Container Carriers Flocking to Iran

Container carriers are returning their 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 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 deploying their ships to the country’s ports.

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

Container Carriers Flocking to Iran1

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

As World Maritime News reported, CMA CGM is about to start calling at southern Iranian port of Shahid Rajaei early next month with the first ship the Andromeda.

Mediterranean Shipping Co (MSC) is expected to follow suit in the wake of 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 looking into the trade potential of the country, but a definitive decision on its return to Iran is yet to be made once the sanctions are fully lifted.

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

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 country.

Iran has been busy preparing for the return of major container lines to its ports in anticipation of the lifting of the ban.

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 stipulated for foreign cargo owners and ships.

World Maritime News Staff