According to US online retailer Amazon.com it will open the company’s 5th logistic centre in Poland this year to take advantage of the significantly low wages and proximity to Germany’s large market. Amazon’s decision adds to the trend of multi-national companies that are presently opening shared services and logistics centres in Poland due to the opportunities presented by a large and skilled workforce.
Poland is the largest eastern member of the European Union that has a generally low record of unemployment (8%). Through the new logistics centre, Amazon.com will be insulated from the labour strikes that frequently occur in Germany. At present, 7,000 people enjoy regular work contracts at Amazon’s three logistics centres in western Poland that are very close to the German border.
Last year, the online retailer has announced that it will open another centre in the north-western city of Szczecin which is also located close to the German border. The company has also revealed the creation of more than 2,500 jobs in Poland last year and investments of more than 3 billion zlotys ($737 million) since 2014.
Amazon has also announced the opening of a new logistics e-commerce centre in Sosnowiec in the fourth quarter of the year. Sosnowiec is a city located in the southern part of Poland near Katowice. Amazon has also invested heavily in Germany with 11,000 warehouses that employ thousands of seasonal workers last year. Germany is Amazon’s second largest market after the United States.
However, Amazon has faced several challenges in Germany. Since 2013, German labour unions have organized frequent strikes against the US online retailer to press for higher wages for warehouse workers under its employ. The average gross wages in Germany’s corporate sector is nearly 4 times higher than that of Poland. Over the last two decades, Poland has experienced robust economic growth but its wages remain low.
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