Port congestion is generally a situation in which a commercial ship coming into a port for the explicit purpose of commercial cargo or other such activities is not able to berth properly and needs to wait out at port for an appropriate berth to be open. Such a waiting period can sometimes be months in length. In some cases port congestion is caused by weather conditions or the physical size of the ships passing through the same. However, port congestion can be a serious problem faced by most ports worldwide and can occur because of various reasons such as; a drop in commodity prices, a sudden increase in demand caused by a new supply arriving on the docks, poor docking infrastructure or because the ships carrying goods have an unusually long lay-on period. In any case port congestion can create significant problems for customers and suppliers alike.
In the case of warehouses, port congestion is usually caused when goods being shipped from one point to another are delayed or are not being delivered in a timely manner. If warehousing activities are not closely monitored or if the warehouse infrastructure is inadequate, this could lead to significant delays. In warehouses, a major customer satisfaction issue arises when goods which were promised to be received on time and in good condition do not appear on the shelves of shippers and importers.