28 Nov 2017

What Is A Multilingual Or Bilingual Virtual Assistant?

If you are wondering what a virtual assistant, or VA can do for you, you will find out that the answer is ‘a lot’. Virtual assistants are independent entrepreneurs that can offer professional administrative and technical assistance, and even creative or social services to their clients. The distinctive mark of a such a person is that he or she works from a home office, using Internet and the phone as means of communication.

When you hire a such a person you can delegate daily tasks that have to be performed, so that you will have more time to manage your business. Be they long-term or short-term projects, the tasks that you decide to delegate to your virtual assistant can include a wide range of services and this only depends on what you need and the skills of the person you hire. Although they will not become your employees, he or she will still have to perform just like one.

A bilingual or multilingual VA is a person who masters two or even more foreign languages. If your business needs to do business in a foreign country, this is quite helpful. Once she or he has become familiar with the operations in your company, your VA can use his or her mother tongue or a foreign language she or he masters to communicate with your foreign customers.

The list of tasks that can be delegated to a VA can be quite long, but here are some of the most common types:

Administrative Tasks For Your Virtual Assistant

Organizing and managing your correspondence or e-mail campaigns that enhance your business. You VA can manage the database with your customers or services you offer, enter new accounts, information and update it whenever it is necessary.

Or perhaps you need travel arrangements, calendar management, research, data entry, transcription. These are typical tasks you can ask your virtual assistant to perform. Any other administrative services that you consider important but do not have enough time to deal with, you can delegate to your VA. Bilingual or multilingual virtual assistants can handle all such tasks in the foreign languages they are proficient with. This allows you more time to deal with more important tasks.

All you need is your computer, an Internet connection and perhaps a phone to be permanently in touch with your VA.

Marketing Tasks Your Virtual Assistant Can Perform

There are professionals that offer virtual assistance services that specialize in Internet and social media marketing. This means you can hire them to set up press release and article marketing campaigns. You can also ask skillful VAs to improve the SEO for your website and offer suggestions on how to grow your business through Internet marketing techniques. You will find VAs that can use social media to generate new leads for your business. Creating a business blog, setting up an interesting Facebook page, Twitter campaigns or any other cutting-edge social media tools can be tasks to delegate to your VA.

VAs Offer Customer Services

When you are interested in finding customers worldwide, a multilingual or bilingual virtual assistant is an invaluable partner who can communicate with your clients who speak the languages the VA is fluent in. Your VA can connect with your prospects and customers in their native language and this process can boost your business.

Multilingual Virtual Assistant Can Also Handle Translation Tasks

If you need to translate your website, articles, Powerpoint presentations or press releases in the language of the country you are interested in, you can ask your virtual assistant to take care of these tasks. Of course, there are machine translations but everybody knows that their performance is not yet satisfactory. Human translation cannot be replaced yet. This is why whenever you deal with foreign customers, hiring a multilingual or bilingual virtual assistant is the best choice. Being more involved with your day to day operations, she or he can do a better job than a certified translator. Certified translators usually charge more, so this might mean you can save money.

International SEO and Internet Marketing Performed By VAs

A bilingual or a multilingual virtual assistant can assist you with not just translating your website but also with optimizing it so that search engines will rank it higher. You can find the right person to perform SEO for the targeted languages if you look for multilingual virtual assistants. A native speaker will better know which keywords are relevant in their country, so the translation can be more accurate and culturally adjusted to the audience it is intended for. Sites such as Google or Bing will favor your website if you have performed International SEO with your assistant help.

These persons can become your partners, not just your employees and the efficient and cost-effective solution of hiring them will translate into better results for your company. Outsourcing your routine tasks to a VA, will allow you to focus on more important operations of your core business, so your productivity will increase.

