Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) is reopening its regular liner service “European Container Line” (ECL) between Northern Europe and ports in the Persian Gulf, following its closure in mid-2010 on account of sanctions.
The sanctions have recently been lifted under a nuclear deal, which will allow non US citizens to trade with the country.
This was confirmed with the arrival of the AZARGOUN in Hamburg, Germany on March 17, 2016.
The new service will be operating with 2,500-TEU containerships, which will call at Hamburg and Antwerp, together with Genoa, Istanbul, Port Said and Bandar Abbas.
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 immense pent-up demand for investment goods for the oil, automotive, chemical and energy sectors, German industrial companies anticipate an early revival in business activity.
Prior to sanctions, the main imports via Hamburg were barley, potash fertilizers, 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.
Germany is traditionally Iran’s largest trading partner in the West. Hamburg, in particular has for generations maintained very close and friendly relations with firms and state organisations in Iran.
In its East Asia service, for instance, IRISL deploys ships with a capacity of 6,500 TEU.
IRISL also runs container services from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean as well as East Africa.