New Delhi: The strategic Chabahar Port in Iran achieved a new milestone on Tuesday by handling a record 76 TEUs of cargo, Union minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on Wednesday.

Chabahar port, located in the Sistan-Baluchistan province in the energy-rich Iran''s southern coast, lies outside the Persian Gulf and is easily accessed from India’s western coast, bypassing Pakistan.

"Chabahar Port is scaling up its operations drastically. India Ports Global Ltd terminal loaded 76 TEUs (twenty foot equivalent unit) all refrigerated for India. This is record single loading and is a milestone in growth path of Chabahar Port," Shipping Minister Mansukh Mandaviya told PTI.

Transit of export consignment from Afghanistan through Chabahar commenced in February 2019 as trickle and has now started showing a healthy upward trend, he said terming the port as a game changer.

IPGL terminal on June 30 loaded 76 TEUs for India which is a record single loading.

India Ports Global Ltd ( IPGL) had commenced operations at Shahid Beheshti Port of Chabahar on December 25, 2018, and has completed 18 months of smooth operations.

During this period it not only handled container and Bulk cargo vessels, but also livestock and heavy lift cargo vessels, according to the Ministry of Shipping.

The integration of Chabahar port with the Free Zone was approved by the Iranian Guardian Council in February 2020.

"Subsequently an MOU has been signed between PMO and Free Zone Authorities on June 2020 for implementation of laws and regulations of the Free Zone in the port of Chabahar. The inclusion of the port in the Free Zone is expected to boost the cargo through the port," the Ministry said.

Earlier on June 28, the port also handled the fourth consignment (300 TEUs) of wheat aid cargo from India to Afghanistan.

This is part of 75,000 tonnes of India's humanitarian aid from Government of India to people of Afghanistan, the ministry said.

It added that the trade is also upbeat with the announcement that Ghazanfar Bank of Afghanistan will soon open a branch in Chabahar.

It is understood that the bank has received requisite permit from Central Bank of Iran.

IPGL now has a water front of over 1200 mts (with 70 Ha of back up area).