Advanced search


Basic facts

History – Establishment and Development

Several Roman roads crossed Bulgaria: Via Pontica, the Roman road to Cilicia and Via Militaris, the last being located on the current trans-European Corridor 10

1866 The first railway track (224 km) started operation between Ruse and Varna

883 - 1885 Orient Express operates on Bulgarian territory

1889 SCHENKER opens its first office in Sofia

1919 First mail-plane from Sofia to Varna

1922 First commercial air transportation services at Sofia Airport

1975 - 1980 SOMAT, a Bulgarian transport company, becomes European Top carrier with a fleet of over 4 thounsand trucks

1989 The sea trade fleet has 109 ships

1989 The length of railways in Bulgaria is 4 300km 62% are electrified, which places Bulgaria seventh among the European and North American countries


History – Transition Period and EU Accession

1991 - 1995 Major European/global sector companies enter in Bulgaria, such as DHL Willi Betz, In Time

2005 Tishman International opened an office in Sofia in recognition of the high potential for commercial and residential real estate investment in Bulgaria and the surrounding region. It is currently managing the development of the Sofia Airport Center

2006 Fraport Twin Star undertakes the airports of Varna and Burgas for a 35-year concession

2006 Sofia Airport, the largest passenger and cargo airport in Bulgaria, opens a Second Terminal constructed by STRABAG. Since 2006, a new runway system has been operating. The whole reconstruction, development and extension amounted to EUR 210 mln

2007 The EU Accession leads to liberalization of EU customs control & EU transfers for improvement of the infrastructure

2005 - 2010 LIDL and Kaufland open logistics centers in Bulgaria with total capacity of  68 000 sq.m.

2010 Bulgaria’s foreign trade increases 12 times in the last 20 years

2010 Yana Intermodal Terminal opens near Sofia, at the crossroad of 3 pan-European corridors, serving the European and the Central Asian markets

2011 There are 60 industrial zones in Bulgaria


Logistics as overall part of the economy

The transportation and logistics industry represents about 5% of the economy in terms of revenues, number of employees or firms.



% of economy

Revenues (EUR, th)

3 735 810



143 336



18 385









Revenue 2010




Mode of transport









Bulgarian State Railways (BDZ) Holding – Freight Services

78 606*







Willi Betz SOMAT

59 908**




Fraport Twin Star Airport Management

40 187








Militzer & Muench

27 409








16 208





Bulgarian Railway Comapny

13 884








13 317


Unimasters Logistics

5 150


Gebrüder Weiss

4 660*



Donau Transit Ltd

4 137





Kaven Orbico







2 829



Scorpio Oil Transport

2 292






Fresh Logic











(*) total revenue, including passengers transportation: EUR 133 468 th, (**) 2009; (***) Sales; (***) 2009 revenues from services; since Kaven Orbico is a distribution company, its total revenue amounted to EUR 289 121 th

Sources: Bulgarian Commercial Register, InvestBulgaria Agency research



Destination countries of freight transported by road (tons, th), 2013

Sources: National Statistical Institute


Foreign Trade



Our main trading partners


Source: National Statistical Institute, 2013



The European Union is a major region of export, followed by the Balkan countries.

Currently, Bulgaria is exporting predominantly raw materials.


Export, € mln

European Union



Europe - other (incl. Russia)


Investment goods

2 698





Raw materials

5 912

1 522

1 121



Consumer goods

3 936






12 546

2 058

1 878



Source: Bulgarian National Bank, 2013


Road Infrastructure:

Network length - 19 276 km

Motorways –  437km
Future development:
Completion of 5 motorways connecting the Bulgarian logistics hubs, Turkey and Greece
Rehabilitation of 2 high speed roads connecting Bulgaria with Romania
Construction of The Second Danube bridge by 2013


Railroad Infrastructure:

Network length – 4 098 km
Electrified lines – 68%
Max supported speed –  80/100 km/h
Normal track gauge of 1 435 mm

Future development:

