Antwerp Port Authority has signed a collaboration agreement with Shahid Rajaee Port Authority which controls the port of Bandar Abbas in Iran.
Under the terms of the memorandum of understanding (MoU), the port authorities of Antwerp and Bandar Abbas will join forces so that companies in both ports can collaborate closely and develop trade between the two regions.
This will involve among exchanging information on statistics and port development projects, as well as collaboration in the field of training.
Bandar Abbas accounts for 90% of the in- and outgoing containers of Iran and for nearly half of the 200m tonnes of freight handled by the 11 Iranian ports put together.
The Ports & Maritime Organisation in Tehran is responsible for managing these 11 ports. The agreement runs for a period of five years, after which it can be renewed.
Eddy Bruyninckx, who signed the deal on behalf of Antwerp Port Authority, stated: “Today we are restoring our trading relations with Iran, a country with great economic growth potential that is also a gateway to neighbouring countries.”
Until 2010 Antwerp was a key European destination port for Iranian cargo before sanctions were applied.
In March 2016, Iranian shipping company Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) returned to Antwerp with the first container ship since sanctions were lifted.
Container traffic from the region is expected to expand rapidly in the next few months as well as breakbulk and bulk freight.