"Olaf Prussia", in a report published in "Welt" Newspaper explained IRISL situation and announced the expanded cooperation between port operators companies in North of the German and Iran to reach lucrative deals, MANA International correspondent reported.
Since the lifting of the international sanctions, the Iranian ships in Europe and other ports are welcomed. Meanwhile, port operators in northern Germany are promising about lucrative deals with Iran.
Considering the potentials of IRISL which has been shown in a clip as a modern and professional company, container ships and tankers, offshore facilities and shipping services, ship repair yards and ship insurance are all present a real image of IRISL in world's trade.
Dr. Mohammad Saeedi, IRISL director and head of the board said in a meeting which was held in the head office in Tehran: "There are no any limitations regarding the cooperation of the two nations. In other words, we consider Hamburg a trade centre for our purposes in the North of Europe."
This meeting was held with the presence of senior directors of IRISL subsidiary firms and German trade delegation from Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein. Frank Horch, Hamburg's Senator of economics; Reinhard Meyer, Minister of Economic Affairs of Schleswig along with 60 representatives of political, business and science fields accompanied the Germany team. Among the delegation, several representatives from maritime industry of Hamburg, Eurogate, terminal operators, quality control company DNV GL, Hamburg Port Consulting Company, Bloom, Voss and Pella shipyards companies. The core topics which were discussed in a meeting with the presence of two ministers of the German in Iran are maritime transport and ports management.
Iranian ships' transit toward port of Hamburg will be increased
In the international rankings of container shipping lines, IRISL occupies the 19th place. However, the company is considered a key one in reviving the country's cooperation with Europe's economy due to the existence of 156 cargo vessels, tankers and boats in its fleet. Moreover, Dr. Saeedi who is now the managing director of IRISL had accompanied Iran's Nuclear delegation beforehand.
During the sanctions era, Iran's ships were not allowed to berth in European ports. Consequently, Iran controlled its foreign trade toward China in which Iran's international requirements had not been met. In 2015, Iran imported products from China worth about $18 billion. Imports from Germany in the same year were only about $2.3 billion.
Now and with the lifting of the sanctions, marine perspectives are redefined and re-drawn. "Since the beginning of this year (2016), IRISL sends its vessels to the port of Hamburg. We hope this will be increased and changed to weekly services in the near future," Christian Koopman from Hamburg marine services company PWL said.
IRISL ships with the maximum capacity of 2500 TEU are in contact with Eurogate in Hamburg. Machinery, vehicles, chemical products, agricultural products and electronics are transferred to Iran from Hamburg Port. Meanwhile, textiles, food, animal feed, chemicals, forest products and agricultural products are exported into Germany via Hamburg Port.
New Strategic Transport Corridor in Asia
The possibility of modernization and reconstruction of ports and their connections to the domestic areas of Iran is top of the agenda. The aim of Iran government is not only self-sufficiency, but also is its cooperation in strategic transport corridors in the future. While China is moving forward by the construction of "New Silk Road" to link East Asia and Europe through land and sea, India is promoting its transportation routes to Central Asia. Iran intends to be involved in both projects. A total of eleven state-owned ports are controlled by PMO and the other three ports are under private management. The most important state-owned port in Iran is Bandar Abbas in the Persian Gulf. Currently, about 1.8 million container units (TEU) are transported per annum which shows an increase when compared with about 8.8 million TEU in 2015.
Container transport statistics in Bandar Abbas can quickly rise over the coming years, if the process of economic opening of the country continues toward development. Two container terminals are working at the same time and the plans for constructing the third one is in progress.
Chief Financial Officer of Eurogate terminals said: We offer ourselves as a partner of an Iranian port company called Sina to develop container terminal 2 in Bandar Abbas and operate container terminal 1.
He further added: Iran with more than 78 million people has tremendous potentials to expand its transport industry. "
Terminal 2 which Eurogate is playing a key role in its reconstruction is expected to record 4 million TEU independently. On the other side of the coin, other well-known international companies such as Dubai Ports or Hutchinson Ports of Hong Kong are also demanding the presence and activities in Bandar Abbas. However, it is not clear who is going to pay for equipments such as large container cranes for future operations in Terminal 2.
Director of consulting company of the Port of Hamburg says: "We intend to investigate our trade perspective in Iran."