Szczecin

Report

Introduction

Szczecin is a dynamically developing city in Poland and an important economic, cultural and academic centre. Situated on the Oder River, it offers a wealth of opportunities for both residents and investors. Szczecin has great investment potential, as evidenced by its 7.5 rating.

The city is known for its business-friendly approach, attracting reputable domestic and foreign companies. With a population of almost 400,000, the city boasts access to skilled professionals and a strong academic base.
Szczecin also has a well-developed infrastructure and support from local authorities. Major infrastructure investments in recent years have significantly improved the quality of life for residents and made it easier to do business. The region is attracting leaders in various fields such as information technology, renewable energy, logistics and shared service centres.

Overall BEAS rating

7,5
alt=

Piotr Krzystek

Mayor of Szczecin

Expert commentary

Szczecin is a unique place in every way. Beautiful architecture, rich cultural life and attractive leisure opportunities. Szczecin is a green city - 30 per cent of its area is covered by forests, parks and squares. Our location, natural conditions and environmentally friendly approach mean that we are at a turning point. We are now turning our attention to renewable energy sources, especially offshore wind energy. The potential of Szczecin and our province in this respect is unique. We have the potential to become the Polish offshore hub. Key elements of this process are taking shape. In Świnoujście, work has begun on the construction of an assembly terminal where wind tower sections other wind turbine components will be handled, stored and assembled. Among other things, the terminal will enable the construction of Baltica Power's first offshore wind farm. In Szczecin, the world's leading offshore wind energy company, Denmark's Vestas, has invested millions to start production of components for wind farms. We are also co-founding the Polish Offshore Competence Centre with Orlen Neptun. We will train people for the industry. And it should be clear that all these investments will create thousands of new, well-paid jobs and attract other investors.

For several years now, Szczecin has also been attracting increasing attention from investors looking for new locations for office and warehouse investments. This is a relatively young but dynamically developing market. The warehousing sector is also unique due to the Port of Szczecin, which offers the possibility of delivering cargo by water as far inland as possible. There are large warehouse parks, stand-alone BTS facilities, smaller facilities and small urban warehouses in our region. Another advantage is the availability of cargo handling through Szczecin-Goleniów Airport. At the beginning of 2023, the total stock of the warehouse market reached almost 1.15 million sqm. As much as 85 per cent of this space, or almost 1 million sqm, has been delivered in the last six years, and developers are developing or planning new projects in recognition of the region's growing logistics potential. More warehouse space is currently under construction and the secured land bank allows for the delivery of another million square metres of modern space in the next few years. Szczecin has been developing in the right direction for years. However, we are not resting on our laurels, we are expanding our investment offer and preparing new projects. Any investor interested in setting up a business in our city can count on our professional support.

Average rating of all factors of Szczecin compared to other cities

Rating

7,1

Infrastructure

Szczecin lies at the crossroads of major transport routes, making it a strategic transport hub on the map of European transport infrastructure. The city lies on the north-south corridor from Scandinavia to the Mediterranean ports and the east-west line from Finland to Western Europe. The Szczecin-Świnoujście seaport is one of the largest port complexes in the Baltic Sea region, and thanks to the Oder-Havel Canal, the city has access to the European inland waterway system and the river ports of Western Europe.

The Szczecin-Goleniów (SZZ) airport is an equally important part of the infrastructure. It is only a 45-minute drive from the city centre and offers regular international connections, including Norway, Ireland and England. The runway can handle various aircraft types, and a modern cargo terminal allows for the efficient movement of goods. Szczecin also has excellent links to the motorways of Western Europe via the A6 and to new expressways and motorways in Poland, including the S3 and S6 motorways. As a result, the city is well-connected both nationally and internationally. Szczecin has an extensive rail network, providing access to destinations such as Germany, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic. The main railway lines run from the freight terminal at Port Świnoujście to cities such as Berlin, Vienna and Sofia, as well as on the Hamburg – Berlin – West Pomerania – Gdansk – Kaliningrad – St Petersburg route. With its excellent transport infrastructure, Szczecin plays a key role in international trade and communication, contributing to its dynamic economic development.

