Container carriers rush to Iran

Container carriers are setting up operations to Iran following the deal with P5 +1 powers on lifting of nuclear sanctions against the country.

Under the deal, sanctions against Iran’s oil export industry are to be lifted in exchange for additional restrains on the Middle Eastern country’s nuclear program. However, even though it will take some time before Iran’s tanker fleet is released into the market, container majors have already started sending their vessels to the country’s ports.

South Korean carrier Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) made a return to Iran before the nuclear deal was reached with its Korea – East Asia – Middle East service. The service, with calls at Bandar Abbas, is reported to have launched in April. HMM is to be followed by Hanjin Shipping and Yang Ming, which are slated to add Bandar Abbas calls to their Far East – Middle East Express and China Gulf Express services this month.

Top carriers like French CMA CGM, United Arab Shipping Co, and China Shipping Container Line will deploy their vessels to Bandar Abbas on their Far East – Middle East service as of 6th August, Alphaliner said.

CMA CGM is widely expected to start calling at southern Iranian port of Shahid Rajaei early next month with the first vessel the Andromeda.

Mediterranean Shipping Co (MSC) is expected to follow suit following the visit of the company’s CEO Diego Aponte to Tehran earlier this month, where he met with the representatives of the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL).

Maersk is also reported to be seriously considering the trade potential of the country, but a definitive decision on its return to Iran is expected to be made once the sanctions are fully lifted.

According to Alphaliner, Iran’s shipping company HDS Lines will also reap the benefits of lifting of sanctions as the company is expected to re-develop its network.

The United Nations Security Council adopted a resolution on July 20th establishing a monitoring system for Iran’s nuclear program and considering the “eventual removal” of all nuclear-related sanctions against the OPEC country.

Iran has been seriously preparing for the return of major container lines to its ports.

The Deputy Managing Director of the Ports and Maritime Organization (PMO) for Port Affairs and Special Zones Jalil Eslami declared that in order to attract international shipping lines to the Iranian waters and ports, special discounts were to be handed to foreign cargo owners and vessels. 

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