Considering its geographical situation and its geopolitical position, Slovenia is a natural hub of traffic, energy and communication flows. In this sense, Slovenia meets all the conditions and, despite its relative small size (20,273 km²), is recognised as one of the countries with the best and most important transport and logistics systems in Central Europe. Its geographical position and historical circumstances make Slovenia an intensive transport and transit area as it sits at the crossing point of traffic routes running from the north-west (Germany) to the south-east of Europe (the Western Balkans to the Middle East via Turkey) and from the south-west (Spain) to the north-east of Europe (Ukraine and to China via Russia).
Location of the country on the international transport routes
It is included in the Mediterranean and the Baltic-Adriatic Corridors of the future core Trans-European Transport Network and four European Rail Freight Corridors. It has important transport hubs and logistics centres in Ljubljana, Maribor and Koper, which are a part of the wider system of the Trans-European Transport Network. Just the Slovenian rail company “Slovenske železnice”, for example, has 60,000 m2 of storage area. On the one hand the Government supports the orientation of the Republic of Slovenia towards further digitalisation, and on the other hand the position of ICT activities is assured by the recognition of the Republic of Slovenia as a technologically advanced country in the IT field, which has adequate human resources available and sufficient competences to develop, implement and maintain necessary IT services as strong support in pre-sale, sale and after-sale logistical services. Slovenia is distinguished by its well-developed transport infrastructure. The density of its 700 km long motorway network is one of the highest in Europe. It additionally has 1100 km of rail network, three international airports – in Ljubljana, Maribor and Portorož – and one of the most important ports in the northern Adriatic regions – the Port of Koper. These provide the multimodality of all corridors running through Slovenia. The central Slovenian airport – Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport – also has an excellent geostrategic position. It is located in Central Europe with good connections to almost all capitals of European Union Member States and the Western Balkans countries. Its potential for the development of passenger transport and logistics is certainly outstanding. The same applies to the Maribor Edvard Rusjan Airport. They both want to develop as important transport and logistics hubs for both passenger and freight traffic and have already been carrying out activities to make this happen. The aforementioned creates the conditions that in Slovenia in this area, 3,408 companies with 34,492 employees that generate EUR 4.9 billion in annual revenue can operate (Source: Slovenian Agency for Public Legal Records and Related Services (AJPES) 2017).
The port of Koper is characterised by an exceptional geostrategic position, since it is located in the heart of Central Europe. Through this port it is possible to transport goods to most of the major cities and capitals of the countries of Central and Eastern Europe (Milan, Munich, Vienna, Prague, Bratislava, Budapest, Zagreb, Belgrade and Sarajevo etc.) in a short time (1-2 days). The modern port system is flexible, reliable and is located at the end of the shortest sea route for goods from Asian markets. Ship travel from China to the port of Koper is reduced by up to seven days in comparison to ship travel headed towards Northern European ports. This means that it reduces travel time and fuel consumption, thus causing fewer negative impacts on the environment. Additionally, 60% of goods from this port are transported to the interior by rail. Both of these facts are of particular importance for environmental protection, which is becoming increasingly significant for our future and for sustainable development, being one of the objectives of Slovenia’s development.