Economy, Business And Markets

Plan to Expand Iranian Commercial Ports Capacity

Shahid Rajaie is one of the main transit routes linking Central Asia to Eastern Europe, accounting for 90% of Iran’s cargo operations.
Shahid Rajaie is one of the main transit routes linking Central Asia to Eastern Europe, accounting for 90% of Iran’s cargo operations.

Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organization is planning to expand the capacity of Iranian commercial ports from the current 209 million tons to 217 million tons, managing director of the organization said.

“The PMO is also planning  to increase container domestic terminals’ capacity from 4.86 million TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) to 5 million TEU in the current Iranian year (March 2016-17),” Mohammad Saeednejad added.

More than 71.27 million tons of goods were loaded and unloaded in Iranian ports during the first half of the current Iranian year (started March 20), IRNA reported.

Over 45.7 million tons of the throughput pertained to non-oil commodities, while 25.5 million tons were oil products.

Iranian ports handled a total of 11.21 million tons of cargo in the month ending September 21, about 7.3 million tons of which were non-oil products and the remaining 3.75 million tons were oil products.

Managing director of the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines, Mohammad Saeedi, said IRISL is planning to expand its shipping fleet by the end of 2020 by utilizing mega-size container ships and Ultramax class bulker carriers.

IRISL—once a global shipping power—was severely hit by prolonged sanctions imposed over Iran’s nuclear program. The lifting of sanctions in mid-January as part of a July deal reached between Tehran and the world powers paved the way for IRISL’s resurgence and cooperation with international companies.

It has so far reached four agreements and signed 30 memoranda of understanding with American, Asian and European shipping firms, Bourse Press reported.

The company’s maritime fleet consists of 115 oceangoing vessels. It is currently the world’s 22nd largest containership operator with a 97,871 TEU capacity, placing it between the Hong Kong-based shipping lines of KMTC (102,245 TEU) and SITC (88,467), according to the global shipping monitor Alphaliner’s ranking of top 100 shipping firms.

All restrictions on Iranian shipping companies have been lifted following the removal of western sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program as of January 16, said the chairman of the Shipping Association of Iran back in July.

“With sanctions gone, Iranian vessels are now allowed to freely sail around the world. Likewise, foreign vessels are permitted to enter Iran’s territorial waters,” ISNA also quoted Masoud Pol-Meh as saying.

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