TEHRAN (Dispatches) - Director of Iran’s Port and Maritime Organization Mohammad Rastad has said that Shahid Rajaee port on the Persian Gulf coast will be capable of accepting huge container ships with capacities of nearly 22,000 20-foot equivalent unit containers (TEU) by March.
Rastad said that some 900 meters of a new wharf at Shahid Rajaee port would come on line by the end of the current calendar year to enable Iran to process mega-ships in the facility for a first time.
The construction of the wharf is part of the phase 3 of development work at Shahid Rajaei port, currently 59th on the global ranking of large container ports.
Development of the port, responsible for nearly 90 percent of container activity in Iran, has faced hurdles due to recurrent US sanctions targeting operator companies in the area.
However, despite growing American pressure, the facility has remained a major gateway for trade between Iran and the rest of the world.
The current administrative government in Iran plans to increase Shahid Rajaee’s annual capacity to 1.5 million TEU by August next year. That would hugely boost Iran’s capability for exports of various finished products as the government seeks to diversify the economy away from crude revenues.
Other ports in southern Iran, including Bandar Imam Port to the west of the Persian Gulf where giant dry bulk ships dock, have been modernized by the government in recent years to avoid any halt to trade.
Iran is also developing a large ocean port in Chabahar on the Sea of Oman to facilitate trade between the Indian Ocean and landlocked countries to the east and northeast of Iran.
Iran, Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan to Form Joint Shipping Line
Deputy CEO of Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organization for Ports and Economic Affairs Farhad Montaser Koushari said a shipping line will be established between the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Russian Federation, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan as agreed by the relevant authorities of the four countries, an Iranian official announced.
Montaser Koushari said that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the PMO and one of the foreign shipping companies operating in the Caspian Sea area, in which, Ro-Ro- vessels in all the Northern ports of the country will be subject to the discount and regular Ro-Ro shipping line will be launched between Iranian, Russian, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan ports.
Addressing a ceremony of signing the MoU, Montaser Koushari pointed out that as per the MoU, the four sides emphasized the need for expanding and developing transportation of goods via Ro-Ro vessels in the Caspian Sea.
Referring to the existing restrictions for the entry and transit of land fleet to the Commonwealth Independent States (CIS) and Caucasus region, he said that taking advantage of existing maritime capacities and Ro-Ro vessels in ports of Amirabad and Noshahr should be put atop agenda.
Koushari reiterated that in order to develop and boost cooperation with neighboring countries, the transit of Ro-Ro vessels will soon be launched according to the scheduled program.
"Upon signing and sealing MoU, we will witness evermore development and expansion of maritime cooperation with northern countries,” he added.
Koushari reiterated that presenting a discount of up to 80 percent on all ports fee, customs duties, and port costs for Ro-Ro vessels in all Northern ports of the country have been cited as one of the most important features of the MoU inked between PMO and a foreign shipping company.