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What to Look for in Logistics Services

A company that will constantly need logistics services to transport its goods from the suppliers and to its customers is familiar with the problems of finding the right shipping company, which mode of transportation is appropriate for the goods, documentation and fees for both local freight and international freight, the regulations set forth by Customs, and the laws on importation and exportation.

Add to that the problem of transporting sensitive cargo or perishable goods that need to be delivered on time and in good condition. These setbacks can cause extra charges and even cancelations, not a good record for your company.

What should you look for in freight forwarding services in Singapore to minimize the transportation and logistics services problems?

What a Freight Forwarder Can Do for You

A logistics company not only provides or look for transportation services for your goods, but they essentially perform these five basic tasks regardless if you need to send or receive the goods in Singapore or overseas:

1. Special Handling. The freight forwarder should be able to handle sensitive, oversized or dangerous goods properly and assist you in its documentation.

2. Storage. Some goods will need temporary storage before they can be transported, but this should be provided by the shipping company.

3. Packaging. The best logistics company like in Singapore should be able to anticipate if some of the goods need special packaging for safe transportation.

4. Customs Clearance. The freight forwarder services in Singapore can assist you in the document processing, Customs clearance, miscellaneous paperwork, and fees for freight forwarding and transportation.

5. Inventory Management. Multiple cargo should be handled in an organized manner by an experienced logistics company in Singapore, whether it’s from the point of origin or at its destination.

Modern freight forwarders, however, can do more than these, so ask for a list of services that a freight forwarder offers.

Some companies also need special arrangements for transportation, whether you need air freight or sea freight, to transport your goods by local freight or by international freight. If you have a logistics staff in your business, they should be able to determine if the freight forwarding services will meet your needs; such as determining the type of trade you want performed (door to door, door to port or vice versa, and port to port); ability to handle special requirements for a competitive price; your intended budget versus the rate and the premium charges of globally-competitive freight forwarders; and your expectations in terms of the speed and service level of freight forwarding.

Benefits of a Freight Forwarder Services

Freight forwarding can help your business transport your merchandise safely, whether you’re an importer or an exporter. Among the numerous benefits are the following:

1. The merchandise will be delivered on time and in good condition, because the freight forwarder is an expert in the transportation of goods.

2. The shipping company has an insurance and risk assessment and management in case your merchandise is lost or damaged, making it easier for your company to recover, although these incidents are rare.

3. Freight forwarding services can provide you with a way to track your merchandise anytime, anywhere.

4. You don’t need to worry about transporting goods through special requests, because most freight forwarding companies accept customized cargo arrangements.

5. Fewer headaches when it comes to documentation, because the logistics company is an expert in local freight, international freight, Customs clearances and permits, and transportation.

You need to understand, however, that the freight forwarder is not the party that will transport your merchandise, but they will act as your agents to negotiate which carriers, whether you need sea freight or air freight, can provide you what you need. They are your negotiators who will handle everything from documentation to warehousing to insurance.

What to Look for in a Freight Forwarder

Each business that needs to transport its goods has a different expectation when it comes to freight forwarding. Some clients might want the logistics company to take a product from one point to another, but there are industries that have special needs and special cargo.

Ask yourself before contacting the freight forwarding services if they can handle any type of problem from any type of business or industry. Moreover, you need to ask the following questions when choosing which freight forwarder in Singapore is the right one for you.

1. Can the freight forwarding services handle the type of goods you want transported or do they handle only specific or special items?

2. Is the freight forwarder affiliated with various global businesses other logistics services? Do they have overseas agents? Can they find alternative options for transportation during the peak seasons?

3. Is the freight forwarder financially stable? Do they have a good reputation among the customers?

4. Can the freight forwarder provide you with the right information and document you need as soon as possible?

5. Do they have cargo insurance?

6. Are they able to secure competitive prices for air freight, trucking, and sea freight?

7. Is their communication level satisfactory?

Research about the services of the different logistics services online or ask for recommendations from other businesses or companies that have had experience with a freight forwarder. Don’t forget to look for reviews of present and past customers and what type of problems the logistics company runs into and how these are resolved.

