Hygroscopic polymers absorb and bind water. If not dried properly, the residual moisture can cause major problems for converting and affect the product quality significantly. Therefore, an effective drying down to an acceptable moisture level is essential for a successful production. Though data sheets give recommendations for drying parameters, these do not consider the actual current moisture up-take of the plastic pellets or the current ambient conditions. This paper investigates the interdependencies of polymer characteristics, like thermal properties and molecular structure, and the drying kinetics of the respective polymers. Tests are carried out with five different polymers on a State-of-the-Art desiccant dryer. The results show that distinctive drying behaviors can be attributed to the molecular structure of the respective plastic. This is reflected by the activation energy according to Arrhenius, the diffusion coefficient and the Flory-Huggins-Parameter, all showing a positive correlation with drying speed and therefore can be used as indicators to estimate drying times. Also, an industrial scale prototype of a microwave enhanced drying system was used to investigate the effect of microwave application on the drying kinetics. Experimental results show potential for reducing the drying times needed, especially for lower temperatures of the drying air and highly hydrophilic plastics. For higher temperatures, however, the prototype could not compete with the state-of-the-art desiccant dryer, due to heat losses and inefficient tubing of the prototype. Considering this, the benefits of microwave application could be shown representatively for polyamide 6 also at higher temperatures.