Limitations and barriers to the development of forest firms providing timber harvesting and transport services in Poland

Compared with EU countries, Polish forestry features one of the highest proportions of forests under state ownership reaching nearly 80% of the country's forested area. At the same time, all the operations related to timber harvest and transports are performed by private contractors. The private contractors have no development strategies. This is caused by a number of factors, such as economic, environmental and social, as well as lack of competition on the services market. Unit rates of 4.4 EUR/hour. to 4.9 EUR/hour for harvesting operations and 4.2 EUR/hour to 4.6 EUR/hour for timber skidding differ significantly from those in European Union states reaching for some operations 10–20% of the rates applied in Sweden or Germany. The low fees and the high costs of equipment purchase and use, as well as the difficulties in ensuring an adequately large and stable scope of work are the barrier in the development of service firms.
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