EghtesadOnline: Cargo handling procedures in Imam Khomeini Port in the southern Khuzestan Province are applied in compliance with health guidelines, following the lockdown implemented in the port due to the outbreak of the more-contagious UK variant of Covid-19.
According to Gholamabbas Bahraminia, director general of Khuzestan Road Maintenance and Transportation Organization, 40,000 tons of goods are being loaded at Imam Khomeini Port on a daily basis.
“Cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces are carried out at the port terminal round the clock. An ambulance, a doctor and a nurse are stationed at the clinic of freight terminal,” he was quoted as saying by the news portal of the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development.
“Since the beginning of the current Iranian year (March 20, 2020), more than 11.6 million tons of essential goods, including wheat, corn, barley, oilseeds, soybean meal, sugar, rice and vegetable oils have been transported from Imam Khomeini Port to different parts of the country.”
Imam Khomeini Port in the southern Khuzestan Province saw the inauguration and ground-breaking ceremonies for 18 investment and development projects worth 15.79 trillion rials ($63 million) on Dec. 30.
The event was attended by the Minister of Roads and Urban Development Mohammad Eslami and CEO of the Ports and Maritime Organization of Iran Mohammad Rastad, Fars News Agency reported.
The most important inaugurated projects included four multipurpose warehouses, oil product reservoir and a mechanized grain terminal.
Also, two projects for the construction of edible oil refineries were launched on the same day.
Other projects were the overhauling of wharfs and railroads inside Imam Khomeini Port premises, dredging operations, fixing breakwaters and providing proper lighting for the port’s launchers.
Close to 90% of Iran’s demand for livestock feed raw material as well as 79% of grains are imported through this southern port.
Last year (March 2019-20), the port handled nearly 15.7 million tons of essential goods. In fact, it is the main hub of essential goods imports.
Director General of Khuzestan Province’s Ports and Maritime Organization Adel Deris has told IRNA that Imam Khomeini Port has 40 wharfs and 140 kilometers of railroads within its premises, and is equipped with the latest loading and unloading facilities.
In the last fiscal year (March 2019-20), 3 million tons of goods were transported from this port via 53,000 wagons.
Imam Khomeini Port was the second busiest port after Shahid Rajaee Port during the first six months of the current Iranian year (March 20-Sept. 21), handling more than 18.17 million tons of commodities. The figure shows a 19.91% fall year-on-year.
Non-oil goods accounted for 12.81 million tons and oil products for close to 5.36 million tons of the total throughput at Imam Khomeini Port over the six-month period, registering an 11.59% and 34.61% fall respectively YOY.
Also known as necessity goods, essential goods are products consumers will buy, regardless of changes in income levels.
“A total of 4 million tons of essential goods were imported to Iran during the 10 months to Jan. 19,” Amir Talebi, an official with the Government Trading Corporation of Iran, said recently.
“Since the beginning of the current Iranian year [March 20], 194 vessels carrying essential goods were unloaded at Iranian ports. Imam Khomeini Port accounted for 45% of imports, Bandar Abbas, a southern port city in Hormozgan Province, constituted 31% and Chabahar in Iran's southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchestan accounted for 17% of total imports; the rest entered the country via northern ports,” he was quoted as saying by IRNA in January.
According to Mehdi Mirashrafi, the head of the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration, imports of 25 essential goods stood at 21.4 million tons worth $11 billion during the 11 months of the current fiscal year (March 20, 2020-Feb. 18).
Total imports during the period stood at 30.8 million tons worth $34.3 billion.
“Imports saw a respective 6% and 15% decline in weight and value year-on-year,” he was quoted as saying by IRIB News.