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New office puts P&O Ferrymasters in Pole position

28th April 2008

Fast-growing demand for forwarding and intermodal services across Eastern Europe has prompted P&O Ferrymasters to expand its presence further in the area with a new commercial base in Poland.

The office in Chorzów near Katowice opens on 5 May and expects to move 1,000 Full Trailer Loads (FTL) in 2008, rising to 5,000 FTLs by 2010. Katowice sits in the centre of a major steel production area, close to a new railway hub and just 20km from Poland’s largest inland port.

Herman Braam, Freight Management Division Director, said: “Our expansion strategy lies firmly with the emerging markets of Eastern Europe and so, strategically, Poland is very important to P&O Ferrymasters. We expect Katowice to become an important hub in our future rail strategy as it is key to the new emerging markets of the Ukraine, Bulgaria and Turkey as well as linking well with some of our historically strong markets like Italy, Greece and Spain.

“A strong commercial presence with experts on the ground is therefore an absolute necessity to take advantage of the opportunities which are being created as part of the economic boom in this area and in sectors like the steel industry in particular. We have invested in 200 new coilers to capitalise on this growth sector which means we now have the largest coil-carrying fleet anywhere in mainland Europe. Intermodal activity is also increasing due to road congestion and driver availability issues coupled with a demand for environmentally friendlier transport options,” he added.

P&O Ferrymasters is also exploring the viability of a block train into Poland with improved connections to the east to capture business on the trade lanes operating between Hungary and Romania, Poland and the Czech Republic and Hungary to Poland as well as the traditional east to west traffic.

Herman Braam concluded: “Over the last four years we have forged strong links with leading international industrial companies that have bases in Poland. Our aim is to offer customers in Poland and the rest of Eastern Europe the same wide-ranging logistics services that their Western counterparts enjoy. We are investing heavily in new people, offices and fleet to make sure we achieve our aim.”

Piotr Gall, 35, will act as general manager of the new Polish office. He has ten years’ logistics and forwarding experience and speaks Russian, Hungarian, Italian and Mongolian as well as Polish. Piotr will report to Marcel Manshanden, General Manager (Amsterdam).

The Polish operation follows similar strategic office openings in Bucharest (February 2008) and Budapest (2006).

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