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UPS CEO: Fix infrastructure because 5-minute delays can cost us $105 million per year

  • UPS Chairman and CEO David Abney says the U.S. should fix its roads and bridges soon.
  • "We have about 100,000 drivers, and if we have a five-minute congestion delay on each of those drivers every day, that's $105 million a year," he says.
  • The White House says President Trump will sign an executive order on infrastructure Tuesday.

UPS Chairman and CEO David Abney said Tuesday the U.S. must fix its roads and bridges because a simple delay adds up to millions of lost dollars.

"We have about 100,000 drivers, and if we have a five-minute congestion delay on each of those drivers every day, that's $105 million a year," Abney said on CNBC's "Squawk Box."

Abney made the case in a joint op-ed with rival FedEx CEO Frederick Smith in Sunday's Wall Street Journal. They said U.S. companies and the government must rally together on key initiatives, including infrastructure.

The two competitors said they are "prepared to pay our share for the use of new roads, bridges, and aviation systems" but "funds should be dedicated specifically to transportation infrastructure."

"It used to be the U.S. led in infrastructure," Abney told CNBC. "Now what you see in China and even India is something that the U.S. has got to make some improvements on."

Abney said he and Smith thought a unified message to the U.S. government would be more effective than separate pleas. "And nothing bad happened in the world. I guess it was OK to do that," he said.

The White House said Monday that President Donald Trump will sign an executive order Tuesday "establishing discipline and accountability in the environmental review and permitting process for infrastructure projects."

During his campaign, Trump made rebuilding the United States' crumbling infrastructure a top issue. He proposed spending $1 trillion on infrastructure over a decade.

In June, Trump said an obstacle to new infrastructure projects was "the painfully slow, costly and time-consuming process for getting permits and approvals to build."

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