China launches direct shipping line to Iran’s Chabahar port

January 1, 2023 - 11:45

TEHRAN - The first container ship departing from China docked at Iran’s key port of Chabahar on Saturday, marking the establishment of the first direct shipping line between China and Iran's southeastern seaport.

The announcement was made by Amir Moghadam, the managing director of the Chabahar Free Zone Organization, Tasnim news agency reported.

According to Moghadam, Chinese ships previously unloaded in Bandar Abbas, the capital city of the southern province of Hormozgan, with their cargos then being transferred to Chabahar in Sistan-Baluchestan Province via smaller ships.

With the establishment of the direct shipping line between China and Chabahar, cargos are delivered ten days earlier, while the cost of loading and unloading is reduced by $400 per container, the official explained.

In addition, the establishment of the mentioned shipping line plays a great role in the development of transit via Chabahar Port, he added.

As Iran's only oceanic port on the Gulf of Oman, Chabahar port holds great significance for the country both politically and economically. The country has taken serious measures for developing this port in order to improve the country’s maritime trade.

In this regard, the Islamic Republic has been welcoming investors from all over the world to take part in the development of this port and benefit from its distinguished position as a trade hub in the region.

Chabahar port consists of Shahid Kalantari and Shahid Beheshti terminals, each of which has five berth facilities. The port is located in Iran’s Sistan-Balouchestan Province and is about 120 kilometers southwest of Pakistan’s Baluchistan province, where the China-funded Gwadar port is situated.

In May 2016, India, Iran, and Afghanistan signed a trilateral agreement for the strategically-located Chabahar to give New Delhi access to Kabul and Central Asia.

Based on an agreement with Iran, India is going to install and operate modern loading and unloading equipment including mobile harbor cranes in Shahid Beheshti Port in Chabahar.

While Iran is combating the U.S. unilateral sanctions on its economy, the country’s ports as the major gates of exports and imports play a significant role in this battle. This role makes all-out support to ports and more development of them serious and vital.

Such necessity has led the government to define projects for more development of the ports and also take some measures to encourage investment making in ports, in addition to facilitating the loading and unloading of goods, especially basic commodities, there.


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