What are SQF Standards?
Safe Quality Food (SQF) is a food safety management certification scheme based on HACCP that demonstrates compliance with all the processes and requirements as defined in the SQF code.
What is the Importance of SQF in the Food Handling Industry?
Ensuring food safety over international supply chains can be incredibly challenging, and organizations in the food industry depend on suppliers to provide them with food products and ingredients that are manufactured, stored, or shipped safely.
Certification programs are widely regarded to be the most effective to ensure that organizations in the food industry have confidence in their suppliers. One of the most accepted food certification programs is SQF, especially since it is a certification that is recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI.)
What is the Relationship to GFSI?
The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) is a business-driven global food network that consists of food retailers and manufacturers around the world. The GFSI listed a set of requirements that are crucial to a food safety management system.
Consequently, the GFSI recognizes any food safety stand that includes their set of requirements, including SQF. The result is that if a business is certified to SQF, the GFSI will recognize the certification.
If one of your customers request that you become GFSI certified, an SQF certification will, therefore, be sufficient. Your business can also receive GFSI recognition if you have an FSSC 22000, BRC Issue 7, or International Food Standard Version 6 certification.
What are the Different Levels of SQF?
There are three levels of SQF Certification. The appropriate level for your business depends on the type of food business you have.
SQF Food Safety Fundamentals
This level was formerly known as SQF Level 1 and applies to low-risk products. This level consists of fundamental food safety controls and is not recognized by GFSI.
SQF Food Safety Code
This level is a certified HACCP food safety plan and was formerly known as an SQF Level 2 Certification. Most businesses opt for this level because of its recognition by the GFSI. The SQF Food Safety Code has versions available for:
- Primary food producers
- Food retailers
- Food packaging
- Storage and distribution
SQF Quality Code
SQF Quality Code is the highest SQF level and involves the extensive implementation of safety management systems that include the Food Safety Code.
How Do I Get SQF Certified?
- Download the Code and Guidance documents from www.SQFI.com, and learn what is required for SQF certification.
- Select the appropriate SQF level for your business.
- Register at SQFI and designate your SQF Practitioner.
- Apply the required process and food safety fundamentals and train your in-house audit team.
- Keep records, perform internal audits, review performance, and make improvements where necessary.
- Select a certification body.
- Schedule and undergo your inspections.
Work with an SQF Certified Company
Brimich Warehousing & Logistics’ food grade facilities are HACCP compliant, and SQF certified. Contact us today to discuss your needs.
Wishing all our families, friends and amazing clients all the best this Holiday Season. Our warmest wishes go to you all for good fortune and continuing happiness into the New Year.
From all of us at Brimich Logistics, Happy Holidays to everyone!
Futuristic Sails are Helping Keep the Seas Green
European and U.S. tech companies, including one backed by Airbus, are pitching futuristic sails to help cargo ships harness the free and endless supply of wind power
While they sometimes don’t even look like sails – some are shaped like spinning columns – they represent a cheap and reliable way to reduce emissions for an industry depending on notoriously dirty forms of fossil fuels.
Denmark’s A.P. Moller-Maersk , the world’s biggest shipping company, is using its Maersk Pelican oil tanker to test Norsepower’s 30 metre (98 foot) deck-mounted spinning columns. Maersk pledged this week to cut carbon emissions to zero by 2050, which will require developing commercially viable carbon neutral vessels by the end of next decade.
The shipping sector’s interest in “sail tech” and other ideas took on greater urgency after the International Maritime Organization, the U.N.’s maritime agency, reached an agreement in April to slash emissions by 50 per cent by 2050.
Shipping, like aviation, isn’t covered by the Paris agreement because of the difficulty attributing their emissions to individual nations. Resistant to change, the maritime shipping industry is facing up to the need to cut its use of cheap but dirty “bunker fuel” that powers the global fleet of 50,000 vessels – the backbone of world trade.
A Dutch group, the Goodshipping Program, is trying biofuel, which is made from organic matter. It refuelled a container vessel in September with 22,000 litres of used cooking oil on behalf of five customers, in what it called a world first that cut carbon dioxide emissions by 40 tons.
Building a conventional fossil-fueled vessel “is a bigger risk than actually looking to new technologies … because if new legislation suddenly appears then your ship is out of date,” said Orvik.
Wind power is also feasible, especially if vessels sail more slowly. “That is where the big challenge lies today,” said Jan Kjetil Paulsen, an advisor at the Bellona Foundation.
Wind power looks to hold the most promise. The technology behind Norsepower’s rotor sails, also known as Flettner rotors, is based on the principle that airflow speeds up on one side of a spinning object and slows on the other craeting a force that can be harnessed.
On a windy day, Norsepower says rotors can replace up to 50 per cent of a ship’s engine propulsion. Overall, the company says it can cut fuel consumption by 7 to 10 per cent.
One big problem with rotors is their footprint. They get in the way of port cranes that load and unload cargo. To get around that, U.S. startup Magnuss has developed a retractable version involving two 50-foot (15-meter) steel cylinders that retract below deck.
Spain’s bound4blue’s aircraft wing-like sail and collapses like an accordion, according to a video of a scaled-down version from a recent trade fair. The first two will be installed next year followed by five more in 2020.
The company is in talks with 15 more ship owners from across Europe, Japan, China and the U.S. to install its technology, said co-founder Cristina Aleixendrei.
Ship owners are now “more desperate for new technology to reduce fuel consumption,” she said.
Airseas, backed by plane maker Airbus, plans to deploy its parachute-like automated kite sails on ships ferrying fuselages from France to Alabama starting in 2020. The company predicts that the “Seawing” will reduce fuel use by 20 per cent on the 13-day journey.
Why Use Warehousing and Distribution Services?
Outsourcing parts of the business process has become an effective way for firms to cut costs. According to Deloitte, 59% of businesses surveyed said the reason behind their choice to outsource a business process was to save money.
Warehousing and distribution processes can take a toll on businesses in terms of cost. If the process is not streamlined, it can even result in failure. Instead of this aspect weighing down your business, a smart solution is to outsource the process and let the experts handle it.
How Does Outsourcing Warehousing and Distribution Services Help Your Business?
By outsourcing, warehousing and fulfillment businesses adopt a forward-thinking approach that will benefit them in numerous different ways. Storing and delivering products is expensive and time-consuming. So why not outsource the process to a trusted third party? Here are some reasons you should consider:
- Expertise: Fulfillment service providers, such as The Brimich Group, give businesses the option of letting experts manage their supply chain. It presents them with the option of not worrying about hiring a team and training them to handle such tasks in-house. The service provider has a team of experts that handle warehouse and logistics tasks on a daily basis to take care of your organization’s needs. This way you have better service, quicker turn-around, and reduced fulfillment rates.
- Technology: There is a lot of technology that needs to be employed when it comes to warehouse inventory and transportation. Businesses must buy and deploy management software, so they have complete control of the supply chain and logistics. When outsourcing, you don’t need to worry about this as your service provider will have the right technology in place. They will also give you access to this data, so you know what is being shipped and where it’s being delivered.
- Cost-effective: From human resources, software, machinery, to other types of equipment, keeping a warehouse in order is costly. It is an investment that may not be possible for most small and even medium-sized businesses. That is without even taking into account maintaining everything. With a third-party, your business doesn’t have to worry about any of these costs, all you must do is pay a fixed price and have the provider take care of the rest.
Questions to Ask When Picking a Service Provider
Now that you are aware of the benefits of warehousing and fulfilment services, you are probably wondering how to select the right provider? Here are some things you should consider when making your decision:
- How many years have they been in business?
- What kind of industry expertise do they have?
- What technology do they employ, and will they give you access to keep track of your inventory and deliveries?
- Does it operate 24/7?
- What safety measures are used and is the storage safe?
- Where is the warehouse located?
- Do they meet all your storage requirements?
- What kind of leasing terms do they have?
These are some question you want to ask the service provider to get a better idea of what they offer, helping you determine if the provider is right for you.
Whether your business is facing issues with warehousing and distribution or you are just looking to cut costs, outsourcing to a reliable service provider is a great solution. It removes the headaches of this money-consuming process, freeing you to improve other areas of your business.
The Obvious Question: What is a Freight Broker?
Is your business thinking of dabbing into the international market but not sure how to start? As your business experiences success locally, it won’t be long until you eye the markets abroad. However, exporting your merchandise isn’t a simple process. There are a lot of documents, regulations, and processes that are required before you can start exporting. Not only that but also selecting a trustworthy shipping provider is vital.
All of this can seem a bit of drag for businesses, which is exactly why freight brokers are a valuable asset to any business. Freight brokers are the intermediary that liaise between your business and shippers. They work with the shipper to handle necessary paperwork and ensure that goods are transported safely to the intended destination.
What Does a Freight Broker Actually Do?
Now that you what a freight broker, they act as a middle-man between your business and the shipping company. They aren’t solely used internationally but also assist with local freight management. They making shipping merchandise a lot simpler for businesses, which is why the freight brokerage industry has had a huge impact on the US economy. More than 80% of Fortune 500 companies rely on third-party logistic (3PL) companies for their freight, warehousing, and other needs.
Freight broker responsibilities include:
- Plan pick-up and delivery of merchandise
- Coordinate with the shipper, carrier, and dispatcher to ensure goods reach safely
- Track and report shipment status
- Handle paperwork related to the shipment
- Resolve any discrepancies that may arise prior to or during the shipment
- Provide any further assistance related to the shipment to the customer
They do all of this while saving your business money. They add value to your overall supply chain by economically managing the shipping of your goods. They ship in bulk which reduces the cost for you, all the while providing you with a more efficient shipment process.
How Do You Know Which Freight Broker is Right For Your Business?
There are tens of thousands of 3PL companies to choose from, so how do you know which firm is reputable and right for your business?
Reputable freight brokers are part of the Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA). Being a member of the TIA means that the broker has the knowledge, experience, and are aware of the best practices to act as intermediaries. When it comes to reputable freight brokers, they also have a vast network of reliable partners specifically shipping partners. All to ensure that your merchandise reaches its destination on time.
Aside from ensuring freight brokers are a part of the TIA, you also want to see a list of their partners and do a bit of research on them just to make sure they are reliable.
If you don’t have the time to do the research, don’t worry as we have done it for you. The Brimich Group is a reputable freight broker that provides exceptional services in the freight management industry. With over five decades of experience, they know all the ins and outs of freight management. You can consult with one of their representatives today and drastically improve your supply chain management.
Are you having trouble tracking and properly organizing your inventory? Maybe you need a bit more space than what’s currently available in your warehouse?
Wasp Barcode’s survey shows that 46% of small businesses in the US manually track their inventory or don’t even track it at all. These results are rather surprising because the warehousing process is one of the most vital parts of your business. For your business to function smoothly, you need to make sure your warehouse is in order. Otherwise, you will come across many issues such as:
- Disorganized inventory
- Storage space issues with no clear storage process
- Late shipment of orders
- And much more
All in all, a disorganized warehouse leads to the possibility of losing your business. Therefore, you need to make sure your warehouse is in order, leading to a more successful business. Don’t worry, you don’t have to take this stress on yourself, there are plenty of companies out there that provide warehouse solutions, taking care of all your warehousing needs.
Why Should Your Business Opt For Warehouse Services?
Besides the fact that warehousing solutions take away the headache of properly storing and keeping track of your inventory, there are numerous other benefits in opting for a third-party warehouse solution.
They Have Trained Professionals
The company you select will have trained and competent staff in terms of warehousing. They will know their roles and responsibilities to ensure your inventory is properly organized and stocked. This also means you don’t have to worry about hiring and training staff on your own to maintain a warehouse, saving you a lot of money.
