A Beginner’s Guide to The Different Types of Cargo Vessels and Transport

Aug 15

Being non-vessel operating, a freight forwarder agency must get in touch with more than one shipping company in Singapore in order to find the best method for cargo handling.

This means that aside from planning the transportation route for freight forwarding, they also need to find the best vessels that can accommodate the cargo itself, as well as which company owns those vessels.

Knowing the different types of shipping vessels, whether it’s for local freight distribution or international freight if you need to export goods, can save you time with your freight forwarding agent and let you know how your cargo gets to your destination.

Why Planes over Ships?

There are certain types of goods classified as CAO, or “cargo aircraft only”, which means they can only be transported by air freight. This is because these certain cargo types are more likely to combust or break down over extended periods of time, which is why they need to organise shipment as soon as possible.

These goods include combustible and flammable substances, such as gases, liquids, and solids, as well as corrosives and oxidizers, and their volatility makes them very expensive for a logistics company to ship.

The most common type of commercial vehicle used in air freight is the Boeing, whose variants can carry a cargo load of up to 9 containers and 8 pallets on their lower decks. Other airplane models, such as the Airbus and especially the A350-900, can carry up to 13.

Why Ships over Planes?

While you may think that all cargo can be transported via flight to make it faster, even planes have their own limitations in terms of take-off and landing weight.

Maritime forwarding agent charges lesser on shippers here in Singapore who transport their cargo by bulk or by container load. An experienced freight broker should be able to recommend this and be able to provide the most efficient freight forwarding option for you—be it by ship or by plane.

Here are the different types of cargo vessels used in sea freight:

• Bulk carriers – These types of cargo ships are used to transport cargo in bulk, such as mineral ore and food staples (i.e. grain, rice). They also have the cheapest shipping fees.

• Container ships – This type of transportation carrier transports their load in truck-size containers and are so common that they carry most of the world’s dry cargo.

• Tankers – Tankers are extremely crucial for transporting liquids, such as crude oil and petroleum products, in large quantities.

• Reefer ships – Reefer ships are used to transfer perishable goods, such as fruits, meat, fish, vegetables, and other types of foodstuffs.

• Ferries – Ferries often carry passengers and cargo from one land mass to another, but they are usually limited between islands in the same continent.

Your freight forwarder will recommend a specific shipping company to take your cargo, and give you a detailed insight on the freight forwarding services to expect for the transport of your goods. Your agent will also handle the bill of lading and provide you relevant shipping options to suit your cargo needs.

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Things to Consider When Looking for an Apartment in Singapore

Aug 06

Finding a good place to live in Singapore is difficult. Nothing is “cheap” – space is at a premium, which means you can forget about looking for an affordable place to live. Instead, focus on the benefits that make paying a high price worth it.

Here are some of the things you need to do when looking for an apartment:

1. Consider the distance between places that you frequent
How far is it from your work? Can you plan your daily commute to make it easier? Do you have easy access to the MRT? Is there a convenience store nearby? What about a bus stop? A market when you need to buy food?

The best place to rent is when everything is not too far away from you. If “affordable” is out of the picture, the next best thing to do is to find a place with as much benefits and nearby amenities as possible.

2. Observe the neighbourhood
There are many websites and agencies as well as property guides that are more than willing to provide helpful details about the environment that you’re planning to move into, but it helps that you check it out in person.

Go there once during daytime, and once at night. This lets you get a feel as to what the place would be like if you stayed there. Better yet, converse with the people already renting near your unit to get a better answer for the question, “What’s it like to live there?”

3. Watch out for the security deposit
Renting a unit means that you have to put down a security deposit. Most apartment leases require you to deposit at least one month’s worth of rent, and this is usually returned when your lease ends. Leases with weird security deposit deals are something to look out for.

If you’re an expat, watch out for the expat clause. This lets you cancel your lease without having to part with your security deposit, provided that you notify your landlord two months in advance. This is great if you have to move back in case your contract gets cancelled.

Ask your landlord to point out where the clause appears in your contract. If you hear “I overlooked it” and “Don’t worry, I’m not going to cheat you” in the same sentence, make run for it and rent somewhere else.

4. Determine your budget and negotiate
Lastly, don’t look at just one place. You should take the time to look for at least three different locations that you can compare to see which one offers the best deal.

Once you have that considered, take a look at their rent prices to see if they fall within the budget that you have allotted. You can negotiate with your landlord on your lease, but remember not to drive too hard a bargain. There are also agents that can help you out with that.

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5 Lesser-known Places in Singapore that You Have Never Heard Of

Aug 06

Singapore is definitely one of the top places for any tourist’s destination, which is why it’s easy to get caught up in various tourist traps, from the crowded Boat Quay to the Flyer. If you’ve found yourself in that situation even at least once, you know you’ll never want to try that again.

So where can you go for an experience that’s truly and uniquely Singapore? Here are five lesser-known places you can go to that you’ve most likely never even heard of:

1. St. John’s Island
What better way to start your experience away from crowded tourist traps than with a boat cruise to St. John’s Island, which is just a few kilometers away from Singapore?

With gorgeous beaches and serene lagoons, this place is a great spot for picnics and trekking, and the various natural flora and fauna the island has to offer will be sure to get you back in touch with nature.

2. Marsiling WW2 and Naval Base
Fancy yourself a history junkie looking for the thrill of adventure? Well, you’re in luck – the Marsiling WW2 and Naval Base is an abandoned underground tunnel built by the British, but has been left unused since Singapore’s independence.

Be careful when walking in the tunnels, though, as they can get slippery. Remember to wear proper shoes and steer clear of the gecko eggs on the ceiling and walls.

