What Are The Main Iranian Ports - Efficient Sea Freight To Iran


In global trade, the close economic ties between China and Iran have emerged as a highlight of international economic cooperation. Iranian ports play a crucial hub role in this connection. These two countries, rich in history and cultural heritage, have strengthened their economic bonds through robust trade partnerships, consolidating a vital trade route from the Middle East to Asia.

Within this complex and diverse network of trade activities, Iran ports serve as crucial links connecting the two nations. As a core element in Sino-Iranian trade, maritime transport efficiently links Asia and the Middle East through these key ports, providing a reliable trade route. This article delves into the role of Iranian ports in Sino-Iranian trade, exploring challenges and opportunities in maritime operations to offer valuable insights into freight forwarding in this critical sector.

Main Iranian Ports

iran portPort Type: Basic Port, Seaport
Port Size: Medium
Route: Middle East
Bandar Abbas Port

mapSituated along the Strait of Hormuz, it is one of the largest commercial ports in the Persian Gulf with a strategic geographical position.

It is the most important container port in Iran.

- Port code: IRBND
- Port abbreviation: BAB
- City: Bandar Abbas
- Port: Bandar Abbas
- Country/Region: Iran, Hormozgan Province
- Latitude and Longitude: 27°8'0"N, 56°12'0"E

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  • Handling Capacity: Equipped with multiple cargo terminals, capable of simultaneously handling various types of cargo, including containers, bulk, and liquid cargo.

    --The main terminal has 11 berths, with a total shoreline length of 2020 meters and a maximum water depth of 12 meters.
    --Handling equipment includes various shore cranes, mobile cranes, car cranes, floating cranes, container cranes, forklifts, tractors, belt conveyors, and tugboats, among which the maximum lifting capacity of mobile cranes is 90 tons, floating cranes is 70 tons, and container cranes is 40 tons.

  • Logistics Connectivity: Strong road and rail connections to Iran's interior and other ports create a comprehensive logistics network. The port is approximately 15km from the airport, with regular international flights.

  • Export & Import Cargo: Major export goods include chromite ore, rust-proof paint, marble, carpets, dried fruits, and almonds; while major imports include tea, sugar, cotton textiles, grains, matches, fertilizers, woolen goods, and construction machinery.

Port of Bandar Abbas.png

iran port Bandar Khomeini Port (Hormoz Island)

mapLocated on Hormoz Island, closer to Bandar Abbas Port, serving as a primary export hub for Iranian oil and gas.

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  • Oil Exports: A major loading and unloading port for Iran's crude oil and petroleum products, supplying abundant energy resources to the international market.

  • Deepwater Port: With a deepwater channel, it accommodates large oil tankers, facilitating the transportation of oil and gas.

iran port Bushehr Port

mapPositioned on the coast of the Persian Gulf, it is a significant port in southern Iran and the capital of Bushehr Province.

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  • Diverse Cargo Handling: Processes various goods, including grains, fertilizers, construction materials, and consumer goods, supporting trade in the southern region of Iran.

  • Railway Connectivity: Linked to Iran's domestic railway system for fast cargo transportation.

iran port Kish Island Port

mapLocated on Kish Island in southern Iran, serving as a free trade zone and tourist destination.

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  • Free Trade Zone: Attracts international investment and trade activities by offering tax incentives and other favorable conditions.

  • Relaxed Regulations: A relatively lenient regulatory environment, providing convenient conditions for the import & export of goods.

iran port Abadan Port

mapPositioned in the southwestern part of the Persian Gulf, it is one of Iran's major export ports for petroleum and petrochemical products.

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  • Oil Industry: The surrounding area is rich in oil resources, making Abadan Port a key loading and unloading point for petroleum and petrochemical products.

  • Trade Hub: Historically one of the busiest ports in the Persian Gulf region, it remains a crucial node in Iran's foreign trade.

Shipping to Iranian Ports

Ocean freight from China to Iran stands out as an economical and viable means of transporting goods between the two countries. In this method, cargo is transported from China to Iranian ports via cargo ships. Maritime transport connects the two nations in various fields, including oil, natural gas, and minerals, playing a pivotal role in international trade and providing efficient logistics support for economic cooperation between China and Iran.

International Shipping Routes from China to Iranian Ports

Shipping routes from China to Iran mainly involve the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean. This route serves as a vital maritime passage connecting Central Asia, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia, providing crucial logistical support for trade between the two countries. The following are the main maritime routes from China to Iran:

1. From Eastern Chinese Ports to Iran:

  • Starting Ports: Major ports in eastern China, such as Shanghai, Ningbo, Fuzhou, etc.
  • Route: Typically passes through the South China Sea and the Strait of Malacca, entering the Indian Ocean.
  • Destination Ports: Iranian ports, including Bandar Abbas Port, Bandar Khomeini Port, etc.