Zuzanna Krech

Zuzanna Krech

Associate, Regional Director Central Poland, Cushman & Wakefield

Expert commentary

Szczecin is located at an attractive junction of an extensive network of transportation links. The proximity of Germany, Scandinavian countries, as well as the ports in Szczecin and Świnoujście define the city and its surroundings as an important economic, academic, cultural and tourist centre. All land, air, rail and sea transport routes intersect here, facilitating transit between European and Baltic countries. The location, along with extensive infrastructure and a skilled workforce, is attracting investors from Europe.

Many companies in the logistics sector have located their headquarters and main warehouses here. The maritime, technology, high-tech, IT or automotive industries are also actively developing. Construction is underway on the S6 express way, which will connect the Szczecin agglomeration with the Tri-City. Further planned road investments will benefit the road connection to the centre and south of Poland. The city is also steadily investing in bike lanes and redeveloping the city’s most congested areas.

Zuzanna Krech

Zuzanna Krech

Associate, Regional Director Central Poland, Cushman & Wakefield

Rating

8,2

Office space

Zuzanna Krech

Zuzanna Krech

Associate, Regional Director Central Poland, Cushman & Wakefield

Expert commentary

The development of the office market in Szczecin has great potential, if only because of the city’s unique location – it is not without reason that it is said to be a gateway to the west and north of Europe. This fact is confirmed by the investment decisions of many companies that have located their business headquarters here, as well as their main warehouses, taking advantage of Szczecin’s strategic location, which gives access to all modes of transportation.

The potential for further development of the office market is confirmed by the numbers – the total stock of office space in Szczecin is 186,000 sqm, or just 3% of the supply of the entire country. Meanwhile, the annual demand for offices in 2022 was 10,700 sqm, while the space completed in the same period was only 1,500 sqm. This clearly shows that the city needs new office projects, as the number of potential tenants continues to grow. Scandinavian and German companies representing industries such as logistics and e-commerce, maritime, BSS, biotechnology and medical technology are particularly active. These investors are looking for modern, comfortable and well-connected offices, on which they often depend for their business decisions. Meanwhile, local developers are primarily active in Szczecin, and the city is fighting back with the slogan “Szczecin is too far away”. The base rent per sqm of office space rental remains at an average of €13.50/month. At the same time, due to limited supply, the tenant incentive package is limited.

Zuzanna Krech

Zuzanna Krech

Associate, Regional Director Central Poland, Cushman & Wakefield

Rating

6,5

Support from public administration

Szczecin has a number of business support institutions that are available to entrepreneurs. Their activities are aimed at anyone interested in expanding their business in Szczecin. Entrepreneurs can count on support from

  • Technology Transfer Centre
  • Service Sector Knowledge and Innovation Transfer Centre
  • Maritime Technology Transfer Centre
  • Regional Innovation and Technology Transfer Centre
  • Centre for Creative Industries
  • West Pomeranian Employers’ Association LEWIATAN
  • West Pomerania ICT Cluster Association
  • West Pomeranian Maritime Cluster
  • Metal Cluster Metalika
  • “Zielona Chemia” – West Pomerania Chemical Cluster
  • Polish Entrepreneurship Foundation
  • Szczecin Northern Chamber of Commerce
  • Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  • Szczecin Science and Technology Park “Technopark Pomerania
  • Academic Entrepreneurship Incubator of the University of Szczecin

Rating

7,3

Educational potential

Szczecin is the largest academic centre in the West Pomeranian Province, with almost 50,000 students. The city is home to many excellent universities, including the Academy of Fine Arts, the Maritime University of Technology, the Medical University of Pomerania, the University of Szczecin, the West Pomeranian University of Technology and private universities. With the presence of a typical seaside university – the Maritime University of Technology – some of the courses offered in Szczecin are not available in other centres in the country. The city supports students by offering solutions such as academic scholarships, prizes for the best dissertations and residential programmes.

Universities in Szczecin are also keen to cooperate with the business community. The West Pomeranian University of Technology, for example, has a Regional Innovation and Technology Centre, which brings together business and academia to help commercialise and market innovative technologies, and helps students build their careers by facilitating access to internships and research grants. At the University of Szczecin, business services are provided by four research centres: Centre for Economic and Financial Analysis, Centre for Legal Analysis, Centre for Strategic Analysis and Centre for Technology Transfer.