Lastly, you need to know the basic rules of international transportation, the free trade zones, importing and exporting laws and requirements, Customs clearance requirements, list of permits, the list of dangerous and prohibited goods, warehousing, penalties and common offences, and documentation. Singapore Customs has a list of all the requirements for importation and exportation, as well as a best practice guide to avoid the penalties.

You don’t have to be an expert in these, but knowing what you’re getting from your freight forwarder can help you decide what’s good for your business.

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Benefits of Being a Singaporean Citizen

Singapore is known to be one of the richest countries in the world. It boasts of tall skylines and modernization of its own kind, of undisputed success by which even foreign nationals can attest to. From what used to be a swampland, it now became a leading city-state in Asia and across the globe.

The Legatum Prosperity Index, which gives rankings on affluent countries based on income and wellbeing, placed Singapore in the 17th spot. Numerous factors suggest why the city-state is successful; it has a strong economy, workers’ wages are stable, and probably one of the most defining factors is that the government truly cares about the people.

The government has formulated various ways to help the citizens. Though other countries generally do so, Singapore seems to have taken the game on a different, much more serious level. In their efforts, they have committed to establish programs that encourage people’s stability and improvement.

Citizens in Singapore has significantly lower tuition fees compared to foreign students and special permanent residents, whether at a private or government-funded institution. A government initiative known as Edusave Scheme maximizes the citizen’s opportunities that includes the following such as: a pupils fund for primary or secondary level students and various scholarships for students who excel in academics and non-academics endeavors.

Health Care
The city-state is known to put their people first. Health care is one of the top priorities of the government and gives out assistance in many forms. One is the Medifund, which is an endowment fund available to Singapore citizens who are having difficulties paying for their medical expenses. Another is the Medisave, a form of account savings, which can be used to pay the hospital bills of the holder and immediate members of the family in case of need.

Leave Benefits
Filing leave of absences at work is eligible for different situations in Singapore. Citizens are entitled to qualify for taking a maternity leave; for pregnant mothers, paternity leave; which is usually a week-long per year, and childcare and infant care leave; for tending after newborn and little children.

Parenthood Incentives
Singapore citizens who are parents of newborns receive 6,000 SGD for the first two children, and it only gets higher for the succeeding births. Each newborn also immediately gets a Medisave account with grant upon birth. Married citizens, as well as working mothers, enjoy tax relief off their incomes. This is because of a government initiative which encourages couples to bear more children.

Singapore citizens who are over and above 21 years old are already qualified to purchase flats from the Housing and Development Board. They can also avail the government’s housing loans and grants with a concessionary interest rate.

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5 Things to Know Before Availing a Facial Package

Facials are now one of the most popular beauty packages people avail. It is easy to figure out the reason behind this growing trend in Singapore, especially since our faces are one of our greatest assets, and how we look leaves a lasting impression on the people we meet.

Most of us aspires to have the same healthy, glowing skin we see in models who are on the cover pages of magazines – and the good news is, having a facial package is a great step to that path! Facials help in fixing few skin problems. Aside from getting rid of clogged dead cells, the process revives the skin’s appearance and prevents wrinkles and other fine lines. It also maintains the skin’s firmness. However, as tempting it is to avail of that beauty package right now, here are some important things you need to know first.

Your Skin Type
Not all skincare treatments are suited for your skin. People with sensitive skin should practice caution in undergoing beauty packages since there’s a chance that their skin may be irritated. Using only the best products depending on your skin type will likely give you the results you are aiming for without additional costs in an event of complications. Better safe than sorry!

Setting Expectations
Sadly, one session alone cannot guarantee you instant results. Yes, you will notice some changes – such as how your skin seems lighter than usual – but it is important to have reasonable expectations of the outcome before undergoing the procedure. That way, you won’t be as disappointed in case the results don’t match the tremendous and great outcomes you were expecting.

If you see annoying, dry flakes on your nose in the morning, chances are your skin is turning dry. Dehydration can cause further troubles to your dermis and you’d want to avoid that before having your rejuvenating facial package. Dehydration, of course, happens when your skin lacks water, making it look dull and gloomy. So make sure to drink plenty of water to improve your complexion.

Your skin actually turns extra sensitive after going through extraction or deep cleansing which is why it’s better to resist touching your baby-soft complexion after going through a facial package. With your skin being fragile, you must also ensure to protect it against harmful UV rays, external chemicals, and bacteria from your environment.