Modernization of 5  major railroad tracks connecting Bulgaria with RomaniaTurkey and Serbia

Increase of the max supported speed to 160 km/h


Intermodal Infrastructure:

Largest international terminal Yana Sofia International Terminal
In 2013, Intermodal Terminal Plovdiv will be opened

Port Infrastructure:

13 major ports: largest river port Ruse; largest seaports Varna, Burgas
In 2010, more than 200 000 TEU, or over  20 million tons passed through the Bulgarian ports

Future development:

Improvement of the ship transport conditions on the Danube river

Pending concessions:

Seaport Varna, River port Vidin, River port Ruse


Airport Infrastructure:

5 international airports in Bulgaria
In 2010, 21 000 tones of cargo handled

In 2011, 7 000 000 passengers served

Pending concessions:

Airport Plovdiv – Cargo Zone
Airport Gorna Oriahovitza
Airport Rousse

Industrial infrastructure:

60 industrial zones (14 functioning)

Sources: Operational Programme Transport, Ministry of Transport, Information Technology and Communication

Main roads

Hubs: Sofia


  • Intersection point of three Pan-European corridors: IV, VIII, IX
  • Access to the other Balkan countries by road /rail in less than 24h
  • To  Varna, the biggest  Bulgarian port, via Yana Intermodal Terminal 1
  • 50 km from Dragoman Ro-La Terminal – an intermodal connection between Turkey and west-European countries

Sofia Airport

  • Cargo capacity: 20 000 tons/year
  • Passenger capacity: 4.4 mln/year
  • Runway strip length: 3 200  m
  • Maximum aircraft size: Boeing 747 and AN-124
  • Aircraft movement capacity per hour: 25
  • Shipment handling time: Standard - 120 min; Express 60 min


Established in 1937, the Sofia Airport (SA) is the largest passenger and cargo airport in Bulgaria. In December 2006, upon Bulgaria’s accession to the European Union, a newly constructed Second Terminal was put into operation. A new runway system is operating. Further expansion is planned as Bulgaria is to join the Schengen Area.


Cargo terminal

  • Bonded Warehouse, Transit Zone, EU Border Post
  • Refrigerator and deep-freeze storage
  • Very large/heavy cargo handled
  • Over 70 shipping companies work with SA, including  FedEx, InTime (UPS); DHL,TNT, DB Schenker
  • Major markets: China, Germany, France, India, Israel, Russia, Romania, Spain, USA


A second independent cargo terminal operates at the Sofia Airport, exploited by Aviation Services Bulgaria - M&M Ltd.

Yana Intermodal Terminal

Close proximity to:

  • Sofia Ring Road
  • 2 highways connecting Sofia  to Varna and Burgas

Yana Intermodal Terminal is the largest terminal in Bulgaria operating with intermodal and container transport. Yana Intermodal Terminal has the capacity of 60,000 sq.m enabling it  to store up to 1 000 containers a day and unload 3 trains simultaneously. The terminal offers a wide range of services regarding train on/from truck/ground, 20 TEU, 40 TEU, 45 TEU, tank, flat rack as well as administrative services.

The terminal is equipped with :

  • 4 shunting locomotives and 4 depots
  • mobile car landing platform
  • metal lifting equipments and fuel tanks
  • container cleaning equipments and technical work shops
  • two industrial trains and truck scales

International partnerships:

Intercontainer,Rail Cargo Austria, Express Interfracht, Adria Combi, Gartner, Kombi Verkehr, Slovenske železnice, BDZ, Bulmarket, Schenker,Procter and Gamble, Uniliever, Metro Cash and Carry, Lidl, BASF, Heineken

Elin Pelin Industrial Park

Elin Pelin Industrial Park accommodates primarily environmentally clean production by companies working in light industry and Hi-Tech sectors. The municipality has established a company which is working on a project for the construction of a gas-turbine installation to secure the electricity and heating needs of the site at competitive prices.

