A member of the Board of Directors of the Syrian Society for National Shipping and Logistics, Majham al-Hussein, informed Athr Press that the shipping activity between Syria and Iraq experienced a temporary disruption for 24 hours due to a US airstrike along the border around ten days ago. Fortunately, operations returned to normal the following day. Hussein emphasized that, thus far, there have been no significant repercussions from these tensions.
Hussein explained, “Currently, the shipping situation from Syria to Iraq is considerably less favourable compared to the period before the crisis. On average, only 20 to 30 trucks are dispatched daily with cargo, except during the citrus export season when the number increases to around 50 to 60 trucks per day. In contrast, there used to be between 400 to 500 trucks daily in the past.” He attributed this decline to increased expenses, notably the elevated visa costs for trucks. Previously, multiple-entry visas lasting six months to a year were issued, but now each truck is required to pay approximately $350 for visa and insurance upon each entry.
Hussein also pointed out that the expense of transporting a 40-foot container of goods from China to Iraq is roughly $500, while shipments from Turkey to Iraq fall within the range of $500 to $550. These figures pale in comparison to the hefty $11,000 cost incurred by trucks entering Iraq, significantly complicating the export and shipping processes from Syria to Iraq.
Regarding the recent agreement signed with the Iraqi side, permitting Syrian trucks to enter Iraq, Hussein emphasized its continuity. Currently, thousands of trucks are able to reach various destinations within Iraq, totalling more than 6,000 trucks since the agreement’s inception.
The agreement, as outlined, designates the Syrian Ministry of Transport to entrust the Federation of International Freight Shipping Companies in Syria and the Syrian Association for National Shipping and Logistics with the responsibility of managing the issuance of entry visas into Iraqi territory for multiple trips to owners of shipping and transportation companies, as well as for all economic activities involved in trade exchange between the two nations.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.