Port Congestion

- Available with the Global Satellite Plan, and Fleet Operations Solution -

Port Congestion is the term commonly used to describe the situation where vessels have to queue up outside a Port and are waiting for a spot so they can load or offload.  Ports have a limited amount of dockage and in most cases capacity does not match demand. That is why vessels usually have to wait in the Anchorage, before being able to access the Port and use the cranes or the pier.

Now, an Anchorage is a location at sea where anchors can be lowered. The purpose of securely resting a ship at sea can be for waiting to enter Ports as well as for taking on cargo or passengers where insufficient Port facilities exist. Such locations usually allow vessels to safely anchor in protection from bad weather conditions and other hazards as well.

Here, you will learn how to use the Port Congestion in:

Port Congestion in the Port Details Page

Based on the time all vessels spent at the Port or the Anchorage, MarineTraffic can provide you with more information about each Port and its congestion in the form of two bar charts. After purchasing the Port Congestion service, you may click on any Port Details page and scroll down to find the Port Congestion on the right-hand side of the screen.

The bar chart illustrates the Median time that all vessels spent at the Anchorage or Port each week of the year. The Median is the value separating the higher half of the records sorted by time from the lower half. The basic advantage of the median compared to the mean, which is often simply described as the average, is that it is not skewed so much by extremely large or small values, and so it's safe to assume that, in this instance, it provides the most accurate value. This is useful in the calculation of Port Congestion as there are other reasons why a vessel might have remained at anchor, other than congestion, such as warm lay-up, authorities demands, etc.

The Port Congestion information is calculated per Port, per week, for all commercial vessels. In order to calculate the time at Port/Anchorage, we consider all vessels that departed the previous week from the Port, while having arrived at the Port within the last 2 months. Similarly vessels maximum anchorage stay accounted for is in the last 5 months.

The default grey bar represents all vessels. If you click and drag your mouse within the chart, you will be able to select a more specific section to zoom in. Hovering your mouse over a bar gives you a summarized view of the information on the chart.

Now, if you are interested in getting information about a specific market, you will notice at the bottom of the chart a vast selection of options. You can either select the type you are interested in or choose more that one to create a comparison bar chart.

You can also zoom in the bars by selecting the range of the relevant bars and reset the zoom by clicking on the respective button.

How to explore Port Congestion

You can use our Explore tool to have an overview of weekly waiting times at Ports and Anchorages for all commercial Ports of the world for up to 1 year in the past.
To go to our Explore tool, you may simply click on the Explore tab on the Main Menu and then select the Ports option. This will take you straight to the Ports Database Section, where you can use the Sidebar to quickly locate the Port Congestion option.


If you are looking for the Port Congestion of a specific Port, you can use the quick search bar and search for its name.

More Filters

If you wish to filter the Port Congestion by other parameters, you can click on the Add Filter button so that a drop-down menu appears. There, you can choose the Filter, then select as many options from the Filter as you wish. In order to apply the filter, you will need to click on the ADD FILTER button. You can combine Filters by completing the same process.
Extra details

After adding your Filters, the results will be listed. By default, a number of the most popular results will appear. You can hold and drag any of the result columns to re-position and sort them how you want.

Moreover, you can click on the Cogwheel icon on the right to add or remove columns from your view. You will also need to click on the Update Table button for the changes to take effect.

Records limitation
Kindly note that up to 500 records can be provided per search.
There are some important information and actions at the bottom of the page which:

  • inform you about the total number of records found that match your search criteria
  • enable you to navigate through search results pages by entering a page number or selecting the next or previous one
  • let you decide on the desired amount of search results per page (20/50)

Export Data

Last but not least, you can Export the data you have searched for with a click of a button. As soon as you get your results from your specific search, you can export all of them by clicking on the Export button on the right-hand side, above the results. A drop-down menu will appear, giving you information about the process you are about to complete.