Source by Claudia Amendola

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31 Oct 2017

Environmental Risk Aversion for Waste Derived Biomass

1.0 Introduction

This 21st century has become an age of recycling where a lots of emphasize is placed on reuse of material to curb current environmental problems and maximize use of depleting natural resources and energy conservation. Modern day sustainable use and management of resource recommend need to incorporate recycling culture in our ways of life including technological process. Biomass is not left behind in this; the use of biomass energy resource derived from the carbonaceous waste of various natural and human activities to produce electricity is becoming popular. Biomass is considered as one of the clean, more- efficient and more-stable means of power generation. And it has become imperative for marine industry to tap this new evolving power generation mode especially the use of micro generation approach considering the mobile nature of ships.

Biofuels exist in solid, liquid or gas form thereby potentially affecting three of our core markets. Solid biofuels or biomass tend to be used in external combustion, however its use in the shipping industry has been limited to liquid biofuel due to lack of appropriate information economics forecasts, Sources of biomass include by-products from the timber industry, agricultural crops, raw material from the forest, major parts of household waste, and demolition wood, all things being equal using pure biomass that do not affect human and ecological chain make it suitable energy source. Biomass has low sulfur content means biomass combustion therefore considered much less acidifying than with coal, for example. Also, the ashes from biomass consumption, which are very low in heavy metals, can be recycled.

One advantage of biomass compared to other renewable-based systems that require costly advanced technology (such as solar photovoltaics) is that biomass can generate electricity with the same type of equipment and power plants that now burn fossil fuels. Many innovations in power generation with other fossil fuels may also be adaptable to the use of biomass fuels. Various factors have hindered the growth of the renewable energy resource, however. Most biomass power plants operating today are characterized by low boiler and thermal-plant efficiencies; both the fuel’s characteristics and the small size of most facilities contribute to these efficiencies. In addition, such plants are costly to build.

Biomass remains potential renewable energy contributor to net reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by offsetting CO2 from fossil generation. The current method generating biomass power is biomass fired boilers and Rankine steam turbines. Recent research work in developing sustainable, and economic biomass focus on high-pressure supercritical steam cycles , use of feedstock supply system, and conversion of biomass to a low or medium gas that can be fired in combustion turbine cycles, resulting in efficiencies one-and-a-half times that of a simple steam turbine. biofuels has potential to influence marine industry, and it as become importance for designers and ship owners to accept their influence on the world fleet of the future especially the micro generation concept with co generation for cargo and fuel for  ships.

The paper discuss conceptual work, trend , sociopolitical driver, economic, development, and future of biomass with hope to bring awareness to local, national and multinational bodies making biofuels policies as well as maritime multidisciplinary expertise in regulation, economics, engineering, and vessel design and operation. The paper also discusses how the shipping industry can take advantage of growing tide to tap benefit promised by waste use power generation system.

2.0 Biomass developmental trend

The concept of use of Biofuels for energy generation has has been existing concept, and in the face of challenges posed by environmental need, its growth is likely to dominate renewable energy market. Following the advent of peanut oil diesel engines developed by Rudolf Diesel in 1911 the production and use of biofuels worldwide has grown significantly in recent years. The current world biofuels market is focused on: Bioethanol blended into fossil motor gasoline (petrol) or used directly and biodiesel or Fatty Acid Methyl Ester diesel blended into fossil diesel. However the use of The Fischer-Tropsch model that involve catalyzed chemical reaction to produce a synthetic petroleum substitute, typically from coal, natural gas or biomass, for use as synthetic lubrication oil or as a synthetic fuel seem promising and negate risk posed by food based biomass. This synthetic fuel runs only in diesel engines and some aircraft engines. Oil, product and chemical tankers being constructed now are likely to benefit much more from use of biomas. However use on gasoline engines ignites the vapors at much higher temperatures, which pose limitation to inland water craft.

Biomass generation and growing trend can be classified into 3 generation types:

  • first generation’ biofuels relate to biofuels made from sugar or starch, producing bioethanol, and vegetable oil or animal fats producing biodiesel. First generation biofuels provoke increasing criticism through their dependence on food crops and issues over biodiversity, land use and human rights. Hybrid technology for percentage blending is being employed to mitigate food production impact.
  • Second generation biofuels mitigate problem posed by the first generation biofuels. They do not affect food crops because they are made from waste biomass from agricultural and forestry, fast-growing grasses and trees specially grown as so-called “energy crops”. With technology, sustainability and cost issues to overcome, second-generation biofuels are still several years away from commercial viability and many second generation mass produced biofuels are still under development including the biomass to liquid. Fischer-Tropsch production technique.
  • third generation biofuels are green fuels like algae biofuel made from energy and biomass crops that have been designed in such a way that their structure or properties conform to the requirements of a particular bioconversion process. They are made from such as sewage, and grown on ponds.

