Azerbaijan ready to send ferries to Iran

By Nigar Orujova

Azerbaijan is ready to receive ferry traffic from Iran. Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping Company is willing to involve the existing free potential for the implementation of the ferry transportation to Iran, a source in the company told Trend on January 14.

“Annual potential of the company’s cargo transportation by ferries is 95,000 cars, or 4.56 million tons of cargo. Considering this figure and the actual transportation of cars, which is 40,000-70,000 cars per year, with the launch of the ferry to the Iranian ports of Amirabad and Rasht the company is ready to involve the available free capacity in the directions of the Alat-Amirabad and Alat-Rasht,” the source said.

Currently, the company has 13 ferries on its balance, which work in the directions of Alat-Aktau-Alat and Alat-Turkmenbashi-Alat ports. The company’s fleet also includes two RO-RO vessels, which work in the directions of Aktau and Turkmenbashi.

It is also possible to involve the RO-RO vessels in these directions, the source said.

Earlier this week, head of Iranian Railways Mohsen Pour Seyed Aghaei during his visit to Baku said Iran intends to start transportation by ferries within six months from the port of Amirabad to Baku International Trade Port in Alat.

Located on the edge of the East and West, Azerbaijan wants to use the strategically favorable position to become a country conducive for goods transit by following the ‘one contact’ principle.

Azerbaijan has already made a nearly 40-percent reduction in the transit cost of cargo transportations by large trucks to the Aktau and Turkmenbashi ports and reduced tariffs by 20 percent in order to improve the attractiveness of maritime transportation of cars traveling from Turkey to Kazakhstan. The country also express readiness to offer more attractive price for transportation if required.

Over 250 trucks have been transported by sea via Baku-Aktau route since the beginning of 2015, according to the Caspian Shipping Company. The route has transported 566 trucks in last December.

At present, 11 ferryboats and two Ro-Ro vessels are operating from Baku to Aktau and Turkmenbashi ports.

Azerbaijan's Caspian Sea Shipping Company is among the major ship owning companies in the Caspian basin and its main activity is cargo transportation predominantly in oil and oil products in the Caspian, Black, Mediterranean, and Marmara Seas.

The company carries freight traffic through the Europe-Caucasus-Asia transport corridor from Baku. The goods are sent to the Kazakh port of Aktau in 24-26 hours and Turkmen port of Turkmenbashi in 14-16 hours, and vice versa.

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Nigar Orujova is AzerNews’ staff journalist. Follow her on Twitter: @o_nigar

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