2. From Southern Chinese Ports to Iran:

  • Starting Ports: Southern Chinese ports like Guangzhou, Shenzhen, etc.
  • Route: May traverse the South China Sea, then cross the Indian Ocean to enter the Persian Gulf.
  • Destination Ports: Iranian ports, including Bushehr Port, Kish Island Port, etc.

3. From Western Chinese Ports to Iran:

  • Starting Ports: Inland ports in western China, such as Chongqing, Chengdu, etc., are linked to eastern ports through waterways like the Yangtze River.
  • Route: Potentially passes through the Middle East, crossing the Arabian Sea and the Persian Gulf.
  • Destination Ports: Iranian ports, such as Abadan Port, etc.

These maritime routes constitute the primary channels for goods trade between China and Iran. Through maritime transport, Chinese goods can swiftly and efficiently reach Iranian ports, providing reliable logistics support for economic cooperation between the two nations.

It's worth noting that due to the dynamic nature of geopolitics and international relations, route choices may be influenced by various factors. Therefore, adjustments may occur in actual transportation. JIKEship closely monitors these changes to provide optimized freight transportation services.

Transportation time from China to Iran Ports

Sea freight from China to Iran takes approximately 20-32 days.

From\To Abbas Port Bushehr Imam Khomeini Khorramshahr
Shanghai 35 days 30 days 35 days 25 days
Shenzhen 30 days 30 days 25 days 30 days
Ningbo 25 days 32 days 30 days 40 days
Guangzhou 30 days 35 days 30 days 35 days
Hong Kong 30 days 40 days 25 days

30 days

Qingdao 25 days 25 days 30 days 35 days
Tianjin 25 days 35 days 30 days 35 days
Xiamen 30 days 28 days 25 days 25 days
Dalian 35 days 30 days 35 days 40 days
Dongguan 25 days 30 days 35 days 30 days
Nanjing 35 days 30 days 25 days 25 days

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Shipping Costs to Iranian Ports from China

The shipping cost to Iran ports depends on whether it's container sharing (LCL) or full container load (FCL). For LCL, it fluctuates around $50-$100 per cubic meter, while FCL transportation to Iran ranges between $1,000 - $3,000 in slack season. Below are the shipping costs to Iran ports from China in PEAK SEASON.

From\To Abbas Port (IRBND) Bushehr (IRBUZ) Imam Khomeini (IRBKM) Khorramshahr (IRKHU)
Shanghai $3,100 $3,300 $3,500 $3,250
Shenzhen $2,900 $3,100 $3,300 $3,150
Ningbo $3,050 $3,250 $3,450 $3,200
Guangzhou $2,850 $3,050 $3,250 $3,100
Hong Kong $2,900 $3,150 $3,350 $3,200
Qingdao $3,200 $3,400 $3,600 $3,350
Tianjin $3,300 $3,500 $3,700 $3,450
Xiamen $2,950 $3,150 $3,350 $3,200
Dalian $3,250 $3,450 $3,650 $3,400
Dongguan $2,850 $3,050 $3,250 $3,100
Nanjing $3,050 $3,250 $3,450 $3,200
Beijing $3,300 $3,500 $3,700 $3,450
Hangzhou $3,100 $3,300 $3,500 $3,250
Wuhan $3,150 $3,350 $3,550 $3,300
Chengdu $3,400 $3,600 $3,800 $3,550
Changsha $3,350 $3,550 $3,750 $3,500
Suzhou $3,050 $3,250 $3,450 $3,200
Chongqing $3,400 $3,600 $3,800 $3,550

Documents Required for Iranian Customs Clearance

If you plan to initiate customs clearance in Iran and intend to ship parcels from China, you must prepare several documents. Here are the main documents required for starting the customs clearance process in Iran:

  1. Bill of Lading
  2. Packing list
  3. Commercial invoice
  4. Certificate of origin
  5. Commercial ID
  6. Delivery order

Notes on Shipping to Iranian Ports

iran port

  1. The consignee on all bills of lading for goods bound for Iran must not be displayed as "TO ORDER" or "TO ORDER OF..." (suffix). If discovered after shipment, the consignee cannot be changed afterward, only the destination port can be modified.

  2. All goods destined for Iran must provide an invoice and packing list. The consignee and notification on the provided invoice and packing list must match the consignee and notification on the bill of lading.

  3. Iranian importers often have various requirements for letters of credit (L/C) and may request the shipping company to issue a bill of lading to comply with L/C requirements. Shipments must obtain the shipowner's agreement before cargo reception and bill of lading issuance. Special requests like "UNDER DECK" must be applied for with the shipowner during booking.

  4. Differentiate between the nature of destinations such as KHORRAMSHAHR and KHORRAMSHAHR SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONE; they should not be confused. The same principle applies to other ports like B.ABBAS, BUSHEHR, CHABAHAR, etc.

