Mad Money

Head of Uber Freight says the U.S. is in a 'shipping Armageddon' and there's no one solution

Key Points
  • Uber Freight head Lior Ron told CNBC's Jim Cramer on Thursday there's no single solution to the country's trucking crisis.
  • "It really requires the entire industry because we are facing just unprecedented times," Ron said.
  • "We're literally living in a shipping Armageddon," he added.
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Head of Uber Freight says U.S. is in a 'shipping Armageddon' and there's no one solution

The head of Uber Technologies' logistics division told CNBC's Jim Cramer on Thursday there's no single solution to the country's trucking crisis.

"It really requires the entire industry because we are facing just unprecedented times. We're literally living in a shipping Armageddon," Uber Freight chief Lior Ron said in an interview on "Mad Money."

Uber Freight, which launched in 2017, uses an app to connect shippers who need loads hauled with available truck drivers, operating as a middle man in a crucial part of the U.S. economy. There's more than 1 million drivers now on the Uber Freight network, according to Ron.

While Ron argued Uber Freight can make aspects of long-haul trucking more efficient, he cautioned that it alone will not alleviate the industry's challenges, such as the driver shortage that's been exacerbated by the Covid crisis.

"We can definitely make a dent with technology — and we are — but it requires more," Ron said. "Some of it also is about wages," he added, noting the job can be challenging and some people want to prioritize being close to family.

Ron's comments Thursday come one day after the White House rolled out a plan to alleviate congestion at key West Coast ports by expanding operations there 24/7. After the goods are offloaded off ships, truck drivers play a critical role in delivering them where they're supposed to go, so addressing challenges in that piece of the logistics puzzle is important.

A senior official in the Biden administration told reporters that it was working with states to help speed up the process of issuing commercial driver's licenses. The official added the federal government had "a real willingness" to help with training for the job, but acknowledged there "are no panaceas."

In trying to understand how the supply chain has become so snarled, Ron told Cramer it's important to remember the role consumer behavior has played.

"We're just ordering more and more and more packages that we love to consumer to our doorstep, but the supply chain is completely imbalanced. We saw that in boats, same with trucks. The entire network is different," Ron said.

"If you think about truck drivers, at the end of day, ... it's harder for them to be on the road. There's better alternative in driving closer to home and maybe doing last-mile delivery," Ron said. "We're asking them to do more and more and more, and maybe they don't want to even have to go on the road because they have to be stuck in facilities or they have to take on health concerns. It requires all of us."

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Watch Jim Cramer's full interview with Uber Freight head Lior Ron

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