Just like tanker revolution influence on ship type, demand for biomass will bring, will bring capacity, bio -material or completed product from source to production area and then to the point of use, will bring technological, environmental change will require ships of different configuration, size and tank coating type. As well as impact on the tonne mile demand will change accordingly.

Effect on shipping is likely to follow shipping large scale growth on exports and seaborne trade from key exporting regions, particularly South America. Brazil has a key role. Brazil has already been branded to be producing en-mass ethanol from sugar cane since the 1970s with a cost per unit reportedly the lowest in the world. And it is currently exploring ethanol

Table 1 – World ethanol consumption 2007

Consumption

World ethanol consumption –

51 million tones, 2007

Us and brazil

68%

EU and China –

17% – surplus of 0.1 million tones

US deficit –

1.7mt

EU deficit –

1.3 mt

World – deficit

1mt

Recent year is also witnessing  emerging trade on biofuel product between the US, EU, and Asia and whilst Brazil exports the most ethanol globally at about 2.9 million tonnes per year, the top importers of the US, EU,Japan and Korea have increasing demand that will have to be satisfied by increased shipping capacity. Seaborne vegetable oil supply is increasingly growing

Table 2 – Biofuel growth

Vegetable oil

33 mt in 2000 to 59 mt in 2008

Palm oil

13 mt in 2000 to 32 mt forecast in 2008.

a 7.5% p.a growth rate

Soya bean

7 mt to some 11.5 mt in 2008,

EU

imports – 5.7 mt in 2001 to an expected 10.3 mt for 2008

8.9%.

3.1 mt in 2001 to 5.2 mt forecast for 2008

39%

Production capacity- 1.9 mt in 2002 to 11 mt in 2007, with 2007.

50% of total capacity.

Recently biofuel is driving a new technology, Worldwide; the use of biofuels for cars and public vehicles has grown significantly. With excess capacity waiting for source material it seems inevitable that shipping demand will increase.

3.0 Inter industry Best Practice

3.1 Land based use – 

  • UK pumps mandate at least 2.5% biofuels. This target will rise to 5% by 2010. Also in the UK, the first train to run on biodiesel went into service in June 2007 for a six month trial period. The train uses a blended fuel, which is 20% biodiesel and the operator, Virgin Trains, is confident the mix can be increased to at least a 50% mix with the further possibility to run trains on fuels entirely from non-carbon sources.
  • On January 15, 2006- Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA lunch a program to test a 20% blend of biodiesel (B20) in its buses. In two months they used approximately 45,000 gallons of B20. As a result of the test, in April 2006 they began using biodiesel fleet-wide. In addition to using B20 in the winter months, COTA has committed to using 50-90% biodiesel blends (B50 – B90) during the summer months. This is projected to decrease regular diesel fuel consumption by over one million gallons per year.
  • 26th of October 2007. buses in the UK running on B100 was launched on  In a pilot project. Argent Energy (UK) Limited is working together with Stagecoach to supply biodiesel made by recycling and processing animal fat and used cooking oil.
  • For power stations, B&W have orders in the EU for 45 MW of two-stroke biofuel engines with a thermal efficiency of 51-52%. Specifically, these operate on palm oil of varying quality, and in the future, it is expected that more engines, whether stationary or marine, will be developed to run on biofuels.

·         US DOE has funded five new advanced biomass gasification research and development projects beginning in 2001(Vermont project)

·         2008 – Ford announced a £1 billion research project to convert more of its vehicles to new biofuel sources. The first trial oft, Last year. BP Australia has now sold over 100 million liters of 10% ethanol content fuel to Australian motorists, and Brazil sells both 22% ethanol petrol nationwide and 100% ethanol to over 4 million cars, It is a trend that is gathering momentum.

