one single hall with an area of 12 500 sqm, while the entire automated system is responsible for operations across 8 000 sqm. The system manages over half a million products and 10 000 SKUs. To ensure that everything works perfectly, a smart system manages the movement of all robots. Moreover, the entire space where people and robots work together has been designed in such a way that all operations run smoothly, at the same place and time.
Technological advancement allows the robots at Słubice to work continuously for up to 9 hours. When the battery level drops to 5%, the robots automatically move to a charging station. On average, just 10 minutes of charging enable the robots to operate continuously for 2 hours. Interestingly, when a robot is free and there is no scheduled operation, the system puts it into standby and energy saving mode. The robots at M.W. Logistics are supported by artificial intelligence. Therefore, they can constantly learn by collating and analysing data. This improves efficiency, for example by setting product racks at a place that will minimise the time in which the product is delivered to the employee that is to handle it.
We have been observing the progressive introduction of changes in logistics and its automation for many years, yet the rapid pace of these changes in the last year exceeded our wildest expectations. Due to the high technological advancement of Polish facilities, more and more investors decide to bring their operations to our country. As already mentioned, the less obvious locations are gaining in importance, and thanks to Poland’s central location in Europe, new industrial and logistics space is being developed along all its borders – Igor Roguski, Head of Industrial and Logistics at BNP Paribas Real Estate Poland
BNP Paribas Real Estate Poland
Last Updated on April 12, 2021 by Karolina Ampulska