February 10 - Following the visit of the Iranian president Hassan Rouhani to Italy, the Port of Venice has travelled to Iran to examine the opportunities available for the breakbulk and project cargo sector.

The Port of Venice joined a delegation of Italian authorities, including the Italian Trade Agency and government ministers, in Iran to discuss cooperation between the two countries.

Following the easing of sanctions against Iran after the historic nuclear deal, the Italian port has expressed its wish to increase its shipments of breakbulk and project cargo to the country.

The port says that it has a historical partnership with Iran, especially with regards to the shipment of heavy and oversize loads. Italy was one of Iran's largest European trading partners before the most recent sanctions were imposed.

In the northeast of Italy, the project cargo sector has always been a driver of the national economy, says the Port of Venice, and the gateway is hoping that its strategic position will help re-establish its ties with Iran - which is likely to require a host of project cargo shipments as it begins to develop its infrastructure and energy sector.

HLPFI reported on January 28 that a giant boiler, manufactured by Simic in Italy and weighing over 1,350 tonnes, had been loaded on board a ro-ro vessel at the Port of Venice for shipment to Iran.

And it is not just Venice looking to capitalise on the opportunities that Iran can offer the shipping industry and Italy's ports.

Zeno D'Agostino, head of Italy's ports and shipping organisation, stated at a meeting with the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) that the volume of trade between Iran and Italy would increase, with Trieste Port also playing an important role in the container trade between the two countries.