Oliwia Płoska

Oliwia Płoska

Senior Consultant, Antal SSC/BPO

Expert commentary

The educational offer of Szczecin is wide, students can choose from more than 160 majors at 21 universities, public and non-public. The most frequently chosen University of Szczecin educates students in many specializations, but graduates of finance, accounting and philological faculties acquire the skills and knowledge most desired on the market today. The city focuses on the development of the university, the quality of education, as well as development towards opening up science to business so that both sides can draw inspiration and develop branches of the economy. International organizations willingly meet the needs of young, inexperienced people by offering internships and jobs after graduating, e.g. economic technicians, which are at a high level. Education, the acquisition of expertise responds to the needs of business and makes the region attractive for new investments.

A great example of university-business cooperation is the event organized for the region for the third time, entitled “Szczecin Biznes Inspiracje” (eng. “Szczecin Business Inspirations”), in which companies, universities and associations participate. It provides an opportunity to network, to exchange experiences. In addition, there are presentations of dynamically developing companies from the West Pomeranian (Zachodniopomorskie) Voivodeship, as well as presentations of activities of Szczecin universities that may be attractive to entrepreneurs. Integrating business and science strengthens the relationship, and gives students the opportunity to fit in with the organizations presented. All these activities positively affect the region’s investment attractiveness and build its position.

Oliwia Płoska

Oliwia Płoska

Senior Consultant, Antal SSC/BPO

Rating

6,5

Employment potential

Mateusz Otkała

Mateusz Otkała

Business Development Manager, Antal Engineering & Operations

Expert commentary

The city’s geographic location is of considerable importance for the labour market. Undoubtedly, it provides great opportunities for the local community, but it also forces competition for the same employee between Polish and German employers. According to the BEAS report, the dominant economic sectors in the West Pomeranian region are manufacturing (constantly developing economic zones), trade (proximity to the border is of decisive importance here) and transportation (an ideal base for carriers).

A huge driver of the labour market is always new investments, and these are steadily increasing in Szczecin and the surrounding area. With the growth of companies, there are more and more positions on the market where graduates of numerous universities in Szczecin can find employment. According to the BEAS report, as many as 70 percent of the companies surveyed plan to increase employment, indicating strong dynamics in the labour market. With relatively low unemployment in the West Pomeranian region (about 7 percent, Poland – 5 percent), one of the main goals should be to encourage young people to come to study technology in Szczecin and to tie their careers to this region. Currently, Szczecin ranks as economically attractive to potential investors in terms of wages – the average gross monthly salary in 2022 was PLN 6,169.94, which was 92% of the average salary in the country.

Clearly, over time, one can see the tremendous work that has been done by city officials to increase the attractiveness of the region and create new jobs. Infrastructure development reduces the distance between other regions, extensive green areas increase the comfort of residents, and investment in culture increases the recognition of the region.

Mateusz Otkała

Mateusz Otkała

Business Development Manager, Antal Engineering & Operations

Rating

7,9

Business potential

Szczecin is attracting increasing interest as an enticing location for business and investment, not least because of its favourable location and well-developed network of connections. One of the key factors attracting investors is access to a skilled human talent pool. Szczecin produces thousands of university graduates each year, increasing the pool of potential skilled workers.

The city is also open to innovation and developing sectors of the future. Investment is being made in science and research centres, IT infrastructure and innovative solutions. All these factors encourage investment in sectors such as automotive, ICT, business services and logistics. At the same time, the maritime industry has always been an important sector in Szczecin. It is worth noting that Szczecin has gained international recognition, coming 7th in this year’s ‘fDi’ ranking of business-friendly medium-sized cities, ahead of well-known metropolises such as Zurich and Edinburgh. This is a testament to the active promotion of the city by the local government and the business potential that attracts investors.

