Puerto Rico Needs Truckers Right Now

National Guardsmen arrive at Barrio Obrero in Santurce to distribute water and food among those affected by the passage of Hurricane Maria, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017. Image credit: Carlos Giusti/AP Images

The good news is that Puerto Rico, devastated after Hurricane Maria, is now seeing donations pouring in from people looking to help. The bad news is that the supplies seem to be stuck at the ports because there are issues with infrastructure and not enough truckers to properly distribute the items to people in need.

CBS News correspondent David Begnaud uploaded a video to Twitter today from the port in San Juan, pointing out over 3,000 shipping containers just sitting there. He was told that the containers held the emergency supplies that people need but they weren’t getting picked up because the government hasn’t been able to reach the truck drivers to come get the containers.


Chicago’s WGN9 reported similarly, saying that there isn’t communication with the truckers. From WGN9:

“There are thousands of containers in the port of San Juan right now,” said Diana Emmanuelli, a Maria evacuee. “And at the airport there’s tons of aid coming in right now as well but it’s just they can’t distribute it because lack of infrastructure and communications.”

“The chain of custody down there right now isn’t being determined as quickly as it should be because of the lack of communication,” she said.

She says because people have no way to communicate truckers can’t be mobilized.

Heavy damage to the roads and computer systems is being resolved, but slowly, according to the Wall Street Journal. Jose Ayala, vice president of Puerto Rico services at Crowley, a Jacksonville, FL-based ship operator, said that the company is attempting to gather truckers together to get the goods out.

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Kristen Lee

Writer at Jalopnik and consumer of many noodles.