WHY SHIPPING LINERS STOP SERVICES TO IRAN EASILY
WRITTEN BY: ALI SHAMI
Shipping along with oil and banking are three major industries that sanctions on Iran affects them directly. Importance of these fundamental industries are clear enough for all however in this article we intend to focus on the factors that makes it easy for shipping liners to remove Iran from their service route and business easily. Article will try to look at reasons that raise from weaknesses in Iran transportation sector and leave other political and economical parameters to experts in related fields.
- Lack of hub ports:
Actually Iran is located at Middle East heart geographically. Access from north to Central Asia and Europe, from East to India and China, from West to Iraq, Turkey and Mediterranean Sea, from south to Persian Gulf and international ocean routes has connected Iran to international transport corridors naturally however potential opportunity has not changed to a real one yet.
Iran’s southern ports with access to Persian Gulf, Oman sea and connection to Indian Ocean are not among regional hub ports and main commercial port Bandar Abbas is just a direct call port from liners prospective since liners consider them as a gate of inbound consumer cargo for Iran market and transit route to land-locked countries that for the recent route by the opening of other alternative transit routes such as development of BRI project gradually their role will be reduced to feed Iran market only.
- Bunkering Services:
Some Middle Eastern ports mainly benefit from services they are providing to passing vessels from Hormoz strait. These services include bunkering, water supply, maintenance and repair. Fujairah at U.A.E is a good example in this regard however none of Iran ports are developed to supply required services to the huge international traffic passing Hormoz strait since no additional advantage is created at Iran ports for liners or other shipping activists such as tanker operators.
- Sea-Road transport:
Sea-road transport is Iran’s major advantage in transit to land locked neighbor countries at Central Asia and Afghanistan however logistics services such as warehousing, packaging and cargo consolidation at Iran ports are not developed at the level of a transit hub with professional value-added services for both traders and transportation companies.
Besides major economical issues and policies are factors that negatively affect costs of transit via Iran.
- Sea-Rail transport:
Although sea-road connections are expanding in world’s main transport routes and the biggest project in this sector is OBOR initiative by China in which a huge investment has been made by China and some biggest shipping companies to run a worldwide sea and rail connections from China to Europe however Rail system in Iran Transport is the slowest, inefficient system that has absorbed only 7 to 8 percent out of total cargo move in Iran since has not created any attraction for investors and shipping services to count on rail connections via Iran.
- Lack of strong brands and manufacturers:
There is no strong brand and manufacturer in different field of industries of Iran acting in international markets having long term contract with shipping liners for carriage of their cargoes all over the world permanently.
Although there are potential opportunities in Iran transport industry at Sea, Rail and Road sectors however it has not been turned to a dominant regional route at Middle-East for international traders, investors and transporters that cannot ignore it at any cost therefore at any uncertainty instead of trying to maintain benefit they prefer to leave because due to above mentioned reasons from the beginning they have considered their benefit from Iran market temporarily and have never been attracted to enter to a long term mutual business at Iran market.