Antwerp signs deal with Iran’s biggest container port


The ports of Antwerp and Bandar Abbas have signed a co-operation agreement that will see them exchange information and development plans, with Iranian staff receiving specialist training from an Antwerp school

Economic ties

Antwerp Port Authority has signed a co-operation agreement with the port of Bandar Abbas in Iran. The agreement was signed in the headquarters of the Ports and Maritime Organisation in Tehran.

Bandar Abbas handles 90% of all in- and outgoing containers in Iran, about half of the total 200 million tonnes passing through the country’s 11 ports. As well as containers, the port also handles crude oil, liquid bulk cargo and dry bulk including grain. The agreement lasts for five years and can be renewed.

“Today we are repairing our economic ties with Iran, a country with a great deal of growth potential and a gateway to neighbouring countries,” outgoing Antwerp CEO Eddy Bruyninckx said at the signing. “Antwerp is in a perfect position to support the further growth of this country.”

Antwerp was the leading destination for Iranian cargo until 2010. In March this year, the first container ship for some time from the Iranian shipper IRISL entered Antwerp, and arrivals of various kinds of freight are expected to increase in the months to come.

The agreement allows for companies in the two ports to work together more closely in an effort to stimulate traffic. The co-operation includes the exchange of information on statistics and harbour development plans. Antwerp training school APEC will also provide customised training for Iranian port staff.

Photo courtesy Port of Antwerp

Port of Antwerp

The port of Antwerp is Europe’s second-largest port and one of the world’s most important ports for container traffic.
Going green - The port’s first-ever sustainability report won it the Award for Best Belgian Sustainability Report.
Size - The port takes up more space than the actual city of Antwerp.
Roots - Historians have found evidence for the port’s existence dating back to the 12th century.

barges entering the port daily


companies in the greater port area


tonnes of freight handled in 2012