As Deepening Continues, Delaware River Sees Increase in Vessel Activity

Photo of the dredging of the Delaware River near Marcus Hook courtesy of Kimberly Paynter, WHYY.

The Maritime Exchange for the Delaware River and Bay has announced the tristate port vessel arrival statistics for the first six months of 2016, and the numbers look good, writes Michelle Howard for

According to records, 1,234 ships arrived at Delaware River port facilities compared to 1,127 arrivals for the same six-month period last year, a 9.5 percent increase in vessel activity throughout the port.

“We’re seeing increases in import cargos such as petroleum, containers, and fruit, as well as container, petroleum, and steel export gains,” said president Dennis Rochford.

A 17 percent growth in petroleum ship arrivals is driven by refineries receiving more crude oil by tanker from overseas and less product by rail from North Dakota and Canada. Changing market factors make it more cost effective to move crude by ship.

The continued expansion of the Marcus Hook Industrial Complex is expected to further this growth. Shipments of natural gas liquids, including propane and ethane, from the Marcellus Shale in western Pennsylvania continue to spur exports to markets throughout the United States and Europe.

“Clearly, shippers and carriers welcome the deepening of the Delaware River main ship channel from 40 to 45 feet,” said Rochford. “Knowing this project will be completed in late 2017 has created an industry buzz and a heightened and positive perception among current and prospective port customers.”

Click here to read more about the increased activity on the Delaware River from

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