In 2023 (Q2) the average waiting time for ships to enter the top 20 ports in the world was around 6.2 days. This represents a major decrease from 61.2 days in Q4 2021. However, congestion is still an issue in many worldwide ports.

When port congestion occurs, cargo owners sometimes need to pay a fee to the shipping lines, even when vessels are simply left waiting at a port. These fees pay for maintenance and fuel costs, as well as operational costs during the congestion period.

Port congestion can affect all ports. However, the busiest container port in the world at present is the Port of Shanghai, which handles around 40 million TEUs on an annual basis. China is home to some of the busiest, but also most popular ports in the world.