Tailor Your Business in Lodz 2023


The development of urban infrastructure seems to have failed to keep pace with the rapid growth of e-commerce - in all respects. This meant traffic congestion, ill-suited supply chains and confused customers who very often had to drive to pick-up points or even a company’s out-of-town headquarters to collect a parcel. It soon became clear that logistics focused only on a distribution centre as the last link of the supply chain was good for brick-and-mortar retailing but not good enough for e-commerce. That is why courier companies such as Siódemka, Masterlink, Servisco, Spedpol and Opek were either consolidated or acquired by global giants and warehouses were turned into sorting facilities that differed significantly from typical distribution centres. A sorting system sorts parcels according to where they are to go. It uses conveyor belts and terminals, with the whole process being supervised by scanners reading data on labels. A sorting facility is also smaller than a typical warehouse and is rarely larger than 5,000-8,000 sq m. At best, it should be a standalone building with many gates for delivery vans - different from loading docks for heavy goods vehicles - and a system of external canopies for van loading and unloading. The figure below shows not only courier sorting facilities or urban warehouses, but also micro-hubs that are becoming increasingly common across cities in many countries.


Retail areas within city borders Shops

Private houses

Urban logistics / CEP sorting


Source: PWC Graphic design: Cushman & Wakefield

Having briefly discussed courier sorting facilities above, let us move on to the key features of urban warehouses and micro-hubs. Urban warehouses have an area of several hundred to several thousand square metres and are being built in the largest cities, including the Łódź Conurbation, and in smaller cities such as Białystok, Częstochowa, Bydgoszcz, Rzeszów and Toruń. They are a good response not only to the pressure of organising logistics closer to the end consumer, but also to the growth of a range of new businesses and start-ups. As urban warehouses feature leasable units starting from several hundred square metres, small and medium-sized enterprises are able to offer customers more personalised and dedicated services in such modern facilities, thereby gaining a competitive advantage. In addition, easy access by public transport will facilitate staff recruitment, enable access to labour pools and improve employee retention levels, which is important to SMEs in particular. Micro-hubs are different - they may serve as evidence of perfectly organised supply chains and be ready for the deployment of automated guided vehicles (AGVs) and even drones in the future. Such units can play the following roles:


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