Better Overall Health
If you condition your overall health properly, you can expect impressive results even from just a single facial session. Dermatologists suggest that having enough sleep, eating healthily, and exercising contributes a lot to the enhancement of your skin’s condition. Make sure to eat a lot of greens and lycopene-rich food such as tomatoes before having your next beauty session!

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8 Ways to Overcome Pre-Performance Fright

Stage fright can affect any singer, professional or non-professional. Even big names like Adele, Rihanna, and Madonna have all admitted to experience pre-performance anxiety at some point in their career. However, as the showbiz saying goes “The Show Must Go On”, professional Singapore performers have mastered the techniques to help alleviate the agitation before a major stage performance. Here are some effective ways to overcome stage fright.

1. Avoid Caffeine

Perhaps, you feel like you need a buzz to get you pumped up for a performance. However, caffeinated beverages will cause you to palpitate and make you feel more anxious and agitate. Other than caffeine, salty and sugary foods must also be avoided prior a singing performance.

2. Perform Breathing Exercises

Before going on stage, do breathing exercises. One good breathing technique to do is the Sama Vritti or Equal Breathing. Do so by slowly breathing in for four seconds and out for another for seconds all through the nose. Every inhale and exhale, try to relax and take control of your breathing. The vocal cord training at Millet teaches the practice of focusing on your breathing not only relaxes you, but counting helps take your mind off the anxiety of facing the crowd.

3. Find a Friendly Face

Either have a friend or find a friendly face in the audience. Focus on singing for them as if they are the only person in the room. However, don’t stare only on them, as that would be awkward for the entire audience. Be discreet, look around every once in a while, but have this friendly face to come back to whenever you feel nervous again.

4. Come Prepared

You’re less likely to feel nervous if you come prepared. Rehearse as much as you can and practice singing in front of others if you have the opportunity. However, also bear in mind that mistakes happen. Audience are a lot more forgiving than you think, so just show the people what you’ve got and do your best.

5. Know What Experts Do

Your vocal training Singapore can share some knowledge on how they cope up with stage fright before every performance. Ask about their techniques and exercises to ease anxiety before going on stage. Your trainer will surely be glad to impart some of his/her proven-and-tested techniques to you.

6. Be Positive

One great way to get over pre-performance anxiety is to stay positive. Remind yourself how prepared you are and, thus, you’ll surely do a great job. Project yourself confidently, and the audience will believe in you—and so are you to yourself.

7. Take Care of Yourself

Before the big performance, it’s easy to forget about taking good care of yourself as you spend most of your time training and perfecting your song. You’ll look and feel your best if you eat healthily and have enough rest before your performance. Exercise can help you feel good as well, along with proper nutrition and enough sleep, to keep those stress hormones under control.

8. Practice Proper Singing Technique

One of the benefits of enrolling to a vocal training Singapore is that you will be taught how to sing under pressure. Proper technique is the key to create a clear and smooth voice when feeling nervous. Regular singing lessons, proper breath training and support will all help to feel and sound confident as you sing in front of the crowd—no matter how nervous you’re feeling.

Feeling nervous and agitated before a major performance is normal, but it’s up to you how to deal with it. Master these eight ways to fight pre-performance fright, and you’ll surely feel more relaxed and be able to do your best on-stage.

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Management of Insomnia

Insomnia is the most common sleeping disorder. It can affect anyone and is caused by either medical or psychiatric conditions. If you are suffering from insomnia or know a friend or loved one who does, here are the things you need to know.

Causes of Insomnia

The most common cause of insomnia is an unhealthy lifestyle like the following: too many distractions and restlessness before bedtime; a shift in sleeping patterns; too much alcohol, caffeine in coffee, tea and energy drinks; smoking; eating too much or not having meals at fixed schedules; and sleeping in an environment that causes stress.

Medical problems that cause insomnia include neurological problems, gastrointestinal or endocrinal problems, nasal allergies and asthma, and body pains like arthritis. Neurological disorders like anxiety and depression as well as psychological disorders can also cause insomnia. Other sleep disorders like sleep apnea might also trigger insomnia.

Taking medications can also cause insomnia as a side effect especially those for heart diseases, controlling blood pressure, asthma, birth control, and for cold and nasal allergies.

