Army Corps of Engineers data shows about 13 million tons of cargo moving on the Hudson annually between New York City and just north of Albany. Still, this is only a fraction of the total volume that is moving on roads. According to New York State’s Department of Transportation, 84% of freight tonnage in the state moves by truck and only 8% by water, and that includes freight moving on waters around New York City, Long Island, and the Great Lakes.

There is room on the river for more ships and barges. Even groups focused on preserving the beauty and cleanliness of the Hudson do not object to more shipping. “The Hudson has a long history as a commercial corridor,” says Ned Sullivan, president of Scenic Hudson.