An Iranian official responsible for development and administrative affairs at Iran’s largest ocean port of Chabahar says the gateway will soon eclipse the Suez Canal in providing a quicker trade link between Europe and Asia.
Abdolrahim Kordi said on Sunday that the route from Germany’s Hamburg to India’s Mumbai that passes through Russia and Iran will be more than a half shorter than the traditional Suez route taken by large ships to deliver cargoes from Europe to Asia.
Kordi said the route will take 14-16 days for the cargoes to reach Asia from Europe, much quicker than the routine 38-day period spent on the shipping route that passes through the Suez Canal.
The route in question travels through the Baltic Sea to Russia’s Saint Petersburg and then through the Volga River to Astrakhan from where it travels via the Caspian Sea to Anzali in northern Iran.
It then travels further south across the lengths of the Iranian territory to Chabahar on the Sea of Oman and then through the Arabia Sea to the Nhava Sheva port in India’s Mumbai.
Iran has invested heavily in Chabahar, a port where companies and governments from around the world have been allowed to bring their own investment for their future projects.
The port will become busier once a 580-kilomeetr railway connecting it to Zahedan, near the eastern Iranian border, comes on line.
India has been a major stakeholder in development plans in Chabahar as the country seeks to facilitate its trade access to Afghanistan and other landlocked countries in the Central Asia region.
Kordi said Iranian government has been awash with requests for foreign investment in Chabahar.
“Being present in Chabahar has become so popular that we currently lack the capacity to handle some of the excess investments in this region,” said the official.