Medical Supplies Delayed 37 Days Due To Transportation Congestion

Industry research shows thousands of containers full of medical supplies are stuck at ports, railyards and on roads, preventing the reliable flow of products healthcare providers need for patient care

Alexandria, VA – December 17, 2021 – New research from the Health Industry Distributors Association indicates supply chain congestion is slowing the movement of 8,000-12,000 containers of critical medical supplies throughout the U.S. transportation system.

To put that in a holiday perspective, medical supplies arriving at a U.S. port on Christmas Day won't be delivered to hospitals and other care settings until February 2022.

Medical supplies are languishing an average of 17 days at ports. The West Coast ports with the greatest number of delayed medical containers are Long Beach and Los Angeles. The most congested East Coast port for medical supplies is Savannah.

HIDA research also shows containers with medical supplies are delayed an average of 11 days by rail, and nine days by truck.

“HIDA recommends a fast-pass system to prioritize essential medical supplies through ports, onto rail and truck for expedited delivery to the front lines of healthcare,” said HIDA President and CEO Matthew J. Rowan. “Rules and regulations impeding timely and efficient movement of critical medical supplies must be relaxed during a public health emergency.”

View HIDA’s “Transportation Delays Are A Healthcare Issue” infographic.

View HIDA's solution to expedite medical supply containers at California ports.

View more resources on how transportation challenges are affecting medical products distribution.

Press Contact: Wyeth Ruthven,

About HIDA

The Health Industry Distributors Association (HIDA) represents the country’s medical product distributors – the nation’s essential link between manufacturers and patient caregivers. HIDA members offer critical services increasing the efficiency of U.S. healthcare providers, including hospitals, nursing homes, laboratories, home care, and physician practices. For more information, visit

Media Contact:

Wyeth Ruthven

Wyeth Ruthven
Public Affairs Director