Poland - Country Commercial Guide
Infrastructure & Intelligent Transportation Systems

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2020-10-11

Overview

Poland continues to devote sizeable resources to the development of its transportation. The National Directorate for Roads and Highways (GDDKiA), the Polish Railway PKP S.A., the Polish Railway Networks (PKP-PLK), Ministry of Development, Ministry of Infrastructure, and Ministry of Maritime Economy and Inland Waterways are all responsible for nation-wide or regional projects. In addition, local governments are responsible for infrastructure projects for their own communities. Many highway, railway, and inland-waterway projects are eligible for EU funding. One of the auspicious side effects of developing Poland’s transportation systems in the past few years has been the rapid development of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS). ITS solutions have become an important part of highway and road infrastructure. Under the current EU funding scheme, for 2014 to 2023, the government plans to invest $17,5 billion in railway infrastructure and $36,6 billion in road infrastructure.  Successful country-wide ITS implementation includes Viatoll, a system of collecting payments from trucks using paid roads, and CANARD, connecting all photoradars.  The Directorate is currently processing system upgrades and implementing new technologies. In May 2020, GDDKiA signed a contract for National System of Traffic Management for the value of $53 million. The goal of the project, co-financed by EU, is to monitor in real time highways and express roads.

The ITS sector is becoming better organized. In 2013, key industry players founded the ITS Cluster (“Klaster ITS”) to support and inspire greater and more efficient cooperation between the private sector, government authorities, and academics. The ITS Polska Association controls the cluster and has divided it into eight working groups: mobility management, dual-use technologies, traffic management, metrology, billing and control systems, rail ITS, shared services centers, and smart cities. Each working group is led by one of almost 30 Cluster members. ITS Polska also organizes the annual ITS Poland Congress, a gathering of industry representatives; academic experts; and central, local, and municipal governments.  

Leading Sub-Sectors 

Road Transportation 

Poland has a large and growing road network of about 1053 miles of highways and 1506 miles of express roads. The country was listed as 5th in Europe regarding the length of highways and motorways.  Under the current program, GDDKiA plans to spend $37.5 billion on highways and roads by 2025. This would allow investments in new road infrastructure or upgrades. Only in 2019, 285 miles of new roads have already been constructed. More than 623 miles of roads are now under construction, while 237 miles of roads are in the tender process. The government earmarked over $7 billion for construction on the Polish part of the Via Carpatia, an international route connecting Lithuania with Greece, including supporting infrastructure and plans for new ring roads in several cities. Via Carpatia should be finished in 2025. 

One of the most important investments under current programs is the National Traffic System, which received a $139 million subvention from the European Commission. The system will support drivers by informing them in real-time about traffic, accidents and road conditions. In 2018, the government announced the Bridges for Regions program, where 21 bridges will be built over the largest Polish rivers. The project is estimated to cost $640 million and construction started in 2020.

Railway transportation 

PKP S.A. is the dominant company on the railway market in Poland. Today, Polish railway infrastructure has 12,000 mi of railway tracks. 
Most of the works are funded by EU Program Infrastructure and Environment for the 2014-2020 perspective. EU has already spent over 10 billion USD for modernization of polish railway. Within the program, 900 km of railway roads will be created or improved, and 500 trains will be upgraded.   

In the perspective 2021-2030, Polish railway will receive $ 75 billion for the development.
Under the National Railway Program (KPK), the most important investment railway program in Poland, PKP PLK has planned for over 220 infrastructure projects, worth $18.7 billion, which will improve over 5,592 mi of railroad tracks.  Until now, projects worth USD 2,6 billion have been completed, projects worth USD 10 billion are already started. The priority is the cargo routes, especially those linking the south of the country with the seaport in the north and those in large cities. The railway projects that would benefit include modernization of the cargo route in Southern Poland Chorzow-Zdunska Wola (over $1 billion), as well as improvement of railway infrastructure linking seaports in Gdansk, Swinoujscie and Gdynia ($1,55 billion). The aim of the program is also to increase average train speed on 8.5000 km of railroads. Currently, Polish train speeds are much lower than the EU average. In 2019, the Ministry of Infrastructure announced the Kolej+ program which aims to improve local and regional railway infrastructure.  The value of the program is $1.6 billion. It will be realized between 2019-2028.

