A federal mediator said in a statement that groups representing dock workers and management at the ports have come to an agreement on some key sticking points.
The deal is subject to the approval of an overall collective bargaining agreement.
Dock workers had threatened to go on strike December 30th if a deal wasn't reached.
The two sides have 30 days now to work out the of their issues, with a new deadline of January 28th.
The threatened strike would have involved 14,500 dock workers at all major ports along the East and Gulf Coasts.
Experts said it could have potentially cost the economy a billion dollars a day.