The war unleashed by the Russian Federation against Ukraine led to fundamental changes in all areas of activity, not only within our country, but also seriously affected international political and economic relations. In particular, freight transportation from Poland to Ukraine and in the opposite direction has increased many times. This was also facilitated by the unfriendly attitude of the Republic of Belarus, whose self-proclaimed president supports the aggressive policies of the Russian state. A large number of transit routes previously passed through this country, along which various goods were delivered to European countries. In the context of ongoing hostilities, the transportation of commercial and humanitarian cargo along the Poland-Ukraine route is of great strategic importance.
What has changed in the delivery of goods from Poland to Ukraine
Logistics companies, after the attack by Russian occupation forces, immediately faced a number of problems.
- Destruction of roads, bridges, service stations, warehouses, gas stations and other infrastructure facilities.
- The need for urgent changes in supply chains.
- Reorientation to priority transportation of humanitarian cargo and essential goods.
- Problems with fuel and its sharp rise in price.
- Increasing the volume of cargo transportation, including to front-line zones.
- Many drivers joined the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the National Guard, and the Territorial Defense in order to defend their homeland with arms in hand. Therefore, there is a critical shortage of qualified personnel.
- inability to carry out cargo transportation by air and sea transport.
- Shortage of professionally equipped warehouse space.
This is just a small list of the main problems that arose literally in the very first hours of Russian military aggression. To this must be added limited capacity at border crossings and miles-long queues of trucks. The situation is no better with rail transportation, since due to the difference in track width, railway cars have to stand idle for several days while they are reloaded or moved to bogies of the appropriate width. Therefore, cargo transportation to Poland from Ukraine and back began to take much longer than in the pre-war period.
Positive changes and immediate prospects
Despite the difficult economic situation, as well as periodic shelling and missile attacks, the international logistics market in Ukraine is actively developing. This is largely facilitated by regulations and laws adopted in the EU that significantly simplify border crossing procedures for Ukrainian carriers. These include the abolition of road tolls, a permit-free regime (with a special form filled out in advance), an increase in quotas for 2023 and some others. It is planned that thanks to these solutions, delivery of goods from Poland to Ukraine will become much easier and the price will not increase much.
In addition, experts predict that in 2023, economic and political relations between Poland and Ukraine will also continue to develop, including in the field of international logistics. Currently, work is actively underway to simplify border rules and introduce common border and customs controls at checkpoints. Another direction is to increase the capacity of the 400-kilometer section of the broad-gauge railway that connects our country with Silesia. Previously, it was mainly used for transporting rolled metal. This may partially resolve the issue of importing Ukrainian grain through the Polish ports of Gdynia, Szczecin-Swinoujscie and Gdansk. The average throughput of all seaports in Poland is about 113 million tons. All this makes it possible to expect that in 2023, the delivery of cargo from Poland to Ukraine and in the opposite direction will be even more efficient and will eventually return to pre-war delivery times.