Every supply chain company dreams of having its product in customer stores as soon as possible. This dream is due to the growing number of imports and the high congestion level in US top ports. Therefore, supply chain companies are trying to avoid the volatility plaguing them by developing ways to get and keep products moving

Having various supply chain strategies, you have the versatility required to adapt to situations that may arise throughout the next few seasons. 

Delays in Top US Ports Are Causing Backlogs 

One of the key obstacles to delivery has been delays in high-traffic US ports. According to Goldman Sachs, some 77 ships were waiting outside the Los Angeles and Long Beach docks with over $24 billion in goods in late 2021. This probably explains the constraints on everything from prominent manufacturers and grocery stores. 

So, what causes these unprecedented delays at top US ports? Let’s dive into the top 10 shipping ports and what’s causing delays with their clearing and forwarding

Los Angeles /Long Beach 

These are the top two ports in the US. Vessels have an average of 5-17 days, with up to 18 days in Long Beach. This is due to high imports, dwell time, and low labor availability. Tracking queues and limited ability to receive containers during the allotted time is another major cause of delays. 

New York and New Jersey 

The average waiting time is a maximum of three days. However, waiting time at the PNCT terminal can go up to three weeks due to the severe berth congestion experienced. Delays in securing Genset and chassis shortages caused by congestion at all ports have also played a significant role in delays. 

Georgia Ports (Savannah and Brunswick)

The average vessel waiting time is 7 to 10 days. Delays have been caused by high import volume, construction of the Berth CB1, and vessel bunking. This has led to general trucking delays for an average of ten days. 

Seattle- Tacoma 

The Average vessel waiting time at this port is two days. This has been caused by the high import volume and low labor availability. Delays have also been caused by Genset, chassis, and other equipment shortages. This has pushed trucking capacity delays to twenty days. 

Port Metro Vancouver 

Following mudslides and flooding that destroyed roads, train tracks, and bridges in Vancouver, there have been delays in the Port Metro Vancouver. This is against an import surge. The average vessel waiting time has risen to seven to fourteen days. 


Vessel delays in this port have resulted from a sudden congestion increase after a snowstorm shut down the port in January. Vessel delays have been pushed to a maximum of seven days, primarily due to the surging number of imports. 


The average vessel waiting time is 2-14 days. Delays have been caused by the high number of imports, late arrival of ships, and low labor availability. 

South Carolina 

The average vessel waiting time is fifteen days. This long waiting time has resulted from a shortage of truck drivers, workers’ shortages, and an increased import surge. 


The average vessel time is 5-10 days. Delays have been caused by low labor availability against a high import volume. 

Ways Supply Chain Strategies Changes Is Helping Companies Handle Product Delays in Ports 

Supply chain companies are quickly finding solutions to the delays in ports. With options such as RSC boxes supply chain, here are some of the creative solutions that most companies are using:

Plan, Plan, Plan 

Planning is the cornerstone of every smooth functioning and reliable supply chain. It helps you minimize or eliminate the risk that comes with port delays. Some of the considerations most companies are making for solving their backlog are as follows:

  • Utilizing a better forecast to ensure that there’s enough space and necessary equipment for their process 
  • Ensuring that all required documents and paperwork are compiled and kept ready in time 
  • Planning their shipment based on the latest market condition such as availability of location and peak season delays
  • Booking hinterland connections based on the scheduled vessel arrivals in various US ports. 

Moving Away from Just in Time inventory Management to Adding Buffer Inventory 

Traditionally, businesses have relied on the Just in Time JIT principle with their inventory management. This has long been successful due to the fast-growing global connectivity. 

However, companies are now moving away from depending on minimum levels of inventory to keeping excess inventory at levels that are enough to cover short-term disruptions. 

Using a Combination of Transport Modes 

Supply chain companies have long been, depending on a specific transport mode. However, with the increased transit and berthing delay, Carriers and Forwarders have adopted combined transport modes to cut down consumer products’ time in stores. 

This includes rail services from China to Western Europe, sea-air options, routing cargo to Canadian ports and hauling them to the US via rail. 

Better Technology Investment 

Investment in robust, quality technology solutions has made planning more straightforward and scientific. It also provides visibility of goods at every stage of the supply chain. As a result, supply chain companies can schedule their cargo movement better and avoid congested ports. 

Spreading Volumes Across Different Transportation Modes

Over-reliance on a single mode of transport has played a significant role in creating backlogs across the supply chain industry. However, by adopting a mix of transport modes such as barges, roads, and rail, importers and exporters can strike a balance between flexibility and reliability and keep the supply chain running even under the most adverse circumstances. 

Consumer Demand on The Rise 

Despite the delays experienced across the US supply chain, consumer demand has grown tremendously within two years into the Covid-19 pandemic. Consumers’ behavior has evolved, especially with the surge of online shopping, but this has not changed the fact there’s a rise in consumer demand. 

Besides that, consumers are not shifting to new brands rather than sticking to old brands. This has also played a significant role in the demand for imported goods. Therefore, despite the worrying delays in the US supply chain, consumer demand will continue growing, despite the continuing inflation

RSC Boxes Supply Chain. The Perfect Solution to Your Supply Chain Backlog 

It’s no secret that there’s a greater need for creative solutions to the current supply chain delays. At Postal Totes (Flexcontainer), we are specialized in helping supply chain companies and individual businesses find the best solutions for product handling. With our totes and containers, you’re guaranteed outstanding end-to-end solutions for your storage and retrieval problems. Contact us today and learn how we can help you get the best product storage and handling solution. 

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