Intermodal transportation is the future of Polish railroads. The main obstacles in developing intermodal transportation are the slow speed of cargo trains, which are two times slower than the EU average, and the inadequate number of intermodal terminals. In June 2018, the EU increased the funds for intermodal transportation in Poland to $550 million to address these concerns.  PKP SA plans to invest in new multimodal logistic centers. A center in Bydgoszcz, called X-Logistics, is already under discussion. In agreement with seaports, PKP plans to build as many as 19 intermodal terminals throughout the country.  These projects would be carried out until 2030. 

Airport Infrastructure 

Nearly 50 million passengers traveled through Polish airports in 2019, reaching a record compared to 2018, an increase of 6%, according to estimations. 

Warsaw Chopin airport is an economic leader with growth of 6.2% compared to 2018, mainly with LOT  Polish Airlines (18.9 million passengers). Regional airports are also fast growing with a large increase in passengers and with development plans. Polish Regional Ports identified 210 investment needs (of $1 billion) to be realized in regional airports. They should be realized between 2018 and 2037.  

The biggest project that will be realized within next years is the Solidarity Transport Hub (STH) – a brand new international airport. STH is the government’s response to a substantial increase in air passenger traffic in Poland.  Last year, 18.9 million passengers travelled through Poland’s largest airport (Chopin Airport), which has no possibility to expand.  STH is designed to handle 45 million passengers and will have the opportunity to eventually support 100 million passengers.   According to government plans, STH is scheduled to launch in 2027 at an estimated cost of $9 billion – the most expensive single infrastructure project since 1989.  STH will be located in Central Poland, approximately 25 miles from Warsaw.

The STH project is one of the top priorities of the current government, receiving $75 million from the government in 2019. The aim of the project is to broaden the collaboration between airports and railways, where the cost of investment would be even higher than the cost of the hub itself. The railway network will cost around $10 billion and, according to the government. The Solidarity Transport Hub already received $3.5 million for first rail investments in Southern Poland. The government plans to create 808 miles of new railway infrastructures. According to the Ministry, the time to reach the airport from Warsaw city center will take around 15 minutes and from other major cities in Poland – 2-2,5 hours via high-speed train. The government also plans to create a system that will allow passengers to check in while entering the train. 

The new international hub would become important not only for passengers but also for logistics. Poczta Polska (Polish Post) announced that the company would build a Central Logistics Hub close to the airport.  Eventually, the government would like to create a high technology smart city around the airport.  Such a city would employ directly more than 50,000 people.  

The STH presents significant opportunities for U.S. companies interested in project management and smart solutions.

Other upcoming projects 

  • Central Seaport in Gdansk: The concept for this project is ready, and will followed by environmental assessment and public discussions. Estimated completion date: 2029. Estimated cost of the project:  $1,57-$2,10 billion  
  • Port Gdynia Project: creation of an additional port that will toad up to 180ha, to the already existing 240 ha.   Cost of the project: $0,66 billion, Estimated completion date: 2026.   
  • The government is also pursuing the Piercing Spit of Vistula, a flagship project. If completed, this will create a 1,300 m long and 5 m deep canal that would create an inland port in the city of Elblag. The project will cost $250 million and it will be finished in 2022.   

 Good opportunities for U.S. exporters include: 

  • Engineering, project creation in Solidarity Transport Hub
  • Technological companies which can help with the smart city that will be constructed near the Solidarity Transport Hub.

Trade events

Trako, Gdansk, September 21-24, 2021

Web Resources 

ITS Polska   
Ministry of Infrastructure 
Ministry of Maritime Economy and Inland Waterways 

General Directorate of Roads and Highways  
Road Traffic Automatic Supervision Centre (CANARD, part of General Directorate of Roads and Highways) 
PKP S.A.   
PKP Polish Railway Networks   

For more information about the Infrastructure and Intelligent Transportation Systems, please contact: 
U.S. Commercial Service Poland 
Commercial Specialist: Joanna Bereza 
E-mail: Joanna.Bereza@trade.gov