17 int’l shipping line companies resumed Iran operations

Head of container affairs of Shahid Rajaei Port in Hormuzgan Province announced on Saturday that 17 international container shipping companies have resumed their activities in the port adding that Maersk Line of Denmark and MOL of Japan as well as CMA of France and Messina of Italy will begin operations in the port soon.

Turaj Amiri further said that given the expected 28 percent rise in operations in the year to mid-March 2017, the port will handle over 2.1 million containers during the period, IRNA reported.

Pointing to the loading and unloading of three million containers per a year during the years before the Western sanctions, the official said the figure dropped to 1.6 million last year.

He put the annual operation capacity for the first phase of Shahid Rajaei’s First Terminal at 1.5 million containers adding that once the second phase of the terminal’s development project becomes operational, the figure will rise to 3.5 million containers.

Pointing to the capacity of the Second Terminal of Shahid Rajaei Port, he said that with the completion of the third phase of development plan, the annual operations capacity for the port will grow to 8 million containers.

“Step by step the problems have been resolved (since then), removing many restrictions and limitations,” Mohammad Saeidi, the chairman of Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) told Reuters in an interview at the Danish Maritime Forum conference in Copenhagen on Thursday.

A slowdown in global trade together with a glut of vessels has left the container shipping industry struggling with its worst ever market conditions, but Saeidi said the post-sanctions environment meant IRISL would be looking to expand its 156-ship fleet.

“We are negotiating with some shipyards and some makers and hopefully it would reach clear conclusions in the next 3-4 months,” he said.

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