With the leaders of Russia, Iran and Turkey meeting in Tehran this week, new shipping routes have been under discussion.
Iran’s state-run Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Line (IRISL) has moved to extend its network by facilitating the transport of Russian goods to India via the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC), a land-sea corridor passing through a dozen countries to bypass Western sanctions against Russia.
The corridor has reportedly entered the operational phase after completing a trial phase in June when containers of wood laminate sheets departed from St. Petersburg toward Nhava Sheva Port in India.
The cargo arrived in India earlier this month after traveling from Astrakhan Port in southern Russia to the Iranian ports of Anzali on the Caspian Sea and Bandar Abbas on the Persian Gulf.
The establishment of INSTC, the multi-modal network of ships, rail, and roads for moving freight between Eastern Europe and South Asia, was first introduced in September 2000. Due to geopolitical obstacles, interest in the route waned over time, but it has been reintroduced following the conflict in Ukraine.
IRISL is said to have assigned 300 containers to transport goods between Russia and India, and if the demand increases, the number of these containers will increase continuously.
On Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin met with the leaders of Iran and Turkey in Tehran to strengthen ties and show the West that Moscow is not alone on the world stage.
Meanwhile, the Turkish liner Medkon Lines has started advertising a new service connecting Turkey with the Russian Black Sea port of Novorossiysk with a 707 teu vessel from August. Until late February, Medkon linked Turkey and Ukraine.
Earlier this year, Russian forwarders also launched their own liner services linking their domestic ports to China and India as most global liners drastically reduced their operations in the country since the invasion of Ukraine. Specifically for India, Modul has set up a container service linking the Big Port of St Petersburg and India’s Nhava Sheva. The service is operated by an unnamed 1,094 teu vessel, with a delivery time of 25 days.