What areas are the most potential fields in Iran to work on?
EUROGATE is Europe’s leading shipping line-independent container terminal operator. The handling of containers at seaports is our core business. In addition to container handling, we offer a full range of “box”-related operations, from seaworthy packaging, to container depot services, container servicing and container repair.
A very important part of the group is our intermodal segment. Our intermodal transport network links our sea terminals in northern and southern Europe with the major European economic areas.
We see opportunities for all these activities in Iran thanks to the very strategic geographical location of the country. Shahid Rajaee / Bandar Abbas are probably the most attractive field for our industry to work on in Iran. Different market segments can be targeted in our view. It is the perfect entry gate for all Iranian cargo as well as for transit flows to central Asia. Apart from that we see the potential to strengthen the role of Bandar Abbas for transhipment business.
Furthermore, we are interested to exploit opportunities in the Iranian intermodal market. EUROGATE offers already intermodal port-to-door transport services from/to ports in Germany, Italy and Brazil. Recently we prepared a preliminary study on the Iranian market. It was concluded with our vision: The Iranian Intermodal Y Conveyor Belt. In our opinion Shahid Rajaee is the perfect base for a stepwise implementation of this concept once the upgrade of the container handling facilities at the port as well as the hinterland infrastructure are realised. Because there is untapped potential for container rail transport between Shahid Rajaee and the major centers, especially Tehran and Mashhad. In addition this volume can be bundled on rail together with transit flows to neighbouring countries. In this was the competitiveness of rail would increase even more.
EUROGATE firmly believes in the future potential of Iran, and therefore we are extremely interested in a permanent presence in Iran.
Could you give a history of cooperation with Iran and especially IRISL if any at all?
EUROGATE has already been in contact with IRISL in the 1990ies and 2000s with several visits to Tehran, Iran. The cooperation became closer since 2014 by regular visits of members of EUROGATE’s Executive Management Board as well as by our Sales Director. Since the first call of the M/V “AZARGOUN” in March 2016, IRISL is calling our EUROGATE Container Terminal in Hamburg with regular service.
Apart from our cooperation with IRISL we work on the Iranian port projects together with Sina Port and Maritime Company (SPMCO). Our collaboration started already in the year 2014, long before the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was approved.
What are the policies to facilitate reconnecting to Iran especially in post sanction era?
EUROGATE is in close cooperation with IRISL for liner services in Germany as well as with regard to potential business relationship in Iran. If and when EUROGATE will be involved in the operation of TC1 or TC2 in Banda Abbas, we will be really looking forward to further intensify our business relationship with IRISL as our highly esteemed customer as IRISL is the major player in container liner shipping in Iran.
Any plan to cooperate with Iranian terminals?
Our main focus at the moment is on the tender for the operation of the container terminals TC 1 and/or TC 2 in Shahid Rajaee / Bandar Abbas. We intend to explore opportunities there as a first step. Furthermore, we would like to evaluate plans of cooperation with inland rail terminals once the structure for a successful roll-out of our intermodal plan is in place.