How the supply chain crisis got this bad

Ships stuck at sea, warehouses overflowing, trucks without drivers: The highly intricate and interconnected global supply chain is in upheaval, with little end in sight.

The turmoil has revealed how the need to ship surgical masks to West Africa from China can have a cascading effect on Ford’s ability to put back-up cameras on its cars at factories in Ohio and delay the arrival of Amazon Prime orders in Florida in time for the holidays.

In one way or another, much of the crisis can be traced to the outbreak of COVID-19, according to The New York Times

It started when people and businesses were quickly forced to restrict their activity to slow the spread of the coronavirus, sending the global economy into a brief but damaging free fall. The rapid climb back up over the past 18 months is where the snags began. See The New York Times’ interactive supply chain timeline, which shows—from the first cough to today’s weekslong shipping delays—how we got here.