Poland As An Alternative Ukrainian Grain Transport Route

Addressing an urgent need to support exports of Ukrainian grain, Poland has been actively unblocking all existing bottlenecks and using its logistics capabilities to maximise transportation of Ukrainian agricultural commodities through European routes and ports. Even though the alternative transport corridors for Ukrainian grain will never absorb the volumes of grain shipped through Ukrainian ports before, they could support exports in the short term and build a reliable and diversified logistics system for the long term.
So far, railway transportation through the territory of Poland and shipments from Polish ports seem to be the most promising and efficient solution, with annual capacity of railway corridors used for transporting Ukrainian grains estimated at around 15 million tons, and spare handling capacities of Polish ports estimated at around 3.8 million tons (based on 2021 data). Road transportation is considered as a supplementary to rail and maritime transport due to its lower efficiency. Coupled with transport capabilities of Romania (estimated at 1 million tons/month) and Slovakia (estimated at 0.5 million tons/month), the Polish transit routes should meet monthly export needs of Ukraine estimated at around 3 million tons.
On 23 April 2022 the prime ministers of Poland and Ukraine signed the Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen bilateral cooperation in the railway sector. The MoU envisages establishment of a logistic joint venture which will significantly boost rail transport of Ukrainian exports both to the EU and the global markets via Europe. Polish and Ukrainian railway companies (PKP S.A. and Ukrzaliznytsia) are in the final stage of talks on establishment of the joint company. Poland and Ukraine already reached additional bilateral agreements concerning the capacity of Polish seaports. On 16 May 2022, Ministers of Agriculture of Poland and Ukraine signed a memorandum of cooperation on improving the logistics of agricultural exports from Ukraine through Poland. On 14 June 2022, the transit of Ukrainian grains through Poland was further discussed between ministers of infrastructure and agriculture of Poland and Ukraine.