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The shipping container shortage that’s wreaking havoc on the global supply chain

Spare a thought for the poor shipping container, responsible for most of the world's trade. It's had a rough year that started with the gargantuan Ever Given getting stuck in the Suez Canal.

Now the Suez traffic jam has gone global.

When the pandemic started, everyone needed COVID supplies from China. Chinese factories couldn't keep up with soaring demand from Western nations, and empty containers started to pile up in faraway ports.

Sending one of these ships from Shanghai to Los Angeles has jumped more than ten-fold from $2,000 to $25,000.

And as demand increases even more, the problem is getting worse — a vicious cycle with no end in sight just as the holidays approach.

Watch this episode of GZERO World with Ian Bremmer: Inflation nation: What's driving US prices higher?

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The Graphic Truth: Global maritime bottlenecks

Traffic finally resumed on Monday in the Suez Canal, almost a week after a massive container ship ran aground, causing a logjam of hundreds of vessels on either end of the busy waterway. The recent disruption in the Suez — which links the Mediterranean to the Red Sea via Egypt and accounts for 10 percent of global maritime shipping volume — has caused significant damage to global supply chains already overstretched by rising demand due to the pandemic. Analysts say that the disruption from the delays could still have an impact for several weeks. But this canal is just one of a host of naval chokepoints worldwide. We take a look at the busiest maritime bottlenecks, along with their share of global trade in oil and grains.

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