Modeling and Analysis of Vessel Traffic in Delaware River and Bay: Risk Assessment and Mitigation

Download Final Report

CAIT project no.: 204 RU6532

Fiscal Year: 2007/2008

Status: Final

Rutgers-CAIT Author(s): Tayfur Altiok, Ozhan Alper Almaz, Amir Ghafoori

Sponsor(s): NJDOT, Maritime Division


The SAFE Port Act of 2006 (PL 109-711) requires Area Maritime Security Plans to include a salvage response plan intended, inter alia, to ensure that commerce is quickly restored to US ports following a transportation security incident. Accordingly, CAIT-DIMACS Laboratory for Port Security (LPS) at Rutgers was motivated to study and analyze the risks inherent in Delaware River and Bay vessel traffic, to be better able to develop a post incident recovery strategy taking into consideration:

  1. Vessel traffic in the Delaware Channel, including current practices in handling dangerous cargo vessels and vessel delays at Delaware Bay.
  2. The economic impact of vessel activity along the Delaware Channel.
  3. Risk analysis and mitigation strategies for safe and efficient traffic management and port operations.
  4. Prioritization of Delaware Channel vessel traffic in the course of recovery from a channel closing high-consequence incident (collision, ramming, grounding, fire, or explosion, stemming from an accident or a terrorist activity). The prioritization methodology will be based on an economic analysis that will consider the strategic importance as well as key risk factors of each vessel cargo.

This is the final report of a comprehensive study focusing on the maritime traffic in Delaware River and Bay. The study started in July of 2007; the CAIT-DIMACS LPS working in collaboration with the U.S. Coast Guard Area Maritime Security Committee in Sector Delaware Bay. The following milestones were achieved in the study.

  • Simulation modeling of the maritime traffic
  • Model based risk analysis of the maritime traffic
  • Deepening impact analysis
  • Analysis of the resumption of trade after reopening