Iran, India and Russia are considering establishment of a new 7,200 km trade and transport corridor, which would become an alternative to the traditional route through the Suez Canal, Iran’s state-run Press TV reported on October 31.
The International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) is a multimode network of sea and rail routes, will link the Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf linking Iran, India, Russia and North Europe.
“The project comes in the backdrop of China’s multi-trillion-dollar One Belt One Road initiative. Within Iran, the two routes overlap in a potential boon to future businesses.
New Delhi has been actively courting Tehran, given the utmost importance it attaches to the route and Iran has been receptive.
Once operational, the corridor will allow India to send its goods to Bandar Abbas in Iran by sea, from where they will be transported to Iran’s Bandar Anzali on the Caspian Sea by road. Next, they will be shipped to Astrakhan in Russia and transported into Europe by rail.
The route will cut the time and cost of delivering goods by about 30 percent to more than 40 percent. Compared with the Suez Canal, the corridor will reduce the transport time between Mumbai and Moscow to about 20 days. The estimated capacity of the corridor is 20 to 30 million tonnes of goods per year,” Press TV reported.