Access to Poland

29 February 2008

Poland is one of the big potential rental markets in Eastern Europe, but is still very much in its infancy with total rental revenues of around €110 million in 2006, according to the European Rental Association (ERA).

That figure can be expected to grow rapidly as both Ramirent and Cramo are investing in their businesses there. Likewise, Caterpillar dealer Bergerat Monnoyeur has recently opened its first Cat Rental Store in the country, and there are indications that other big names may well enter the market, with Hertz Equipment being one rumoured potential entrant.

As in many new markets, it is aerial platforms that are helping to grow rental. CityRent, for example, established an access rental business in Warsaw in 2003 and added a Poznan location in 2004, branching out into Prague in neighbouring Czech Republic in 2006. It now has 250 aerial platforms in its fleet – many from Haulotte Group - and plans to add a location in Gdansk this year.

President of the board and director general, Pawel Tkacz (right), and branch manager, Tomasz Zareba, tell IRN that the company's revenues have grown 30% since 2005 and that continued good levels of demand mean that it will add around 120-150 platforms this year, which constitutes a major expansion.

“Our main customers are the construction and erection companies who generate about 80% of the turnover”, says the company, “the other 20 % are maintenance companies and private customers. For some time we have been seeing growth in this second group of customers.”

CityRent's plan is to continue to focus on aerial platforms – “Our priority is to create a high specialized company” – and it will continue to promote access equipment through its sales representatives and advertising. What are the main difficulties associated with renting equipment in Poland? The company's answer is one that will sound familiar to rental companies all over the world; “The main problem we face results from the low [level of experience of using this type] of equipment (there are frequent cases of damage), difficulties in obtaining of due payments, and unfair competition.”

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