(Reuters) – U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said on Wednesday he expects disruptions in the trucking industry to last as long as the COVID-19 pandemic persists.
“There are going to be disruptions and shocks to the system as long as the pandemic continues,” he said in an interview with CNN when asked about the driver shortages in the trucking industry.
He had said on Sunday that supply chain issues could last into 2022 as many companies struggle with disruptions.
Rating agency Moody’s said on Wednesday that the pressure on U.S. supply chains will take time to subside. Increased transportation costs and shortages of commodities and consumer goods will put upward pressure on consumer prices, Moody’s said.
The rebound in economic activity across some parts of the world as coronavirus restrictions are eased has exposed shortages across supply chains, with companies scrambling to find workers, ships, and even fuel to power factories, threatening the recovery from the pandemic.
Last week, U.S. President Joe Biden urged the private sector to help ease supply chain blockages that are threatening to disrupt the U.S. holiday season.
“The private sector was not expecting the speed of the economic recovery that we have been experiencing,” Buttigieg told CNN.
“You add on to that the fact that we have some issues with our infrastructure as we (the Biden administration) have been saying everyday since we got here,” he added.
(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Howard Goller)