SJW Logistics is a 3rd Party Logistics (3PL) company that provides freight transportation for shippers and receivers, order fulfillment, warehousing as well as pallet storage services. The company’s combination of experience, service, relationship and technology allows it to provide logistic services that offer a high degree of reliability while staying cost-effective irrespective of the season or holiday.
Headquartered in Lithia Springs, GA, SJW Logistics was established in 2020 by Seretha Willingham (Founder and CEO). Since the beginning, Seretha always dreamt of being an entrepreneur. After working with a large 3PL, she was able to comprehend the way the logistics industry worked and functioned. Most importantly, she was also able to see how transportation drivers were treated by larger companies. In 2020, when Covid-19 disrupted the economy, she acquired a small trucking fleet of 5 trucks and grew the company to 12 trucks within the first six months of leadership. In 2021, Seretha opened a 22,000 sqft warehouse making SJW Logistics a full-service 3PL with multiple service offerings for their clients. Currently, she spearheads the entire team while propelling the company towards success and development.
SJW Logistics’ most popular service is its ability to provide affordable warehousing and order fulfillment services to small and medium-sized businesses. It aims to attract and retain customers by providing best-in-class logistic solutions by ensuring its services are reliable, DOT compliant and cost-effective. It also strives by having a disciplined culture of safety, service and trust.
In order to deliver by its words, Seretha as well as her entire staff understand the importance of treating the clients’ products as their own. She also ensures the staff is trained. The company has processes along with process manuals for the team to follow to ensure it minimizes mistakes As a result, it allows the clients’ to have a good first impression of the company. “This helps our clients trust us and their sales continue to grow,” adds Seretha.
Being at the helm, Seretha undertakes several roles and responsibilities to cater to the development requirements of SJW Logistics. At this instant, the company has 3 different divisions which all tie together using technology and cross-training. Its divisions are namely, Operations, Warehousing and Brokerage, where each division has a different goal. Most of the employees of SJW Logistics do not hail from a logistics background and yet, the company is able to grasp an understanding of the transportation and logistics industry in a quick manner. This is also because of the way employees are able to systematically see how each one of their teams can help each other grow.
Given the various challenges surfacing in logistics management at the current time, SJW Logistics is consistently focusing on overcoming them in a holistic manner. According to Seretha, the major challenge today is maintaining a positive cash flow with all the supply chain issues and shortages. Owing to such prevalent challenges, Seretha, for the first time ever, had to make some tough decisions that she vouched not to take on certain new business and not repair some semi-trucks which caused drivers to lose their jobs. However, after making those decisions, the company began to see an uptick in its cash flow.
Another tough part about being a small business, in Seretha’s opinion, is to ensure catering to the customers’ requirements and comprehending negative clientele feedback. Sometimes clients and customers can act in a very harsh manner. Therefore, she focuses on converting her negatives into positives. She preaches to her team all the time to “put the shoe on the other foot” when a client gives negative feedback while planning on how to prevent receiving those negative feedback again in the future. Most importantly, she uses negative feedback as motivation for her team. She quotes that she motivates the team by telling them how those clients are, in fact, preparing them for larger businesses.
Today, the logistics industry has benefitted as a whole from advanced technology since it allows competitiveness and the ability to service clients faster. With that being said, SJW Logistics has tremendously benefitted by using advanced technology. The company, for instance, installed forward-facing cameras and GPS tracking in all its trucks which helped it gain its clients’ trust with their cargo. The company also uses a TMS and WMS while allowing it to systematically handle more volume with fewer people. This also makes a huge difference to the company’s bottom line and it is able to continuously pass on additional savings to the clients.
To date, SJW Logistics has successfully fulfilled its mission as well as its clientele requirements. In the coming years, it has already planned out its top three goals. Firstly, the company aims to stabilize and maintain profitable cash flows. Secondly, it aspires to grow more in areas it specializes in by designing its own custom technology that fits its needs as well as its clients’ needs. Thirdly and most importantly, SJW Logistics is also planning to grow its fleet and warehousing operations by offering more specialty services.
SJW Logistics has stood out as an exclusive company in the logistics industry with its ability to provide Truck Load (TL), Less than Truck Load (LTL), Brokerage, Warehousing and Order Fulfillment Services. “I believe what makes SJW Logistics exclusive in the market sector is we are a small business that can offer those bulk services all on one invoice for our customers,” concludes Seretha.
Currently, from a small business perspective, the industry would be viewed as down. Due to supply chain shortages, decrease in freight rates, and fuel being inflated, it is tough for small businesses to stabilize and compete with larger companies. If SJW Logistics could improve anything in the industry, it would be the requirements larger companies have when partnering with smaller companies. I would love to work with larger companies to share the importance of scalable contracts and how both parties could benefit.
“Our 3PL services can make it easier than ever to expand businesses into emerging markets and new areas, including emerging countries.”