Transport and storage

From the transport and logistics point of view Latvia has the best location to establish a business in the Northern Europe. Just look at the map!  Latvia is located at the heart of Europe’s fastest-growing area — the Baltic Sea region (northeast part of Europe). Logistics in Latvia, due to the country's geographical advantages as a gateway between the Scandinavia, Central Europe and Eastern Europe, has always been a priority area. 

If we speak about the capital of Latvia – Riga – it is the largest Baltic city, and it is located in the middle of the region. Also taking a quick glimpse in history we see that Riga was the leading trade hub among Hanseatic League countries (15th century). 

Latvian transport and storage sector is not biased towards road transport, as is the case with economies of other countries in the region. In contrast, the Latvian transport and storage sector is more diversified, with sea and railway transport being important export services. Thus, Latvia is a natural home for regional headquarters and distribution centres of international companies.

Sector is further enhanced by the modernizing of the industry and implementation of high tech solutions and automation to processes for industry and its products. Competitive labour and favourable government policies aimed at improving road infrastructure, promoting railway freight, simplifying customs procedures with Russia and promoting the use of ICT and new technologies further contribute to the potential of the sector.

Main subsectors

  • Largest airline and airport in region;
  • Logistics and post serving Alibaba airplanes;
  • Rail integrated in all CIS rail system (1520mm);
  • Upcoming Rail Baltica project;
  • Multimodal terminals in 3 ice-free ports and 7 smaller ports;
  • TEN-T transport core network.

Fast facts

  • Since 2004, when Latvia became a member-state of the European Union, the country's borders with other member-states are open and do not require mandatory customs checks to transport goods. In Latvia – you have direct access to all EU internal market – 480 million people.
  • Old proverb says that a new language is a new life. We agree and add our version – a new language is a new opportunity. We are keen on speaking foreign languages. All logistics service providers in Latvia speak Russian and English.
  • We are in the epicentre of action here as within 24 hours goods from Latvia can be delivered to any customer in the Baltic States and even in Helsinki, Stockholm and Warsaw.
  • We are proud to have the largest air transportation hub in the Baltic’s – Riga International Airport – offering 100 direct destinations and serving nearly half of Latvian national airline airBaltic passengers. 
  • Latvian railroads are the main commercial transportation infrastructure, especially for inland traffic. Latvia has the best experience in the development of container trains among the Baltic countries:
    • Riga Express Riga – Moscow (72 hours);
    • Baltika Tranzit Riga – Alma-ata (12 days);
    • ZUBR Tallin/Riga – Minsk – Ukrainian Black sea ports (2 days and 18 hours)
  • A win-win situation is the possibility to combine logistics opportunities and production possibilities in Latvia. Numerous enterprises in Latvia operating in the mechanical, electrical engineering and metalworking industry.
  •  Latvians were renowned seafarers already many centuries ago. And no wonder as today we have three major ice-free ports and several minor ports. Also we offer one of the most attractive port tariffs among Baltic Sea countries.
  • We are not afraid of ambitious projects. One of the biggest global projects is “Rail Baltic” railway network to connect Helsinki with Berlin right through the Baltic’s. The construction is set to be finished by 2026.

Industry leaders

  • Air Baltic Corporation is a flag carrier of Latvia – offering more than 80 direct destinations with completely renewed Airbus A220 fleet linking all metropolitan and leisure nodes among CIS and Europe.
  • LDZ Cargo is the largest rail freight carrier in the Baltic States and the fifth largest in the European Union utilizing all key East-West and North-South transport corridors. Record-fast transport corridor from city of trains in China – Yiwu – has been tested. In only 11 days your cargo from far East China can be in Latvia.
  • Kreiss is one of largest carriers among Baltic states initially focusing on perishable and frozen cargo in European and CIS markets with ~2000 trucks and ~2000 cooling trailers with nearly 200 million annual turnover.
  • TFS Trans is an excellent example in the terminal and warehouse field. The company opened completely automated logistics centre, the largest and most technologically advanced high-bay warehouse in the Baltics in November 2017. Investment amount – 40 million EUR, 73 000 thousand pallet capacity.
  • Latvijas Pasts is fully owned by the Latvian state and its basic function is providing the universal postal service. Company has established postal sorting complex within the territory of RIX and always looking for business diversification. Company has been partner with Alibaba Group's servicing several cargo airplanes per week.

Industry statistics

  • The transport and storage sector is one of the most promising sectors in the Latvian economy. In year 2019 Latvia had more than 178 million tons of cargo transported through railways, roads and ports.
  • The Latvian transport and storage sector is not biased towards road transport, as we transport a lot of cargo though railways – more than 41 million tons in year 2019.
  • Waterways still remain the important route of cargo transport. In year 2019 there were more than 62 million tons of cargo sent internationally out from Latvian seaports.
  • Let’s not forget the reliable, good roads. In year 2019 there were more than 74 million tons of cargo transported through roads.
  • Also a lot of cargo goes up in the air, well, literally! In year 2019, Riga International Airport delivered more than 16 thousand tons of cargo through air transportation.
  • Riga International Airport is hitting new and new records, for instance, it’s number of passengers have risen 11% and now is 7.8 million people yearly.

 Employment and education

  • Hope you are not indecisive as if you want to pursue higher education in Latvia in transport and logistics you can choose between 12 universities providing higher education in industry.
  • Also all is set in regards to availability of skilled labour. Latvia currently has around 6000 students studying transportation and logistics or related industry. Defying the bias that transport and logistics are male domineered industries, 20% of them females.
  • Transport and logistics sector is attractive and lucrative in Latvia as there are 7828 companies operating in the sector, with total employment of 76 078 people.
  • Latvia is the leader of the Baltic States in the number of employees in fast-growing companies.

Read why they have chosen Latvia

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