Transportation congestion delaying medical supplies

Dec. 23, 2021

New research from the Health Industry Distributors Association (HIDA) indicates supply chain congestion is slowing the movement of 8,000-12,000 containers of critical medical supplies throughout the U.S. transportation system, according to a news release.

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.”

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