Women who enter the perimenopause up to the menopause stages will also likely to develop insomnia because of hormonal changes.

Symptoms of Insomnia

You have insomnia if you experience the following:

• you can’t fall asleep despite fatigue
• you wake up early even if you didn’t get enough sleep
• you have trouble getting back to sleep when you wake up in the middle of the night
• you feel tired already when you wake up
• your daily activities are affected
• you feel sleepy all day

Effects of Insomnia

Insomnia can affect your health, work or school and even your relationships.

The effects of insomnia are the following:

• frequent mood swings
• depression and anxiety
• poor memory and cognitive processes
• inability to concentrate in your tasks
• feeling tired even after you have rested or slept
• you get sick easily because your immune system can’t fight back illnesses

Managing Insomnia

Although there are medications available for insomnia, sleeping pills might not help in the long run and they also have side effects. However, ask your doctor if you need a short-term solution. Don’t hesitate to consult a doctor if you think you need help.

Meanwhile, you can try these solutions to manage insomnia:

• sleep and wake up at fixed schedules
• don’t force yourself to sleep if you can’t, that will only add stress
• try relaxing before going to bed
• reduce your caffeine intake
• eat properly and at the right time; don’t eat before bedtime
• exercise but don’t do so before bedtime
• stay away from activities and items that can distract you like gadgets
• inspect your sleeping environment; make sure your bedroom doesn’t cause stress
• don’t take naps; sleeping a few minutes won’t help you catch up with your sleep

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Helping a Depressed Friend or Loved One

Clinical depression is the most misunderstood mood disorder. Most people associate it with sadness and pessimism and that it can be avoided with a healthy state of mind. That’s where the problem begins however. It is not a disease that can be treated by choice, but is a serious medical condition that can be addressed with psychotherapy, medications or a combination of the two.

So what do you do if you think your friend or a family member is a victim?

Look for Signs

These can be physical, emotional, behavioral and cognitive symptoms. Clinically depressed people feel hopeless, sad and don’t enjoy activities like other people do. They are also unable to concentrate and find it difficult to make decisions. They may also be forgetful, feel worthless, and express excessive guilt. They don’t feel motivated to do or care about anything. They also tend to complain about different pains, weight gain or loss, and insomnia. If these symptoms are present for days at a time, it might be clinical depression.

History and Triggers

Family history can play a role in determining if the person has a high risk for developing clinical depression. Traumatic events like neglect, abuse and violence are common factors as well as death of a loved one. Alcohol and drug dependency may also result in depression.

Other factors like stress at work or school can also trigger. Depression can also be caused by chemical imbalance in the brain. There is also a study that women are more likely to develop depression than men especially when entering the menopause stage. People with chronic diseases may also develop depression.

How You Can Help

Most people who are depressed however don’t talk about the things that they feel. That is why depression is sometimes called “suffering in silence.” If you know someone who fulfils most of the symptoms above, convince him or her to see a doctor. Sometimes, only a doctor can determine of the person is clinically depressed.

Educate yourself and the people around you so that everyone can contribute. The symptoms of depression can’t be stopped by force of will alone, so telling your depressed friend or relative to cheer up and expect him/ her to be okay is insensitive. Practice patience and show sympathy. Some people think being depressed is like being stubborn.

Being More Understanding

Depressed people often have ideas about self-importance, love and support that are distorted from ours. Telling them to toughen up will not get through to them. If you show them you’re frustrated and exhausted, that will only lead them to withdraw further. Listen and play close attention to conversations.

They usually talk not because they need advice but they need someone who will listen. Do not shame them for being sad because that can cause more guilt. Encourage him/her to do activities that are relaxing and promote positive thinking. Depressed people sometimes think about death as a release from their suffering. If you see signs, take it seriously.

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Health Products Containing Aloe Vera

In various countries and cultures, aloe vera has been popular as a traditional medicine, and there have been countless testimonies to its healing powers. It is used to treat various ailments and even prevent cancer. It is a common ingredient in beauty and health products.

Aloe Vera Latex

The most useful part of the aloe vera are its leaves. The thick green leaves has three layers. The latex is found just beneath the uppermost layer. It’s a yellowish sap, also called juice, and has a bitter taste.

