Retailers, shipping and haulage companies have complained of "chaos" at Felixstowe Port in Suffolk, affecting goods in the run-up to Christmas.
One ship due to be unloaded at the port last week was redirected to Rotterdam because of "unacceptable" delays.
The owner, Hutchison Ports, blames pre-Brexit stockpiling and the pandemic.
Freight manager Matt Hudson warned that "if the chaos continues, increased shipping prices will be passed on to consumers".
Mr Hudson, whose company distributes goods picked up at the port, said containers were being left on the quayside because haulage companies could not book a slot to enter the site.
"It's delaying freight going into shops for consumers to buy," he said. "Shops are struggling anyway at the moment because of the impact from the coronavirus."
Part of the problem is a shipment of 11,000 containers of PPE ordered by the government that is clogging up the port.
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