With MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company has resumed vessel operations to Iran, after services were suspended in 2012 in response to trade sanctions, Some of the world’s largest container shipping lines are pursuing business in Iran, reports WSJ.
The shipping lines are planning to stop in Iran for the first time in years after the lifting of sanctions, marking a key step in the country’s return to international markets.
The container ship MSC Domitille was the first, which berthed at the port Shahid Rajei after company started regular weekly loops through the southern Iranian port. MSC , the second-largest shipping line by volume, discharged 300 containers filled with food and agricultural commodities at the port in the southern Iranian city of Bandar Abbas.
CMA CGM SA, the third-largest line, also has begun service to Iran, a spokesman said. French shipping line CMA CGM resumed calling at Bandar Abbas on Aug. 6, sending a 13,000-TEU ship to the Iranian port as part of its China India Middle East Express service, a spokesman said.
The Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) as saying that Maersk Line, the world's largest container shipping company, would begin services to Iranian ports. "We can confirm that we have met with representatives from the Iranian government
to discuss possible projects. Nothing has been agreed and we cannot share further details," Maersk said in a statement.
Global conglomerate A.P. Moller-Maersk
is in the oil industry through its Maersk Oil unit. The company declined to give details of any talks it had with Iranian officials.
Iran’s state-owned IRISL, said in October that it was seeking to expand its fleet of container ships by 579,000 TEUs by 2020, and was discussing resuscitating a shipping alliance with India that has been dormant since 2013 because of sanctions.
Between 2011 and 2015, container traffic through Iran fell by nearly half, from roughly 5 million 20-foot equivalent units, or TEUs—a common shipping measure—to about 2.8 million, according to global shipping association Bimco.
“Iran is really only opening up, and as things progress, volumes should increase,” said Fiona Jackson, an MSC spokeswoman. “It’s baby steps.”