The report examines both mature and emerging logistics and industrial centres across Europe and ranks them based on two main criteria, which all play a determining role in site selection for manufacturing and distribution activities.

Outside Western Europe, Prague and Bratislava obtained the best score for distribution, bearing a lower cost of labour and property costs, with rents for prime distribution space in Bratislava 25 percent lower than the average for Western Europe and employee remuneration averaging just a third of the compensation payable in the Netherlands. The report expects CEE hubs to gain further importance across the European distribution landscape, as the centre of Europe gradually shifts to the east.

The manufacturing scenario, where cost was held as the key determinant of location decision, is dominated by cities in CEE and neighbouring countries to the east, such as Ukraine.

From a manufacturing perspective, Kyiv occupies the highest spot in this ranking, followed by Istanbul, Bratislava, Upper Silesia (Katowice) and Sofia. With an average remuneration per worker of ca. €3,500 per annum in the transport and warehousing sector.

Istanbul stands out for boasting relatively lower labour costs than most of the other cities, and good levels of infrastructure, which will see further improvements, as a series of on-going and planned projects in the region reach completion. More generally, Turkey, as Russia, is increasingly integrated in the global supply chain and will gain further importance as trade links with the Far and Middle East strengthen.

Erik Barnekow, Director of EMEA Industrial and Logistics at Colliers International, concluded: “Southern Europe is the only region with no clear competitive advantage in our analysis, be it in manufacturing or distribution. However, as highlighted by the report, this might change as some of these countries are seeing their cost ‘competitiveness’ improve, partly on the back of structural reforms currently being implemented.” (source: