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What you Should be Looking for in a Freight Forwarding Company

Looking for an opportunity to sell your products overseas?

A good thing to do at this time of the pandemic is to establish connections with the best businesses who can help you achieve that. Although overseas movements are regulated these days, it’s the best time to reach out to companies who can assist you when everything goes back to normal.

If you’ve done enough research, you might have discovered that having a trusted freight forwarder is crucial to this overseas selling venture.

In fact, the first step in positioning your business outside the country is to create a foolproof system of production, transportation, and delivery. You need to get this fixed first before you even market your products.

On the marketing side of things, the advent of Lazada, Shopee, and other e-commerce sites has made it easy to do marketing. And once your marketing strategies pay off and you attract customers from outside your country, that’s when the real work begins.

Setting up a system of transportation and delivery to the doorstep of your customer requires a reliable freight forwarder in the process.

Years in service

The first thing you should look for is the length of the company’s service. If the business had been tested for so long in the industry, then there’s a reason to believe they would do well in helping your business too. This can easily be seen through their website and social media accounts. You can also check their reviews, testimonials, and entries in legit listings to make sure you’re dealing with a legitimate freight forwarder company.


Timely delivery

Usually, timely delivery is the number one thing that a prospective customer looks for in a freight forwarding company. This is an essential ingredient in their terms and conditions that can be found in the contract. However, some companies show some information regarding their estimated time of delivery on their website. To be sure, reach out to someone within the company who can say for sure the guaranteed timeline of their services.


Warehousing capabilities

The warehouse logistics capability of a freight forwarding company is a great indicator of their reliability. A freight forwarder with warehouses within the region where you want to market your products is the best business to choose. If you’re planning to sell products in Malaysia and you’re a local business in Singapore, try looking for a freight forwarder with established warehouses not only in Malaysia but across Southeast Asia. This way, you can expand your reach not only to one country but to several countries around the region.

Large scope of operation

You can pretty much see the scope of operation of a freight forwarding company in their own website. Check out the countries where they have facilities and market reach. They usually display a list of countries where they have local market reach and warehouses. Their business-to-consumer and business-to-business services also indicate the strength of their operations.


E-commerce fulfillment capacity

Now that buying from online stores is the best way to purchase, you have to take advantage of the e-commerce opportunities for you out there. Your best help in having a smooth supply and logistics chain is an e-commerce fulfillment company. We talked earlier about how to improve your e-commerce strategies at this circuit breaker season. Best to look for freight forwarding businesses with e-commerce fulfillment capability! By partnering with this kind of business, online marketing and selling will be a lot more convenient.


Flexible handling capacity

Lastly, look for a freight forwarding company with a proven track record in handling all kinds of products. Partner with those who handle bulk shipments, palletized storage, and perishable products, among others.

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How to Maximize your Time on E-Commerce Development during the COVID-19 Pandemic 

During this crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of people have a lot of time on their hands by staying in their respective homes. This is being done to prevent the disease from spreading and causing more damage. While this may be the case, it’s also the best reason to be productive with the time given to you. You may consider learning a new skill, taking online courses, or even reconnecting with your loved ones at home.

For entrepreneurs, this home quarantine period can be used for the benefit of their own businesses. Since a lot of people are staying indoors, their only means of communication is via the internet. This is a good opportunity to reach out to your future customers and add value to their lives through your products or services. This can be done to its maximum effect by optimizing your E-Commerce skills during this pandemic. Shown below are some tips that can help you out with this endeavor.

Find a product that has a low-competition factor

Those who have started their E-Commerce stores may have started off with Amazon, considered as the largest company in this type of industry. If you are one of those who use this platform, you might have successfully sold products but faced great competition in the process. On the other hand, you have the option to go for low-competition products that have not yet attained success in the market. Doing so would be great if you aim to be a leader in that product category, especially if you pair it with a reliable E-Commerce fulfillment service. It’s also beneficial if you want to stand out from the tight competition when you start selling products on Amazon.

Of course, there’s a risk that goes along with this tip. To begin with, you don’t have any sales record when selling a low-competition product to consumers. There might be a good reason why other sellers don’t carry this specific item or there isn’t a strong need for it in the market. What’s important is you need to analyze if the product itself is worth your time and effort or you can find a way to encourage buyers to believe in your vision of it.

Price your high-competition products lower

As compared to the first entry, selling a high-competition product will almost guarantee you the attention of shoppers. As a result, you have the chance to reach your target market and the profit you want to make. That may be all good and well but there’s a danger too if you go this route. There will always be a good number of E-Commerce stores that sell the same product, hence making it high-competition.You might end up with a bloated inventory of this product with no way to sell it because there are more established players who are now more established in the market.

The solution to this predicament is to offer a lower price for a high-competition product. In this way, you are cutting your way through the other more well-known sellers and into the attention of the market. You can attract customers and solidify your online foundation. Just be careful not to set a ridiculous price to your products because you might be labeled as a ‘discount’ store in doing so. Analyze the price well so you’d still attract customers and get the profit you require.

Quality is the key when searching for products to sell

Quality is, and will always be, the key element when selling products online. The success and failure of your E-Commerce venture will certainly hinge on how well-made the product is and if it actually adds value to the customer. Whether you’re going for a low-competition product or an offering that caters to the high-competition crowd, you need to make sure quality is always present. If you manage to achieve this requirement, customers will remember your brand as a premium one. It will result in improved sales and a growing customer base. 

On the other side of the argument, selling products that are not quality will give you a high return rate and a significant amount of poor reviews, which will hurt your E-Commerce efforts in the short and long term periods.

Incorporate high-margin products into your online offerings

Now that you’ve discovered the positive effects of selling both low and high-competition products that can be qualified as quality, you can now plan on making a profit. That won’t be possible if the products in your online store don’t have sufficient margins for profit. Even if you sell quality products and you have a constant stream of customers, you won’t make much if you don’t price them accordingly.

What you should do is a quick, yet concise, cost analysis. This exercise will inform you of the exact cost of procurement, packaging, shipping, storage, and labeling, among others. Once you have determined the total cost, you can then set a price that will yield respectable profits. Once you have done this to all of your products, you can then expect a steady income that will propel your online reputation and business to the stars.

Come up with an inventory strategy you can trust

While you are at home to prevent the spread of Covid-19, you should come up with an effective strategy for your inventory management and order needs. You have to find a balance between having a surplus of unsold products or having few items in your inventory. Either of the two options will cost you money and time, two important resources for anyone starting with their respective E-Commerce venture. What you need is to forecast your sales and inventory carefully using pricing, market demand, competition, and quality as your basis.

Make your brand stand out

Now that you know what and how to sell, you need to make the most out of your time at home by creating a clear direction for your brand. It shouldn’t be based on your products because they can change over the course of time. Instead, you should focus on coming up with a strong market identity that potential customers will immediately identify with. Once you’ve done that, you’ll have no problems reaching your target market and the profit you want for your business.

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Solve Warehousing Needs with WMS

Solve Warehousing Needs with WMS

As aforesaid, Singapore is a global recognized leading logistics hub renowned for its world-class infrastructure and global connectivity. Many of the largest third-party logistics (3PL) companies in the world have already established offices in Singapore to leverage on the excellent infrastructure and connectivity.

With the growing demand for warehousing services and the increasing complexity of warehouse operations to support key manufacturing and the increase in e-commerce activities in Singapore and the region, it is vital for logistics companies to remain competitive. It is, therefore, important for logistics companies in maintaining high productivity to stay resilient in the midst of these changes and challenges. The School of Civil and Environmental Engineering College of Engineering at Nanyang Technological University conducted a study of warehouse management systems in Singapore and made recommendations to keep Singapore competitive as a leading logistics hub.

According to the study, Singapore has many small players in the warehousing and logistics industry. At many of these companies, the use of Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) has not become widely adopted. WMS are systems that integrate Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (AS/RS) with software for maintaining inventory, scheduling, and other functions to improve productivity. The benefits of these technological enhancements are in increase in efficiency and lower cost.

The study points out that the average level of technical sophistication in warehouses in Singapore is varied. Larger companies tend to leverage technology more than smaller operations. As a result, smaller players have farther to go to remain competitive in the logistics industry. The authors of the study propose that the government should encourage the adoption of technology such as WMS by subsidizing the costs. Such government schemes will help the industry to remain competitive and move forward.

WMS Helps 3PL Companies to Increase Efficiency and Profitability

Implementing WMS systems can improve overall productivity for 3PL companies. WMS systems help with inventory control, reduce the overall cost of labor and improve with the use of WMS systems. Smaller 3PL businesses can leverage such technologies to vastly enhance their profitability while avoiding the expense of investing in new warehouse locations.

How IM Investment Holdings can Help Your Business

The future of warehousing in Singapore is one of leveraging of technology and automation. Companies that adopt such technologies will be able to remain at the forefront of warehousing and logistics for the world. IM Investment Holdings has adopted these systems, to remain competitive and therefore can help companies with their logistics and warehousingneeds more efficiently. Our capability extends to bonded and cold store for perishable items with presence around the region. Contact us today to find out how we can assist you in your logistics and warehousing needs.

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How to Start an E-Commerce Business

It was not long ago that, small businesses would not have bothered with using E-commerce to sell their products or services. If the company had a website, the purpose of the website would be to highlight the location of a physical store and provide some basic information only. The website was? not to intended to engage in any form of selling. However, with new online business models and new technologies for supply chains and distribution networks have enabled smaller companies to compete globally. Therefore, it has become necessary for small businesses to leverage these new technologies and offer their products or services on online channels.

Potential Growth

One of the advantages of using E-commerce is the scalability that enables growth for companies. Traditional business usually requires large capital, investments into physical locations, expensive advertising, off-line distribution networks, etc. However, E-commerce allows one the opportunity to sell to the entire world from a single location (or no location at all). Therefore, the businesses can sell to customers all over the world on the same day without a physical presence.

Modern Internet technology has made setting up and running an E-commerce platform much easier than previously. With the use of Content Management Systems (CMS), allows one to build a website with minimal knowledge of coding in HTML. Today a CMS allows a website to be created quickly by using templates, filling in blanks, and uploading pictures.

But, selling is just one of the steps. Getting the product delivered to the buyer quickly, efficiently and cheaply is important.

Delivery Systems and Logistics

Many predict that the retail business in the future will be nothing more than physical display spaces with minimal to no actual inventory kept on site. Instead, customers will visit the store, find the product they like, scan the QR or barcode using their smartphone to order the product online. A third party logistics (3PL) provider then delivers the ordered products to the customer doorstep. ?This business model makes it possible for small retailers to avoid the cost of housing and distributing products to many retail locations. Instead, the business? The model allows for a centralized distribution network or, in some cases, directly from the manufacturer to the customer’s door.

But, what about the instant gratification that a person gets when buying directly from a physical store? Logistics networks will need to take on new levels of efficiency and automation to overcome the lack of instant gratification for online shopping. The goal will be to make it possible for the delivery of a product within a few hours instead of days. Today, this is beginning to become a reality as the model further evolves over the next ten years.

How to Get Started in E-Commerce

If you are already in the retail business, you are probably already familiar with many of the concepts of logistics and delivery. You will have to give even more thought to the many processes for an online business model. Some of the questions that you may have are how you will ship? What will it cost? How to remain competitive at those rates?
If you find yourself with these questions and want to expand your distribution onto on-line channels, turn to an expert like IM Investment Holdings (IM) for guidance. IM can help integrate an ideal system into your existing business model and help you expand into new markets via E-commerce that is realistic and contributes to increasing your profits.

However, some sellers may not want to spend the time and effort to invest into an online business and maintaining a website. The solution is to partner with  HORECA Marketplace which is an IM sister company that specializes in sales and marketing for getting your products online in South East Asia. HORECA Marketplace can help you to market your products on our own internal websites for products from Australia, Japan and the rest of the world.

For more information. Contact HORECA Marketplace for more information.

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Problems and Solutions in Urban Logistics

In the world of logistics, the topic of urban logistics is a hot one right now. Every day, thousands of trucks in cities across the industrialized countries drive through urban population centers dropping off packages, palettes of goods, and other items. Then, another truck goes to the same locations to pick up other boxes, palettes, and so forth to take them back out of town. Obviously, this system is inefficient, creates unnecessary pollution, noise, and visual intrusion, and is needlessly expensive. Why could a single truck not do both drops off and pick up services? Why could the same work not be done by fewer, more efficient vehicles? What would the cost savings be if such a system existed?

Difficult to make Changes

Unfortunately, the reality is that such a system is not likely to just pop into existence anytime soon.The amount of change this would require by both local government and individual businesses makes it nearly impossible to implement without significant cooperation by both sides. For example, these systems become feasible with businesses using common distribution centers where goods for multiple companies are housed and distributed from one location. Or cities allowing for preferential traffic flow for freight vehicles. But shared distribution centers mean cooperation among businesses that may be concerned about unfair competition. Preferred transport systems mean sharp political divides and problems with restructuring urban infrastructure.

Nevertheless, without pioneering individuals willing to take the plunge and try out these new concepts, change will never occur. Clearly, here are some competitive concerns and political issues to overcome, but the benefits in terms of savings, less impact on the environment, and overall supply chain efficiency can well outweigh those concerns.

Technological Adaptations

Another possible way that urban logistics could change for the better is by using the innovative new technologies sprouting up around us every day. An obvious example would be the use of electric vehicles for delivery fleets. Doing so could save the environment from tons of pollution every year, reduce fuel costs, and improve a company’s green reputation.

Perhaps a less obvious example, but ideas worth considering nonetheless, are options such as the use of electric, flying, unmanned delivery?drones? Or, distributed delivery models with micro-distribution centers made possible by the tight controls and oversight one can achieve by fully leveraging the Internet and web applications. Of course, other innovative new ideas are just waiting to be developed, and the possibilities are only limited by our imaginations (and the applicable legal limitations placed on the various new ideas as they emerge).

Real World Development

Think these ideas for change all sound like pipe dreams? Think again. In cities around the world, communities are beginning to experiment with these programs. For example, in Paris, France, the city is experimenting with different urban logistics approaches based on urban density. The denser the area, the smaller and more numerous the distribution centers to allow for less bottleneck and less strain on infrastructure in centralized locations. London, on the other hand, is pushing for the shared distribution model described above, along with incentives for more energy efficient vehicles. Los Angeles, California is pushing for the progressive phase-out of the most polluting vehicles on its roads (many of which are traditional delivery vehicles) and providing incentives to industry to come up with innovative new approaches to relieve the strain on infrastructure caused by their logistical needs.


Thus, change is inevitable, and being on the cutting edge can have enormous benefits to you. You can reduce your overhead, improve the environment, capitalize on government incentives, and earn a reputation for environmental responsibility among your customers. And, as an industry leader in logistics, IM Investment Holdings can help you achieve those goals affordably, efficiently, and ahead of the competition. Contact us and find out about our services.

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