In recent weeks, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has confirmed that economic growth in central Europe ‘will remain above potential in 2018 and 2019’. Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) are increasingly being targeted by the largest international players from across the logistics supply chain. CEE saw investment within the logistics sector exceeding €13.1 billion in 2017, and the industry’s big players are moving into the region – for example, Amazon have opened a number of logistics distribution centres across CEE. 

One of the lesser-reported success stories in the region is Slovenia. When broken down, it’s not surprising. Slovenia has a number of advantages as a country when considering its geography, along with geopolitical position and strategy, and the region’s trade relations history. It’s widely becoming a location of choice for storage, distribution and transportation of goods to the EU’s 500 million strong consumer market, and to the rising demand in Eastern Europe.

The country has struggled in the past due to macroeconomic difficulties, but stability in the area is now being revived. 22,000 people are employed in logistics related jobs across 2,600 companies in Slovenia, making up an estimated 70% of the employed population. The government is especially keen on capitalising on a workforce with extensive logistics experience, as well as the ready offering of industrial space in close proximity to highways in the area. 

The geographical location of Slovenia places it at the intersection of the 5th and 10th Pan-European corridors, making it one of the major logistics paths between the Adriatic Sea and the Balkans. The Slovenian port of Koper on the Adriatic Sea is a major cargo port, with a throughput of over 23 million tonnes of cargo in 2017. Jože Pučnik Airport, located in the centre of the country, houses a number of airway and land cargo logistics and transport companies. The airport has expanded the capacity of its terminals for both passengers and cargo, with further plans to develop a new intermodal centre by adding a railroad connection.
This makes for some incredible distribution capacities. Despite the region as a whole being a well-kept secret, two of the world’s larger logistics companies – UPS and DHL – have established hubs at the airport.  

A large contributor to the region’s increased popularity is the country’s attitude to innovation. Slovenia is home to the world’s first ‘Bitcoin City’, and has an agency called SPIRIT Slovenia which supports and realises the country’s innovation goals. Along with promoting entrepreneurship, there is evidence elsewhere of technology adoption within the logistics sector: for example, the International Federation of Robotics have said there has been a particular rise in the number of robots adopted in Slovenia when compared to the global average. Global robotics turnover was $48 billion (USD) in 2017, with an average of 144 robots per 10,000 workers in Slovenia – but compare this with the European average of 106 robots, and the US’ of just 91 per 10,000 workers, and the jump is vast. 

Slovenia is a traditionally export-driven economy, with a culture rich in respect for protocol, hierarchy, formality, and is one of the highest-ranking countries for gender pay equality.

Fact file

  • It is projected that the revenue of freight transport
    by road in Slovenia will amount to approximately 2,967 million U.S. dollars by 2022.
  • Slovenia has shown significant increases in inland freight transport relative to GDP, with their indices 6% higher
    in 2016 than 10 years earlier (second only to Denmark).
  • The share of international road freight transport in total road freight is particularly high in Slovenia, at 88.6%.

Sarah O’Connell, Senior Editor, FORWARDER magazine 

In recent weeks, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has confirmed that economic growth in central Europe ‘will remain above potential in 2018 and 2019’. Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) are increasingly being targeted by the largest international players from across the logistics supply chain. CEE saw investment within the logistics sector exceeding €13.1 billion in 2017, and the industry’s big players are moving into the region – for example, Amazon have opened a number of logistics distribution centres across CEE. 

One of the lesser-reported success stories in the region is Slovenia. When broken down, it’s not surprising. Slovenia has a number of advantages as a country when considering its geography, along with geopolitical position and strategy, and the region’s trade relations history. It’s widely becoming a location of choice for storage, distribution and transportation of goods to the EU’s 500 million strong consumer market, and to the rising demand in Eastern Europe.

The country has struggled in the past due to macroeconomic difficulties, but stability in the area is now being revived. 22,000 people are employed in logistics related jobs across 2,600 companies in Slovenia, making up an estimated 70% of the employed population. The government is especially keen on capitalising on a workforce with extensive logistics experience, as well as the ready offering of industrial space in close proximity to highways in the area. 

The geographical location of Slovenia places it at the intersection of the 5th and 10th Pan-European corridors, making it one of the major logistics paths between the Adriatic Sea and the Balkans. The Slovenian port of Koper on the Adriatic Sea is a major cargo port, with a throughput of over 23 million tonnes of cargo in 2017. Jože Pučnik Airport, located in the centre of the country, houses a number of airway and land cargo logistics and transport companies. The airport has expanded the capacity of its terminals for both passengers and cargo, with further plans to develop a new intermodal centre by adding a railroad connection.
This makes for some incredible distribution capacities. Despite the region as a whole being a well-kept secret, two of the world’s larger logistics companies – UPS and DHL – have established hubs at the airport.  

A large contributor to the region’s increased popularity is the country’s attitude to innovation. Slovenia is home to the world’s first ‘Bitcoin City’, and has an agency called SPIRIT Slovenia which supports and realises the country’s innovation goals. Along with promoting entrepreneurship, there is evidence elsewhere of technology adoption within the logistics sector: for example, the International Federation of Robotics have said there has been a particular rise in the number of robots adopted in Slovenia when compared to the global average. Global robotics turnover was $48 billion (USD) in 2017, with an average of 144 robots per 10,000 workers in Slovenia – but compare this with the European average of 106 robots, and the US’ of just 91 per 10,000 workers, and the jump is vast. 

Slovenia is a traditionally export-driven economy, with a culture rich in respect for protocol, hierarchy, formality, and is one of the highest-ranking countries for gender pay equality.

Fact file

  • It is projected that the revenue of freight transport
    by road in Slovenia will amount to approximately 2,967 million U.S. dollars by 2022.
  • Slovenia has shown significant increases in inland freight transport relative to GDP, with their indices 6% higher
    in 2016 than 10 years earlier (second only to Denmark).
  • The share of international road freight transport in total road freight is particularly high in Slovenia, at 88.6%.

Sarah O’Connell, Senior Editor, FORWARDER magazine