Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines resumes service with Northern Europe

IRISL (Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines) has this week resumed its European Container Line (ECL) service between Northern Europe and ports in the Persian Gulf for the first time since its closure in mid-2010 on account of sanctions.

The return of this regular service was marked by the AZARGOUN calling at Hamburg on 17th March. Further stops by the 2,500-TEU containerships operating on the line will be made at Antwerp, Genoa, Istanbul, Port Said and Bandar Abbas.

The AZARGOUN is 207 metres long and 29.8 metres wide and was built for IRISL at what was then the Aker MTW shipyard in Wismar in 2003. In addition, the SEVGI will be resuming the conventional liner service with multi-purpose tonnage between Northern Europe and the Persian Gulf. IRISL’s liner services will be represented in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands by the firm currently being jointly set up by Peter W Lampke GmbH & Co KG (PWL) and IRISL (Europe) GmbH, namely IRISL Agency (North) GmbH, based in Hamburg and with branches in Antwerp and Rotterdam.

Since the restricted opportunities for trading of recent years have generated a build-up of demand for investment goods for the oil, automotive, chemical and energy sectors, German industrial companies, especially, anticipate an early revival in business activity. Germany is traditionally Iran’s largest trading partner in the West. Prior to sanctions, the main imports via Hamburg were barley, potash fertilisers, feedstuffs and machinery. As exports from Iran, fresh and tinned fruit, yarns, other textiles, rubber and vegetables topped the list in the Port of Hamburg.

For several decades, IRISL has operated regular services with containerships and conventional tonnage. The company owns 170 vessels. In its East Asia service, for instance, IRISL deploys ships with a capacity of 6,500 TEU. Additional liner services to SE Asia are run with 2,200 to 2,500-TEU ships. IRISL also runs container services from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean as well as East Africa.