Poland - Commercial Guide
Distribution and Sales Channels

Discusses the prevalence and reliability of express delivery firms within the country, time from large U.S. cities, and relevant customs procedures, including de minimis amounts.

Last published date: 2019-10-13

Regional Nature of Market and Review of Major Regions 

Opportunities for doing business in Poland are, like the population, dispersed throughout the country. Thirty-nine percent of the population resides in rural areas; urban dwellers are widely spread among a number of population centers. 
Poland’s largest cities and their respective populations are: 

Warsaw 1,764615 
Kraków 767,348 
Łódź 690,422 
Wrocław 638,586 
Poznań 538,633 
Gdańsk 464,254 
Szczecin 403,883 
Bydgoszcz 352,313 
Lublin 339,850 
Katowice 296,262 

Source: Chief Statistical Office (GUS) Poland 

Industrial Goods Distribution 

Imports of equipment and technology have remained steady as Polish industry modernizes and restructures to compete with the West. Poles are familiar with the technical parameters of U.S. products, even prior to the actual introduction of those products in the marketplace.  This reflects on the fact that serious Polish importers do their homework. 

With its location in the center of Europe, and being a member state of the EU, Poland is often perceived as a good location for a distribution hub in Central and Eastern Europe. Another good reason is that prices in Poland are still lower than in other EU countries. 

Many distributors of industrial equipment are specialized and have very specific technical expertise.  Because of this, some are better able to represent foreign manufacturers on a national level than most consumer goods distributors. However, exporters should be aware that large industrial enterprises would rather have direct contact with manufacturers when purchasing heavy machinery. This is one of the reasons why the number of heavy machinery distributors is limited in Po land. 

As with the consumer goods sector, importers and other companies that represent foreign companies are becoming more sophisticated and selective. The number and variety of imported goods available on the Polish market play an important role here as well.  Polish agents or distributors increasingly look to foreign partners to provide marketing and promotional support, training and financing. Polish trade fairs, which have become more specific in scope, are a good place to look for possible distributors. 

It is advisable to consider having one exclusive distributor. Potential channel partners in this sector tend to prefer exclusive arrangements because often they bear the marketing costs of new products and do not want potential competitors to reap the benefits of their promotional activities.