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5 Questions You Should Be Asking Your Freight Forwarder (If You Haven’t Already)

When you’re looking for a logistics company in Singapore to provide you with the necessary logistics services for your cargo, especially when it comes to air freight and sea freight, it’s always good to know as much as possible about the company beforehand.

While there are a few standard questions that you can go with, they often won’t tell how the forwarding agency will treat you as a client. To get past that, here are a few questions that you should ask your forwarding agency before entrusting them with your cargo:

1. How will you stay in touch?

Communication in any industry is vital, but even more so in the field of freight forwarding and transportation. When you do need to get in touch with your freight forwarder in Singapore, you need to be able to do so in a way that is within your utmost convenience.

However, even with social media and phone calls, you as a client need more than just convenience with your freight forwarder. As much as possible, be sure to get a forwarding agency that ensure that you get the best customer service possible.

Your clearing and forwarding agent in Singapore can do this by assigning a specific point person, or representative, that you can reach easily. This can make all the difference when it comes to safe cargo handling and ensuring timely updates, as well as a complete understanding of the industry and everything you need for your shipment.

By having a specific representative for your freight forwarding needs, you also get a consultant that can offer you an expert’s inside knowledge on how the industry works. Not only can the representative guide you in choosing the necessary Incoterms, but you can also expect recommendations on the best sailing schedules to close your deadlines.

2. What’s your freight forwarder’s tracking technology?

As a logistics company, your freight forwarding agency in Singapore needs to be able to keep track of cargo shipments real-time, and should be able to offer you more advanced technologies beyond just Microsoft Excel or emails.

Ideally, you want a good forwarding agency that can give you tracking technology that tells you exactly where in the world your cargo is and where it’s going, and all without having to press your representative for regular updates, or any delays or changes in schedule.

Whether the cargo is travelling by local freight or international freight, any additional information provided by this technology is also quite useful, such as purchase orders or item levels, especially when it comes to giving you the much-needed visibility in your supply chain.

The same can even be said with air freight, and especially with sea freight, which is the most likely type of cargo transportation to be compromised by a variety of factors.

You also want a type of tracking technology that’s highly customizable for your needs, easy to use, and easily accessible from your different devices that you will be using in your day to day needs.

3. How can your forwarder ensure that your cargo is a priority?

Your freight forwarding agency may be an exceptional logistics company that offers top-notch logistics services, but it still won’t mean that your cargo will be registered as a priority in the shipping company that they have enlisted unless you specifically request it.

You can easily know whether you are a priority or not in the forwarding company’s list by asking if there are any clients that have requirements similar enough to yours. If the answer is yes, there’s a good chance you’re not high on their priority transportation list.

Another way that you can tell whether you’re a priority or not is if the forwarding company only tells you when the cargo arrives.

Ideally, your forwarding company should be able to send their representative to sit down with you and plan out the standard operating procedures (SOP), such as who to call or get in touch with and under what circumstances.

4. How strong is the forwarding agency’s network?

The answer to this should be “fairly strong” at least, since in order for an effective logistics company to work successfully, it needs to have excellent connections with more than just one shipping company.

Freight forwarding services offered by professional logistics company are more than just shipping lanes and networks, however. A reliable forwarding agency should have relationships with other agencies and companies that have on-the-ground knowledge on things such as overseas regulations, goods taxes, etc.

Expertise is the one thing you need from a forwarding agency especially in a constantly changing climate in the business industry that you happen to be in, and solutions should be in hand during times of crisis, such as port strikes or massive traffic caused by shipping season.

Call Your Freight Forwarder!

If this is your first time contacting a forwarding agency, there are a lot of things to consider to make sure everything is specified and that your forwarder is up to speed with your needs.

Be sure to consult your forwarding agency to give you the best advice on how your cargo should be handled. This way, your cargo gets to where you want it to go in one piece and in its best condition.

Calling a forwarding agency for your cargo not only helps your cargo, but also your business, as you would be open to new possibilities for your shipments that you never thought possible.

Get in touch with your freight forwarder today!

Components of a Fire Alarm System

Is your office considering installing a sophisticated fire alarm system complete with fire alarm, heat sensor, fire extinguisher, and a state-of-the-art warning system for other emergencies? Knowing what makes up a complete emergency system can help narrow down your choice for a professional alarm service provider in Singapore.

Initiating Devices
The initiating devices in the system are also known as the fire detector which can be activated manually or automatically. Examples of the automatic initiating devices are the heat sensor and smoke sensor devices, which are based on several technologies such as aspiration, photoelectric, beam, duct, and ionization. Some of the most advanced devices can detect not only flame and smoke, but also water flow, carbon monoxide, and others which might be considered hazardous for the occupants. Camera detection is sometimes used in high-tech offices to allow for analysis through computer algorithms of the fire and movement. Manual initiating devices are the pull stations you can sometimes see in building corridors that are housed with an axe and a fire extinguisher for emergencies besides fire. Most of these are located near exits and other accessible areas.

Fire Alarm Panel
Also called the fire alarm control panel, this is the “brains” of the fire alarm system in Singapore that monitors overall system integrity, monitors all the inputs, and controls the outputs by relaying the proper information to the other parts of the system. It is made up of circuit writing and circuit cards, sometimes with a specific assigned card for different zones especially in large buildings. Users and fire protection companies in Singapore alike will be able to signal an alert, reset, reprogram, and disable the alarm through the panel.

Remote Display and Control Panel
For large building complexes, a more sophisticated monitoring system may be required. The panels and control allow for faster checking of the status, signaling alarms or disabling them, and the activation or deactivation of the fore alarm system components within the building.

Notification Devices
As the name implies, this component of the emergency system consists of devices that will notify the occupants in the area about an emergency. Notification may be done through an emergency alarm, flashing or strobe lights, speakers for instructing people on how to evacuate, and many more. Voice alarm systems sometimes use pre-recorded instructions or messages that are played during the evacuation.

Safety Interface
There are other devices which might help the occupants and responders stop the spread of fire by controlling aspects of the environment. This can be done through control of the lighting, exit or evacuation of the occupants, air movement to prevent the fire from getting bigger, and others. The devices range from simple evacuation diagrams to sophisticated duct smoke detector for the ventilation and air conditioning system and the magnetic smoke holders that will keep the doors closed or open to restrict passage or to allow passage of evacuees. Other high-rise buildings are required to have an emergency elevator service to prevent people from getting trapped during the evacuation.

Primary and Secondary Power Supply
For the emergency system to function even during a power outage, it is connected to a primary power supply and a power backup, such as a generator. The primary supply is connected to the 120 V or 240 V alternating current, while the backup power supply is provided by the batteries installed in the system’s panel or another enclosure near it.

Fire Protection
In cases where notification alone might not be enough to stop the fire, a sprinkler system is connected to the fire alarm as part of an active fire protection step. Commercial and industrial buildings are required to install the system. The sprinkler has a heat-sensitive glass and a pipe cap which can pop out once the temperature activates it. Types of sprinklers include the water spray, foam water, and water mist.