3. Wheeler’s Yard
When you’re done being awed by Singapore’s rich history, pedal on over to Wheeler’s Yard, which is a bicycle shop/café with just the right kind of industrial vibe you’d expect from a place located in an industrial park just off Balestier Road.

It’s a great place for a quick coffee for any cyclist looking for a break from the whole day pedaling through Singapore’s numerous biking trails.

4. The Projector
After pedaling through Singapore’s numerous bike trails, head on over to The Projector. This small movie theater hidden deep within the Golden Mile Tower is managed by film lovers who hand-pick the movies to be screened. With alcohol, snacks, and really comfy bean bags, it’s the perfect place to spend a date night with your loved one.

5. The Library
This place thrives by word-of-mouth and is a hidden location, which is why you’d most likely just pass by it without noticing. But grab the weekly password from its sister restaurant, The Study, and discover behind all those bookshelves a bustling bar complete with some of the most quirky cocktails in Singapore – all just waiting for you to come down and enjoy.

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4 Effective Tips to Stay Productive Even If You Didn’t Get Enough Sleep Last Night

Jul 12

Sleep is an important part of our body’s routine – not only do we function less effectively when we don’t get enough of it, but it’s also a key period of time that allows our body to clear its own build-up of waste from cells and recuperate from the stresses of day-to-day activities.

However, there are times when we need to stay up late or even all night. Whether it’s to work a late shift or to finish a project in a hurry, we’ve all experienced this at least once in our lives, only to make us feel really groggy and sluggish when daylight finally comes.

To keep the “zombie mode” at bay until you get the chance to catch up on your now-interrupted sleep schedule, here are four effective tips you can follow:

1. Ease up on the caffeine.
You may think that drinking enough caffeine or loading up on energy drinks will keep the sleepiness on hold until you’ve done what you need to do – but only up to a certain point. In fact, many studies have shown that coffee can actually make the energy crash even worse.

While caffeine still holds up to its promise of a quick energy boost (and you should totally drink it), limit yourself to two or three cups at different intervals throughout the day. After three in the afternoon, you shouldn’t drink any at all.

2. Keep your meals small.
The stress of staying awake for more than twelve hours straight is almost guaranteed for you to want to binge-eat to replenish that lost energy. But in fact, it will only make you feel sleepier.

A large meal will make you more likely to fall asleep, partly because of a food coma. To combat this, keep your portions smaller to give your body enough time to process the food and keep going. As much as possible, stick to salads and leafy greens instead of fat- and protein-rich meals.

3. Drink more water.
The lack of sleep will make you feel dehydrated. Drinking more water, however, solves the “lack-of-energy” problem in two ways: the first way is that it will make you feel more awake and alert throughout the day.

The second way that it solves the sleeplessness issue is that all that water will make you use the restroom more, which is a simple way to get your blood moving and avoid falling asleep at your desk or in class.

4. Move around.
A workout or even a few stretching exercises is a great way to wake your sleeping cells up. A moderate amount of physical activity will boost energy and adrenaline levels, which will not only keep you awake throughout the day, but will help you sleep better when you finally get home at night.

(Disclaimer: This list is compiled in no particular order.)

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6 Hacks to Ace Christmas Cookie Baking

Jul 12

Between Christmas shopping and entertaining family and relatives, the holiday season can get easily stressful. Save time and energy on your cookie baking during this time of the year with these smart hacks, so you can focus all your energy on enjoying events and spending more time with your loved ones.

1. Marshmallows as quick frostings
Ran out of meringue? No need to run to the store for more sugar and eggs. Marshmallows will do the trick for you. Dip one side of mini marshmallow in water so they don’t slide off, and then plop two to three pieces on each cookie when they have about three minutes left to get fully baked. Once you see signs of melting (but are not runny), take the cookies out and spread the marshmallow frosting using a spoon.

2. Liquor bottles as rolling pins
Empty bottles of liquor are great substitute for rolling pins. Wash them clean and wipe them completely dry. Cover the exterior of the bottle with flour to prevent the dough from sticking. If any sticker residue from the bottle label bothers you, you can wrap the bottle with parchment paper before rolling them onto the dough.

3. Store-bought dough over home-made cookie dough
Using pre-made cookie dough for your holiday cookies isn’t cheating, if you add your own personal touch to it. Take your store-bought dough and let it soften in room temperature. Then, add in your desired flavoring, such as orange zest, almond extract, cinnamon, nuts, chocolate chips, caramel and peppermint extract. Your guests will never notice the difference.

4. Non-Stick spray on measuring cups
Baking Christmas cooking requires a lot of measuring of wet, sticky ingredients, like molasses, syrup and honey. To make cleaning of your measuring cups and spoons easier, use non-stick sprays on these utensils first. You will get more accurate measurement if you need to use them in other liquids afterwards, and cleaning up will be much easier.

5. Chocolate as universal dip
The easiest and tastiest way to make ordinary cookies extraordinary? Dip them in chocolate. This trick works perfectly with any cookie because, well, it’s chocolate. Who doesn’t love chocolate? Add a drop of peppermint extract into your melted chocolate to give your dip a taste of Christmas.

6. Room temp butter makes chewy cookies
Here’s a quick baking hack: room temperature butter will make cookies beautifully chewy. Leave enough amount of butter on a plate for 30 minutes before mixing it in with other ingredients. It mixes better with dry ingredients and helps the dough hold its shape while baking in the oven.

Homemade cookies are one of the most favorite treats and gifts during Christmas time. Make Christmas cookie baking faster and easier without sacrificing the taste with these genius baking hacks.

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