Outpost with potential

Croatia is the EU’s gateway to the Balkans and an important transit country, but shows only a small occurance of industry. DHL Freight Croatia has positioned itself accordingly and relies heavily on groupage and local distribution.

Ivan Posavec, Managing Director DHL Freight Croatia [Photo: DHL]
Ivan Posavec, Managing Director DHL Freight Croatia [Photo: DHL]

Since 2013, Croatia has been the external border of the European Union in the Balkans. At the time, the country had not yet fully recovered from the effects of the Balkan wars. Accession to the Community therefore meant a significant boost for the economy. It has also made things a lot easier for transport logistics companies such as DHL Freight, but structurally speaking the general conditions on the ground are not easy. Because the economy focusses on the service and tourism sector, industrial production contributes just 32 percent to the gross domestic product. Nevertheless, Ivan Posavec, Managing Director of DHL Freight Croatia, sees great market potential: “The peripheral location of Croatia in the EU offers a lot of possibilities that are far from exhausted. Our experience, especially in the areas of customs clearance and consulting, is very much in demand, and this will increase in the future.”

By numbers: DHL Freight Croatia

  • 5 Terminals
  • 25 Employees
  • 35 Vehicles
  • Daily connections to European countries in export and import as well as weekly connections to Bosnia and Herzegovina

Broad network

DHL Freight Croatia operates an international terminal at its headquarters in Sveta Nedelja near Zagreb. From there, the DHL Freight EuroConnect and Euroline services enable delivery to destinations throughout Europe. For domestic transhipment, there are four national terminals operated by subcontractors in Rijeka, Zadar, Split, and Slavonski Brod. Due to structural reasons, individual orders with large freight volumes are rather rare, but sales are instead provided by many small consignments. “Due to the market situation, we have become specialists for the combination of groupage goods. While this requires a lot of effort on the part of the employees, it also allows for business relationships with remote customers, for example on the Croatian islands,” says Ivan Posavec.

Large projects for the screen

Of course, there are also larger transport projects: The country Croatia is once again a popular filming location following the end of the Balkan wars, and the WAM film studio has already commissioned DHL Freight with the road transport of blockbuster equipment twice. In 2016, the logistics experts transported everything that was necessary for the shoot of “Star Wars: Episode VIII – The last Jedi Movie” and in 2017 the set for “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” was loaded onto the DHL trucks. For a change, the focus is now on a contract from industry, namely the partnership with Pro-klima. The air conditioning systems for the Dublin airport, a Porsche plant in Germany, a Renault plant in Romania, and the Magna factory in Slovenia are driven by DHL Freight Croatia.

Positive outlook

Ivan Posavec sees the location as being on the right track: “We have highly motivated staff who are absolutely putting the continued growth of the company in the spotlight. That is why I believe that despite a shortage of skilled workers and strong competition here in the market, we will not only survive, but in the future will become even stronger.” The conditions are in place, as experts at the International Monetary Fund expect growth rates of 2.5 percent and more for Croatia over the next few years.