EghtesadOnline: Around 88.37 million tons of commodities were loaded and unloaded in Iran’s 17 major ports during the first eight months of the current Iranian year (March 21-Nov. 21) to register a 13.3% decline compared with the similar period of last year.
According to figures released by the Ports and Maritime Organization of Iran's website, non-oil goods accounted for more than 60.58 million tons of the total throughput, showing a 12.58% fall year-on-year. The remaining 27.79 million tons pertained to oil product, indicating a 14.83% decline YOY.
Close to 43.95 million tons of commodities were exported from the ports and over 19.29 million tons were imported during the period.
Goods transit through the Iranian port stood at around 5.06 million tons over the same period, according to Financial Tribune.
Container loading and unloading declined by 32.47% to stand at 1.41 million TEUs.
The 17 ports under study include Abadan, Astara, Imam Khomeini, Amirabad, Anzali, Bushehr, Jask, Chabahar, Khorramshahr, Shahid Bahonar, Shahid Rajaee, Fereydounkenar, Qeshm, Genaveh, Lengeh, Neka and Noshahr.
Close to 46.69 million tons of commodities were loaded and unloaded in the southern Hormozgan Province’s Shahid Rajaee Port over the eight months, registering a 17.39% decrease compared with the similar period of last year.
Shahid Rajaee was the country’s busiest port during the period under review. Non-oil goods accounted for 30.44 million tons and oil products for 16.24 million tons of the total, showing a 20.28% and 11.35% fall respectively year-on-year.
Located 23 kilometers west of the port city of Bandar Abbas, the capital of Hormozgan Province, Shahid Rajaee Port is Iran’s biggest container port at the mouth of the Strait of Hormuz.
Over half of Iran’s commercial trading is carried out at Shahid Rajaee. The port complex also accounts for over 85% of all container throughput in the country.
Loading and unloading at the strategic Iranian port stood at 87.03 million tons in the last fiscal year (March 2017-18), to register an 8% increase compared with the year before.
Non-oil exports from the port exceeded 39.39 million tons to register an 8% rise while imports reached 9.58 million tons, almost unchanged year-on-year.
Oil exports and imports from and into the port stood close to 8.12 million and 2.7 million tons respectively last year.
Imam Khomeini Port in the southern Khuzestan Province was the second busiest port during the eight months, handling 29.05 million tons of commodities. The figure shows a 3.5% increase YOY.
Non-oil goods accounted for 19.22 million tons and oil products for 9.82 million tons of the total throughput in Imam Khomeini Port, registering a 14.59% rise and a 12.89% fall respectively year-on-year.
The third busiest was Qeshm Port also in the south of Iran. More than 3.97 million tons of goods were loaded and unloaded there, indicating a 2.6% fall compared with the similar period of last year. Non-oil goods accounted for more than 3.9 million tons and oil products for 70,480 tons of the total throughput in Qeshm Port, showing a 2.4% and 12.68% decline respectively YOY.
More than 10.93 million passengers were transported to and from the aforementioned ports, registering a 4.31% decrease compared with last year’s similar period.
$665m Worth of Port Development Deals
Private companies signed 10 investment contacts and as many memoranda of understanding worth 67.88 trillion rials ($665 million) with the directorates of the Ports and Maritime organization of Iran in the provinces of Hormozgan, Khuzestan, Sistan-Baluchestan and Gilan as well as the special economic zones of Amirabad, Bushehr and Noshahr during a ceremony held in Tehran on Wednesday.
PMO Managing Director Mohammad Rastad, Deputy Minister of Roads and Urban Development Saeed Seyyed Alaei, the head of National Land and Housing Organization of Iran, Ali Nabiyan, Chairman of Majlis Development Commission, Mohammad Reza Rezaei-Kouchi and parliamentarian Mohammad Ali Vakili were present at the ceremony, along with private sector representatives, Mrud.ir reported.
"Rail transport accounted for 10.3% of freight movements in Iranian ports this year [started March 21], up from last year’s [March 2017-18] 6%," said the deputy head of PMO, Mohammad Ali Hassanzadeh, adding that the figure is expected to rise to 30% in 10 years' time.
Construction of New Port Goes Underway
The construction phase of the multipurpose Khamir Port in southern Hormozgan Province started on Wednesday with Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani in attendance.
"When it becomes operational in 18 months, the port will host vessels of up to 5,000 tons displacement," said Director General of Hormozgan Province Ports and Maritime Organization Allah-Morad Afifipour.
"The Ports and Maritime Organization of Iran has invested about 360 billion rials ($3.5 million) in the project."
Khamir Port, located 75 km from Bandar Abbas Port in Hormozgan Province, is in close proximity to Hara forest, the common name for mangrove forests on the southern coast of Iran, particularly near Qeshm Island in the Persian Gulf.
In 2017, the office of the Department of Environment in Hormozgan Province refused to grant a permit for the construction of the port unless the area’s environmental issues were resolved.
The main objective behind the construction of this multipurpose port was to serve commercial and fishing vessels, encourage economic activities and promote the prosperity of local residents.
However, environmentalists have opposed the development of Khamir Port for the perceived threat it poses to the unique ecosystem of Hara forest. Waters surrounding Qeshm Island, Khamir Port and Bandar Abbas have experienced heavy pollution because of oil production and marine transport activities.