Common International Freight Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

With the increased demand for companies to operate globally, it is more important to secure ways for seamless international trade. Of course, international freight forwarding is a complex service—with many different regulations and security to follow and countless of moving entities to ship goods from one point to another.

Whether you are someone who ships one container a month or 10 containers a week, it helps t be aware of the common mistakes shippers make when working with a freight forwarding services for transportation of goods.

Mishandling the Time of the Shipment

Like any other things in life, timing is key for international shipping. Estimating the shipping time can be tricky, making this a common international freight mistake, especially among smaller businesses.

Perhaps, you want your goods to be shipped fast. You ask for a quote and find out that the shipping time is more than two weeks. If you promised your goods will arrive sooner, this is going to cause you a serious problem.

Generally speaking, if you want your goods to arrive in the destination faster, have it shipped by air. But keep in mind that air freight is more costly than sea fright and is more ideal for shipping small- to medium-sized shipments. For your larger cargoes, give it more time to transport as it is safer to be shipped by sea freight.

How to Avoid: Researching the shipping time of a freight forwarder to deliver shipments, whether for outside or just within Singapore, is a crucial step to take when working with a cheap clearing and forwarding agent. You can conveniently look it up online, and you will get a decent estimate of how many days it will take to import and export goods to certain destinations. For more accurate details, talk to a reliable freight forwarding agent.

Another way to avoid miscalculations of resources is to get a freight quote within the month of the shipment date. Shipping rates vary all the time, but as a general rule, rates change every month. So, prepare the goods to be shipped, have the details ready for your shipping company, and request for a rate within 30 days before the scheduled transportation of cargoes.

Uninsured Goods

Stolen or damaged goods are a common scenario. The ship may crash, encounter a storm, attacked by pirates or be on fire. All these things can possibly happen anytime. Usually, shippers improperly insure their goods or even skip getting a cargo insurance altogether.
Also, many do not know that there are different types of insurance for different types of goods. For example, household items require to be packed by a professional in order to be insured. Being clueless with such things can result to worthless insurance.

How to Avoid: Discuss about getting an insurance with your freight forwarding company, and make sure to clarify the conditions of it. Most freight forwarding services have insurance, so it is not entirely necessary to outsource your cargo insurance, whether for an international or local freight.

When discussing about the matter with your logistics company, do not forget to mention the type of goods included in the transportation, what are and are not included in the insurance coverage and any special provisions of the offered insurance policy.

Skimping On the Most Important Factors

In relation to the previous freight error, ignoring other important factors when choosing a logistics company for the transportation of your goods can result to horrendous and more expensive delays.

How to Avoid: One thing to help you decide which company to approach is to determine your priorities. When choosing a freight forwarding services provider, keep in mind your budget, timeline and any regulations associated with the transport of your goods. If the cost is the primary concern, then sea freight is the best solution. If One thing to help you decide which company to approach is to determine your priorities. When choosing a freight forwarder, keep in mind your budget, timeline and any regulations associated with the transport of your shipment. If timeliness is critical, especially if it is for your business here in Singapore, then delivery by air plane is the way to go. Air freight may be a bit expensive, but it is the fastest and probably the safest way to ship your goods. If cost is the primary concern, there are also other shipping methods you can choose from. For FDA-approved items, there are separate documentations and regulations for that as well. The best thing to do is to seek professional assistance from a logistics services company to ensure efficiency and legality of the shipment.

Transferring of goods internationally is one of the most crucial parts of handling a commercial business. By being savvy with the ever-changing international regulations and working with a certified international freight forwarder, it is easier to avoid these pitfalls and avoid any risks associated with global shipping.

Going For the Cheapest Freight Rate

This is the most common mistake among international shippers. You are a business owner about to ship a large amount of goods and make a good profit out of it, so you shop around and find the lowest international freight rate possible, and go with that freight forwarder.

However, remember that the rate is not the only factor to consider when choosing a freight forwarding company. Freight Master does their best to provide the best logistics services for a reasonable price for your freight forwarding needs to and from Singapore; but ultimately, they go the extra mile to give you smooth-sailing shipment of your goods.

Going for the company with the cheapest freight rate may even cause more costly problems if your cargo gets delayed, lost, damaged or held up at customs. As what they say, you get what you pay for.

How to Avoid: One of the ways to confirm the experience of a company in the freight forwarding business is to find out how long they have been in the industry. There is a big difference in the performance of a year-old company and a seasoned logistics company who has been operating for decades. However, make sure to check closely if the company who has been operating longer have good track record. Being in the business for longer time does not necessarily translate to excellent services. Read reviews and see for yourself if the company can truly deliver.

