The bandits are hijacking container ships and lorries packed full of goodies heading for the UK.
Others have posed as global distributors to seize shipments.
Some drug smugglers are cashing in as soaring shipping charges force companies to transport products by air, sparking a surge in cartels using the flights to carry narcotics.
And gangs have stashed their drugs in shipments of food.
In September, crooks were caught trying to smuggle cocaine from Costa Rica to Ireland disguised in a container of banana pulp.
Harold Pradal, from the British Standards Institution, said: “Widespread product shortages and scarcely qualified operators, including lorry drivers, are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the ongoing global supply chain crisis.
“With manufacturers and freight companies already spending much effort to address these issues, organisations along the supply chain increasingly fall vulnerable to a convergence of additional threats.
“Those include… more opportunistic criminal cartels.”
Mr Pradal warned the supply chain crisis that has led to shortages of goods in Britain and the rest of the world will drag on well into 2022 unless the crooks are stopped.
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Pirates are said to cost the global economy almost £8billion a year.
Last year, Somalian raiders alone seized 26 ships and held captive 600 crew members.
In one recent case, police in Ukraine detained two criminals who posed as licensed cargo carriers and seized goods worth almost £140,000.
Meanwhile, there was an estimated 13% increase in known smuggling incidents recorded between February and June.