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Top 12 Dredging Companies in the World Ranked by Fleet Size; US Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Ranked #1

Posted on July 10, 2024

Dredging involves removing sand, silt, and other materials from water bodies such as oceans, seas, lakes, and rivers. It is an important process that must be performed regularly to keep waterways, ports, and harbours navigable.

Other reasons for dredging include coastal protection and redevelopment or gathering materials of commercial value, such as minerals or sand used by the construction sector. It is also used to build dams, dikes, etc.

Specialised vessels called dredgers are used for this purpose. Dredging also has long-term environmental impacts, such as water pollution, disturbing marine sediments and marine life, contaminating drinking water sources, and hampering fishing. However, it is much needed to make water channels deep enough for ships to enter ports.

Offshore Dredging Work requires expertise, advanced technologies, and an extensive fleet of different types of dredgers. As the dredging industry expands, some companies have come to the forefront as leaders in the sector with their innovative and fresh approaches.

In this article, we will discuss the Top 12 Dredging Companies ranked by fleet size.

1. Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Corporation (USA)

Fleet Size: 200 (approximate)

This American company offers dredging and land reclamation services and is presently one of the biggest providers in the U.S.

It mainly operates in the U.S.; however, 25% of its business is overseas, especially in the Middle East. Previously based in Illinois, it shifted its headquarters to Houston, Texas, in 2020.

It was established in 1890 as the Lydon & Drews Dredging Company and was renamed the Great Lake Dredge and Dock Company in 1905.

Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Corporation (USA)

Till 1950, it was involved in major projects like Sabin Lock, Michigan Avenue Bridge, Harbour Works for Naval Station, Great Lakes, etc.

During World War II, it built the MacArthur Lock, and after the war ended, it undertook dredging work in the Gulf of Mexico.

Its works include deepening waterways, channels, harbours, and ports, maintaining beaches, reclaiming land in low-lying regions, restoring marine and wetlands, and excavating to lay pipes, cables, etc.

2. Van Oord

Fleet Size: 100+

This Dutch Company has more than 150 years of expertise as a global-level marine contractor. It was established in 1868 by Govert van Oord and is headquartered in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

Van Oord has a significant international presence in dredging, land reclamation, the offshore wind sector, and the construction of artificial islands. It has undertaken several projects across the world, with 146 projects in 35 countries. Beyond Europe, it has major projects in the Middle East, Asia and the Americas.

Van Oord

It combines sustainability, innovation and collaboration to bring precision to its projects, which range from offshore wind farm constructions to preparing the seabed and ocean floor to create new lands for many commercial projects of a massive scale.

The company contributes to coastal and flood protection projects in low-lying areas. It undertakes foreshore and beach nourishment to stabilise the coast and tackle erosion by building breakwaters.

It boasts one of the world’s biggest dredging fleets, which includes trailing suction hopper dredgers, cutter suction dredgers and offshore installation ships. These vessels are highly advanced and work in complex marine environments.

3. DEME Group

Fleet Size:100+

DEME was created in 1991 after the merger of three companies near Antwerp. Its headquarters are in Nigeria, and it is a trusted name in the offshore energy sector, dredging, green hydrogen, deep sea mineral harvesting, environmental works, and marine infrastructure.

With 150 years of experience and over 5000 skilled workforce, DEME is able to offer custom solutions to each client and fosters innovation and new technologies to challenging projects.

DEME Group

Though its roots trace back to Belgium, it has a strong presence in the world with its fleet of highly advanced ships and an array of auxiliary equipment.

DEME’s core activities include capital and maintenance dredging and land reclamation. It operates the world’s first dual-fuel dredging vessels. In the past few decades, DEME has executed complex projects involving the development of strategic waterways, recreational and industrial areas, new ports, and artificial islands.

Its ongoing fleet investment programme means that it is looking for ways to improve its dredging vessels to limit turbidity, decrease overflow, and enhance productivity.

4. CCCC Shanghai Dredging Co., Ltd. (SDC)

Fleet Size: 100 (approximate)

This company was established in 1905 and is a subsidiary of China Communications Construction Company Ltd. It is a leading Chinese dredging company and a renowned marine contractor worldwide.

SDC operates in over 20 countries, has offices in 10 countries and employs more than 5000 skilled professionals.

CCCC Shanghai Dredging Co., Ltd. (SDC)

It offers services, including dredging and land reclamation, surveys, engineering, environmental, investment, and hydraulic activities, that are derived from its core businesses.

In the past few years, SDC has participated in mega projects vital for China’s economic growth, such as dredging in the Yangtze Estuary Deep Water Channel, the Shanghai Yangshan, the Tianjin Harbour Economic Area and others.

The company entered the global market in 1981 and began offering its services in 20 nations in the Caribbean, Asia, Africa, and South America.

5. National Marine Dredging Company Group (NMDC)

Fleet Size: 82

NMDC Group is a renowned name in marine dredging, marine construction, engineering and geotechnical work in the Middle East.

The company is based in Abu Dhabi and uses the latest technologies to meet customer expectations.

National Marine Dredging Company Group (NMDC)

Its dredging activities include capital and maintenance dredging for ports and harbours, beach and artificial island construction, land reclamation, intake and outfall dredging.

NMDC has ultramodern equipment, including 65 marine support vessels, 14 cutter-suction dredgers and 3 water master dredgers, bringing its fleet to 82 vessels. Its most powerful automated dredger is the Al Sadr (20,725kW).

6. Jan De Nul Group

Fleet Size: 75

It was established in 1938 as a company specialising in maritime construction and civil works. It entered the dredging business in 1951 and recently stepped into offshore wind, securing key European wind energy projects.

