Hungary is Importing More Than Ever – But Shipping Costs Can be High.
Imports in Hungary reached an all time high of 2,366 billion HUF (£6.75 billion) in November 2016. Is your business reaching this important European market?
Mention growing European markets, and most people will immediately think of Romania, Poland and the Baltic states. Yet those who dismiss Hungary do so at their peril – trade links between the UK and Hungary are stronger than ever, and the record imports of £6.75 billion in November were up £350 million on the previous month.
The growing market means that shipping to Hungary has never been easier or most cost-efficient. For large cargoes, full container loads and pallets can be transported using established networks and distribution channels. And for smaller loads, there are groupage shipments twice weekly from the UK to Hungary, combining speed, efficiency and the very best prices.
Background and history
Located in Central Europe, Hungary shares borders with Austria, Slovenia, Slovakia, Serbia, Romania and Ukraine. The country is landlocked, and relies heavily on its road network for international freight logistics.
With a population of around 10 million, it is considered a medium sized member of the European Union, which it joined in 2004.
Modern day Hungary was born in the years following World War One, when the Austro-Hungarian Empire was dissolved, and has seen turbulent times throughout the 20th Century. The Second World War left the country devastated, with more than 60% of the economy destroyed and significant loss of life.
In the post-war years, Hungary became a satellite state of the Soviet Union, and the country went through more hardship. Stalinist policies in the immediate postwar years led to a severe decline in living standards, which led to the 1956 revolution.
Through the 1960s and 70s, Hungary introduced certain free market policies that were unusual for a socialist economy. These led its nickname of “the happiest barrack” and put it in good stead for the transition to a capitalist democracy in the early 1990s. Today, Hungary is categorised as a high income mixed economy. According to IMF statistics, it is the 57th largest economy in the world (out of 188). Its main industries are machinery, motor vehicles, food processing, pharmaceuticals, and information technology.
The Hungarian Market
Over the last eight years, Hungary’s imports have increased at an annual rate of 6.7%, from £59 billion in 2009 to approximately £92 billion in 2016. It recently overtook Norway to become the 14th largest importer in Europe.
Among the key products imported are vehicle parts, which represent 5.25% of imports, cars at 2.4%, computers at 2% and telephones at 1.9%.
76% of products are imported from other European Union countries. A quarter of all imports are from neighbouring Germany, and at present, less than 2% come from the UK.
Shipping to Hungary
Experienced freight forwarders can cover the 1,700 miles between the UK and Hungary in just three days. With groupage shipments leaving the UK every Tuesday and Friday, it has never been easier for UK companies to tap into this growing European market.
Groupage imports are once a week, and cross trade services are also available, that make shipments between Hungary and any other country quick and simple.