  • In a program initiated by the Swedish National Board for Industrial and Technical Development in Stockholm, several Swedish universities, companies, and utilities are collaborating to accelerate the demonstration of the advanced EVGT for natural-gas firing, especially in small-scale units. A natural-gas-fired EVGT pilot plant (0.6 megawatts of power output for a simple gas-turbine cycle) should start operation in Lund, Sweden, in 1998.

·         AES Corporation is a leading company in biomass conversion internationally. At AES Kilroot in Northern Ireland, the team recently completed a successful trial to convert the plant to burn a mixture of coal and biomass. With further investment in the technology, nearly half of Northern Ireland’s 2012 renewable target could be met from AES Kilroot alone.

3.2 Aero industry–

  • Virgin Atlantic – Air transport is receiving increasing attention because of environmental concerns linked to CO2 emissions, air quality and noise. Virgin Atlantic in collaboration with Boeing and General Electric aircraft alternative fuels project for aircraft. A successful test flight from London to Amsterdam flight took place on 24th February of this year, running one of the four jumbo jet engines on a mixture of 20% coconut oil and babassu nut oil, with 80% conventional jet fuel. This fuel was specifically chosen due to its performance at low operating temperatures. The test was successful, with no noticeable difference in performance. Except that; imitation that biofuel mix used was in no way sustainable in the quantities required by the demands of the aviation industry. In a way to mitigate this Virgin is looking to us use of Algae based fuels as it is predicted that they may be suitable for use at low temperature.

3.3  Maritime industry 

  • The use of land based transportation, is growing, however the use for sea based transportation need to be explored. Biofuels  for ship will be advantageous. In recent UK pilot project where Buses are run on B100 Argent Energy (UK) Limited is working together with Stagecoach to supply biodiesel made by recycling and processing animal fat and used cooking oil. Marine engines with their inherent lower speed and more tolerant to burning alternative fuels than smaller, higher speed engines tolerance will allow them to run on lower grade and cheaper biofuels.
  • Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines (RCCL) unveiled a palm oil-based biodiesel since 2005.Optimistic outcome of the trial made RCCL confident enough to sign a contract in August 2007 for delivery of a minimum 15 million gallons and for the four years after, a minimum of 18 millions gallons of biodiesel for its cruise ships fleet. The contract marked the single largest long-term biodiesel sales contract in the United States.
  • In early 2007, United States Coast Guard indicated that their fleet will augment increase use of biofuels by 15% over the next four years.
  • In the marine industry, beside energy substitute advantage, biolubricants and biodegradable oil  are particularly advantageous from an environmental and pollution perspective. Bio lubrication also offer higher viscosity, flash point and better technical properties such as increased sealing and lower machine operating temperature advantageous use in ship operation.

Time has gone when maritime industry could afford nitty gritty in adopting technology, other industry are already on a fast track preparing themselves technically for evitable changes driven by environmental problem, Global energy demands and political debate add further pressures to find alternative energy especially bio energy  because of hybridization of old and new system advantage it offer. The implication is that shipping could be caught ill prepared for any rapid change in demand or supply of biofuel. Thus this technology is in the early stages of development but the shipping industry need top be prepared for the impacts of its breakthrough because Shipping will eventually required be at the centre of this supply and demand logistics chain again. Table 3 shows the projection for the main present players.

Table3  – projection

Region

Growth (1990-1994)

Projection (2020)

United states

7%

15%

Europe

2%

15%

4.0 Sources of biomass

North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC) region. Supply has classified biofuel into the following four type’s vizs: agricultural residues, energy crops, forestry residues, and urban wood waste/mill residues. A brief description of each type of biomass is provided below:

  • Agricultural residues from the remaining stalks and biomass material left on the ground can be collected and used for energy generation purposes this include residues of wheat straw and corn stover.
  • Energy crops are produced solely or primarily for use as feedstocks in energy generation processes. Energy crops includes hybrid poplar, and switchgrass, grown on idled, or in pasture, and in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP).
  • Forestry residues are composed of logging residues, rough rotten salvageable dead wood, and excess small pole trees.
  • Urban wood waste/mill residues are waste woods from manufacturing operations that would otherwise be landfilled. The urban wood waste/mill residue category includes primary mill residues and urban wood such as pallets, construction waste, and demolition debris, which are not otherwise used.

