June 15, 2016: A regular container service connecting Incheon Port directly to the Middle East has been launched for the first time, which is just in one year after the Incheon New Port opened partially in June last year.
The Incheon Port Authority (IPA) announced on June 13 that the Iranian state-run shipping company IRISL will put the “TOUSKA” with a capacity of 5,100 TEUs into the route. The Iranian container carrier ranks 22nd globally in terms of the trade volume handled.
The Middle Eastern route has been named “HDM Loof,” where three container ships with a 5100 TEU capacity including the TOUSKA will be put in the operation together with four container carriers of a 6,500 TEU class. The total seven vessels enter the Incheon New Port at 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
According to the IPA, IIRISL, 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 while it watches and checks the port calling conditions and the port services.
The IPA expects that materials for large-scale infrastructure constructions including harbor, food supplies for Halal food and K-Culture products like cosmetics, home appliances and household items flow into the Iranian market later in the process of economic development by the Middle East country.
In the meantime, GH. Zahmatkesh, CEO of Compass Maritime that is the agency of IRISL in South Korea, visited the IPA and met Yoo Chang-keun, president of the IPA, to finalize business talks in relation with the opening of the sea route.