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A new highway will connect Romania with Ukraine. How will it affect the transport industry in Poland?

TSLA new highway will connect Romania with Ukraine. How will it affect the transport industry in Poland?

Intense work is underway on a new highway that is set to connect Romania with Ukraine. This will provide our eastern neighbour with access to the countries of the European Union, bypassing Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia. “An unfavourable scenario for us – but a wholly realistic one – is that we will see trade with Ukraine shrink, resulting in losses for Polish carriers, importers, and owners of transshipment warehouses,” explains Joanna Porath, owner of the AC Porath customs agency.

Key points:

  • Ukraine is openly pleased with the construction of the new highway, which will connect their country with Romania;
  • In this way, our eastern neighbour will ensure a new access to EU markets, bypassing Poland;
  • Limiting trade with Ukraine may lead to losses in the Polish TSL industry.

According to Romanian media, progress has accelerated on the construction of sections of the so-called Moldavian highway, which will stretch from Bucharest to the border with Ukraine. The route will travel through Buzeu, Focşani, Bacău, Roman, Pasşcani, and Suceava, eventually linking with Ukraine’s M19 road near Seret. The highway is set to open in the last quarter of 2024.

“The highway connecting Romania with Ukraine is a significant strategic investment for our eastern neighbour, as it creates an additional transport corridor connecting this country with the EU. Moreover, it assures better access to Romanian ports. However, it bypasses Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia, which may limit our trade with Ukraine. This will result in losses for Polish carriers, importers, and transshipment warehouse owners,” says Joanna Porath.

The volatile relationship between Poland and Ukraine does not help the situation. Relations have deteriorated after Poland extended the ban on importing Ukrainian grain, despite the European Union’s decision. Recent protests by carriers on the Polish-Ukrainian border have further intensified the conflict. Romania stands to benefit from the dispute between Poland and Ukraine, having agreed with our eastern neighbour on the grain issue, and is currently intensifying efforts to foster economic rapprochement.

“The situation between Poland and Ukraine is complex, but we should still seek mutual agreement and partnership. After all, we are counting on participating in the post-war reconstruction of the country. This is a tremendous opportunity for the Polish economy and Polish companies. We wanted to lead Ukraine’s reconstruction. Now, with the emergence of the highway connecting Romania with Ukraine, we’re uncertain if we can realise our basic plan. The prospect of becoming a major transit hub, earning revenue from all the freight passing through our country, is becoming increasingly distant,” adds Joanna Porath.

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