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PTB Group to develop Iran’s biggest dry port and rail logistics terminal

ptb-perse-international-forwarding-co-tehranPTB Perse International Forwarding Co. (Tehran), a subsidiary of the Swiss TransInvest Group, has won the tender for the concession to develop and operate Aprin Terminal, 20 kilometers from Tehran. The contract was signed at Iranian Railway headquarters in Tehran on September 18 at an official ceremony.

The concession comprises a 25-year license for a so-called BOT (Build – Operate – Transfer) operator model, with a three-year construction phase and 22 years of operations. With an area of approximately 450 hectares, Aprin is to become Iran’s biggest dry port and a modern rail logistics terminal with customs clearance and bonded warehouse. The PTB Group was awarded the contract for the first phase, the development and operation of a 55-hectare sector; the annual capacity will be at 400,000 TEU, the sum invested in the infrastructure of the area will amount to approximately USD 30 million.

Overall, the rail sector in Iran has high potential, with especially the region surrounding the capital attracting lots of traffics.  Today, between 600-1200 cargo wagons per day are arriving Aprin station for Greater Tehran and other inland rail destinations. Moreover, there are plans to further develop the existing railway network. At this time, Iran has 11,000 kilometers of railway; another 9,500 kilometers are under construction.

The PTB Group has long years of experience in transporting containers by rail from the port of Bandar Abbas to Tehran. In future, the containers are to be loaded onto rail wagons directly from the vessel and taken to Aprin for customs clearance.


The construction of such a rail logistics terminal is significant also in view of the development of new transport routes. This year, a rail connection between Yiwu, China, and Tehran was established; the first test train reached Tehran within thirteen days. Thus, transport has become significantly faster than it would be possible via sea, where one has to factor in twice the transit time. In future, trains from China will be handled at Aprin.

India, too, is enforcing a new trade route to the Middle East – ex India via the Iranian ports on the Persian Gulf, extending to Azerbaijan and Russia. In the mid-term, the connection is to include Europe, too.

With a staff of 450 working at 15 locations, the PTB Group is today renowned as one of Iran’s leading logistics services providers. Since it was founded in 1961, the PTB Group has built and operated its own customs bonded warehouses as well as port, rail and logistics terminals covering a total of 1.3 million square meters; the services also include the management of non-company-owned terminals. PTB offers modern 3PL services including door-to-door transports, customs clearance, warehousing and distribution. In Iran transit transports, PTB is the market leader in Iran. 

“Despite numerous other international forwarders in Iran, PTB has been and still is the front runner in the development of a modern Iranian transport industry. With the easing of the sanctions, additional new opportunities are arising that we want to tap into. Thus, we have filed an application with the port authorities in Bandar Abbas to extend our terminal there; we want to add another 110,000 m² for new handling facilities and storage capacities”, says Parviz Golabi, Managing Director and Member of the Board of the PTB Group.

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