South to North: New Iran-Oman shipping route part of ambitious trade plan
The route will run between Shahid Rajaee and Sohar and will carry agricultural products and perishables between the two countries. (Ana.ir)
Iran said on Friday that it has officially launched a direct shipping route to Oman in what is expected to help diversify access to international export markets for the Islamic Republic.
The route that has been established between Iran's Shahid Rajaee and the Omani port of Sohar was made operational on 4 February 2016. It will be operated by Khedri Jahan Darya Company for a period of one year.
Khedri Jahan Darya will make trips between Shahid Rajaee and Sohar every 15 days in the initial phase but the trips could increase to once every 10 days in the second half of 2016.
Iran’s IRNA news agency has reported that container ships with a capacity of 96 TEUs or twenty-foot equivalent units will be used in the route for carrying agricultural products and perishable goods between the two countries.
Iran and Oman in April signed an agreement to establish the new route during the visit to Tehran by a large Omani business delegation.
There are already speculations that Iran and Oman plan to use the route to promote trade across the region.
President Hassan Rouhani told reporters during a visit to Ashkhabad in early March that Iran and Turkmenistan are determined to activate a “south-to-north economic corridor” that starts with Oman, passes through Iran and leads to Uzbekistan through Turkmenistan.
Iran and Oman last May launched the shipping route between Shahid Rajaii and Sohar ports with two sailings per month.
The new route is expected that Oman will become a hub for re-export of Iranian goods in the region through the new direct route, possibly overtaking trade volume between Iran and the UAE.
The United Arab Emirates is currently Iran’s second largest trade partner after China.
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