Container shipping lines returning to Iran in droves

Shipping lines are resuming services to and from Iran en masse ahead of the expected lifting of sanctions.
Shipping lines are resuming services to and from Iran en masse ahead of the expected lifting of sanctions.
Shipping lines are resuming services to and from Iran en masse ahead of the expected lifting of sanctions.

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Shipping lines are preparing to resume services to and from Iran en masse ahead of the expected lifting of sanctions against the country, according to a report from industry analyst Alphaliner.

Several major shipping lines have already resumed services to the country, the report adds. Korean carrier HMM (Hyundai Merchant Marine), resumed services to and from Shahid Rajaee Port in Bandar Abbas back in April with a total of seven vessels of 6,300-6,800 teu.

The two Taiwanese carriers, Hanjin Shipping and Yan Ming, will this month add Bandar Abbas to their respective route networks between the Far East and the Middle East. And starting in August the three O3 Alliance carriers CMA CGM, UASC and CSCL, will resume services to Iran.

The expected lifting of economic sanctions against Iran has sent a ripple of activity and planning through the shipping industry.

DP World’s chairman Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem has headed a delegation visiting the country, as has Diego Aponte, CEO of the world's second-largest container carrier MSC, a close partner of Maersk Line in the 2M Alliance.

Maersk Line recently said in a statement that the carrier sees great potential in Iran, but has indicated that it is unlikely to take definitive action until the sanctions are officially lifted.

A majority of international container carriers had to abandon the Iranian market in 2012-2013 after the sanctions were tightened even further due to Iran's nuclear program.

RELATED: US removes sanctions on Iran's major shipping companies

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