09 May 2013 22:09 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--Daily ship movements on the Houston Ship Channel declined by almost 8% in April, according to vessel traffic data obtained on Thursday.
While oil tanker and container ship traffic on the waterway has been declining for at least the past year, data from another source showed chemical tanker and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) arrivals among the improved performers on the waterway during the month.
Data from the Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) of the US Coast Guard showed the Houston channel averaged 60 ship movements per day on the Texas waterway, compared with 65 in April 2012, according to Warner Welch, deputy director of VTS in Houston.
Welch said ship movements account for about 20% of vessel traffic on the channel. The rest of the traffic comes from daily barge tows, he said.
Daily barge tows averaged 351 a day in April, about a 6% decline from 373 a day in the same month last year, Welch said.
Data from the Greater Houston Port Bureau (GHPB) released this week provided a breakdown of vessel types and showed chemical tanker arrivals on the ship channel rose 13% in April.
The count of chemical tanker arrivals on the ship channel totalled 160 in April, compared with 141 in the same month of 2012, according to the data from the GHPB, which tracks traffic on the waterway. LPG traffic rose by 9%, to 48 vessels compared with 44 in the same month last year.
Crude tanker traffic, which accounts for the greatest number of ships on the channel, continued to sink.
The count of oil tanker arrivals dropped by 17% in April year on year to 208 vessels, compared with 252 tankers in April 2012, according to the GHPB data.
Total ship arrivals in Houston declined by 2% in April, according to the GHPB, with 696 vessel arrivals compared with 711 in the same month last year.
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