Aloe vera latex gives the same benefits as the aloe vera gel; however, it is mostly known for its ability to treat constipation and hemorrhoids. If the proper daily dosage is observed, it is an effective laxative. They are taken orally and usually takes 10 hours to be effective.

Be careful about extracting aloe vera latex to get aloe vera gels in Singapore yourself because it contains a high level of anthraquinones, which can cause diarrhea. Only purchase products that have been approved and are regulated.

Aloe Vera Juice

Considered one of the oldest superfood to be documented, aloe vera juice has become more popular among the health-conscious lately. The juice includes both the gel and the latex of the aloe vera leaves. It is made by grinding or crushing the whole leaves. The juice is then filtered and mixed with other juices to make it tastier. Some dining establishments in Singapore also make shakes or smoothies containing extracts of the plant.

Its benefits include improved hydration, balancing the alkalinity of the body, nutritional boost, clearing skin problems, detoxification and improved bowel movement, and relief of digestive problems.

As long as correct preparation is observed, aloe vera juice is safe. Choose nondecolorized juice as it has a lower level of anthraquinones. Ask your doctor about possible drug interactions if you are on medication.

Aloe Vera Gel

Aloe vera in Singapore is used to treat different health conditions. The gel is very safe to use when proper daily dosage is observed. It is most useful for healing skin problems. Ask your doctor about using the product. Take care not to ingest the product and keep it away from children. In case the product is ingested orally, take the person to the nearest hospital immediately. Make sure that you’re not allergic to aloe vera before using any products.

Before applying the aloe vera gel, clean the area first. The skin must be dry before applying the ointment or cream. Wash your hands thoroughly after the application. Make sure to follow the instructions on the label and to consult your doctor if you experience allergic reactions. Do not use the product for a prolonged period unless advised by a doctor in Singapore.

Benefits of Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is a popular treatment for burns and other skin conditions. But it has more beneficial properties besides its soothing effect. It contains vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, A, C, and E. Vitamin B1 helps in digestion, B2 is an antioxidant, B3 cleanses the body, B6 maintains the cardiovascular and digestive processes, and B12 is needed to keep blood cells healthy.

Minerals such as calcium, sodium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and copper are also present in aloe vera. Calcium makes the bones stronger, sodium is used in maintaining blood pressure, iron is used for energy, magnesium is needed for different processes in the body, potassium cleans the cells and protects blood vessels, and copper keeps the heart healthy and prevents osteoporosis.

Anthraquinones are also present. These are organic compounds with laxative properties. Twelve in all, they are also valued for their antiviral and antibacterial characteristics. They are removed by manufacturers from the product, however.

The fatty acids, which are plant-based, have antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. They are also used to alleviate body pain.

Polysaccharides, such as acemannan, are valued for their antiviral properties can also be found in aloe vera. They are used to treat gastrointestinal ailments.

Other components include amino acids and hormones. It has 2 essential amino acids and 20 required amino acids. The hormones are used to heal wounds faster.

Side Effects and Interactions

There are conflicting evidences about the benefits of aloe vera, however. Its critics point out that the only evidences of its effectiveness are anecdotes. When ingested orally, aloe vera can do more harm than good. Even topical creams should follow the correct daily dosage so that they’re safe to use.

While some will not experience side effects, other might see the following symptoms: skin irritation or rashes, hives, difficulty breathing and swallowing, tightness in the chest, and swelling of the face especially around the mouth, eyes and tongue. These might be symptoms of an allergic reaction. Take the person immediately to the nearest hospital.

If you want to include aloe vera in your supplements, you should consult a Singapore doctor first. Like any type of medicine, aloe vera has side effects.

The aloe latex can cause complications if you don’t follow correct instructions on the label. It’s a laxative, which means that it induces bowel movement. Be careful with using laxatives to treat constipation and hemorrhoids because they can also cause diarrhea.

There are also products sold in the market that do not have aloe vera at all. These products were tested and found that some did not contain the three chemical markers of aloe vera. These are malic acid, glucose and acemannan. Be wary of purchasing products from suspicious suppliers. Some manufacturers substitute maltodextrin for aloe vera. Check the product label and ingredients. It should not only list the ingredients but indicate the amount of each ingredient. Check the label for certifications and testing.

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