Motorists are facing 'heavy' delays after part of a lorry disconnected and damaged a number of cars on the A19.
Police say nobody was injured in the incident, which involved seven vehicles.
One lane is blocked on the northbound stretch of the road on the approach to Testos roundabout.
A spokesman for Northumbria Police said: "Police are currently dealing with a multi-vehicle collision on the A19 in South Tyneside.
"At about 3.50pm this afternoon police received a report of a seven-vehicle collision on the northbound carriageway of the A19 near to Testos roundabout.
"Emergency services attended and found that part of an HGV had disconnected and damaged a number of cars.
"Nobody has been injured during the incident but one lane of the A19 has been temporarily blocked as a result of the incident.
"Traffic is moving on the road but there is expected to be heavy congestion during rush hour in the area."
North East Traffic News also told drivers to expect 'heavy delays'.
On Twitter, it posted: "A19 northbound approach to A184 Testos, (collision) involving seven vehicles.
"Lane one is blocked.
"Expect heavy delays."