EghtesadOnline: The volume of freight transit through Iran has reached a new high.
A total of 4.72 million tons of commodities transited through Iran in the first five months of the current fiscal year (March 21-Aug. 22), showing a 95% surge compared with the similar period of last year, according to the director general of the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration.
Mehdi Mirashrafi added that the volume is a record high in the history of transit through the Islamic Republic.
The transit volume during the fifth month of the year (July 23 to Aug. 22) stood at 974,000 tons, indicating a 94% year-on-year jump.
Iran earns $200 from each ton of transit goods, according to the newly-appointed secretary of the High Council of Free Trade and Special Economic Zones.
“Every year, more than 1 billion tons of commodities are transited through the Suez Canal. By attracting 5% of this transit volume through our borders, revenues can be considerable,” Hamidreza Momeni was also quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency recently.
Transit via Iranian border crossings as well as the country’s foreign truck commutes have increased to reach the levels recorded before the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, the director general of the Transit and International Transport Bureau of Road Maintenance and Transportation Organization said recently.
“After the coronavirus spread across the region more than a year ago, our surrounding countries closed their borders to Iranian transit trucks. Later, regulations were loosened, but commutes were still restricted. This resulted in a drastic fall in the country’s transit activities,” Javad Hedayati was also quoted as saying by the news portal of the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development.
At present, said the official, truck commutes from Iran’s 24 border crossings are back to pre-Covid days, with the exception of its border with Turkmenistan, which still remains closed.
“We have made a request to the National Coronavirus Headquarters and the Health Ministry to prioritize the vaccination of transit drivers so things could speed up in our international transportation sector. This is what many countries have done and we need to do the same for close to 150,000 drivers that facilitate our foreign trade and transit,” Hedayati said.
A total of 7.53 million tons of commodities were transited through Iran in the last Iranian year (March 2020-21), showing a 0.89% decline compared with the year before, according to the spokesperson of the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration.
“The transit volume came despite the outbreak of Covid-19, which closed down many of our common border crossings for a few months,” Rouhollah Latifi was also quoted as saying by Fars News Agency.
The official added that the country’s top 10 busiest transit borders were Shahid Rajaee Special Economic Zone in the southern Hormozgan Province with 3,3 million tons, Bazargan in West Azarbaijan Province with 703,000 tons, Bashmaq in Kurdestan Province with 687,000 tons, Sarakhs in Khorasan Razavi Province with 457,000 tons, Imam Khomeini Port checkpoint in Khuzestan Province with 447,000 tons, Bileh Savar in Ardabil Province with 337,000 tons, Jolfa in East Azarbaijan Province 312,000 tons, Razi in East Azarbaijan Province with 188,000 tons, Astara in Gilan Province with 156,000 tons and Bandar Lengeh in Hormozgan province with 139,000 tons.
“These border crossings accounted for 89% of Iran’s overall transit during the period under review,” he said.
With 12 wharfs, Shahid Rajaee is Iran’s biggest container port, accounting for 90% of the country’s total container throughput.
Over half of Iran’s commercial trading is carried out at Shahid Rajaee, which is located 23 kilometers west of the port city of Bandar Abbas, the capital of Hormozgan Province.