“In a strategic development, loading and unloading of cargo have started at Chabahar port. Container transport logistic costs to CIS countries will be reduced by 20 percent through Chabahar. So far, cargo to CIS countries from India could be sent only via China or Europe,” Mandaviya told PTI.
Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries include Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Uzbekistan.
“If we want to send containers to CIS countries we can only send via Europe or China. There was no other connectivity with CIS countries. Now, there is direct connectivity to these countries via Afghanistan,” the minister said.
Transshipment of cargo started last week at Chabahar port, he added.
“This is very important for the country. This is strategic. Container transport logistic cost will be reduced by 20 percent,” he said.
Steps are being taken for local infrastructure mobilization at the port, Mandaviya said.
Transit of export consignment from Afghanistan through Chabahar commenced in February 2019 and has now started showing a healthy upward trend, he said, calling the port a “game changer.”
Chabahar is Iran’s closest and best access point to the Indian Ocean, and Iran has devised serious plans to turn it into a transit hub for immediate access to markets in the northern part of the Indian Ocean and Central Asia.
It aims to create a reliable transport corridor for the smooth transport and transit of goods and services through Chabahar port between India, Iran, and Afghanistan.