Last year, Real Office Centers community member Luis Santos founded EverFreight, a shipping logistics company that uses a convenient mobile app interface to match customers with carriers and drivers.
Santos now operates his startup business out of the Santa Monica ROC office — but his roots are in a Mexican border town, where he grew up. Though he attended high school in Arlington, Texas, Santos didn’t feel fully confident communicating in English until he was 20 years old and working for a trucking company back in Mexico.
It was that job that first kindled his interest in the logistics industry.
“I was buying cars from insurance auctions and paying too much for labor, so I decided to open an auto body shop and hire three people to work with me,” Santos says. “That was my first venture. I was still working in the trucking industry, but also running my business.”
Santos shut down that first business after nine months to focus on other pursuits, but his fascination with logistics stayed in tact.
“Something was happening,” he says. “I was getting really passionate about transportation, and how logistics influences our daily lives without us noticing.”
Santos started a second business in 2011, this time focused on providing complete logistic services for his clients. He grew this company to five trucks and found success as a subcontractor for Walmart, Toshiba, Kraft and other industry giants.
Running this business was much more than a job for Santos — he found himself fulfilling every role at one point or another, from dispatching drivers to assisting mechanics. He decided to sell the company in 2013, and try out something in the technology field instead.
After dabbling with ideas for food delivery and automotive repair startups, Santos returned to logistics, and the idea for EverFreight was born.
“Everything surrounding us at some point was brought in here by a truck driver,” Santos says about his inspiration for the business. “The food we eat, your clothes, electronics, even the building materials for your house or office…. I wanted to be part of that.”
EverFreight launched not even a year ago now, and so far Santos’ biggest overcome hurdle was being approved by the US Department of Transportation and the Federal Motor Carrier and Safety Administration as a US Licensed Freight Broker.
Additionally, the technology sector has not ventured very far into logistics yet, so Santos is dealing with the challenges that come with being a pioneer.
“I’m not a technical founder, and to be honest the start-up ecosystem consists mostly of media, analytics, fin-tech, wellness, and others,” he says. “It’s hard for developers sometimes understanding the industry.”
Currently, EverFreight is focused on national road service. Eventually, however, Santos would like to move into international business, and handle air and sea logistics as well.
“One very important goal for me is to inspire people through my vision, on a personal and professional level,” says Santos.