Caitlin Murphy on Her Freight Firm and Passion for Philanthropy

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Hi, Caitlin! Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business:

Hi, my name is Caitlin Murphy and I am the Founder and CEO of Global Gateway Logistics, a global freight forwarding firm. My firm optimizes and simplifies the global shipping process.

What excites you about being an Entreprenista League member?

It can be extremely lonely as a female entrepreneur and knowing that there is a network of other business owners and advisors standing in the wings waiting to support me is comforting. I also LOVE to educate female business owners on global logistics.

Support from other entrepreneurs makes all the difference! What made you take the leap to start your own business?

I had a passion for philanthropy prior to starting my company. At my core, I focused on creating gateways and opportunities for others to prosper and my company is a conduit for this purpose. Through our Gateway For Good program, my company has funded women in poverty to learn skills to start their own companies, donated supplies for local charities, and sponsored events to raise funding for children with disabilities to attend special camps. In addition, I strive to provide women an opportunity to rise up in the field of logistics, a historically male-dominated industry.

What great causes! What was your background prior to starting your own business?

I started my career in China in 2009. I sold everything I owned and moved there to become an uber-successful businesswoman (or so I thought). When my dreams fell short and I was unsure of what to do with my International Business degree, I found logistics. I instantly fell in love with the global networking, communication, strategy, and organization of shipping cargo throughout the world. I call myself the Goldilocks of Freight as I worked for several different sizes and types of companies throughout my career. I’ve been able to manage the global shipping of luxury hotels, consumers goods, machinery, agriculture and more!

Such an inspirational story, Caitlin! Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

I remember thinking throughout my career that there were no women in leadership roles at logistics firms. It wasn’t until I had a boss once who looked at me and said, “Why do you want to make more money your husband is an attorney?” and a lightbulb went off. If I wanted to see women in leadership in logistics, I needed to create that space. I knew the operations, I had built a network and the risk-taker in me believed I could figure out the rest.

Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out and did it go as planned?

Word of mouth through and through! I love the quote “Your network is your net worth” because my network has been important to me my entire career and when I ventured out on my own, my network showed up and through referrals and networking, we began growing our customer base.

What is the biggest challenge you have encountered along the way and what did you learn from it?

I had to walk away from a huge business opportunity due to ethics. I was deceived and threatened by an industry partner I trusted and shared a client with (and one who was also interested in acquiring my firm for a moment). I had worked so hard for this game-changing client and the other company decided it was their client and forced me into a corner of being a vendor for them. All of a sudden we were reduced to an outside party when I worked months to close the sale. I spent months working to resolve the situation to no avail. I had a choice. I could keep doing business with an adverse partner for the profit or I could walk away from it and protect my firm, staff, and integrity. I chose the latter and as hard as that decision was, I felt instantaneous relief when I did. My staff supported the decision and we grew as a team because of it. Choosing what is right is not always the easiest but it ensures that what I’ve built isn’t going anywhere.

What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?

In 2020 I became one of the youngest females to be appointed to a public Board of Directors with my appointment at Plymouth Industrial REIT (NYSE:PLYM). I also have a 90% female staff and get to positively impact their lives each day.

How amazing! Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?

YES. It only took a near-death crisis to believe so! I was a go go go kind of gal and so many people would say, “I don’t know how you do it” and I would like that myself some days. However, my health hit a breaking point and I realized that I needed to be in a season of rest. To focus on family, faith, and health. My best tips for wellness and balance is to delegate as much as you can to your team. Even if it’s a task that is hard for you to give up, it becomes freedom when you can rely on someone else to do it. Find ways to work ON your business instead of IN your business.

We’re so grateful you’re healthy and found balance. What’s a piece of advice you can share that you wish you’d known when you first started your Entreprenista journey?

There is opportunity in crisis. Actually, the Chinese word for crisis is made up of two characters. One is danger and the other is opportunity. An entrepreneur will face many crisis along the way but finding opportunity to grow, pivot, and persist is the most important lesson of all. It may not seem like it while you are going through it but when the storm settles, you will look back at the way you overcame and be evermore proud of yourself.

What have you achieved recently that you’d like to celebrate with our community?

Our philanthropy program Gateway For Good reached its highest giving in 2023 and planned on our first international mission to Vietnam’s Central Highland to gift over 200 families in poverty with food and supplies!

What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?

Our three-year goal is focused around growth in many areas. We are excited to continue adding to our portfolio of clients, providing meaningful careers for our team, and increasing our Gateway For Good giving along the way.

Learn more about the Entreprenista League and join today!

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