Finding the right location for a business depends on a range of factors – not only infrastructure and location but also labour supply and quality of life. The outstanding locational factors of the Hanseatic city of Bremen have attracted a multitude of companies from home and abroad.
From property developers and logistics groups to IT start-ups: so many companies have decided to locate in the German Federal State of Bremen. With 680,000 inhabitants, it is not only a major regional centre, but also plays a vital role in the supply chains of many companies throughout Germany, thanks to its well-established transport links and international harbours.
Überseestadt (New Harbour District) in Bremen is one of the largest urban development projects in Europe
© Bremeninvest/Jonas Ginter
The term "locational factor" is used to describe the specific aspects of a location that make it attractive for business. Companies use "locational factors" when deciding where to base their operations. These factors are many and varied. There are the hard locational factors, to which a specific value can be assigned. These include, for example, the size and availability of commercial premises, property prices, rents, property taxes and business rates, the availability of subsidies or wage costs at a particular site. In contrast, soft locational factors can't be expressed in monetary terms. They include quality of life for potential employees, how attractive a location is, as a place to live and work, or the quality of services provided by local authorities.
When companies conduct a locational analysis, they investigate these factors and use the results to evaluate whether it's worth investing in, or relocating to, a new site. Commercial decisions are then made on the basis of this analysis.
Locational factors that make Bremen a great choice:
Factor number 1: commercial premises and property
© WFB/Studio B
There's no lack of availability in Bremen. Companies that want to set-up business by the River Weser can take their pick of logistics halls and office space. When compared with other German cities (see property market report 2019 (German)), Bremen's 3 million square meters of warehousing space puts it in fifth place. The city has 50 percent of the available warehousing space in Germany's North West metropolitan region (Bremen-Oldenburg). And capacity is constantly expanding: the amount of warehousing space in Bremen is increasing faster than the average in Germany.
If your company needs office space, there's no lack of that in Bremen either. New office space and residential areas are constantly springing up as part of the flagship "Überseestadt" (New Harbour District)" project. Although the vacancy rate of 3 percent is relatively low, companies can easily find the right size of unit for their business.
At the WFB, we'll be happy to help you find the perfect property for your business and also accompany you on viewings if required. If you'd like to do a bit of preliminary research, look at this selection of currently available premises on our: Property Finder web page.
Factor number 2: low rents
Hall space in large and small - Bremen convinces with it
© WFB/Jonas Ginter
Bremen is Germany's eleventh largest city yet, if you compare the rental prices there with other major cities, rents in Bremen are relatively low. Despite experiencing a slight rise, the price per square metre for warehousing remains stable. The average price per square metre for logistics property is 3.31 EUR (in 2020), making it up to 30 percent cheaper than Hamburg.
The rents for office space and residential property are equally reasonable. Average prices here are consistently lower than in other major German cities.
Factor number 3: excellent infrastructure
The Bremen Technology Park is home to numerous companies and institutes such as ZARM or Frauenhofer
© Bremeninvest/Jonas Ginter
Bremen State's road, rail, water and air travel infrastructure is fully interconnected, ensuring highly efficient logistics. The twin ports of Bremerhaven and Bremen form one of the world's largest harbours. Enormous quantities of goods arrive at the container terminal in Bremerhaven every day. Its direct link to the North Sea and proximity to the international ports of Hamburg and Wilhelmshaven have made Bremen a global logistics hub. The Cargo Distribution Center Bremen, (also referred to as the "GVZ"), is Germany's (and Europe's) leading transport hub, and ensures international transportation chains run smoothly. It's no surprise that it has its headquarters in the Hanseatic city. Bremen is able to support a comprehensive network of logistics supply routes all across North Western Germany, thanks to the GVZ, Bremen Hansalinie Industrial Estate, direct motorway access and its industrial port.
It's thanks to the "short paths" inside Bremen, the motorway access to the major industrial areas, such as the Gewerbepark Hansaline (Hansalinie Industrial Estate), with its own motorway exit, and the international airport, with its unique central location, that enable companies, Bremen locals and their guests to get where they're going – quickly and easily. This saves time and money for everyone involved.
Factor number 4: Workforce potential
Worried about a skills shortage? We aren't! Bremen not only has a highly academically qualified young generation of scientists but also a reliable pool of professionals who are ready to work in the service industry sector.
More than 30,000 young people are currently in tertiary education in Bremen. World-class institutes such as the Fraunhofer Institute, the DLR (Space Systems Institute) or the DFKI (German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence) have their research establishments here. The close cooperative relationship between higher education institutes and industry means students can gain practical experience during their courses and make real contributions to scientific breakthroughs. This is particularly true for students on aviation and aerospace courses, and those studying logistics and IT.
Start-ups and recently founded companies also get the chance to set up cooperative ventures with students and colleges with the aim of supporting the specialists of the future and attracting them to work with them after graduation.
Is your company recruiting? The relocation service offered by Bremeninvest (WFB) works closely with Germany's Federal Employment Agency and is happy to help analyse your requirements and then recruit the people you need.
Factor number 5: Bespoke relocation service – we're on your side
Costs, property, contacts, financing: all things that must be carefully considered before a company chooses a location. Bremeninvest's relocation service is ready to help you every step of the way, from the initial planning to when you get the keys to your new premises. We'll help you choose the right place for your business, whether you need a shop, an office or a warehouse.
The BAB (Bremen's business development bank) can help you with finance for setting up your business in Bremen or relocating there. It offers access to a myriad of funding programmes and loan facilities, all designed to help companies innovate and expand. The BAB's Starthaus one-stop agency is the first point of contact for entrepreneurs of all kinds. If you've always wanted to start your own business, this unique agency can provide access to everything you'll need, from financial resources to useful tips and helpful contacts, all free of charge.
Quick, straightforward, uncomplicated – all to the company's benefit and aimed to help things progress. You can rely on us.
Factor number 6: the city is the star of the show
Schlachte Embankment along the Weser river
© WFB / Jonas Ginter
Although Bremen might not have quite the global reputation of Hamburg, Berlin or Munich, anyone who gets to know the city well will fall in love with it. As Germany's greenest city, the restorative effects of being surrounded by nature is one of Bremen's greatest assets. Cycling is part of daily life in Bremen and, thanks to the city's compact size and well-connected routes, almost everywhere is quickly accessible by bike. It's the historic city centre, proximity to water and excellent infrastructure that make Bremen such a great place to live, not to mention its vibrant, multicultural social life. Sadly, not everything's perfect – for example, there's the weather. However, Bremen's people know how to cope with that too, in their own inimitable Hanseatic style. And that's just one more thing that newcomers can be impressed by!