  • Location: Elin Pelin Town, (20km form Sofia)
  • Total Area: 1 600 000 sq.m

Transport availability:

  • Proximity to 2 railway stations
  • Highway - 5 km
  • Sofia Airport – 18km
  • Burgas Seaport – 360 km


Current investors:

Overgas Inc (natural gas), Bogaris Bul Ltd (investments), Paladin Property Development (real estate), Glorient Investment Ltd (real estate).



Hubs: Plovdiv


  • An intersection point of three Pan-European corridors: IV, VIII,X
  • 1h 30m away from Sofia by road
  • 3 to 4h away from Burgas by road/rail transport
  • 3h away from Kulata Checkpoint on the Bulgarian-Greek border

Plovdiv Station

  • Strategic location in the national railway system
  • Equipped to handle 32 trains/day
  • 2000 wagons can be unloaded per day


In July 2011, the project for the construction of an Intermodal terminal has been prioritized by the government. The first phase of the terminal is expected to be operational by 2013.

Plovdiv Airport

Location: 12 km south east of Plovdiv
Runway strip length: 2 500 m
13 aircraft aprons

An investment of 40 million in the airport’s infrastructure was made in 2009

Plovdiv Airport offers the lowest airport charges in Bulgaria; in May 2010 50% governmental charge reduction was approved
Cargo aircrafts handled include AN-124 Ruslan, Boeing 737, IL-76

Maritsa Industrial Zone (Plovdiv)

Maritsa Industrial and Commercial zone is built  on a total area of 3 000 000 m2, including a Customs Terminal. Services provided to investors include: issue of necessary initial permits for construction and works, design and construction of industrial production, renting and purchasing of production buildings.


Transport Availability:

  • Railway 1.5km
  • Highway borders the zone
  • Plovdiv Airport – 18km
  • Burgas Seaport– 230km
Current investors: Liebherr - Holding Gmbh (machine-building); Socotab Llc (tobacco); Linde AG (industrial gases); Ferrero (confectionery); Schneider Electric (energy); Mercedes Benz (automotive); Bosch Group (household appliances, automotive); Vedisped Customs Terminal

Hubs: Burgas


  • Point of Pan-European corridor VIII
  • Access to Asian transport hubs by Black Sea route TRACECA
  • Developed rail routes to other regions in the country
  • 5 h away from Sofia by road/ rail; a highway is planned to shorten this time to 2 h and 30 m
  • 11h to Odessa by sea

Burgas Airport

Location: 10 km from Burgas

Runway strip length: 3 200 m
28 aircraft stands
Maximum aircraft size: Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet and An 124 Rouslan
2 253 320 passengers in 2011
The favourable geographic position and opportunity for intermodal transportation by air, sea, rail and road make it excellent for receiving and redirecting of cargo traffic. New cargo terminal was opened in 2011.

Burgas Port

3 cargo terminals
28 vessel’s berths
Maximum draught 15.5 ms
Maximum vessels dwt – 125 000 t

Container yard – 60 000 sq. m

Cold Store – 7 000 sq. m
Total storage area: 508 500 sq. m


Being a point of both the Pan-European Corridor VIII and TRACECA,  Port Burgas provides access to the developing markets in Central Asia and countries at the east coast of the Black Sea.

Port Burgas operates with all kinds of cargo, including containers, bulk and break bulk cargo. The port disposes of storage with temperature control with capacity of 10 000 tons per year, connected with the ro-ro berths.

Hubs: Varna

Connectivity :

  • Point of Pan-European corridor VIII
  • Access to Russia and the Asian transport hubs by Black Sea route
  • 6 h to Sofia by rail; a highway is planned to shorten this time to 3h and 30m
  • 3h to the Danube hub Ruse by rail /road
  • 9h to Odessa by sea

Varna Airport

Location: 8 km from Varna
Runway strip length: 2 500 m
24 aircraft stands

Maximum aircraft size: Boeing 747

1 181 832 passengers in 2011
The opportunity for intermodal transportation by air, sea, rail and road make it excellent for receiving and redirecting cargo traffic 
Runway rehabilitation completed in the beginning of 2012; new passenger terminal under construction and scheduled to be completed in 2013

