Meet Seretha Willingham, the founder and CEO of SJW Logistics, a third-party logistics company providing freight transportation, warehousing, and e-commerce order fulfillment services.
Before starting her business, she had a corporate career spanning financial data analysis to project the management of information technology systems, along with strategic planning and execution.
Her experience allowed her to pursue entrepreneurship in the fast-growing logistics and transportation industry. At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to the disruption of the global economy, she was granted permission to become a full-time entrepreneur by her employers and founded SJW Logistics, according to Voyage ATL.
She acquired a small trucking fleet of five trucks and grew the company to 12 trucks within the first six months of leadership. The growth of her company was manifested in the launch of a 22,000-square-foot warehouse.
SJW Logistics is a 3rd Party Logistics (3PL) company that provides freight transportation for shippers and receivers, e-commerce order fulfillment, warehousing, and pallet storage services. The company’s 3PL makes it easier for businesses to expand into emerging markets and new areas, including emerging countries.
According to Willingham, she decided to go into the shipping and logistics industry because no other company offers affordable warehousing and e-fulfillment for small to medium businesses at a reasonable price.
“What makes us even more unique is we also have internal fleet services with cameras and GPS tracking to cover any company transportation needs as well,” she noted.
The journey to becoming a major player in the shipping and logistics industry did not come easy for Willingham. According to her, she faced several challenges economically, physically, and mentally.
“The largest challenge has been seeking funding to scale as a small business in logistics and transportation. I have been declined by many banks and lenders because they consider the transportation industry a risk. These obstacles forced me to be very strategic in the company’s growth and budgeting,” she told Voyage ATL.
Willingham holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Finance, and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. She is also a Certified Scrum Master and Project Management Professional, and a proud graduate of Georgia’s SBA 2021 Emerging Leader Class.
Speaking to ShoutoutAtlanta, she shared that her goal is to make SJW Logistics a worldwide recognizable brand to inspire others who look like her to create their own brand.