Shipping Container Agreement With Port of Antwerp, Belgium, Moves Iranian Companies Closer To European Market

3 Aug 2016

Image of Signing of Bandar Abbas and Antwerp Memorandum of Understanding

A trading industry magazine has just reported that another import and export collaboration agreement has been signed between the Port of Antwerp in Belgium and Bandar Abbas on Iran’s Persian Gulf.  This will ensure that Iranian companies with interests in trade with Europe will enjoy speedier arrangements for container shipping overseas.

Shahid Rajaee Port Authority controls the port of Bandar Abbas in Iran and they were accompanied by Saeed Nejad from Iran's Ports & Maritime Organisation to progress import and export business opportunities for the Iranian Republic and take expansive Iranian companies closer to Europe.

Terms of this latest of many Memoranda of Understanding  mean that the authorities of the two ports will work together to enable companies seeking new markets can more easily collaborate in order to develop trade between the two.

Sea freight collaboration involves the two sides exchanging statistical information to track the nature of imports and exports among other things, as well as any development projects happening at either port.  Readers will be interested to learn that there will also be collaboration on training, which means that owners of Iranian companies can benefit from greater expertise of port professionals.

Why Bandar Abbas Is An Attractive Go-To Sea Freight Destination

Bandar Abbas accounts for 90% of the container shipping freight passing through Iran and is a sea freight power house.  It manages almost half of the 200m tonnes of sea cargo handled by all 11 Iranian ports managed by Iran’s Ports & Maritime Organisation.  This is one of the reasons the White Rose Group have chosen to have offices situated here. It has also been a hub for Iranian sea cargo before sanctions were imposed.

This Antwerp agreement will be in place for five years, at which time it will simply be renewed, all else being the same.  Eddy Bruyninckx, Antwerp Port Authority’s signatory was upbeat about what this means: “… Iran, a country with great economic growth potential that is also a gateway to neighbouring countries.”  This applies both sides.

Iranian shipping company, Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) has already seen one cargo ship dropping anchor at Antwerp earlier this year and we expect this to be the first of many following arrangements being formalised.  Likewise, the White Rose Group expects to see sea freight picking up speed in the opposite direction in the coming months.

In particular, of course, we can expect to see increased exports of oil, given raised output targets.  The world renowned business news organisation, Bloomberg, are reporting that they expect Iran to meet these targets, based on current data.  With as many as 4 million barrels per day (bpd) being produced in the coming months, a key product moving through Antwerp will be oil.

Increased oil output has been incredibly successful, given it is only six months since the end of sanctions against Iran, a fact acknowledged by Bloomberg.  Asian consumers in particular account for much of the exported extra production, but as the west opens up to Iran once more, exporters will have even greater scope to help build Iran’s steadily improving economy.

Bloomberg calls Iran “…the biggest oil market in the world…” and said that official shipping data show Japan, India, South Korea’s and China have all benefitted from an energy boost since the easing of sanctions.

Iranian oil companies and their suppliers can look forward to our “… regaining market share … lost in the region due to the sanctions over (Iran’s) nuclear program,” according to Bloomberg. Iran was formerly OPEC’s second-biggest oil producer previously, so the 25 percent increase so far this year makes a daily output of 4 million barrels by the end of the year entirely possible, which bodes well for the container shipping trade.

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