EghtesadOnline: The Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines ranks 15th in Alphaliner’s rankings of prominent carriers in its Feb. 16, 2021, report, with a consolidated capacity of 151,706 TEUs.
IRISL was placed between Korea Marine Transport Company (KMTC Line) with a capacity of 161,367 TEUs and China-based Antong Holdings Company with a capacity of 144,316 TEUs.
IRISL operates a total of 47 vessels: 43 owned and four chartered ones. Its own and chartered capacities stand at 93,674 TEUs and 58,032 TEUs, respectively while its global market share is at 0.6%, Fars News Agency reported.
Among top 100 Iranian companies, IRISL is ranked 26th in terms of sales and revenues in the current fiscal year (ending March 20), registering an improvement of five places compared with last year.
IRISL Group ranks first in Iran’s transportation industry.
The top three shipping companies in the world, according to Alphaliner, are Danish Maersk with a capacity of 4,117,558 TEUs and a global market share of 16.9%, the Swiss Geneva-headquartered Mediterranean Shg Co with 3,869,196 TEUs and global market share of 15.9%, and China’s COSCO Group with 3,042,926 TEUs and global market share of 12.5%.
Iran’s Shipping Fleet Size Among Top 20
Managing Director of Iran's Port and Maritime Organization Mohammad Rastad said the country is among the top 20 countries in term of its shipping fleet with 300 oceangoing vessels.
"We have a significant number of regional fleets that mainly traverse the waters of Persian Gulf and Sea of Oman, and they are used for exports, imports and cabotage [transferring goods between ports and Iranian islands]. Most of the fleets are owned by Iranian individuals and companies," Rastad was quoted as saying by Fars News Agency.
He added that at present, Iran has 6,000 registered traditional dhows, noting that 4,000 of them are operational.
Rastad said 300 oceangoing vessels are owned by the Islamic Republic of Iran, which sail in international waters.
"In terms of fleet capacity owned by Iranian companies, the Islamic Republic of Iran always ranks among the top 20 countries," he added.
Referring to hurdles in the way of Iran’s trade by US sanctions, the official had said earlier that “given the annual capacity of Iran’s ports of nearly 246 million tons … we have managed to supply all the needs of the country during the period that we have been facing a full-scale economic war in the exports and imports sector,” Rastad told FNA.
“The supply of basic goods did not stop despite heavy sanctions on the maritime organization, thanks to the success of Iran’s maritime sector,” he added.
Revenues at $778m in the Quarter Ending June 20
The Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Line Group earned $778 million from shipping activities during the quarter to June 20.
According to a report read by IRISL senior officials at the company’s annual general meeting, a mandatory yearly gathering of the company’s interested shareholders, Iran’s top shipping company transported 23 million tons of cargo over the period, despite being under a series of harsh US sanctions and the outbreak of coronavirus.
Of its subsidiaries, Khazar Sea Shipping Lines carried 1.7 million tons of cargo, Bulk Carrier Company accounted for 60 billion ton miles and Container Transportation Company transported 626,000 TEU containers over the year to June 21.
IRISL Multimodal Transportation Co. handled 977,000 tons of bulk goods and 2,183 TEU containers over the period. It accounted for 20% of transportation of all Iranian major ports during the period, with a 19% share in southern ports and 27% of northern ports.
The company purchased 303,000 tons of low sulfur fuel worth $145 million during the period under review.
Over half of the monthly 30,000 tons of fuel used by the shipping line are supplied by domestic producers; the remaining is met through imports, Fars News Agency reported.
Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines was established in 1967 and commenced its commercial operation by employing two home trade vessels and four large oceangoing vessels.
With around half a century experience in worldwide marine transportation field and employing a reliable international network, IRISL Group is well known to its clients as their global partner, offering a wide spectrum of services to its customers, reads an introduction on the group's website.
Makran Coast Development
Elsewhere, Rastad declared the government’s plan to increase the capacity of Iran’s ports to 285 million tons next year.
He also underlined plans to increase the capacity of Iranian ports, stressing that huge cargo ships will be able to dock at a new port that the country plans to build at Makran coastline.
“The new port enjoys special features and it is closer to the main routes of international trade. The port is outside the Persian Gulf and will be located at Makran coast,” Rastad said.
Noting that Iran will access deeper waters after establishing the new port, he said, “We will be able to host the biggest ships at a minimum cost, which is advantageous.”
Makran is a semi-desert coastal strip to the south of Sindh and Balochistan in Pakistan and along the coast of Persian Gulf and Sea of Oman bordering Iran.
“The new port will be built in Kangan Rural District’s Kuh Mobarak area, Jask County, Hormozgan Province, in the vicinity of oil terminals owned by Iran’s Oil Ministry. Calculated using the current price rates, the project will cost around 100 trillion rials [over $437 million],” the PMO chief said.
The construction of the project is scheduled to begin in the fiscal 2025-26 and the first phase is estimated to be completed by 2032-33.
“The plan is for the whole project to be launched by the fiscal 2045-46,” he added.
The government has come up with a strategic plan for the development of Makran, a stretch of coast southeast of Iran emerging as a major naval base and commercial hub of maritime trade, setting guidelines to achieve sustainable development of the region and benefit its indigenous people while lowering social and environmental damage, as the area boasts a wide range of investment opportunities.
“A working group led by First Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri approved the Special Plan for the Development of Makran Region on Dec. 26, 2016, after the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development spent about two years for its preparation,” Zohreh Davoudpour, director general of the ministry’s “Corporal Projects Office”, told Financial Tribune last year.
The plan is focused on “the development of the underprivileged region in line with its opportunities and potentials”, she said.
The official said the guidelines provide a list of locations whose development would entail minimum environmental and social consequences, and maximum economic benefit for the residents of Makran Coast.
“The new port will be Iran's second oceanic port after Chabahar in the southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchestan and accommodate larger vessels,” Rastad said back in August.
The official noted that the organization is mostly focused on building a container port with a capacity of handling the region’s throughput without reducing the share of other ports like Chabahar or Shahid Rajaee.
Yet, the facility could also be designed to simultaneously handle wholesale cargos and essential goods.
“We want the port to have easy and quick access to different transportation modes. With proper access to rail and road routes, the envisaged port could turn into the region’s transit and transshipment hub,” Rastad said.
About 90% of Iran's exports and imports are carried out through ports in the south and north with a respective capacity of 216 million tons and 30 million tons.
H1 Ports Throughput
Latest data show Iran’s 21 major commercial ports handled a total of 58.44 million tons of commodities during the first half of the current Iranian year (March 20-Sept. 21) to register a 25.4% decline compared with the similar period of last year.
According to figures published by the Ports and Maritime Organization of Iran, non-oil goods accounted for close to 36.82 million tons of the total throughput, showing a 32.45% fall year-on-year.
The remaining 21.62 million tons pertained to oil products, indicating a 9.29% decline YOY.
Container loading and unloading decreased by 39.31% to stand at 640,604 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 shoreline.
A total of 25.55 million tons of commodities were exported from these ports and over 14.73 million tons were imported, registering a 30.53% and 8.42% decline respectively YOY.
More than 1.58 million tons of goods were transited through these ports during the same period, indicating a 35.37% decrease compared with the corresponding period of last year.