Developing an important link in global supply chains

Over 13 years, Macquarie supported the greenfield development and expansion of DCT Gdansk – creating one of Europe’s fastest growing container terminals.1

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Sector Infrastructure
Sub-sector Transport
Location Poland


Positioned at the crossroads of the Baltic’s deep-sea trading routes, the Polish city of Gdansk had the potential to become a gateway to the fast-growing markets of Central and Eastern Europe.

Recognising the opportunity Poland had to offer a reliable and cost-effective alternative to the ports of Northern Europe, local port authorities awarded DCT Gdansk a long-term concession to build and operate a new deep-sea container terminal on the edge of the Baltic Sea.

Beginning with a stretch of undeveloped coastline, Macquarie Asset Management and its co-shareholders supported DCT Gdansk as it oversaw the greenfield development of the only port in the region able to serve Ultra Large Container Vessels (ULCV). With a quay length of 1,306 metres and a maximum depth of 17 metres, the port received its first vessel in 2007.

DCT Gdansk faced a difficult operating environment upon opening for business. The onset of the global financial crisis, combined with the unique nature of the direct call to Poland, made securing vessel calls for the new terminal challenging in its early years.


Macquarie supported efforts to market DCT Gdansk to global shipping lines and to diversify its customer base – positioning the port as a gateway into Poland and the markets of Central and Eastern Europe.

This perseverance was rewarded when the port began accepting direct calls from Asia in 2010, with container vessels capable of carrying 8,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) of cargo arriving to transport Polish imports and exports. By 2011, DCT Gdansk was handling the world’s largest class of ship on a weekly basis.

With container volumes handled by the port expanding rapidly, Macquarie and its co-shareholders supported DCT Gdansk as it invested to grow capacity further. This culminated in the construction of a second quay in 2016, which saw the port’s annual throughput capacity double – increasing to ~3 million TEU. Macquarie also helped improve the efficiency of Polish imports and exports by supporting DCT Gdansk as it invested to enhance rail connectivity and partnered with freight providers to increase the rail share of cargo. 


By the time Macquarie exited its investment in DCT Gdansk, the port was ranked one of Europe’s fastest growing ports and amongst the 15 top container terminals in the region.1,2

Importantly, this growth – which was underpinned by Macquarie’s extensive experience and relationships in the ports sector – also resulted in substantial economic benefits for Poland, at both the regional and national levels. DCT Gdansk’s rapid expansion saw it become a major source of employment in the Pomerania region – with more than 900 people employed directly (and thousands more employed indirectly) in the region’s burgeoning maritime and logistics sectors.

Through its role in enabling further trade flows, DCT Gdansk has also helped generate additional customs duties and tax revenue – representing approximately €2 billion for Poland each year.

Employing 900+ people directly in the region’s burgeoning maritime and logistics sectors3

Generating ~€2 billion in additional customs duties and tax revenue for Poland each year3

One of Europe’s fastest growing ports and the 15 top container terminals in the region1

The transformation that occurred at DCT Gdansk over our 13-year investment is a perfect example of how clear vision and effective partnership can create real and lasting value for the communities in which we operate.”

Grant Smith
Executive Chair
MAM Real Assets ANZ

All information current as at 31 March 2019, unless otherwise stated.

  1. By total annual container throughput growth 2016-2017, Lloyd’s List, One Hundred Ports, 2018
  2. By total annual container throughput, Center for Eurasian Maritime and Inland Logistics, 2018
  3. DCT Gdansk