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Iranian Container Traffic Soaring

Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines is adding services and developing its fleet, though it ranks among the world’s top 20 container lines in terms of capacity. Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines is adding services and developing its fleet, though it ranks among the world’s top 20 container lines in terms of capacity.

Container traffic through Iran’s major ports is soaring.

Container throughput continued the strong double-digit growth of recent months, booking a year-on-year rise of 16.7% to more than 197,000 twenty-foot-equivalent units, the Ports and Maritime Organization of Iran’s data show.

Iran’s largest 18 ports saw container throughput expand by nearly 20% in August, 19.5% in July and 14.4% in June, according to PMO, affiliated to the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development.

Although from a relatively small base, Iran’s high double-digit growth in container traffic is a rare sight in the current global trade environment and shipping lines continue to add capacity and services to capture market share, American provider of global intelligence for trade, transportation and logistics professionals, JOC Group Inc., reported on its website.

With a population of 80 million people and plans to serve as a transit hub for neighboring countries, including Afghanistan, Iraq and several Commonwealth of Independent States countries, lines, terminal operators, and international logistics companies are looking to Iran as a source of opportunity in difficult times.  

Maersk Line announced in October it was resuming services to the country, joining Mediterranean Shipping Company, CMA CGM, Evergreen Line, China Cosco Shipping and United Arab Shipping Company, all of which have resumed services to Iran since 2015.

At the same time, state carrier the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines is adding services and developing its fleet, though it ranks among the world’s top 20 container lines in terms of capacity.  

Shahid Rajaei, formerly the port of Bandar Abbas, is the country’s largest port by tonnage throughput and the only port in the country to handle more than 10,000 TEUs during the month of September.

Total year-on-year throughput at Shahid Rajaei expanded by 5% to more than 6 million tons during the month, including 175,000 TEUs.

The country’s number two port, Imam Khomeini, in the province of Khuzestan, booked an 8% decline in throughput to nearly 3.5 million tons.  

Work is underway to expand container capacity at Shahid Rajaei and tenders for new management contracts for upgraded facilities and the construction of a new 1.9-million-TEU transshipment terminal are expected to be issued by the end of this year.

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