French CMA CGM shipping line ready to start operation in Iran

The Marseille-based French company, CMA CGM S.A, which is the world’s third-largest shipping line in terms of container vessel capacity, has announced readiness to start operation in Iran on August 6, according to an official with the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL).

The French liner’s first priority is establishment of a shipping route to Iran and then make investment in the Islamic Republic’s maritime industry and development of ports, the Tasnim News Agency reported on Sunday quoting Jalil Eslami, the deputy director of IRISL for the ports affairs, as saying.

The official put the average annual capacity of container loading at 150 million tons in Iran’s ports over the recent years and said the real capacity is 200 million tons.

A final agreement was reached on Iran’s nuclear program in the Austrian city of Vienna on July 24 after some 22 months of talks between Iran and the P5+1 (five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany).

International shipping lines are stepping up port calls to Iran as the country’s massive maritime trade sector is emerging from sanctions.

U.S. sanctions barred IRISL fleet of about 170 vessels from sailing in international waters. They also prohibited international shipping companies from calling on Iranian ports.

Iranian Transport Minister Abbas Akhoundi, however, said earlier this month that ships from eight major international transportation companies had started to dock at Iran’s southern ports.

Head of Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organization (PMO) Mohammad Saeid-Nejad said he expected a surge in activities in the country’s shipping sector.

“Fortunately, the capabilities of Iranian maritime industries have significantly increased over the past years,” Saeid-Nejad said.

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