They Have the Right Equipment and Technology
When it comes to stocking and retrieving inventory, there is a need for a large amount of equipment and technology. From a forklift to inventory tracking software, there are a lot of processes in place to ensure the warehouse functions properly. With a warehouse management firm, you can rest assured they have the right processes and technology in place to ensure your inventory is stocked properly. These firms also keep track of your inventory, minimizing delays in orders being fulfilled.
They Have Ample Storage Space
Storage space can sometimes be a problem when managing your own warehouse. As the business grows, so does the need for storage space. So rather than investing in a warehouse, a smarter decision is to go with a third-party warehouse storage firm. You can always revise your warehouse package as your business and storage space needs grow.
Picking the Right Warehouse Solution For Your Business
When it comes to outsourcing any part of your business, selecting the right organization can be a lengthy process. Don’t worry though, we have you covered. The Brimich Group can handle all your warehousing needs with over 50 years of experience in warehouse management.
From the right equipment to the best professional logistics services, they are the solution you need. They also strategize a warehouse plan tailored to fit your needs, so your business faces no downtime or issues. Give them a call today and get started with the right warehouse services.
Is your business overflowing with orders and finding it hard to fulfill them? Small and medium-sized businesses all aim to be successful, but with new success come new problems. How do you ensure that your product is packaged properly for delivery? The packaging process is very sensitive, and the smallest mistake in packaging or labeling can result in the item either breaking or not reaching its proper destination. This is where pick and pack services come to your aid.
What are Pick and Pack Services?
Through pick and pack distribution, sold items are picked up and packed safely with the correct shipping label and invoice. The service ensures that your product is all set and prepared for shipment.
It’s not easy for businesses to have a streamlined picking and packing process. From an organized inventory to properly packaging and labeling, you need complex systems, technology, and human resources, not to mention the storage space required. Through a fulfillment service, all that is taken care of for you, taking away a major challenge and leaving time for your business to focus on tasks that can further its growth.
How Will The Service Benefit Your Business?
There are very few challenges of pick and pack fulfillment, but there are many benefits of pick and pack services. These include:
- More Efficiency: The service provides you with a packaging solution that is outsourced. This allows your business to focus on other tasks such as sales, marketing, customer service, and so on. The solution also ensures that your products are packaged the right way, so there are no issues with shipping.
- Quick Turnaround: With the right technology and expertise, goods are packed in a timely manner, so they are ready to be shipped to customers. The process is far quicker than the time it takes for small and medium businesses to handle packaging.
- Business Growth: With your business focusing on generating more relationships and sales, it will experience more growth. All due to the fact that packaging is no longer something you have to worry about.
- Save Money: Relying on experts reduces the chance of errors being made with packaging and shipping. This allows your business to save money in the long run that would have been spent on mistakes with labeling and packaging. In addition to this, your business will save more by not having to employ software and employees to accomplish the task in-house.
The Right Solution for Your Business
The Brimich Group has been in the supply chain management and logistics business for over 50 years. They have the expertise, skills, and the technology to handle your businesses pick and pack strategy. They ensure to provide exceptional service, so their clients can continue to grow. With The Brimich Group, businesses no longer needs to worry about having the right technology or process in place to package products for customers. All you have to focus on is ensuring that the orders keep coming and your business continues to grow.
The Benefits of Freight Management
Freight services are an important aspect to any business. It helps ensure that goods are delivered on time and cost-effectively. Its importance continues to increase over time, so much so that the industry is predicted to grow to an estimated value of $17.45 billion by 2023 globally. This service is utilized by the smallest to the largest of corporations to ensure goods safely reach their destination.
Why are Freight Management Services Important For Businesses?
Businesses shouldn’t have to worry about shipments. For example, in the middle of a busy week, the last thing you want is to have to scramble to make sure that your goods reached their destination.
You should have peace of mind with the right transportation management system in place that easily tracks and ensures products have reached your customers with the simple click of a button. Partnering with a reliable freight services provider such as The Brimich Group gives you this opportunity. It also provides the following benefits:
- Customer Satisfaction: Working with an organization that has expertise in logistics ensures your customers receive their shipments on time. With the right system in place, you and customers can track every shipment until it reaches its destination, leaving you and the customer satisfied with the overall process.
