My Experience Outsourcing a Freight Brokerage to Ukraine: Part Two
To read Part One, click here.
I am not sure how many parts this series on my outsourcing experience in Ukraine will have just yet. It may be 10, 30, or maybe even 50. But, it is a topic I enjoy. I fell in love with Ukraine, my time there, and my experiences. Therefore, I would like to share my experiences with those who follow me. I understand that this topic may not be interesting to some people, but to some of you, it will be. So right now, I would like to talk about the beginning days of my life in Ukraine. To do so, we must go back to November of 2017.
I had just moved to Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, a 24-year-old, ambitious young man, ready to build a team and make some money. It was November – therefore, it was cloudy, rainy, and cold. Kyiv had a very depressing Soviet feeling. Many of the apartment buildings were from the Soviet era. They were falling apart. But I loved it. I just fucking loved it. Everything about it.
Before arriving in Kyiv, I had been to just over 40 countries. I traveled to many places in the world, from Amsterdam to the slums of Mumbai. Therefore, I had experienced rich countries and countries that were impoverished. However, Kyiv felt different. Kyiv didn’t feel like a third-world country. The restaurants I ate at and the cars I saw made it feel like a rich country, and it is a rich country – however, the oligarchs hoard the wealth.
The apartment I was renting out felt like a palace. The interior design was of the highest level. The block was relatively new but surrounded by apartment blocks that were LITERALLY falling apart. The worn-down parking lot had cars ranging from a Porsche to a Lada. I could see the Russian Embassy from my window. Everything felt unique, different, and a lot more real than back in Chicago.
Anyway, getting back to the outsourcing a freight brokerage story. At that time, I was a young kid with about $7,000 in my bank account. My apartment and Ubers were expensed; therefore, I set a goal to have $100K saved a year from that date (I got close). So it was time to start working hard.
Since Ukraine is 8 hours ahead of Chicago, I didn’t start work until 15:00 (07:00 CST), finishing around midnight (16:00 CST). I could sleep in every day. I would wake up around nine or ten in the morning, read a book, go to the gym, and shower before heading off to work. Then, when I got into work at 15:00, I was ready to start booking some freight. In the beginning, we had five people in the office: two carrier sales reps, one tracker, and one account manager.
If anyone reading this worked as a freight broker back in November of 2017, you probably remember how busy of a time it was, it was HOT. Our largest customer at the time (Anheuser-Busch) supplied us with enough freight and profit to continuously hire in Kyiv. The company I worked for paid freight brokers $700 per month plus a 2% commission. Trackers and Account Managers made $750 (if I am not mistaken) without commission (at the beginning).
Imagine hiring one or two people for every load you booked (those were the margins we were making at the time). Therefore, it was a no-brainer to outsource. Now it seems like everyone is doing it, but back in November of 2017, not many freight brokerages were outsourcing. So we kept on hiring. Our first office got filled up very quickly. By April of 2018, I think we had around 20 people. So we ended up getting a larger office.
Part 3: coming soon. Make sure to subscribe to my newsletter on FreightCaviar.net. Thank you for liking, sharing, and supporting FreightCaviar.