Despite the sanctions imposed by a number of Western countries, ports in the Islamic Republic of Iran handled 97m tons of non-oil cargo in 2010, an increase of 12% year –on- year.
The Port of Bandar Abbas (Shahid Rajaee Port Complex) is the country's largest port. Its container throughput of more than 2.59m teu in 2010 was up 17%, resulting in it jumping five places in the World Top Container Ports listing to rank 44th behind Jakarta, Indonesia.
Within the Port, private terminal operator Tidewater Middle East Company operates the dedicated Shahid Rajaee Container Terminals, SRCTI and SRCT2. Tidewater attributes its increased volumes in 2010 to the Iranian gevemment employing policies to turn the Port into a regional hub. In addition, its location at the entrance to the North Persian Gulf and its newly created capacity are paving the way for it to attract some new ocean carrier customers, as well as to convince existing carriers to increase their frequency and to consider Bandar Abbas as one of transhipment hubs in the region.
Government discounts on transhipment cargo from Shahid Rajaee have also helped.
Including a 57% discount on import tariffs, 83% on transhipment, 50% on container warehousing and discounts of 20-70% for transhipment vessels.
In response to market demand, Phase II of SRCT2 is under construction, the first part of which will be completed in early 2012. This will add 1,010m of quay length with 16m depth alongside. Ten quay crances will be installed there to increase total capacity at Bandar Abbas to 4.8m teu.
The second part of SRCT2 Phase II is planned to be completed in 2013. It will add another 1,010m of quay length, with 16m depth alongside. At least eight quay cranes will be installed to help the Port to reach an annual capacity of 6.3m teu.
Further investment is planned
In the Port's rail infrastructure.
Currently around 5% of container traffic at Bandar Abbas moves by rail, but the aim is to increase this to 20% in the foreseeable future. There is a plan to expand the rail yard and to install two or three new RMGs within the next year to increase capacity.
The Port sees the need to attract more volume from the regional market to preserve its throughput and financial levels. This means that it will be concentrating on transit and transhipment activities and on using its strategic location to compete with other regional ports and neighbouring countries.