07 January 2013 22:28 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--December chemical tanker arrivals on the Houston Ship Channel rose 48% year on year, continuing the swell of vessels carrying petroleum products and by-products on the waterway, according to data released on Monday.
For all of 2012 chem tanker arrivals rose 75%, marking 15 straight months of big gains for such ships on the channel that began in late 2011, according to data from the Greater Houston Port Bureau (GHPB), which tracks traffic on the waterway.
The number of chemical ship arrivals in December totalled 170, a high for the year and greater than 115 vessels in the same month of 2011, the data from the GHPB showed.
The surge in chemical shipping on the channel began in late summer 2011 from a boost in refined products and chemical shipments, as well as from refinery shutdowns in early 2012 in the US Virgin Islands and Aruba that spurred US exports.
Chemical tanker arrivals on the waterway showed bigger gains by far than any other vessel category from January through December, with 1,613 such vessels on the channel in 2012, compared with 924 in 2011.
Crude tanker traffic, which accounts for the greatest number of ships on the channel, fell by 19% during the year to 2,855 vessels, compared with 3,539 tankers in 2011, according to the GHPB data.
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