Supply chain disruptions across the global economy have sprouted up in the last year as the world grapples with fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, combined with global infrastructure challenges and resumption of higher world trade volume, a shortage of shipping containers is causing costs to skyrocket for exporters, including in agriculture. The spike was behind a meeting held by federal officials including leaders at the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to determine how to best ease the stress points in the supply chain and restore more “normal” shipping costs and container and infrastructure availability. The disruptions have been worst in the Gulf of Mexico and on the West Coast, where up to 1/3 of U.S. ag products leave the nation for overseas buyers from the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Officials are now pressing DOT to take action soon, levying enforcement actions against any shipping company found to be illicitly bumping rates, in an effort to restore more normal shipping costs. See more on the shipping situation.