A regular container service connecting Korean Incheon Port directly to the Middle East has been launched, with three 5,100 TEU and four 6,500 TEU boxships to be put in operation, the Incheon Port Authority (IPA) said.
The service has been named HDM Loof.
IPA further said that among the 5,100 TEU ships, the Iranian state-run company, the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL), will put its 5,100 TEU vessel Touska into the route.
“I am pleased to see the opening of the new route connecting Incheon Port to the Middle East in the wake of restarting the economic cooperation between the two countries. I will make a contribution to South Korea’s increasing the trade with the Middle East and Central Asia as well as Iran by vitalizing the service route early,” GH. Zahmatkesh, CEO of Compass Maritime, the agency of IRISL in South Korea
The vessels will be calling at the Incheon Port in fortnightly intervals.
The shuttle service runs on the route of Iran (Bandar Abbas–Asaluyeh) – China (Qingdao-Tianjin-Dalian) – South Korea (Incheon-Gwangyang-Busan) – China (Shanghai) – Dubai (Jebel Ali) – Iran (Bandar Abbas).
“We believe that Iran will be the starting point for opening a new silk road to expand trades with Iran’s neighboring countries like the Middle Eastern countries as well as Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan,” Yoo Chang-keun, president of the IPA said.
According to the IPA, IRISL, in the early stage of the operation, is likely to give priority to handling automotive parts imported from South Korea, which have a high demand in Iran.