How Freight Forwarder Can Benefit Your Business

Freight forwarding industry in Singapore has become more evident over the years. This growth is attributed to the increase in number of manufacturing, e-commerce and retail sectors. Under such scenario, what is the relevance of freight forwarding companies?

A freight forwarding company is a logistics company that transports goods from one place to another and does all the arrangements necessary for the transport of goods. Whether your shipments are for local freight or international freight, import or export, the freight forwarder will facilitate the transportation and all the paper works and legalities that come along with it.

So, why you do you think your business needs a freight forwarding company? What are the benefits you can get if you hire one?

1. Hassle-Free Transport of Products
An international freight forwarder is well-acquainted of the logistics requirements of different countries. Hiring a reputable shipping company will allow you to enjoy these benefits, as well as give you the privilege to take advantage of their established relationships with various overseas carriers for both air freight and sea freight. Part of a shipping company’s freight forwarding services are taking care of custom clearance, storage and delivery of goods, negotiating freight charges, booking cargo space, arranging carriers for goods and all documentary requirements needed for the transportation of items.

2. Consolidation
Consolidation of delivery is one of the top reasons why transportation of goods through a freight forwarder in Singapore is significantly cheaper. Consolidation is the act of combining multiple small deliveries to make one large shipment. The greater the size of your goods, the lesser amount you will have to pay for the transport fee.

3. Cost Savings
Freight forwarding companies are master negotiators in the world of trade. With their years of extensive experience and established relationships with carriers for air freight and sea freight, they can always get the best rates that will save your company huge chunk of money. Freight forwarders can always collect high volumes of goods from different shippers in one shipment, considerably reducing transportation costs.

4. Insurance
A good logistics services company provides insurance for the shipment of your goods. Having an insurance policy is the most secure way to ensure the safety of your items. An insurance will protect your shipments from damage, loss or theft while being shipped.

5. Shipment Tracking
It can be worrying when you have large volumes of goods in transit, especially if you’re still a start-up business. As the shipper and company owner, it will give you peace of mind if you know the status of your shipment and when they will reach the destination. Freight forwarders are able to track your shipments and tell you exactly the current location of goods, when they will arrive and even give you a timeline of when they will reach the destination.

6. Route Optimization
Reputable logistics companies in Singapore are members of international trade networks, which make them capable of choosing the best route for shipment of goods. When a logistics company book a cargo space for a shipment, they can advise on the best route selection and transport schedules depending on client requirements.

7. Versatility
A freight forwarder provides versatility of services, which comes handy when aiming to meet strict deadlines and, especially, when dealing with unforeseen circumstances. An experienced logistics company has the right resources to handle these kinds of situations, which usually require rerouting of shipments in order to minimize delay. Imagine shipping goods from Singapore to US, Europe and China, but one of the shipments being diverted to another destination because of extremely bad weather. How prepared are you if you choose to ship your goods your way? Working with a freight forwarder will save you from headaches caused by such unexpected surprises.

8. Safe Product Management
Freight forwarding services will do the packaging, storage, handling and distribution of your goods if you choose to work with them. Most logistics services companies are equipped with site warehouses not only for storage of items but also for packaging, handling and sorting of deliveries.

Do You Need a Freight Forwarding Company?
Any type and size of business that transports goods internationally, or even locally, can benefit from freight forwarding services. If you are a medium- or large-sized firm that’s active in multiple locations overseas and are shipping large volumes of goods on a regular basis, the more you need the services of a seasoned freight forwarding company. Shipping companies are experts in global trade that they can cut costs significantly and take care of last-minute shipping problems smoothly.

Some of the many instances a freight forwarding company are of great help for businesses are these two:

Blind Shipment. This means that one or both parties involved in the delivery of goods is unaware of the other’s identity. Business firms can request for this type of shipment if they want the supplier to ship directly the items to the buyer. To maintain the anonymity, freight forwarding is your best option. They are well-knowledgeable on the complexities that come along with blind shipments and will make sure that the involved parties remain anonymous.

Credit Terms. When shipping large deliveries internationally, the shipper is expected to pay for the freight costs. For many small and medium enterprises, that’s quite a lot to take at a time. After establishing a relationship with a shipping company, they can offer you credit terms that allow you to ship more quantity of goods by freeing up some cash flow.

In general, freight forwarding companies offer a wide range of benefits to businesses of all sizes. Although not all freight forwarders are the same, you will surely find one that will provide the most benefit for your business’ productivity.

