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IRISL Cargo Shipment Hit Record High of 27m Tons in Fiscal 2021-22

The Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines transported a record high of 27 million tons of cargo in the last Iranian year (March 2021-22) to register a 41% rise compared to the year before, according to Mohammad Reza Modarres Khiabani, the CEO of IRISL Group.

IRISL was established in 1967 and commenced its commercial operation by employing two trade vessels and four large oceangoing vessels.

Presently, IRISL Group with around half a century experience in the marine transportation field and employing a reliable international network is well known to its clients as their global partner, is capable of performing a wide spectrum of services, reads an introduction on the group’s website.

Today, the group is the biggest player in Iran’s transportation sector.

Khazar Sea Shipping Lines Capacity, Share Rising

The CEO noted that the cargoes were shipped by 146 oceangoing vessels during the period.

“Agreements have been signed between Khazar Sea Shipping Lines [a subsidiary of IRISL Group] and a domestic manufacturer for the production of two RO-RO ships, in addition to two general cargo vessels, which are due to be delivered within two years,” he was quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency.

With these four new vessels, the capacity of Khazar Sea Shipping Lines will increase by 16%, he added.

Established in 1992, Khazar Sea Shipping Lines is one of the biggest providers of marine transportation services in the Caspian Sea.

IRISL’s other subsidiaries include Valfajr Shipping Company, Khaybar Company, Bulk Carrier Company, Multimodal Transportation Company and Bulk Carrier Company.

KSSL announced on Saturday that container transit shipping lines have been Launched between ports in northern Iran and Russia’s Makhachkala Port.

It will transport transit, refrigerated and general container consignments from ports in Iran’s northern provinces to the port in Makhachkala, previously known as Petrovskoye, IRNA reported.

Makhachkala is the only Russian port on the shores of the Caspian Sea, to which access is not severed in the winter by frozen waters.

Transporting containers from Iran to Moscow via this port is 30% more efficient in terms of time and cost compared to the route that passes through the Azerbaijan Republic.

Makhachkala is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Dagestan in Russia located along the shore of the Caspian Sea.

KSSL and the Trade Promotion Organization of Iran signed a memorandum of understanding on Oct. 13 to establish six regular shipping routes for the transport of freight between Iran’s northern ports in the Caspian Sea and those of Russia and Kazakhstan.

The signatories, Davoud Tafti, the CEO of Khazar Sea Shipping Lines, and Alireza Peymanpak, the head of TPO, agreed to expand these marine transportation lines to eight by March 2022.

“Freight will be transported on a regular schedule between the Iranian ports of Amirabad, Anzali and Noshahr, and Russia’s Makhachkala and Astrakhan, and Kazakhstan’s Aktau ports. Two other optional routes from Iran’s Astara and Fereydounkenar ports have been included in the MoU to carry cargo to the above-mentioned ports in Russia and Kazakhstan on demand,” Tafti was quoted as saying by ILNA.

TPO, affiliated with the Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trade, has also agreed to compensate any possible financial loss on the part of Khazar Sea Shipping Lines.

The shipping line has the capacity to transport 200,000 tons of cargo per year while container loading and unloading capacity amounts to 6,000 TEUs per year.

The company has 23 vessels under its name, 15 of which can carry containers.

Infrastructures are ready for commodity transit from Iran’s southern ports to the north and through Caspian Sea, the CEO told Trend News Agency in an interview.

“We are interacting with southern ports, commodity owners and company branches in China, Russia, South Korea, Singapore and India for promoting cargo transportation through the International North-South Transport Corridor and Iran’s East-West Transit Corridor to Eurasian countries,” Tafti explained.

Iran’s share of marine transportation in the Caspian Sea increased to 38.9% in the fiscal 2020-21 from 34.9% in the previous year, according to Mehr News Agency.

The country transported 1.92 million tons of freight to ports located along the Caspian Sea during the period.

Among Iranian shipping companies, Khazar Sea Shipping Lines ranked first with 1.5 million tons of transported goods.

Other Iranian companies transported a total of 424,993 tons during the period.

Russia had a 59.9% share with 2.96 million tons of freight transport.

Kazakhstan transported 35,590 tons (0.7%), Azerbaijan 12,834 tons (0.3%) and other countries 11,470 tons (0.2%).

Overall, marine transportation in the Caspian Sea in the year to March 20, 2021, stood at 4.94 million tons, registering a 21.2% decline compared with 6.27 million tons of the year before.

The decline was due to restrictions put in place in the region to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Withstanding Sanctions

Noting that despite sanctions, IRISL ranks 14th among leading global carriers around the globe, Khiabani said late 2021 that IRISL fleet consists of 150 vessels, of which 32 are bulk carrier ships, 30 container ships, 22 general cargo vessels, 18 offshore vessels serving operational purposes and providing passenger services, two roll-on/roll-off vessels and three barges whose capacity stands at 5.3 million tons (175,000 TEU).

“IRISL gained $431 million from international maritime transportation from March 21 to August 22, 2021, to register a 100% year-on-year increase,” he was quoted as saying by IRNA.

“IRISL Group’s share in Iran’s maritime transport has reached 21% in the current year [fiscal 2021-22] compared with 18% in the last year [2020-21] and 20% in the fiscal 2019-20. Last year, 80% of demand for low-sulfur fuels by IRISL fleet was met through Shazand Oil Refinery. We hope to increase this amount to 95% in the current year.

