EghtesadOnline: The Islamic Republic of Iran Railways will join the Ports and Maritime Organization of Iran and the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration to carry out a rail-port transportation drill at Shahid Rajaee Port in the southern Hormozgan Province.
The exercise has been scheduled for April 28 and 29, the news outlet of the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development reported.
Allah-Morad Afifipour, director general of Hormozgan Province, Ports and Maritime Organization, said the two days of drills in Iran’s biggest container port at the mouth of the Strait of Hormuz is meant to help increase the share of rail in the country’s freight transport from the current 10%, demonstrate the utility of multimodal transport system and reveal any impediments.
A total of 130 wagons will carry 200 containers during the so-called “Rail-Port Maneuver” themed “Expansion of Rail-Port Connectivity to Foster Production”, Financial Tribune quoted him as saying.
Close to 67.74 million tons of goods were loaded and unloaded in Shahid Rajaee Port last year (March 2018-19), down 21.2% compared with the year before.
In fact, Shahid Rajaee Port was the busiest Iranian port during the period. Non-oil goods accounted for around 43.6 million tons and oil products reached 24.3 million tons, showing a 28.38% and 2.92% decline respectively.
Over half of Iran’s commercial trade passes through Shahid Rajaee. The port complex also accounts for over 85% of all container traffic.
According to Mohammad Reza Rezaei Kouchi, the head of Majlis Development Commission, Shahid Rajaee Port has a 6% share in the region’s total container traffic per annum, ILNA reported.
Latest data published on PMO's website show that 129.6 million tons of commodities were loaded and unloaded at Iran’s 21 major ports last year to register a 17.07% decline compared with the similar period of the year before.
Non-oil goods accounted for 88.4 million tons of the total throughput, showing an 18.55% fall year-on-year.
The remaining 41.48 million tons pertained to oil products, indicating a 13.62% decline YOY.
Container loading and unloading decreased by 42.32% to stand at 1.77 million TEUs.
The 21 ports under study include Iran’s southern ports of Abadan, Imam Khomeini, Bushehr, Khorramshahr, Genaveh, Bandar Lengeh, Chavibdeh, Arvandkenar, Charak and Dayyer located on the shores of the Persian Gulf, Shahid Rajaee, Shahid Bahonar, Qeshm and Tiab at the mouth of the Strait of Hormuz, Jask and Chabahar on the coasts of the Sea of Oman and the northern ports of Fereydounkenar, Noshahr, Astara, Amirabad and Anzali on the Caspian Sea coast.
A total of 63.15 million tons of commodities were exported from the ports under review and 27.34 million tons were imported.
The Iranian port transited 6.59 million tons of goods during the same period.
According to Hadi Haqshenas, the deputy head of Ports and Maritime Organization, more than 200 vessels load and unload at Iranian ports daily.
Rezaei noted that Iran’s 11 major commercial ports have up to 80% untapped capacity, as only 20% of their capacity are being put to use. Much of Iran's trade is conducted via marine routes.
Iran has been aggressively increasing the length of its rail network. According to Deputy Minister of Roads and Urban Development Kheirollah Khademi, who also heads Iran’s Transportation Infrastructure Construction and Development Company, over the past 15 years, 160 kilometers of railroads have been constructed annually in Iran on average.