Jan De Nul offers dredging, marine services, civil engineering, offshore services, environmental services, and land reclamation.

Jan De Nul Group

It boasts an enormous fleet of 75 ships, including cutter suction dredgers, backhoe dredgers, trailing suction dredgers, a cable installation vessel, split barges, oil recovery ships, and rock installation vessels. Jan de Nul has one of the biggest fleets of hopper dredgers in the world.

Jan de Nul was a part of numerous projects whose successful completion enhanced its reputation. Some such works include the Panama Canal Expansion, the Island Project in Saudi Arabia, Expansion works in Port Botany, Dubai Waterfront and Palm Jebel Ali Island, Dubai.

In 2020 and 2021, the company undertook the underwater installation of a power inter-connector cable linking the island of Crete with the Greek mainland. The following year, Jan De Nul reported an annual turnover of about 2.5 billion euros.

7. Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V.

Fleet Size: 54

Boskalis was founded in 1910 and is based in Papendrecht, Netherlands, with operations in over 75 countries. Over the past century, Boskalis has transformed from a local Dutch marine company to a market leader in dredging, offshore energy, towage, salvage, and building and maintaining maritime infrastructure.

It played a vital role in the 1953 Dutch Delta Works and went public in 1971. In 1978, it received the designation ‘Royal’ and was involved in several groundbreaking projects around the world, like the Oresund Tunnel.

Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V

The company expanded its offshore operations in 2013 after the acquisition of Dockwise and then Fairmount Marine. In 2021, Boskalis acquired all shares of Rever Offshore’s Subsea Services Business.

Boskalis has 9,900 employees and operates 650 vessels. Its versatile fleet of dredgers includes 9 Backhoe dredgers, 4 cutter-suction dredgers, 3 subsea rock installation vessels, 16 trailing suction hopper dredgers, and other dredging equipment. It regularly optimises its fleet and invests in new builds.

8. Rohde Nielsen A/S

Fleet Size: 23

Rohde Nielsen A/S is a contractor who is involved in projects related to beach nourishment, port development, land reclamation, offshore trenching, capital and maintenance dredging of waterways and harbours, rock works, etc.

It is based in Nyhavn, Copenhagen and has 55 years of experience and 600 employees.

Rohde Nielsen A_S

The company has its repair yard and a logistics centre in Grenaa, Denmark, which supports its ships. It also began a new building program that offers a low average age to its fleet, keeping it technologically updated.

It ensures that the fleet of dredgers and other vessels operate with maximum efficiency.

9. Inai Kiara

Fleet Size: 22

Inai Kiara is Malaysia’s biggest dredging and land reclamation company and the owner of the 3rd largest trailing suction hopper dredger in the world, the Inai Kenanga.

It has diverse capabilities and expertise in capital and maintenance dredging, land reclamation, breakwater construction, beach nourishment, offshore marine construction, shipbuilding, offshore piling, and coastal protection.

Inai Kiara

Inai Kiara SDN BHD emerged as a leader in the dredging and marine-related construction sector in Malaysia after completing challenging projects. It had a humble beginning in 1997, but it has had an excellent track record in the country since then.

The company employs over 2000 professionals, including managers, technical and professional advisors and engineers.

It has an advanced dredging fleet, including the first trailing suction hopper dredger ever registered under the Malaysian flag, a marine construction plant and a fleet of piling barges, back-hoe dredgers, grab dredgers, anchor and tug boats and flat top and hopper barges.

10. Penta-Ocean Construction

Fleet Size: 21

A Japanese company, Penta Ocean Construction, is a leader in marine works and land reclamation.

It was founded in 1896 and has offices in Tokyo, Egypt, Thailand, Dubai, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and India.

Penta-Ocean Construction

Penta Ocean has undertaken major dredging works not only in Japan but around the world. The company’s construction division develops sewerage systems, harbours, bridges, and electric power stations.

Other notable projects include widening and deepening the Suez Canal, works at Patimban Deep Sea Port, Indonesia, and land reclamation for Pasir Panjang Container Handling Terminal, Jurong Island and South Container Terminal of Constanta Port in Romania.

11. Weeks Marine

Fleet Size: 18

This company, founded in 1919, provides marine construction services, dredging, tunnelling, aggregates, and marine services. At the beginning of 2023, it was acquired by Kiewit Corporation and became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kiewit.

It offers turnkey services in North America. Its dredging teams work with the U.S Army Corp of Engineers and Port Authorities to keep waterways and shipping channels functioning.

Weeks Marine

It also works with Louisiana’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority and other government agencies across the Gulf Coast and the Eastern Seaboard.

It restores coastlines and offers storm and hurricane damage risk reduction systems. Weeks Marine specialises in capital and maintenance dredging for shallow and deep draft navigation, coastal protection, and waterway infrastructure.

12. Callan Marine

Fleet Size: 7

This is a Texas-based, family-owned company offering dredging services since it was established in 2009.

The company has dredged along the Gulf Coast, and its dredging activities include Deep-Draft Navigation, Deep and Shallow-Draft Ship Dock Dredging, Shallow-Draft Intra-Coastal and Barge Canal Dredging, Environmental and De-Watering, Beaches, Marshes, and Beneficial-Use Dredging.

It also offers customized annual or long-term maintenance dredging programs for docks and waterways.

Callan Marine

In the past decade, Callan Marine has provided vital dredging services to public and private clients and successfully executed new maritime construction and expansion projects.

The company restores berthing depths for ship docks and navigation channels, enabling smooth shipping operations in the country’s waterways.

It has an expert team of dredging and marine construction experts who have designed industry-leading ships and offered vital feedback on crucial projects.


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