- Cost Effective: You can be sure of low freight rates from these firms. Since these companies handle in bulk, rates are lower and even negotiable depending on the amount of business you give them. The more business you provide, the lower your rates will be.
- Efficient and Time-saving: This goes especially for smaller businesses which don’t have the resources to handle freight properly. Going with a freight company streamlines the supply chain management aspect of your business. With their expertise, shipping will be one of the most efficient parts of your business as you will have all the technology and resources available for a smooth process.
- Detailed Tracking and Reporting: You will have access to state-of-the-art technology that will provide you with all the tracking and reporting information needed for every shipment, helping you maximize your business efficiency.
- Shipping Strategy for Your Business: The best part about freight handling services is the fact that you get a shipping strategy as per your business requirements. The company works with you in devising a custom strategy rather than try to fit your business into an existing mold. This service ensures that all your shipping requirements are met.
Additional Services Provided by Freight Management Companies
Besides transportation management systems, human resources, and expertise, there are additional services you get when opting for a reliable firm. Here are some optional services they also provide:
- Warehousing and distribution, taking care of your inventory, packaging, and labeling.
- Dealing with customs, since the process of either exporting or importing goods is quite lengthy and full of paperwork. The service provider will assist in the customs process making it much smoother for you.
- Providing insurance on your goods in case there is a mishap during the shipping process.
As a growing or established business, you no longer have to worry about shipping your goods. With reliable freight management companies, you can let the experts handle that process for you, so you focus on the continued growth of your business.
Need a freight management company you can count on? Contact Brimich today!
Navigating the World of Freight
The import and export of goods is a vital aspect of successful businesses. Shipping internationally presents business an opportunity for more growth, which is exactly why a successful business seizes the opportunity when it presents itself.
However, as lucrative as the opportunity may be, the process behind international trade is rather extensive. There is a lot of paperwork and regulations that need to be met which tend to discourage businesses from taking the leap into the international market. Freight forwarding companies can help you manage these hurdles.
What is Freight Forwarding and What do These Companies do?
As globalization of businesses increases, the industry of freight forwarding is booming. The industry is predicted to grow by 4.7% in 2018. So what do these companies actually do? They provide businesses with a safe way to store and ship merchandise. They provide many services which include:
- Tracking transportation
- Prepping export documentation
- Shipping preparation
- Insurance for cargo
- Booking cargo space
- Freight consolidation and negotiating rates
In short, these companies handle importing and exporting of your goods. They act as an intermediary between your business and other shippers to ensure everything flows smoothly and your goods reach their intended destination. They have a network of trusted partners whom they work with, so you don’t have to do the legwork yourself.
How to Find a Good Freight Forwarding Company?
If your business is important to you, then you don’t simply want to go with the first freight forwarding company you find. You need to do a bit of research before selecting one. The following tips will help you determine which company is right for you:
That is the first thing you should look for in a company. You want a company with decades of experience in this service, so you know they have what it takes to take care of your business. They will know the ins and outs of freight forwarding services from dealing with port shutdowns to cargo issues. Experience means the company can handle any issue as soon as it arises, so your business faces no problem.
Since the forwarder will be dealing with international shipments, you want to be aware of their network. You want to know who their partners are in the country you are either importing from or exporting to. The larger and more reliable their network, the better the chances of your merchandise safely reaching its destination.
Personalized Shipping Strategy
You want to make sure the provider that you go with works with you in offering you the strategy that meets the requirements of your business. They should handle both air/sea along with the inland aspect of shipping, so you don’t have to worry about a thing.
If you are having trouble finding a freight forwarder that provides these along with many other services. Don’t worry; we have a solution for you. The Brimich Group, one of the top freight forwarders, has been in the freight forwarding business for over 50 years and has the experience to ensure your freight reaches its destination safely and in a timely manner.
We’re happy to work with you in developing a strategy that provides you with all the services required to have peace of mind when importing and exporting goods.