Puerto Rico desperate for truck drivers

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UPDATE From CBS’ David Begnaud: Here’s the number to call if you want to help drive a truck to deliver supplies in Puerto Rico. Once you call, you won’t get through, but you will get a text message asking you to send a text back providing:

License Category
License for hazardous materials?
Do you have a truck?
What type? How many feet?

Relief efforts in Puerto Rico, which was hammered badly by Hurricane Maria a week ago, reportedly are bogged down by the inability to get donated relief supplies from the Port of San Juan to where they are needed.

CBS Correspondent David Begnaud and Crowley VP Jose Ayala (Facebook photo)CBS Correspondent David Begnaud and Crowley VP Jose Ayala (Facebook photo)

CBS News correspondent David Begnaud posted a video to Twitter today from the port in San Juan, in which he shows more than 3,000 shipping containers filled with food, water and medical supplies. He was told the containers weren’t getting picked up because the government hasn’t been able to reach the truck drivers to come get the containers.


At least one person disagreed with Beganud’s assessment of the situation in her post to the CBS newsman’s Facebook page:

Evelyn Stewart David Begnaud, The Governor says he needs CDL licensed drivers, they do not have enough drivers to deliver the supplies. BUT…..People are posting that their family members, licensed truck drivers, have gone multiple times, to different places and were turned away, NO ONE seems to know who is in charge of hiring these drivers. They need to post exactly where to go, and who EXACTLY by name, who is in charge of hiring…….Typical red tape. I lived there many years, and none of this is a surprise to me. So frustrating to be here in Oregon, and can do nothing. Those supplies will just sit, in some warehouse, while our families suffer.

CBS Correspondent David Begnaud at the Port of San Juan (Facebook photo)CBS Correspondent David Begnaud at the Port of San Juan (Facebook photo)

Begnaud also posted on Facebook:

Puerto Rico’s Governor just told me the island doesn’t have enough truck driver(s) who deliver food and water to communities that so desperately need it — the drivers they have, they can’t reach! They need school bus drivers, commercial bus drivers, anyone who can help drive, legally.

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Crowley, the Jacksonville, Florida-based logistics company handling delivery of the containers to Puerto Rico, said “the key to providing relief to citizens impacted by Hurricane Maria will be expediting local transportation and distribution of the cargo.”

The company posted this to its website Monday, Sept. 25:

“We want to get goods to people as quickly and efficiently as possible, and to do that we need our customers to work with their truckers to take delivery of their cargo,” said Jose “Pache” Ayala, vice president, Puerto Rico services. “Once that begins to happen with greater frequency, we will need customers to unload and return empty containers so that we can bring more cargo to the island, which is suffering and in great need of life’s necessities.

“The road to recovery starts with people making personal sacrifices for the greater good,” Ayala said. “Just as many of our employees have stepped up to unload vessels under difficult circumstances, we are hopeful that shippers and their truckers will act quickly to help get cargo to the people who need it most.”