Protecting Your Brand Through Trademark Registration

Trademarks are often overlooked by many businesses. This unfortunate fact has led to legal repercussions and lawsuits, with companies battling for intellectual property rights in court. Business owners often forget that trademark registration is as crucial as proper budgeting and allocation of resources. Having a registered mark can pave assurance and security for your organization in the long run.

Establishing your trademark or brand is not the end of it. You might have registered a trendy, professional company name – but you must also work hard to uphold the organization’s reputation. Accordingly, it is only pivotal to protect your brand if you want your business endeavor to achieve success. Consumers would want to patronize a brand that they can wholeheartedly trust.

Trademark Registration

Before you register trademark, you must first have a firm understanding of trademarks itself. A dictionary definition would tell you that a trademark is: any unique word, phrases, symbol, or name that distinguishes (or identifies) the products of a seller from the rest. A classic example is Nike’s swoosh/check logo, which is now recognized across the globe.

Trademarks enable the seller to protect what’s being trademarked (goods/services) from use or misuse by other competitors. Establishing a brand also develops patronage and loyalty among avid customers.

Additionally, trademarks that are registered with register trademark in Singapore also prevent confusion and manipulation of consumers who associate certain attributes with a brand. This is particularly true among people who seek the highest quality in the products they buy. For instance, people associate bags from signature brands with class, elegance, and the best quality. Designer brands then necessarily have to register TM if they want to protect their name and their brand.

Is it Unique?

In deciding which logo or trademark to use for your company’s trademark, ask yourself this question first: Is it unique? A unique brand name is important to create an impact among potential consumers.

A logo is considerably unique when combined with the appropriate symbol/s, along with the company name, proper spatial relationship, and effective coloring. The more unique your brand is, the better it’d be in distinguishing your brand among the many other brands in Singapore and across the globe.

Generic Terms

When it comes to trademark registration, brand names and assets can only be legally trademarked if they meet certain qualifications. These assets include logos and taglines, as well as packaging. A commonly used phrase cannot be trademarked, nor is a name that is already used/connected with another commercial product or service.

With that, generic terms such as “smart phone” and “computer” cannot be legally trademarked – but unique names such as Apple’s “iPhone” and “iMac Pro” can be.

Advertising

If your business is aiming to advertise directly to customers, it is encouraged to register trademark beforehand. It is a pivotal move in connecting your company’s name to its brand and other attributes, especially when you’re using your business name in direct communication among customers.
You must prioritize trademark registration if your brand name is a large part of your marketing. So, before you use your business name on fliers, website posts, or press releases – ensure that it’s trademarked. Doing so will protect you from being liable in any copyright infringement lawsuits.

Registration Process

1. Creating a distinctive trademark – As was previously mentioned in this article, design a distinctive brand name which is non-generic and not currently in use by other companies. Also, don’t mislead the public about the goods and services that you offer. An effective trademark must encapsulate what you’re offering so that at first glance, consumers or customers will already have an idea if they need what you’re offering.

2. Identification of Applicable Class of Goods and Services – Singapore follows the International Classification of Goods and Services in classifying trademarks, which means that we recognize 34 classes of goods and 11 classes of services. To determine the applicable classes on your business, consider the current business you are in and any other business endeavors you are likely to venture into in the future.

3. Filing an application – Minimum requirements include:

    a. A statement of request for registration

    b. Owner’s name and address

    c. List of goods and services you are registering (classified accordingly with the International Classification of Goods and Services’ list)

    d. Clear graphical representation of your trademark (any 3D packaging or shape must have clear line drawings showing the dimensions of the mark)

    e. Declaration of your proposed use of the trademark

4. Review by the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) – The office will then review your application thoroughly to ensure that it meets the minimum filing requirements. Should there be any missing details or inappropriately filled sections, your application may be sent back to you. Once you’ve passed this stage, a date of filing will be accorded and a trademark number will be issued to you. This information will be given through an official acknowledgement letter.

5. Screening for conflicts with existing trademarks – After officially acknowledging your trademark, the registrar will then conduct a formal search and screening for conflicting marks and conformance to the International Classification of Goods and Services. Your application will be in the spotlight once again, confirming if the mark is in accordance with Singaporean Trademark laws.

6. Public advertisement – If the application is successfully processed, it will be published and made available for public viewing for public scrutiny. This means that any third party may be able to oppose the mark’s registration within two months of the publication period. You will be notified and prompted to respond urgently if your application receives any opposition. After hearing both parties, a decision on the application will be concluded.

7. Official registration – If there is no opposition to your application, or if the opposition hearing is in favor of your trademark’s registration, you will be issued an official Certificate of Registration. Your trademark will also be rightfully protected for ten years.