Economy, Domestic Economy

Int’l Freight Forwarders Expand Iran Services

Int’l Freight Forwarders Expand Iran ServicesInt’l Freight Forwarders Expand Iran Services

British logistics and freight forwarding company, Delamode, has started new groupage lines for Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Iran.

According to the company’s website, the new services provide customers with a high quality and low cost transport solution for delivering shipments from throughout Europe to the Caucuses.

“These countries have been attracting significant foreign investment,” said Stephen Blyth, chairman of Delamode.

“This has come through the respective governments adopting business friendly policies and in Iran’s case, opening up to foreign trade for the first time in many years.”

The new groupage services will be consolidated in Delamode’s warehouse in Sofia. Shipments will arrive from throughout Delamode’s European network into Sofia and be transhipped, through to Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Iran. The main features of the new service include:

- Weekly frequent European export services to Bulgaria

- Weekly departures from Bulgaria depot to Tbilisi, Baku, Yerevan and Iran

- Market leading rates

- Customs clearance formalities (Customs clearance procedures are completed at Delamode’s Sofia terminal

- POD documentation.

“We are very pleased to open these routes, servicing the demand for the import and export into these countries, particularly for industrial commodities such as mineral and chemical products among other goods. We look forward to establishing ourselves in this region and expanding our offering to a growing customer base in the future,” Blyth added.

  Taking Advantage of Iran Opening

Forwarders expect Iran to offer a medium-term demand boost and many are gearing up for new business, as they seek to expand operations in the country of some 80 million people.

A number of forwarders and third-party logistics providers are taking steps to extend operations in Iran in anticipation of a surge of infrastructure spending, renewed energy exports and higher imports of fast-moving consumer goods, according to freight forwarding industry’s journal Lloyd’s Loading List.

Panalpina already offers regular air, ocean and road services to Iran, having prepared for the lifting of sanctions for the last two years.

“Commodities vary from telecom to automotive and oil and gas equipment as well as aerospace,” said a spokesperson. “The facilities in Iran can handle the current growing demand and there are plans in place to improve the infrastructure going forward. We expect a gradual increase of traffic, and not a surge overnight.”

Middle East-based Aramex has been operating in Iran for the last 10 years and now employs around 150 professionals there.

“It’s the biggest market opportunity to have emerged in the past decade or so,” observed Thomas Blank, Europe managing director for Hong Kong-headquartered 3PL Kerry Logistics.

“The removal of the sanctions is something people have been waiting for many years, and it’s going to have a big impact on exports from Germany and China to Iran, because for the past 30 years, capital investment (in the country) has been close to zero,” he said.

Blank said the interesting part is that only a few forwarders have been dealing with Iran until now, which means there will be a similar starting point for us all, and therefore a real race to land business.

“Kerry Logistics has a plan for Iran and we are determined to be there,” he said.

DB Schenker, a major player in the automotive vertical, is expecting the lifting of sanctions to provide scope for Iran, a country with a population of 80 million, to become a major importer of vehicles, the company confirmed.

Before the sanctions, Germany used to be Iran’s biggest trading partner. DB Schenker’s presence in Iran dates back to the 1950s and in recent years has focused on an agency agreement.

The German firm is making preparations to provide multimodal solutions—by air, ocean and land—in anticipation of growth in the Iranian trade. “(Cargo) space (to Iran) is not an issue right now and we will be establishing procedures well in advance to ensure that the necessary capacity can be secured in the future,” a spokesman said.

UK forwarding and logistics services group, Seafast Logistics, has announced the formation of a joint-venture partnership with long-established Iranian logistics provider, Seven Seas Tehran, following the lifting of the nuclear-related trade sanctions.

The joint venture “Iran Shipping & Logistics Limited” was registered with UK authorities in August 2015, immediately following the announcement of the nuclear-related agreement with the European and US governments.

The developments now permit Seven Seas and Seafast to activate their plans to provide global shipping and logistics services from 90 countries to and from Iranian ports.

Seafast said the companies had been patiently waiting for this opportunity and would now be able to offer solutions for container shipping, break bulk, project cargo, refrigerated goods and air freight into and from all Iranian ports.

A number of container shipping lines have already announced their return to Iran. CMA CGM resumed Iran services last August and a number of Asian carriers have also been serving Iran for several months, including Hanjin Shipping, Hyundai Merchant Marine, Evergreen and Yang Ming Marine Transport.

Air cargo capacity to and from Iran is also expected to increase, as passenger and cargo airlines expand their services.