Keeping goods flowing in face of port congestion


Globally port congestion is creating an immense domino effect across the supply chain. Not only from fashion industry equals, but anybody moving merchandises around — has effected throughout the industry, with Los Angeles Port bottlenecks exactly leaving ships out to sea.

Figure: With blocking at the docks slowing the process down, it is vital to recognize and cure loopholes along the supply chain. 

With blocking at the docks slowing the process down, it is vital to recognize and cure loopholes along the supply chain. Given the prominence of speed to market in the fashion industry, this takes on a bigger urgency.

Although the physical restrictions of port and transportation infrastructure are beyond a manufacturer’s control, there are some strategies companies can take to safeguard their goods flow effortlessly from point to point.

Cargo redistribution

Companies can achieve better supply balance by negotiating with various ocean carriers that have relationships with terminal operators in multiple ports

Transportation demand planning

Company’s global carriage activity profile across various trade lanes and strategic business units to reduce duplication and inefficiency. Longer transit times between points of origin and destinations can be more successfully navigated by forecasting demand and proper pre-planning. Build these profiles into transportation procurement and contracting processes.”

Virtual warehousing

Strategically managing inventory (also known as inventory-in-motion) by monitoring supply and demand during inland transit at the origin or destination can yield greater flexibility.


One thing that manufacturers and transportation carriers alike can do is that they can always go to other ports of entry. Ports of Los Angeles/Long Beach, the busiest ports in the United States, choosing either to enter the country through other West Coast ports or to bypass the West Coast entirely in favor of Gulf ports or East Coast ports.

Inside the beltway

Capacity constraints and antiquated labor work rules at U.S. and European ports, gridlock and massive delays are inevitable. Manufacturers, carriers and all other interested parties need to communicate their concerns to the authorities.