Germany has become Europe’s prime logistics hub, thanks in part to its central geographical location, but most of all due to factors of quality and reliability.
World's top-ranked infrastructure
A number of recent studies , including UNCTAD’s Investor Surveys and the IMD’s World Competitiveness Yearbook, underline the quality of Germany’s infrastructure.
In the Competitiveness Yearbook, Germany’s reliable infrastructure is singled out as one of the TOP 5 key attractiveness indicators of the economy.
The 2019 Global Competitiveness Report of the WEF includes high marks for the quality of German roads and airports, its rail and port infrastructure, as well as the country’s outstanding communications and energy infrastructure.
Businesses benefit from Germany’s excellent logistics infrastructure: Germany’s logistics network includes not only the port of Hamburg – Europe’s third largest container port, but also Bremerhaven – one of the world’s largest ports for vehicle traffic, and Duisburg – home of the continent’s largest inland port. Measuring the logistics performance of 160 countries, the World Bank’s Logistics Performance Index (LPI) 2018 ranks Germany’s logistics performance and infrastructure as best in the world.
Logistics Performance and Quality of Infrastructure (2018)
Source: World Bank 2018
Dense network of roads, ports, and railways
Together with over 250 additional inland ports, Germany’s port infrastructure facilitates the efficient delivery of goods in Europe’s largest market. The Rhine and Elbe rivers serve as major arteries for barge traffic to the deepwater ports in various river bights and along the north and northwest coastlines.
Germany has a dense network of airports, 12 of which have been classified as International Airports.
Frankfurt is Europe’s largest airport in terms of cargo and ranks sixth in passenger volume.
The country’s highway system has one of the greatest kilometer densities in Europe and the 38,400 kms of railway tracks are nearly enough to circle the globe; its high-speed railway network, with speeds of up to 300 km/h, is the fourth largest in the world.
Europe's global logistics hub
The German logistics infrastructure is among the best in the world: Once again, Germany has been ranked first in the World Bank’s Logistics Performance Index 2018. With its state-of-the-art transportation networks by air, rail, waterway, or autobahn, Germany provides quick access to domestic and international markets. It’s hardly surprising that Germany is a global logistics hub.
With a turnover of EUR 265 billion in 2020, the German logistics market has no rival in Europe. According to research by the Fraunhofer IIS - Center for Applied Research on Supply Chain Services, Germany has a dominant share of the European logistics market, which makes it the most significant player in driving Europe’s economic growth.
There are more goods now passing through Germany than through any other European country.
Not only is Germany’s logistics infrastructure world-class, its companies are also global logistics leaders. In fact, Deutsche Post (DHL) from Germany is one of the world’s largest logistics service providers. In addition, Deutsche Bahn operates Europe's largest railway network and Lufthansa Cargo is one of the world's leading global air freight companies.
In the middle of Europe
In the north, Germany’s seaports are an important conduit for trade with the UK, Scandinavia, and the Baltic states. Moreover, road and rail links through the Jutland peninsula provide easy access to Denmark and the rest of Scandinavia. In the west, an extensive network of roads, rail links and inland waterways feeds into France and the Benelux countries.
To the south, Germany has strong commercial ties with Switzerland and Austria and direct road, rail and water links with the Balkan states. Turning eastwards, Germany’s borders with Poland and the Czech Republic also bring Slovenia, the Slovak Republic and Hungary within easy reach.