How to Optimize Your VoIP Plan

VoIP is great – it’s much easier to use than traditional PSTN. It can help you do more things at once, and more and more homes and businesses all over Singapore are connected to it. More VoIP Singapore service providers have emerged to fill in the demand.

Now that you’re considering a hosted VoIP system, there are a lot of factors that you have to think over, such as call quality, accessibility, and even features.

A lot of times, making the switch to cloud VoIP means complete restructuring or upgrading to IP PBX telephone systems from their regular PBX phone system, which could affect the way that businesses approach their internet connection, as well as regular trips for longer and more Ethernet cables to connect office devices to the network.

There are even assumptions about the use of cloud VoIP. One of those is that it will just keep dropping calls while employees and business owners talk to clients. Another is that the system interface would just force employees to call prospects using their personal line.

Fortunately, there’s a way to get around these problems. Here’s a list of things that you can do to get the best out of your VoIP plan.

1. Know the kind of calls that you want – and need – to make

This lets you determine the kind of IP private branch exchange telephone solution in Singapore you will need, whether you’re planning on handling local calls in Singapore or making long-distance international calls. Systems that often experience bottlenecks could have the routers for IP PBX telephone systems set to prioritize voice traffic. This allows for better calls with only little interruption or lag.

For instance, if you want to use both voice and data for your VoIP plan, consider using one plan for both, as running them on separate plans would only be more expensive to pull off in terms of set-up and running costs. When you choose to combine both voice and data plans, take the following into consideration:

• Service Scaling/Upgradability – Contact your VoIP Singapore service provider. Can you upgrade the services for the VoIP plan that you want to get?

• Adequate bandwidth – How much will you need in order to handle the number of clients you have? Should you go for a little extra just in case? How much should you go for?

• Network Adaptability – Can you modify the network to suit the needs of your business?

2. Buy wires

This might sound counterintuitive as well as counterproductive – after all, isn’t cloud VoIP supposed to be an upgrade from all the telephone cables and miles of copper wire of the PBX phone system of old?

The answer to that question is yes. However, it’s important to know that switching to an IP PBX telephone system will actually need an adequate number of Ethernet cables to connect your computers, not just to the internet, but to your own network.

Power over Ethernet Cables (also known as PoE cables) are a good choice for your hosted PABX because these cables let your devices charge from your internet connection. PoE injectors are also an option if your Ethernet switch isn’t compatible.

3. Manage your traffic with a dedicated router

Better network traffic distribution is what you’re going for – and that’s what routers do. To get the quality that you want with your hosted PABX service, you need to manage the traffic to give your devices enough bandwidth to work well. Here are a few tricks to bandwidth management to get you started:

• Adjust the router software and assign a priority to a certain category (in this case, voice and video calling). However, this won’t always be available for all routers.

• Set the priority of devices by their Media Access Code (MAC) or even IP addresses. If you don’t know what a MAC address is, it’s a string of hexadecimal numbers that’s unique to any device and network name.

MAC addresses are generally better to work with, as IP addresses can change and can be difficult to track for many devices. If you’re bent on working with an IP address, though, be sure to keep it fixed in the device and set in the router.

A good alternative to using Ethernet cables for your upgraded PBX phone system would be wireless routers, but you would have to make sure that your devices have Wi-Fi capability functions.

You should keep in mind, though, that wireless routers are traditionally designed for smartphones, tablets, and laptops – they’re likely to buckle under the weight of voice and video calls. Check out in Singapore for the best option available.

4. Check your firewalls and codecs

The sad truth with firewalls that most cloud VoIP vendors won’t tell you is that there’s simply no adequate way to measure how much media you can run through them. Your best bet for your hosted VoIP service is to use firewalls that are designed to filter internal data traffic and packets.

Sometimes, though, what you need to achieve the quality you want is a codec improvement. What VoIP codecs do is that they compress and decompress your voice data. This keeps bandwidth requirements low and call quality high, which in turn makes a better option for handling not just local calls in Singapore, but international calls.

There are several codecs that you can choose from, each one with their own bit rates, sampling rates, and other features. For example, G.711.1 codecs use more bandwidth than G.711 codecs, but has better sound quality. It’s simply a matter of compromise and choosing the one that not only meets all the requirements you need, but one that doesn’t burn too big a hole in your budget.