EghtesadOnline: Iran’s biggest container port near the Strait of Hormuz, Shahid Rajaee Port, handled 1.62 million Twenty-Foot Equivalent Unit of container traffic during the eight months to Nov. 21, registering a 16% increase compared with the corresponding period of last year.
The announcement was made by Allah-Morad Afifipour, the director general of Hormozgan Province’s Ports and Maritime Organization, the news portal of the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development reported.
“More than 229,000 TEUs of the total sum pertained to loading of exported products and 423,000 TEUs to the unloading of imported goods,” he said.
Afifipour added that over 158,540 TEUs were transshipped and 276,150 TEUs were transited through the port during the eight months, indicating a 57% and 10% growth compared with the similar period of last year, according to Financial Tribune.
> Strategic Mega Port
Shahid Rajaee Special Economic Zone, which has loading/unloading capacity of 100 million tons, accounts for over 55% of Iran's trade and 70% of transit.
Over 85% of Iran's containers are handled in Shahid Rajaee Complex.
With 18 gantry cranes and 40 berths, it is the most advanced container port of Iran where 12,000 TEUs-plus Panamax cargo ships can enter.
Launched in 1985, the port has expanded every year. Today it is connected to 80 top ports of the world.
The significance of this port lies in its large capacity, including its location in the Persian Gulf, container terminal, fuel bunkering, access to 24 kilometers of railroads and round-the-clock truck transportation.
Hormozgan Province, where Shahid Rajaee is located, has 32 active ports, including Shahid Bahonar, Jask, Lengeh, Tiab, Aftab and Kish, which act as backups to Shahid Rajaee.
> Development Projects
Plans are underway to increase the capacity of Iranian ports to 250 million tons in the next four year, with focus on Shahid Rajaee Port, Managing Director of Ports and Maritime Organization of Iran Mohammad Saeed-Nejad was quoted as saying earlier this year.
Aggregate Iranian port capacities rose to 210 million tons in the last Iranian year (March 2016-17) from 180 million tons in 2013-14.
“Three major projects, including the construction of Terminal 3 and oil rigs in Shahid Rajaee Complex, were launched over these years. Upon the completion of Terminal 3, the contract on procurement of equipment will be signed with private sector companies,” he added.
According to Saeed-Nejad, Shahid Rajaee Complex is the closest port to Central Asia with different access routes.
“Before the imposition of nuclear sanctions against Iran, Shahid Rajaee Port ranked 45th among the world’s top 100 container ports,” Afifipour said.
“For the port to regain its past ranking, plans are in place to develop hinterland container connectivity and use modern container equipment.”
Afifipour noted that the first and second phases of expansion of Shahid Rajaee Port have been completed and their equipment would be installed by March 2018 to increase the port’s capacity by 6 million TEU.
“The third phase of the port’s development will be completed after two years and its capacity will hit 8 million TEU. The construction of three berths, which will be used to export the refineries’ products, particularly those of Persian Gulf Star Oil Company—Bandar Abbas Gas Condensate Refinery, has started and will be completed in 24 months. These berths will give services to vessels of 5,000 to 100,000 tons and boost Shahid Rajaee Port capacity to 34 million tons,” he said.
Referring to an oil bunker with a capacity of 1.2 million cubic meters, which has been established in Shahid Rajaee Port, the official added that six projects are scheduled to be launched by March 2018.
Scores of projects worth 30 trillion rials ($800 million) are underway in Shahid Rajaee Complex, the most important of which includes construction of three oil rigs and access routes worth 1.5 trillion rials ($40 million).
These projects are said to create 1,000 jobs over a two-year period and increase the capacity for exporting 34 million tons of petroleum products.
“Eleven development projects worth 6,180 billion rials ($167.02 million) will come on stream in Shahid Rajaee Port by the end of the current fiscal year (March 20, 2018) ,” Afifipour said.
"These projects will create close to 800 jobs and include the construction of two desalination plants, four petroleum products storage terminals, two container logistics terminals, a standard terminal to store hazardous materials, a truck terminal and a motor repair shop."
According to Alireza Dashtani, customs inspector of Hormozgan Province, 44 million tons of goods worth $11.14 billion were exported from and nearly 10 million tons worth $18.65 billion were imported to Iran via Shahid Rajaee Port in the last fiscal year (March 2016-17) to register a 44% and 12% growth in tonnage and value respectively compared to the year before.
Some 5 million tons of cargos were transshipped at the port during the period.
France’s CMA CGM, the world’s third largest container shipping group, called at Shahid Rajaei, Iran’s biggest container port at the mouth of the Strait of Hormuz, early August.
The company teamed up with Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines to share vessel capacity and jointly operate routes and marine container terminals.
The world’s third largest container shipping group launched a Tehran office in May by appointing CMA CGM Pars as its new agency in Iran.