Container ship

Planning to safely transit deeper-draft ships in the Delaware River

Challenge: After decades of vessel transits at a 40’ maximum vessel draft, the newly-deepened 45’ Delaware River Main Channel remains a dynamic operating environment. Changed hydrography and increased shoaling, as well as a desire to allow transit experience to gradually inform safe usage of the deepened channel necessitate a managed approach to increasing transit draft recommendations.

Solution: Create a phased transition plan that allows deeper vessel transits over time, allowing each stage of the dynamic living document to be informed by both transit experience from the previous stage and survey evidence of current shoaling patterns. Document adopted by Harbor Safety Committee and stands as guidance document informing progress through stages of transit draft restrictions.