  5. Inland points in Iran: The total weight of goods plus the tare weight of the container cannot exceed 22 tons.

  6. Generally, dangerous goods are not accepted, and split bills of lading are not supported.

  7. The bill of lading must display the name of the inland transport company designated by the shipping company. The number of pieces and weight on the bill of lading should match the invoice, packing list, etc. If a single bill of lading contains more than one container, the packing list must specify the number of pieces, gross weight, and dimensions of each container.

  8. Free storage for cargo arriving at BANDAR ABBAS (the biggest Iranian Port) is provided for 10 days. If the cargo is not picked up within 10 days, free storage is not applicable for the first 10 days, and storage fees will be calculated from the first day of unloading.

  9. Individual destinations may impose food taxes and other taxes, which are the responsibility of the shipper and should be confirmed with the shipping company.

  10. Either the CONSIGNEE or NOTIFY on the bill of lading must display the correct contact information (TEL/FAX). If, for trade reasons, contact information cannot be displayed, a letter of guarantee from the shipper stating, "The bill of lading does not show consignee contact information" must be obtained.

  11. The bill of lading must correctly display the L/D TERM, such as "CY-CY" or "CY-FO."

  12. Clearly indicate the container type, quantity, and whether it is a full container load (FCL) or less than container load (LCL) on the bill of lading.

  13. Clearly display the uppercase PACKAGES on the bill of lading, such as "SAY THIRTY-TWO CASES ONLY."

  14. The bill of lading should not display any freight or cargo value.

  15. Besides the contract, always keep track of the customs clearance status of the cargo at the destination port to prevent customers from refusing payment or claiming for various reasons.

Iranian Import Tariffs

Iran adopts the tariff system of the World Customs Organization's tariff classification catalog, levying tariffs on an ad valorem basis. Tariffs are paid in rials at the exchange rate set by the central bank.

The taxation rate for most machinery and equipment is between 5% and 10% of the landed price, with some products reaching up to 150%. Additional small taxes, including a Chamber of Commerce tax amounting to 1.5% of the landed value, are imposed on imported goods.

Capital goods and raw materials required for approved foreign investment projects are exempt from tariffs. Pharmaceuticals and laboratory chemicals are also exempt from tariffs.

Almost all goods are subject to a commercial profit tax, the rates of which are specified in the annual import regulations. Commercial profit taxes are generally weight-based, but some are calculated based on quantity or value. If calculated by weight, the customs subtract the weight of ordinary packaging from the total weight.

Ad valorem tax rates vary from 1% to 200%. Monopoly tax is also included in the commercial profit tax, and this tax must be paid before customs clearance. If false declarations or other violations of import regulations are detected, customs may seize the goods or impose fines.

If the fine is not paid within two months from the day it becomes due, the portion of the goods equivalent to the value of the fine will be publicly auctioned.

In case customs arbitrarily detain the goods, compensation fees during the detention period are capped at 1% of the value of the goods per month.

Import Controls

Iran's import regulations are announced by the Ministry of Commerce every Iranian New Year (March 21). These regulations categorize imported goods into four classes: fully authorized, conditionally authorized (determined by several departments), unauthorized, and prohibited (according to Islamic laws and regulations).

As import regulations are subject to continuous changes, it is advisable to inquire in advance with the supervisory Procurement and Supply Centers.

There are numerous regulations for certain foods, beverages, medicines, and toiletries. For example, labels must include:

  1. Product name and manufacturer's address, as well as the country of origin.
  2. Trademark registration number in Iran.
  3. The license number and date were issued by the Ministry of Health for the product's permitted production and sale in Iran.

When exporting to Iran, compliance with the new standards of the Iranian National Standards Organization (ISIRI) is crucial. Several industrial chemicals necessitate specific import permits.

Live animals, bees and insects, poultry eggs, plant roots, bulbs, stems, shoots, fresh fruits and vegetables, seeds, and any part of plants require a health certificate from the country of origin and prior approval from the Iranian Authority of Ministry of Agriculture.

Import permits usually specify entry requirements, special treatment, entry port restrictions, and the necessary supporting documents for various items.

Moreover, when exporting veterinary pharmaceutical products (including feed and supplementary feed), a certificate must be submitted according to the requirements of the Iranian Ministry of Agriculture, outlining the product's free production, use, and sale in the country of origin. This certificate must be approved by the veterinary medicine department of the originating country's agriculture ministry.

JIKEship Company - Your Experienced China Freight Forwarder shipping to Iranian Ports

shipping to Iran

Since its establishment, JIKEship has been dedicated to providing professional and efficient logistics services for cross-border e-commerce, import and export trade between China and Iran. Over the years, JIKEship has collaborated with dozens of shipping companies and airlines, becoming a first-level agent in Middle East routes.

With more than 10 years of experience, JIKEship can offer you swift, timely, secure, and cost-effective sea freight services for goods bound for Iranian ports.

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