EghtesadOnline: Iranian commercial ports are buzzing with activity, the latest figures released by the Ports and Maritime Organization of Iran show.
More than 72.81 million tons of commodities were loaded and unloaded in Iran’s 21 commercial ports during the first half of the current Iranian year (March 21-Sept. 22) to register a 2.56% growth compared with the corresponding period of last year.
Non-oil goods accounted for 50.22 million tons of the total throughput, showing a 4.74% year-on-year rise.
The remaining 22.59 million tons pertained to oil products, indicating a 1.96% decrease YOY, according to Financial Tribune.
Container loading and unloading declined by 47.24% to stand at 663,613 TEUs.
More than 36.64 million tons of commodities were exported from the ports under review and over 16.08 million tons were imported during the six-month period, showing a 6.28% and 13.85% growth respectively compared with the similar period of last year.
A total of 2.45 million tons of goods were transited through these ports during the same period to register a 38.92% decline YOY.
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 Persian Gulf, Shahid Rajaee, Shahid Bahonar, Qeshm and Tiab at the mouth of the Strait of Hormuz, Jask and Chabahar on the coasts of Sea of Oman and the northern ports of Fereydounkenar, Noshahr, Astara, Amirabad and Anzali on the southern shores of Caspian Sea.
More than 37.33 million tons of commodities were loaded and unloaded in Hormozgan Province’s Shahid Rajaee Port, registering a 5.32% rise compared with the similar period of last year.
Shahid Rajaee was the busiest port during the period. Non-oil goods accounted for 24.21 million tons and oil products constituted 13.12 million tons of the total, showing a 4.1% and 7.7% growth respectively year-on-year.
Located 23 kilometers west of the port city of Bandar Abbas, the capital of Hormozgan Province, Shahid Rajaee is Iran’s biggest container port.
Over half of Iran’s commercial trading is carried out at the Shahid Rajaee Port that also accounts for over 85% of all container throughput in the country.
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 throughput per annum, ILNA reported.
Imam Khomeini Port in the southern Khuzestan Province was the second busiest port during the six months under review, handling close to 22.69 million tons of commodities. The figure shows an 8.7% increase YOY.
Non-oil goods accounted for more than 15.26 million tons and oil products for over 7.42 million tons of the total throughput in Imam Khomeini Port, registering a 20.02% growth and 8.94% fall respectively YOY.
The third busiest was Qeshm Port, also in southern Iran. More than 3.5 million tons of goods were loaded and unloaded there, indicating a 17% increase compared with the similar period of last year.
Non-oil goods accounted for over 3.42 tons and oil products for around 73,475 tons of the total throughput in Qeshm Port, showing a 16.26% and 44.6% growth respectively YOY.
A total of 6.18 million passengers were transported to and from the aforementioned ports, registering a 26.8% downfall compared with last year’s similar period.
Money Transfer Impediments Rejected
It’s business as usual when it comes to money transfer for the import of essential goods, as processing of transactions and shipments into Iranian ports have not changed since a year ago, Mohammad Rastad, the head of Ports and Maritime Organization of Iran, said recently.
He made the statement in response to a question about Reuters’ report that claimed more than 20 ships carrying around 1 million tons of grain were held up outside Iranian ports due to payment problems created by the new round of US sanctions against the Central Bank of Iran.
Over 100,000 tons of essential goods are being discharged at Iranian ports every day and 13 docks are exclusively reserved for vessels employed in the trade of essential goods, the PMO chief was quoted as saying by ILNA.
“The queue of ships has been formed because of the increase in the volume of imports.”
Echoing similar remarks, Director General of Khuzestan Ports and Maritime Organization Adel Deris said, "The ships are invited to go to other ports, including Chabahar and Shahid Rajaee, due to the large volume of loading in the Bandar Imam Khomeini Port. We have no difficulties with unloading ships over US sanctions. At present, Bandar Imam Khomeini port's capacity is 3 million tons. In contrast, 24 million tones of goods were loaded in the first half of this year."
Self-Sufficiency in Intermodal Container Production
Iran’s first intermodal shipping container production line was launched in Alborz Province in the presence of Minister of Roads and Urban Development Mohammad Eslami and the head of Iran Ports and Maritime Organization Mohammad Rastad, PMO reported on its official website on Oct. 8.
According to Rastad, Iran's domestic demand for intermodal shipping containers stands at 750,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (often TEU or teu).
Prior to the inauguration of the new production line, only 200,000 TEUs were produced domestically. Now the entire Iranian demand can be met from domestic sourced.
According to Mohammad Ali Hassanzadeh, the deputy head of Ports and Maritime Organization of Iran, each container costs between $2,000 and $2,400.
Renting intermodal shipping containers have also cost Iran $5 per day per container.
Hassanzadeh said the new production line will also create capacity for Iran to export multimodal containers.
The newly-inaugurated production line has the capacity to produce 100 containers daily.
Iran is the only country in Persian Gulf region, Central Asia and Africa to produce intermodal containers.