Uber Technologies logistics director Jim Cramer told CNBC on Thursday that there was not a single solution to the country’s trucking crisis.
“It really takes the entire industry because we are facing an unprecedented time. We literally live in a shipping Armageddon, ”said Lior Ron, head of Uber Freight, in an interview with“ Mad Money ”.
Uber Freight, launched in 2017, uses an app to connect shippers who need to move loads with available truck drivers and act as middlemen in a vital part of the U.S. economy. According to Ron, there are now more than 1 million drivers on the Uber Freight network.
While Ron argued that Uber Freight can make aspects of long-distance transportation more efficient, he warned that this alone would not alleviate industry challenges such as the driver shortage exacerbated by the Covid crisis.
“We can definitely make a dent in technology – and we are – but it takes more,” said Ron. “Some are also about wages,” he added, noting that the job can be challenging and some people want to prioritize being close to family.
Ron’s comments on Thursday come a day after the White House put in place a plan to alleviate congestion in key West Coast ports by expanding operations there around the clock. After the goods have been unloaded from ships, truck drivers play a vital role in getting them where they are supposed to go. Hence, it is important to address the challenges in this part of the logistics puzzle.
A senior Biden government official told reporters that it was working with states to expedite the process of issuing commercial drivers’ licenses. The official added that the federal government has “a real willingness” to help with training for the job, but acknowledged that there are “no panaceas”.
To understand how the supply chain is so tangled, Ron told Cramer it was important to remember the role of consumer behavior.
“We’re ordering more and more of the packages we love to our doorstep, but the supply chain is completely unbalanced. We’ve seen it with boats and trucks. The whole network is different,” said Ron.
“When you think of truck drivers, at the end of the day it is harder for them to get around. There’s a better alternative to driving closer to home and maybe delivering the last mile, ”said Ron. “We urge them to keep doing more and maybe they don’t even want to take to the streets because they are stuck in facilities or have health concerns to take over us.”