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EghtesadOnline: Iran’s 21 major commercial ports handled 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 36.82 million tons of the total throughput, registering 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 declined 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.

A total of 139.65 million tons of commodities were loaded and unloaded at the ports under review in the last Iranian year (March 2019-20) to register a meager rise of 0.17% compared with the corresponding period of last year.

Non-oil goods accounted for more than 95.48 million tons of the total throughput, showing a 0.08% year-on-year growth. 

The remaining 44.16 million tons pertained to oil products, indicating a 0.7% increase YOY.

Around 69.65 million tons of commodities were exported from the ports under review and 31.15 million tons were imported during the period, showing a 10.28% and 13.92% growth respectively compared with the similar period of last year. 



Busiest Ports

A total of 28.07 million tons of commodities were loaded and unloaded at Hormozgan Province’s Shahid Rajaee Port from March 20 to Sept. 21, registering a 24.8% drop compared with the similar period of last year.

This made Shahid Rajaee the country’s busiest port during the period. Non-oil goods accounted for around 15.82 million tons and oil products for more than 14.69 million tons of the total, showing a 35.07% decline and a 13.33% rise 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 Shahid Rajaee 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 first six months of the year, handling more than 18.17 million tons of commodities. The figure shows a 19.91% fall YOY. 

The port is the main hub of essential goods’ imports. 

Also known as necessity goods, essential goods are products consumers will buy, regardless of change in income levels.

Imam Khomeini Port has 40 wharfs and 140 kilometers of railroads within its premises. 

In the last fiscal year (March 2019-20), 3 million tons of goods were transported from this port via 53,000 wagons. Close to 90% of Iran's demand for livestock feed raw material and 79% of grains are imported from this port. 

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.

The third busiest was Qeshm Port, also in southern Iran. A total of 2.54 tons of goods were loaded and unloaded there, indicating a 27.22% decline compared with the similar period of last year. 

Non-oil goods accounted for 2.49 million tons and oil products for 57,800 tons of the total throughput in Qeshm Port, showing a 27.35% and 21.33% decrease respectively YOY.

Qeshm, the largest island of Iran, is located a few kilometers off the southern coast of Persian Gulf, opposite the port cities of Bandar Abbas and Bandar Khamir. 

The island is home to a 300-square-kilometer free zone and stretches over 135 km. It has a strategic location off the Strait of Hormuz, 60 km from the Omani port of Khasab and about 180 km from the UAE’s Port Rashid.

A total of 2.59 million passengers were transported to and from the aforementioned ports, registering a 71.17% plunge compared with last year’s similar period.



Private Investment 

The private sector in Iran has invested a total of 161.23 trillion rials ($548 million) in the country's ports under 333 contracts.

A total of 3.57 trillion rials ($12.13 million) were invested by the private sector during the first quarter of the current year (March 20-June 20) with the purpose of development and maintenance of port infrastructures and equipment, IRNA reported. 

The private sector also invested 2.83 trillion rials ($9.6 million) in Q1 under five contracts to enhance businesses. 

The total investment history includes the development project of 30 million-ton oil docks in Shahid Rajaee Port in southern Hormozgan Province, which will increase the port’s exports of petroleum products by 30% upon completion. 

“The construction of Shahid Rajaee Port’s new rail-oriented mineral terminal was one of the major projects whose contract was finalized last [Iranian] year [March 2019-20] between PMO and the private sector. The project is under study by investors and the execution phase will begin this year,” Mohammad Rastad, the head of Ports and Maritime Organization, said recently.

Noting that the 33-year build–operate–transfer project was worth 50 trillion rials ($170 million) when it was signed, the official said, “Once completed, the country’s exports of mineral and steel via the most important container port of the country [i.e., Shahid Rajaee Port] will improve considerably and in line with the country’s steel export targets.” 

The construction of Shahid Rajaee Port's new mechanized mineral terminal will allow vessels with a capacity of 150,000 tons to berth there, according to the deputy head of Ports and Maritime Organization of Iran, Ali Hassanzadeh.

He made the statement at a ceremony held on the occasion of the signing of the contract between Ports and Maritime Organization of Iran and the private sector for the construction of the terminal last year, which is expected to be the biggest in the region.

Currently, vessels with a capacity of 60,000 tons are able to berth at Shahid Rajaee Port.

This will be the second such terminal as Life Trade Promotion Company signed an agreement with Sistan-Baluchestan Ports and Maritime Organization in May 2018 to establish Iran’s first fully mechanized mineral export terminal in Chabahar’s Shahid Beheshti Port.

“The establishment of the new terminal will reduce waiting time for vessels and increase ports’ productivity,” Hassanzadeh was quoted as saying by ILNA.

“The project has three construction phases and the development of each phase takes three years covering 180 hectares, each with 60 hectares,” he added.

In addition, the project includes tge establishment of a 15-megawatt power station.

The terminal is also expected to create 500 sustainable direct jobs. The final capacity of the terminal will reach 50 million tons per year upon the project’s completion.

Speaking with IRNA on the advantages of the new terminal, former director general of Hormozgan PMO, Allahmorad Afifipour, noted that the terminal will facilitate the export of minerals and reduce transportation costs. 

According to Afifipour, the annual capacity of Shahid Rajaee Port’s current terminal is currently 14 million tons.

Addressing the same ceremony, PMO chief Mohammad Rastad told IRNA that the terminal is a solution to the current heavy port traffic and the rise in demand for steel exports. 

He noted that the new contract is a giant step in the development of ports’ capacities through attracting investment from the private sector.

Rastad also said the operational period of the contract is 33 years.

The new extension is expected to become the biggest mineral terminal in the Persian Gulf and Sea of Oman, and will bring about a major development in Iran's mining industry, considering the country’s exceptional mineral capacity.

The third phase of Shahid Rajaee Port expansion project is being conducted with an investment of 12 trillion rials ($40 million), according to the newly-appointed director general of Hormozgan Ports and Maritime Organization.

“Other infrastructural undertakings of the project include the construction of 1,400 meters of wharfs and 113 hectares of hinterland container area, as well as 4 million tons of dredging,” Alireza Mohammadi Karajiran was also quoted as saying by Fars News Agency.

The completed project, he said, will help increase the port’s nominal container throughput capacity from the current 6.3 million TEUs to 8.4 million TEUs (giving it a more than 20% boost) and allow vessels with a capacity of 18,400 TEUs weighing 185,000 DWT to berth at the wharfs. 

Mohammadi added that Shahid Rajaee Port has better prospects of elevating its ranking in the region.


Goods Iran commodities commercial ports