Agnieszka Zielińska

Agnieszka Zielińska

Managing Director, Scandinavian-Polish Chamber of Commerce

Expert commentary

For years, Szczecin has played a special role on the map of Nordic investors thanks to its strategic location, both from the perspective of Scandinavia, Germany and Central and Eastern Europe. Infrastructure investments in recent years have significantly improved the accessibility of the Szczecin agglomeration and the region: the tunnel under the Swina River was opened at the end of June this year, and the construction of a western bypass is also planned. The investment in roads will improve communication with the port of Szczecin-Świnoujście, which is located on the shortest sea route between Scandinavia and Central Europe. Szczecin-Goleniów Airport, with its modern cargo terminal, also plays a key role in the development of the region.

It is no coincidence that Scandinavian investors are already strongly represented in Szczecin – 509 Nordic companies are currently registered in the entire West Pomeranian Province. Further investments are planned, for example DSV, one of the world’s largest logistics companies, is preparing to open a fully automated AutoStore for e-commerce customers. Szczecin is also an important location for investors in renewable energy, such as the Danish company Vestas, the world’s largest manufacturer of wind turbines.

Agnieszka Zielińska

Agnieszka Zielińska

Managing Director, Scandinavian-Polish Chamber of Commerce

Jagna Kubańska-Łyczakowska

Jagna Kubańska-Łyczakowska

Head of Public Affairs Poland, Global Public Affairs, Vestas Wind Systems

Expert commentary

Szczecin has been the headquarters of Vestas in Poland for twenty years. I am happy to see how dynamically it has been transforming in recent years. The decision to build a factory of components for offshore wind turbines here and the resulting local increase in employment is a strategic step for the implementation of our growth strategy and confirmation that Szczecin has the potential to become a regional technological hub for offshore wind energy.

To sustain this growth and take full advantage of Szczecin’s potential, it will be crucial to invest in infrastructure, education, the expansion of urban public transportation, as well as the development of a network of rail and air links with the rest of the country and Europe.

However, let’s remember that it’s not just the variety of attractive jobs, but also culture, recreation, the availability of kindergarten places, health centres, in short, a high quality of life — that play a role in attracting talent crucial to new investments.

The city, thanks to its convenient location, the abundance of green spaces and the surrounding water, has great potential in this area. Szczecin stands at the threshold of a new era of development, becoming a magnet for investors and workers in the new technology industry.

Jagna Kubańska-Łyczakowska

Jagna Kubańska-Łyczakowska

Head of Public Affairs Poland, Global Public Affairs, Vestas Wind Systems

Rating

8,9

Assessing the location as a place to live

Szczecin is rated very highly as a place to live. The city has a rich cultural life and a friendly urban environment. Szczecin, sometimes referred to as the City of Nature, has over 500 hectares of urban green spaces – 16 parks, almost a hundred green areas and over 5,000 square metres of flowerbeds. The city is surrounded by water – it lies between the floodplains of the Oder River, with an open view of the Szczecin Lagoon, Lake Dąbie and the shipping lane leading to the Baltic Sea.

In terms of cultural life, Szczecin boasts three theatres, including one of Poland’s most famous – Teatr Współczesny. There is also an opera house, known as the Opera in the Castle, and a new philharmonic hall, which has won awards not only for its concerts but also for its architecture. There are also important cultural centres in the city, such as TRAFO – Trafostacja Sztuki, the Museum of Technology and Communication and the National Museum of Szczecin.

Szczecin also has a well-organised public transport system – in addition to trams and buses, city bicycles are available to residents, making it easier to get around the city and lead an active lifestyle.

Szczecin in numbers

  • In the fDi European Cities and Regions of the Future 2023 ranking, Szczecin was ranked among the top 10 European medium-sized cities – business friendly.
  • 500 hectares of urban green space, 25% of Szczecin is water.
  • Szczecin was ranked third in the nationwide Water City Index 2022, which is also a ranking of water resource efficiency in Polish cities.

View reports

Thank you for your interest. You can also use our data comparison engine or download the report as a PDF.

Partnerzy miejscy

See what we write on our blog

Find out more about the labour market and the potential of Polish cities.

Visit our blog
X

View reports

To view reports you must leave your email address

Thank you!

Check your e-mail and activate access.

    Information clause

    *required fields