EghtesadOnline: Iranian container ports handled 2.14 million TEUs during the first nine months of the current Iranian year (March-December 2017), registering a 7% growth compared with last year's corresponding period.
According to the Ports and Maritime Organization of Iran’s online database, Shahid Rajaee Port, Iran’s largest port located in the southern province of Hormozgan, solely accounted for 77% of the total throughput, handling 1.65 million TEUs during the period.
With 789%, Shahid Bahonar, another major port located in Hormozgan Province, recorded the highest growth among Iran’s 15 container ports.
According to Mohammad Hosseini, director of the port, Shahid Bahonar has managed to expand infrastructure and make use of 100% of its capacity following the lifting of sanctions. The Persian Gulf port is mostly used for imports, Financial Tribune reported.
Imam Khomeini Port, the second largest port of the country located in Khuzestan Province, handled more than 93,000 TEUs during the nine-month period, which indicate a 29% growth year-on-year.
Khorramshahr Port, another major container port located in Khuzestan, recorded a 31% growth in container operations, handling more than 66,000 TEUs during the period.
The recently established shipping line from Khorramshahr Port to Oman and expansion of relations between Khorramshahr and Qatar businesses in recent months are expected to help increase the port’s activities in the near future.
Bushehr Ports and Qatar Blockade
Ports located in Bushehr Province also recorded considerable growth in container handling, as a result of growing demand for shipping goods to Qatar both from Iran and Turkey.
Some 125,300 TEUs were handled in Bushehr Port during the period, which indicates a 37% growth YOY.
Dayyer, another port located in Bushehr Province, also started container operations this year, handling 1,592 TEUs during the three quarters.Asaluyeh Port's records indicate an 18% growth in container operations. More than 69,000 TEUs were exported from this port, as imports amounted to 6,700 TEUs.
Turkey, Iran and Qatar recently signed a transportation pact for boosting trilateral trade. Under the agreement, Iran will be the transit country between Turkey and Qatar. The move is expected to boost Bushehr Province’s port activities in the coming months.
Iran's exports to Qatar reached $186 million by the end of the ninth month of the current fiscal year (Dec. 21).
Container throughput aslo grew by 302% in Lengeh Port, in Hormozgan Province, during the three quarters. More than 1,800 TEUs were exported from the port mostly to Qatar. This is while PMO data recorded no loading in the port during the same period of last year.
65% Throughput Rise in Iran's Only Oceanic Port
Container handling in Iran’s sole oceanic port, Chabahar, also registered growth in recent months. The southeastern port handled 25,424 TEUs during the three quarters, which is 65% higher than the same period of last year.
President Hassan Rouhani inaugurated the first phase of Chabahar’s Shahid Beheshti Port earlier this month.
"Chabahar will turn into the biggest port of the country in the future and would be of considerable significance both politically and economically. The project is specifically important, as it connects the trade corridors passing through Iran to the ocean,” he was quoted as saying at a ceremony marking the inauguration.
The opening of the first phase of Shahid Beheshti Port (out of five phases defined for the project), which has tripled its capacity to 8.5 million tons (equal to that of all the northern ports of the country), will allow the docking of super-large container ships (between 100,000 DWT and 120,000 DWT).
India sent the first consignment of wheat to Afghanistan through Chabahar Port last month. Six more shipments have been planned by the end of January 2018.
Chabahar’s throughput grew by 139% only during the month to Dec. 21.
As per PMO’s statistics, Iran’s three Caspian ports, namely Anzali, Neka and Amirabad, also recorded growth in container operation during the period under review.
Anzali Free Trade Zone Port handled 3,300, registering a 10% growth compared with the same period of last year.
Located in the North-South Transport Corridor, Anzali is expected to become Iran’s leading transit Caspian port in the coming years. The port will soon be connected with the national railroads. Expansion plans for the port's facilities are also underway to make it the largest in the Caspian Sea with 22 berths and cargo handling capacity of 15 million tons per year.
Amirabad Port, located in Mazandaran Province, handled 803 TEUs during the three quarters, marking a significant growth of 179% YOY.
Back in April, President Hassan Rouhani inaugurated the second development phase of the port, consisting of six new berths with a 4-million-ton capacity, as well as facilities such as warehouses and grain silos.
Iran expects Amirabad to play a key role in expanding the country’s economic relations with the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States. Plans are underway to expand grain handling facilities to boost its capacity from 7.5 million tons to 18 million tons by 2030.
The berths and facilities will be connected to Iran’s rail network via a short railroad whose construction was launched in Rouhani’s presence.
Neka Port, also located in Mazandaran, had a 100% upsurge in container operation during the period. It is Iran’s only oil terminal located in the Caspian Sea. It recorded more than a 1,600% growth in tanker operations during the three quarters, as a result of the recent oil swap agreement between Iran and Russia.
Maritime transportation accounts for about 85% of Iran’s trade. Thanks to the lifting of sanctions in January 2016, at least 17 major global shipping lines have resumed services to Iran.
The government is attracting foreign and domestic investments to develop port facilities and raise their capacity.
Ports and Maritime Organization and the Iranian private sector on Monday signed 13 memoranda of understanding worth 100 trillion rials (close to $2.38 billion) to invest in Iran’s northern and southern ports.