TEHRAN -- Iran’s state-run shipping company said it started its first transfer of Russian goods to India, using a new trade corridor that transits the Islamic Republic, an Iranian port official said.
The Russian cargo consists of two 40-foot (12.192 meters) containers of wood laminate sheets, weighing 41 tons, that departed St. Petersburg for the Caspian Sea port city of Astrakhan, the Islamic Republic News Agency said on Saturday, citing Dariush Jamali, director of a joint-owned Iranian-Russian terminal in Astrakhan.
The report didn’t say when the cargo, which it described as an initial “pilot” transfer to test the corridor, left or give any more details about the goods in the shipment.
From Astrakhan, the cargo will cross the length of the Caspian to the northern Iranian port of Anzali and will be transferred by road to the southern port of Bandar Abbas on the Persian Gulf. From there it will be loaded onto a ship and sent to the Indian port of Nhava Sheva, IRNA said.
Jamali said the transfer was being coordinated and managed by the state-run Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines Group and its regional offices in Russia and India and is expected to take 25 days.
Since Russia was sanctioned over its war on Ukraine, Iranian officials have been keen to revive a stalled project to develop the so-called North-South Transit Corridor that uses Iran to link Russia to Asian export markets. The plan involves eventually building a railroad line that can transfer goods arriving at Iranian Caspian Sea ports to the southeastern port of Chabahar.