Iran set to boost Caspian Sea trade with new cargo ships

Iran said on Monday it had equipped its cargo shipping lines in the Caspian Sea and plans to add new vessels to expand maritime trade with the littoral states, especially Russia.
Mohammad-Reza Modarres, the CEO of Iran’s Shipping Line Group (IRISL), said 26 Iranian general cargo ships transport commodities from Iran to destinations in Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Azerbaijan.
According to Modarres, Iran’s Caspian vessels had a total capacity of 3,600 20-foot equivalent unit containers (TEU), plus 104,000 deadweight tons (DWT), which the country had plans to increase.
“Iran has held negotiations to purchase and order the construction of several ships as part of its efforts to boost freight transportation to Russia,” Modarres said.
Last week, Iran and Russia inked an agreement to collaborate on building cargo ships in order to create a joint commercial fleet.
Under the agreement, the IRISL and a Russian group led by a representative of the country’s president agreed to build and acquire 20 ships.
The parties also agreed to form a joint venture to better coordinate cargo movement along the North-South and East-West transit corridors to and from all Russian ports.
As a result of the pact, both sides would pool their transportation and shipbuilding resources to guarantee a steady flow of cargo to the ports. “The IRISL Group has in recent months drawn up a strategic cooperation document to foster trade relations with Russia and other countries in the Caspian Sea basin,” Modarres said on Monday.
Iran and Russia on Wednesday signed a deal to undertake the construction of an Iranian railway line, marking the completion of the embryonic International North-South Transport Corridor.
The agreement entails a collaborative effort between Russia and Iran in constructing the 164-kilometer railroad that connects the Astara border crossing, serving as the gateway between Iran and the Republic of Azerbaijan.


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