IRISL earned $778 million from shipping activities during the fiscal to June 20.

According to a report by IRISL officials at the company’s annual general meeting, a mandatory yearly gathering of the company’s interested shareholders, Iran’s top shipping company transported 23 million tons of cargo over the period despite being under a series of harsh US sanctions and the outbreak of coronavirus.

Of its subsidiaries, Khazar Sea Shipping Lines carried 1.7 million tons of cargo, Bulk Carrier Company accounted for 60 billion ton-miles and Container Transportation Company transported 626,000 TEU containers over the year to June 21. IRISL Multimodal Transportation Company handled 977,000 tons of bulk goods and 2,183 TEU containers over the period.

IRISL accounted for 20% of transportation of all Iranian major ports during the period; with 19% share in southern ports’ market and 27% of northern ports’ market.

The company purchased 303,000 tons of low sulfur fuel oil for use by ships worth $145 million during the period under review.

Over half of monthly 30,000 tons of fuel consumed by the shipping line are supplied via domestic producers; the remaining has to be met through imports, Fars News Agency reported.

Commercial Ports Register 7% Rise in Q1 Throughput

A total of 51 million tons of commodities were loaded and unloaded at Iran’s commercial ports during the first three months of the current Iranian year (March 21-June 21), registering a 7% rise compared with the similar period of last year, latest figures released by the Ports and Maritime Organization of Iran show.

The unloading of oil and non-oil products stood at 6.52 million tons and 12.13 million tons respectively.

The total unloading volume hit 18.66 million tons in Q1, registering a 10% year-on-year increase, the news portal of the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development reported.

Around 18.92 million tons of oil products and 14.07 million tons of non-oil goods were loaded during the same period.

Total loading volume stood at 33.92 million tons, showing a 5% YOY rise.

Q1 container throughput stood at 622,524 TEUs, indicating a 12% YOY rise.

The 22 ports under study include Iran’s southern ports of Abadan, Imam Khomeini, Bushehr, Khorramshahr, Genaveh, Bandar Lengeh, Chavibdeh, Arvandkenar, Charak and Dayyer located on the shores of the Persian Gulf, Shahid Rajaee, Shahid Bahonar, Shahid Haqani, Qeshm and Tiab at the mouth of the Strait of Hormuz, Jask and Chabahar on the coasts of the Sea of Oman and the northern ports of Fereydounkenar, Noshahr, Astara, Amirabad and Anzali on the Caspian Sea shoreline.

Iran’s 22 commercial ports handled a total of 152.91 million tons of goods (loading and unloading) during the last Iranian year that ended on March 20, registering a 17% growth in throughput compared with the year before, according to the Resource Planning and Management Department of the Ports and Maritime Organization of Iran.

Container throughput stood at 2.1 million TEUs during the period, registering a 13.5% year-on-year increase.

Around 46.89 million tons of dry bulk cargo, 3.76 million tons of liquid bulk cargo and 21.83 million tons of general cargo were handled during the period, registering a 12.8%, 12.6% and 13.1% rise compared with the previous year respectively.

Shahid Rajaee Special Economic Zone, located in the southern Hormozgan Province, accounts for the highest share of all goods exported from and imported to Iran.

The economic zone, which has a loading/unloading capacity of 100 million tons per year, accounts for over half of Iran’s trade and about two-thirds of total freight transit through the country.

The lion’s share of Iran’s containers are handled in Shahid Rajaee Port Complex.

With 18 gantry cranes and 40 berths, Rajaee is the most advanced container port of Iran.

Launched in 1985, the port has expanded every year. It is currently connected to 80 ports worldwide.

The significance of this port lies in its large capacity, including its location in the Persian Gulf, container terminal, fuel bunkering, access to 24 kilometers of railroads and round-the-clock truck transportation.

In terms of transit, again Shahid Rajaee Special Economic Zone tops the list of Iranian customs terminals.
According to PMO, a total of 20.14 million tons of essential goods were imported through sea ports last year.
Also known as necessity or basic goods, essential goods are products consumers will buy, regardless of changes in income levels.

Imam Khomeini in the southern Khuzestan Province with 12.59 million tons topped the lists of ports of entry for essential goods. These goods included 7.71 million tons of corn, 2.95 million tons of wheat, 1.32 million tons of barley and 607,021 tons of sugar.

The lion’s share of the country’s demand for livestock feed raw material and grains are imported through this southern port. Imam Khomeini is Iran’s second busiest port after Shahid Rajaee in Hormozgan Province.

The port boasts 40 wharfs, 140 kilometers of railroads within its premises and equipped with the latest loading and unloading facilities.

Shahid Rajaee Port came next with 2.61 million tons of essential goods imports, including 1.58 million tons of wheat, 400,919 tons of sugar, 340,459 tons of corn, 200,550 tons of barley and 93,942 tons of rice.

Third was Sistan-Baluchestan Province’s Chabahar Port with 2.04 million tons of imports, including 1.13 million tons of wheat, 396,230 tons of barley, 334,102 tons of corn, 148,806 tons of rice and 27,100 tons of sugar.
Source: Financial Tribune

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