Rising transit of goods via Iran to continue in upcoming year
The figures released by Iran’s Road Maintenance and Transportation Organization (RMTO) show that over 8.5 million tons of commodities have been transited via Iran during the 11-month period ended on February 19.
This amount of goods which have been moved through 32 active land and maritime borders of the country indicates 20 percent growth compared with that of the same period of time in the past year.
The data released by RMTO and also Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration (IRICA) prove that the transit of goods via Iran has been experiencing an increasing trend since the beginning of current Iranian calendar year (March 21, 2017).
This trend which indicates importance of the country in regional trade is anticipated to continue in the upcoming calendar year (starting on March 21) through some underway development plans.
Developing Iran’s largest container port
One of this plans is development of Shahid Rajaee Port in southern province of Hormozgan.
The port has been always the most active border for transit. It accounted for
35 percent of the transited commodities during the mentioned 11-month period in which over three million tons of goods were transited through this port.
Shahid Rajaee Port is Iran’s biggest container port handling over 85% of the country’s containers. It has the loading-unloading capacity of 100 million tons, accounting for over 55% of Iran’s trade and 70% of transit.
The third phase of the port’s development plan was launched on February
28 in the presence of President Hassan Rouhani, and Transport Minister Abbas Akhoundi.
Upon the completion of this phase within three years, using 8.6 trillion rials (about $193.2 million), the port’s capacity will be increased to eight million TEU, according to the Head of Ports and Maritime Organization Mohammad Rastad.
Railway-connected ports under spotlight
Connecting the ports to the railway network is another prioritized plan that will contribute significantly to promotion of the country’s transit status.
For example, a railway is under construction to connect Chabahar Port in southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchestan to Zahedan (center of the province) which will elevate the role of this strategic port in transit of goods.
The project to build this railway has a 25.7-percent progress and it will be complete by the next 2-3 years.
It is worth mentioning that last October India launched a trade route to Afghanistan via Iran through shipping its first consignment of wheat to Afghanistan via Chabahar, bypassing longtime rival Pakistan and has said that it plans to send more shipments of wheat to Afghanistan via the Iranian port.
Development of transit via railway on agenda
Meanwhile, development of transit via railway is on the agenda of the Islamic Republic of Iran Railways (known as RAI).
Development of railway network in the border areas is a good opportunity for elevating transit which plays some significant role in bringing more income for the country and also more employment, according to Ebrahim Mohammadi, the previous deputy of RAI for operation and traffic.
Customs measures for improving transit processes
Transit of goods via Iran is also planned to increase through some measures by IRICA, as it is one of the prioritized plans of IRICA according to its head, Foroud Asgari.
The customs administration is pursuing the objectives of boosting the amount of transited goods and also improving transit processes and in this due it has taken a number of measures, for example establishment of some systems such as online control of the commodities and taking risk factors into account for controlling transited products.