The incident took place at around 8:15 p.m. Sunday at Pier 84 on the 2500 block of South Christopher Columbus Boulevard in South Philadelphia.
When crews arrived, they found that a 46-year-old man fell multiple feet into the hull of the ship.
A spokesman for the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority identified the man as Denis Seretinek, the chief officer of the cargo ship Startramp.
It took a crane and a basket to get the man out.
He was transported to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital where he was later pronounced dead.