Iran says 11 leading global shipping companies have so far established offices in one of its key southern ports. This is already seen as an early sign that international traders are preparing for wider trade with the country in a post-sanctions era.
Mohammad Saeidnejad, the president of Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organization (PMO), has been quoted by the media as saying that the companies – that come from a range of countries including China and South Korea – have established their offices in Shahid Rajaee Port in the southern city of Bandar Abbas.
The official further added that the first European shipping company will also set up an office in the same port in a month. He did not specify which European company was involved.
Saeidnejad said this follows months of intense negotiations between companies and Iran to have direct shipping lines to the country.
“As a result of sanctions [that have been imposed on Iran], the ships that were to enter Iran’s territorial waters had to change their routes and deliver their cargoes to a third port in one of the Persian Gulf countries,” he said.
“Their cargoes would then be loaded [on separate ships] and sent to Iran”.
The official added that international shipping companies want to send their cargoes directly to Iran, adding that delivering cargoes in third-country ports would increase the costs as well as the delivery time.
Shahid Rajaee port is the biggest among Iran’s 11 commercial ports and is close to the Strait of Hormuz which is internationally known as one of the world’s most important maritime trade routes.
The port has 18 gantry cranes and has the capacity to load and unload 6 million TEU containers (twenty-foot equivalent unit).