Since the most recent enlargement of the European Union in 2004 and, with the addition of Romania and Bulgaria in 2007, the expansion of air and expedited services has picked up momentum, pushed by the move by manufacturers into Central Europe.
Nokia, said by some experts to be the world's largest air cargo shipper, signaled the shift this year when it opened a plant in Romania to produce mobile phones for the Middle East and Africa. The opening coincides with Nokia's plans to shut down a plant in Bochum, Germany. That announcement prompted protests in Germany, but the larger shift in manufacturing and in transportation seems clear.
Global companies such as brewer SAB Miller, Unilever and Nestle manufacture in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia, with an eye toward Europe as a whole, said Radim Hradilek, a consultant specializing in Central and Eastern Europe for IBM Global Business Services. Homegrown companies usually lack the funding to expand well beyond their borders. "There are not too many local companies distributing effectively to Western Europe," Hradilek said.
Source: Air Cargo World, http://www.aircargoworld.com
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