Congestion in NY/LA Ports: What this means for your logistics operations

Posted on January 25, 2019

“Freight volumes coming into U.S. remain high in January, but delays and congestions turn trips to major marine terminals into a ‘madhouse.’” (Angell, 2019, para. 1).

The increase in volume is mostly related to factors that are expected, but there are some unexpected factors as well.

The Chinese New Year, occurring on February 5th, interrupts the supply lines, and many shippers work to get their goods out of Asia prior to the start of the Chinese New Year, resulting in increased volume (NY/NJ port congestion, 2019).  This surge also is known to continue through the end of the Chinese New Year, ensuring that there is an increase in volume for at least another 30 days.

Additionally, a more unprecedented event of the tariff/counter tariff war between the US and China is causing shippers and shipping lines to attempt to move goods quickly to avoid the increased 10-25% tariff increases (NY/NJ port congestion, 2019). 

Unfortunately, it does not appear that this congestion will alleviate anytime soon, and the congestion and delays that are present at the NY/NJ and LA/LB ports are causing problems with the movement of goods throughout different parts of the United States. In some cases, traffic entering these ports has increased by as much as 20%, and the result is longer wait times that are resulting in increased costs to shippers (Mongelluzzo, 2019). 

Examples of additional costs can include:

  • Delayed Return/Pickup fees of $100-$250 per day
  • Drayage Costs of $75 an hour as drivers idle in wait
  • Detention and Per-Diem fees of $300 - $1,000 for a TEU movement

When the costs above are considered, it is easy to see how costs are impacted, and passed back to the shipper.

If you would like any further information on how to prepare for these increased delays, or how they might affect your good please don’t hesitate to contact Allyn at

Contributor: Stephen Hull

About Allyn International

Allyn International is dedicated to providing high quality, customer centric services and solutions for the global marketplace. Allyn's core products include transportation management, logistics sourcing, freight forwarding, supply chain consulting, tax management and global trade compliance. Allyn clients range from small local businesses to Fortune 500 firms. Allyn conducts business in more than 20 languages and has extensive experience in both developed and emerging markets. Highly trained experts are positioned throughout North and South America, Europe and Asia. Allyn’s regional headquarters are strategically located in Fort Myers, Florida, U.S.A., Shanghai, P.R. China and Prague, Czech Republic. For more information, visit

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