Ryan Petersen, CEO of Flexport, told CNBC on Friday that there is no single solution to address the shipping delays that have disrupted the global economy.
That’s because a main reason for it – consumers who buy more physical products during the Covid pandemic because they spent less on services – won’t return right away, Petersen said in an interview with Mad Money.
“The real solution here is probably: wait and see. Nobody likes to hear that,” said Petersen, whose company is a freight forwarder that uses cloud computing and machine learning to modernize the global shipping industry. Privately owned Flexport was # 41 of CNBC’s Disruptor 50 in 2021.
“I think you will see the dollars shift back [to services] and the decline in goods, but it may still take a while, especially when the holiday season is approaching, “Petersen said.
Numerous challenges have arisen during the coronavirus pandemic – from congestion in ports to bottlenecks in shipping containers – which have resulted in higher costs and delays. Home Depot even bought its own container ship to alleviate the problems.
It is unlikely that demand for goods returning to normal pre-Covid levels will be enough to give the shipping industry respite, Petersen said. “Until we somehow bring the flow below normal it will be really very difficult to resolve,” he said.
Petersen said some short-term improvements could be made, adding that Flexport’s technology is designed to do just that.
For example, he said the company recently used machine learning to analyze the 400,000 or so containers it was shipping and found that “they’re only 70% full.”
“So we can put more containers in the containers. Very simple solution. We work with our customers to say, ‘Hey, fill this thing up because I can’t put any more containers on the ship, but I can do more. ” Things in the container. “