The International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC), a route connecting India and Russia crossing Azerbaijan and Iran, has reported a rapid increase in its usage over the last three months.

Iran PressIran News: The distortion of global supply chains and the introduction of new trade barriers, such as the wave of western sanctions against Russia, prompted a spike in demand for fresh logistic routes.

The cargo turnover through a maritime part of the route in Iran reached 3,000 tons or 114 containers between May and July – a significant increase compared to prior months, India’s The Economic Times reported.

The outlet cites anonymous sources claiming that Iran's Shipping Line Group, a state-controlled shipping company, dedicated an operational working group and allocated a number of ships to specifically service this part of the INSTC route.

The INSTC stretches 7,200 kilometers connecting the four countries participating in a project. It was conceived as an alternative to sailing through the Suez Canal and then either through the Bosporus Strait or around Europe and through the Baltic Sea.

The route is estimated to be around 30% cheaper than the alternatives and almost twice as fast in terms of delivery times. Both India and Russia praised it as a tool for bilateral trade as well as the delivery of wares from India across Eurasia.

The countries taking part in the project continue to invest in new border checkpoints, cargo warehouses, and deepening interaction between the states' custom services in order to make the route even faster and more convenient.

The reports of the growing popularity of the INSTC come as global logistics and supply chains are being disrupted by the pandemic's aftershocks, as well as the western state’s unilateral steps to isolate countries, especially Russia.

The West's anti-Russian sanctions further deteriorated the disruptions brought about by the pandemic by undermining imports and exports from and to the country amid bans preventing some vessels from entering Russian ports, and economic measures that impeded the work of logistics companies in Russia.

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