City 02/19

Szczecin reloaded

Visions on the river oder

Szczecin has repeatedly learned to reinvent itself. The port city in western Poland is planning to implement its latest visions of environmental-friendliness and modernity by 2050. The metropolitan region is mainly attracting online mail order companies at the moment. Rhenus recognised the increasing demand for warehouse centres for the e-commerce sector many years ago and opened a modern warehouse in Goleniów in 2012.

Anybody who drives to Szczecin from Berlin on the A 11 motorway can see Amazon’s logistics centre from a great distance. The Internet mail order company opened a fulfilment warehouse four kilometres from the German border in the autumn of 2017. A logistics warehouse for Zalando, which was built at almost the same time, is just 13 minutes away by car. Rhenus, however, has been operating a large e-commerce warehouse to the north of the Polish city since 2012. Rhenus already recognised the potential offered by this sector in the region several years ago.

“It was just a question of time when other companies would follow suit,” says Marek Kunert, who has been the Branch Manager of the Rhenus business site in Goleniów in the Szczecin region since 2016. “The airport at Goleniów, the port of Szczecin, the road network and the proximity to the German, Danish and Swedish borders are all outstanding local factors,” he says, fully aware of the situation.

E-Commerce Logistics

E-commerce logistics for online retailers
The third-largest distribution centre that Rhenus operates in Poland is located on the Goleniów industrial park. “We’re responsible for the incoming goods, the warehousing activities as well as picking and packing the customer shipments for the customer,” Kunert explains. Our customer, the leading, family-oriented, e-commerce provider in Europe, is the preferred purchase partner for 1.2 million families. The company was able to grow by 20 percent during the past financial year.

Rhenus has expanded its capacity at Goleniów several times so that it now uses almost 37,000 square metres of space. The warehouse provides spaces for clothing, shoes and accessories and has an automatic conveying system as well as a packing zone. E-commerce logistics for the fashion industry is absolutely unique, because seasonal factors and high numbers of returns require rapid availability and a high level of flexibility. This is a challenge that Kunert enjoys tackling.

It does not take long to drive to Szczecin from Goleniów by car. “The city has many sights, varied natural features and magnificent architecture. However, I particularly recommend that each visitor should discover the city’s remarkable history,” says the 39-year-old, full of enthusiasm.

E-Commerce Logistics

Spirit of optimism
Szczecin was the import and export port for Berlin at the beginning of the 20th century. The local Vulcan shipyard manufactured the largest ships in the world. You can discover at the “Dialogue Centre Upheavals” Museum, which is located right next to the impressive new Philharmonic Hall, how it was possible that only four percent of the people living in the city after the Second World War were Poles. Those who now stroll through the city with its 400,000 inhabitants sense the spirit of optimism. “Szczecin may have developed later than other major cities in Poland, but it’s been all the more successful during the last few years,” says Kunert, expressing his view.

The green city has a bustling and lively appearance. Rivers, canals and lakes account for one quarter of the urban area. As many as one million visitors will wander around the city when the Tall Ships Races are held at Szczecin once again in 2021; they come to admire the most attractive three-masted vessels in the world. The Pyromagic firework spectacle regularly attracts many tourists to the river Oder in August every year.

The best way to take in the city is to capture a bird’s-eye view and climb the bell tower at the city’s castle, take the lift up the Cathedral Basilica of St James or enjoy the breathtaking view from Café 22 over a slice of strawberry cake.

The wide, star-shaped boulevards in the Paris district particularly come into their own when viewed from high up. In contrast to the old city, many Wilhelminian-style and Art Nouveau buildings are still standing in the Paris district.

Stettin 2050
You will not find a real city centre in Szczecin, but a newly constructed, colourful old city district with gabled houses and wrought-iron lanterns makes up for this. It is also worth visiting the city castle, the former place of residence of the Pomeranian dukes, which has been reconstructed in Gothic style; it is now a cultural site.

The number 0 tram line travels to interesting places in the city on Sundays in summer. If you get off at Wojska Polskiego Avenue, you can visit the Kino Pionier cinema. It opened in 1909 and is even mentioned in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s oldest cinema.

Chrobry Embankment is one of the best-known landmarks in the city; you can enjoy a wonderful view of the river Oder and the river islands located opposite from there. The ecological project entitled “Szczecin 2050 – Floating Garden” aims to expand some of the islands to form a new city district. Rhenus Port Logistics already has its office there.

Szczecin

Branches
Rhenus has two branches in Greater Szczecin/Goleniów: Rhenus Logistics operates an e-commerce warehouse, which measures almost 37,000 square metres, at the Goleniów industrial park, while Rhenus Port Logistics offers port and customs services from the river island of Łasztownia in Szczecin. Both business sites work closely together.

Eating and drinking
The regional dish known as paprykarz szczeciński is a spread consisting of fish, rice and hot peppers. The best place to sample the Szczecin speciality is the Paprykarz Fish Market restaurant on Aleja Papieża Jana Pawła II 42. Tip: A typical Szczecin snack celebrates its 50th birthday this year: paszteciki szczeciński. The deep-fried yeast dough rolls, which you can buy at the main railway station, for example, are filled with meat – or mushrooms, cabbage or cheese, if you prefer the vegetarian variety

Night life
Poland’s most modern Philharmonic Hall, which has won the Mies van der Rohe Award, is located in Szczecin. Tickets for concerts are available for prices starting at EUR 6.00. Tip: Jazz, popcorn and drinks under glass filled with smoke: anybody who goes down the steps of Bar 17 Schodów at Targ Rybny 1 can look forward to a very special selection of cocktails too.

Shopping
The two large malls, Galeria Kaskada and Galaxy Zentrum right at the heart of the city, encourage people to go shopping. Tip: Gingerbread from Szczecin is a delicious souvenir. Maritime gingerbread motifs like anchors, ships and gulls can be found at the Filipinka bakery at Stanisława Ignacego Witkiewicza 1B.

Worth seeing
Chrobry Embankment, which is 500 metres long and is now known as Wały Chrobrego, towers over the port of Szczecin and you cannot miss it. It is one of the most beautiful panoramic terraces in Europe and is a must for anybody visiting Szczecin. Tip: If you go down the steps at Chrobry Embankment, you can start a tour of the port on board an excursion boat. There is also a ferry link to Świnoujście on the island of Usedom via the Szczecin Lagoon during the summer months.

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