• DTS.USA
    5.320
    -0.013
    -0.2%
  • NTI.USA
    2.800
    0.000
    0%
  • NTID.USA
    2.760
    -0.100
    -3.5%
  • NTIDL.USA
    1.940
    -0.100
    -4.9%
  • OTRI.USA
    6.190
    0.010
    0.2%
  • OTVI.USA
    12,391.500
    -166.900
    -1.3%
  • DTS.USA
    5.320
    -0.013
    -0.2%
  • NTI.USA
    2.800
    0.000
    0%
  • NTID.USA
    2.760
    -0.100
    -3.5%
  • NTIDL.USA
    1.940
    -0.100
    -4.9%
  • OTRI.USA
    6.190
    0.010
    0.2%
  • OTVI.USA
    12,391.500
    -166.900
    -1.3%
News

Freight Caviar: Being a US dispatcher while working from Ukraine in wartime

Learn how one Kyiv resident responded after Russia's invasion and what life is like today

This commentary was written by Freight Caviar founder Paul-Bernard Jaroslawski. The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of FreightWaves or its affiliates.

By Paul-Bernard Jaroslawski

I recently caught up with Elijah Goldberg, who I managed when I was working for Everest Transportation in Kyiv, Ukraine, to talk about logistics and his experiences living and working in a country during wartime. The conversation with Goldberg — who has since moved on to the carrier side and oversaw a team at Everest Transit — was enlightening but sad. 

Things have changed in Ukraine since the time I worked there. War broke out and many people fled the country to other parts of Europe, the U.S. and Canada. 

Do you see the effects of war when you drive around Kyiv?

“In the northern part of the city, yes,” said Goldberg, who lives about 55 yards from a street where five apartments were destroyed by rockets and witnessed the bombing of a train station. “I live on the 17th floor, so I see everything in Kyiv.” 

On the first day of the war in February, he and his family fled Kyiv and headed to the western part of the country. He returned to the city a few days later and is now back working in the city. 

Have you returned to your usual work routine?

“Yes, because of the time difference,” he said. “We start working from 7 a.m. Chicago time, which is 3 p.m. in Kyiv.” There is, however, an 11 p.m. curfew in the city, so he leaves the office around 10 p.m. and works from home until midnight.

Have other people from work returned to Kyiv after fleeing to Europe?

“Yes, some people from my office came back,” he said, adding that a portion are working remotely in Kyiv. “Some are from accounting and scheduling. They were in the EU and decided to come back,” having found life in other parts of western Europe hard and returning to Kyiv where they felt at home.

Before the war began, 33 people worked at the Kyiv Everest Transit office. Two-thirds of the staff left the country and only 10 remain in Ukraine. 

“The first week of the war was hard because nobody was working,” Goldberg said. “We had problems with freight brokers because they could not get a hold of us.” 

But after speaking to the freight brokers and informing them they were based in Ukraine, the brokers quickly forgave them for the lack of communication. 

How bad is the trucking market at the moment in the U.S.?

“It’s hard to find normal loads,” Goldberg said. “We are trying to go to the Midwest or the South.” He told me that Everest Transit has got 40 trucks at the moment.

How are the streets in Kyiv? How is life right now in the capital of Ukraine?

“It’s crowded right now. Many people came back,” Goldberg said. “Now there are even some small traffic jams.” 

He added that the price of renting an apartment is more than 50% cheaper in Kyiv than it was before the war in Ukraine. He told me that a place that cost $1,000 before the war is now going for $400. 

There were also many shortages of gas recently in all of Ukraine. However, Goldberg said it has been improving in the last two weeks. A few weeks ago, he was waiting two to three hours in line at the gas station to be able to fill up his car. Currently, the price for a gallon in Ukraine is around $6.50 — more than double what it was a year ago. 

Goldberg did say that most “bars are open, the city center is open, many people are still going out. People have to keep going.” 

Are you optimistic about the situation?

“I’m more optimistic right now,” Goldberg said. 

Still, he might receive papers soon to join the war effort. 

“We have the fourth wave of mobilization. Anybody can go to the army right now.” 

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Note: FreightWaves occasionally publishes commentary from industry sources with expertise, information and opinion on current transportation topics. The opinions expressed in the article are solely those of the author and not necessarily those of FreightWaves. Submissions to FreightWaves are subject to editing.