Varna Port

  • 34 ship berths
  • Max depth 7.5m
  • 380 000 sq.m open air storage capacity
  • 62 500 sq.m  warehouses
  • 10 000 sq.m liquids storage capacity
  • Ability to handle all types of cargo, including containers, chemicals, grain and liquids
  • In 2011 the port is expected to handle over 9 million ton of cargo

Hubs: Ruse


  • An intersection point of two Pan-European corridors – VII and IX, and the TRACECA route
  • Danube Bridge, completed in 1954 connects Ruse by road and rail to the Romanian city of Giurgiu, 60 km from the capital Bucharest
  • 3h away by road and rail from Varna – the biggest Black-sea port in Bulgaria

Ruse Airport

International statute
3 Aircraft aprons
Maximum aircraft size - IL-76

Railway terminal in a 10 km distance


The Ruse Airport is located 18 km south of the town of Ruse. It is currently not operating. However, the favorable location and ample room for expansion are considered possible drivers for future development. The distant location from big cities provides an opportunity for sound approach of the aircrafts.


Ruse Port

  • 2 Cargo terminal
  • Ro-Ro terminal
  • 25 ship berths
  • 208 100 sq.m open air storage
  • 22 700 sq.m warehouses

Ro-Ro terminal:

  • Simultaneous operation on 2 vessels
  • 2 parking lots – 80 trucks each

Ruse Industrial Park

Location: City of Ruse, Ruse Region

Total Area: 640 000 sq.m


Ruse Free Zone was established in 1988, as a major import and export hub, providing customs and tax incentives for investors and traders operating on its territory.

The park is in immediate proximity to the largest Bulgarian port on the Danube river as well as only a 1 h drive away from Bucharest, which is one of the largest markets in Southeastern Europe.

Transport Availability

  • Railway Ruse-Silistra
  • Highway
  • Bucharest Airport – 70km
  • Varna Airport –190km
  • Varna Seaport – 200km
  • Ruse River port – 2km

Current investors:

Montupet (automotive), Keros Bulgaria (ceramics), MBM Metalwork (metal manufacturing)

Hubs: Vidin


  • Part of Pan-European Corridor IV and VII
  • 3h from Sofia by road
  • Direct access to Romania by the Vidin-Kalafat ferry
  • Road transport to Romania through Danube Bridge Vidin, completion expected in 2013

Vidin Free Zone

Location: City of Vidin

Total Area: 308 627m²

In close proximity to the Vidin-Kalafat ferry terminal and Danube Bridge Vidin
Modern warehousing facilities spreading on 7 300 sq.m. of which 3 000 sq.m. building area 
Cargo port in construction

Transport availability:

  • Railway Loading Station
  • Vidin River Port
  • Highway
  • Sofia Airport – 194 km

Danube Ports

Vidin Port

Vidin North Port

  • 12 000 sq.m
  • Situated directly next to Danube Bridge Vidin
  • Certified for cargo handling operations: TEU containers, grain, metals, bulk, scraps, pallets, wood and scrap
  • Used for transportation of passengers and cargo with Ro-Ro ships  (potential capacity 100K TIRs/y.)

Southern (Cargo) Terminal

  • 200 m along the river
  • 48 000 sq.m
  • 200 m from Corridor IV

Svishtov Port

  • Total area: 350 000 sq.m
  • Open storage area – 66 600 sq.m
  • Indoor storage area – 6 620 sq.m
  • 8 ship berths (7 for freight and cargos)
  • 1 newly built loading Ro-Ro platform
  • Proximity to the Pan-European transport corridors VIII and IX
  • Three-modality connections “ship-railway-automobile”
  • Opportunities for all cargo load operations
  • Granted concession to Dredging Fleet ‘Istar’ PLC - Svishtov
  • Lays on the shortest route Romania - Bulgaria - Turkey