Qatar, Iran Looking to Boost Shipping Ties

Qterminals, Hamad, QatarImage Courtesy: Q Terminals

Qatar is interested in boosting trade relations with Iran and increasing shipping between the ports of Bushehr and Hamad, Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organization (PMO) informed.

PMO’s deputy head Hadi Hagh Shenas made the announcement following bilateral meetings between the delegations of the two countries, which have been forced to diversify trade relations following recent sanctions.

Namely, after a diplomatic fallout with its neighbors in June 2017, Qatar launched new shipping services to circumvent its hostile neighbors including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt. As such, Qatar started to directly import goods from China and Oman instead of transhipping them via Dubai.

The Gulf crisis also resulted in Hamad strengthening its maritime links to other regional ports, including two Omani ports, Sohar and Salalah, Turkish Derince port, Pakistani Port of Karachi and Indian ports of Mundra and Nhava Sheva.

The PMO offered Qatar to import and export its products via the port of Bushehr to Hamad. Shenas added that its Bushehr port could also serve as a transhipment hub for Qatar for goods coming from Turkey.

In the wake of the latest U.S. sanctions against Tehran, impacting Iranian shipping, port and shipbuilding sectors, the country has to find ways to compensate for the losses stemming from the sanctions.

National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), Naftiran Intertrade Company (NICO), and National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) will be directly impacted by the sanctions together with the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL), South Shipping Line Iran, or their affiliates.

Specifically, shipping majors the likes of CMA CGM, Maersk and MSC have had to review their approach to Iran and cut their ties in order to be able to continue trading in the U.S.

Companies that trade in U.S. dollars or have operations there cannot afford themselves to lose a share of the U.S. market, hence, they are likely to end their ties to Iran as a consequence.

World Maritime News Staff

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