Container shipping messed with the bull and is now staring down the proverbial horns.

Liner operators rode an overwhelmed supply chain to record freight rates and big profits — but those dislocations have also brought to the fore tensions between the shipping lines and US agriculture exporters who feel increasingly squeezed.

Unfortunately for the lines, the farmers have some very good friends in Washington DC.

“Politically, the farmers [and] the agriculture interests are substantial,” says Bryant Gardner, partner at law firm Winston & Strawn focusing on transport and logistics.