The most important agricultural commodity crops being planted in the United States are listed in Table 4. Corn, wheat, and soybeans represent about 70 percent of total cropland harvested.

Table 6 shows representative characteristics for different subcategories of urban wood waste and mill residues.

5.0 Risk and Uncertainties

Although a significant amount of effort has gone into estimating the available quantities of biomass supply, the following risk and uncertainties that need to be incorporated into design and decision work on biodiesel use are:

  • Risk to land use – Our planet only have 295 land, for example Brazil has some 200 million acres of farmland available, more than the 46 million acres of land,  required to grow the sugarcane needed to satisfy the projected 2022
  • Evolving competing uses of biomass materials, the large market consumption, pricing and growing need.
  • In agricultural waste, the impact of biomass removal on soil quality pose treat to agricultural residues that need to be left on the soil to maintain soil quality could result in significant losses of biomass for electric power generation purposes.
  • Impact of changes in forest fire prevention policies on biomass availability could cause vegetation in forests to minimize the potential for forest fires could significantly increase the quantity of forestry residues available.
  • Potential attempt to recycle more of the municipal solid waste stream might translate into less available biomass for electricity generation.
  • Impact on the food production industry as witness in recent food scarcity crisis

5.1 Regulatory impact

 

The EU has stated that by 2020 a target of 20% of community wide energy will be renewable. Further to this, all member states are to achieve a mandatory 10% minimum target for the share of biofuels in transport petrol and diesel consumption by 2020.. The legislation provides a phase-in for biofuel blends, including availability of high percentage biofuel blends at filling stations.  The United States Congress passed the Renewable Fuels Standards (RFS) in February 2008, which will require 35 billion gallons of renewable and alternative fuels in 2022. In parallel to this, work is continuing to reduce emissions further in vehicles. Political drivers in Asia vary according to region. In Southeast Asia, the centre of world production for palm oil, coconut oil, and other tropical oils, political support for farming is the key driver.

The issue affecting shipping is whether to refine and use biodiesel locally, or export the unrefined oil for product production elsewhere. In the short term the economics have favored the exports of unrefined oil – which is good news for us. Over the next ten years, with the cost of oil rising, and strict emission reductions in place, the need for increased biofuel production is likely to increase. as well as creating a net positive balance fuel. According to the IEA, world biofuels demand for transport could increase to about 3% of overall world oil demand in 2015 and double by 2030 over the 2008 figure. This does not sound so significant but as we show later it has a significant impact on the specialist fleet capacity demand. As we said before, predicting the trade pattern of biofuels adds a layer of complexity to the overall  nergy supply picture and our oil distribution system.

We also believe that this forecast will be the minimum seen as the political pressures will cause the level to rise beyond 3%. To put the scale in context, the current oil tanker fleet of vessels 10,000 dwt or larger comprises of some 4,600 vessels amounting to 386 million dwt. These include about 2,560 Handysize tankers. Additionally, there are some 4,400 more small tankers from 1,000 to 10,000 dwt accounting for 16 million dwt. Our projections show a significant role for seaborne transport, even using conservative bases with high proportions of locally supplied biofuels. This is a significant fleet segment that poses technical and regulatory challenges. As we have discussed, the requirements cannot be fully defined because many market factors remain uncertain, but ship owners who are building new vessels or operating existing vessels should consider this future trade through flexible design options that we will introduce later.

5.3  Potential Impacts to Shipping

 

The key political drivers for biofuels are environmental concerns, energy security and agricultural policy. The tonne mile demand for future tankers will be greatly affected by national, regional or global policy and political decision making in these areas. There is a greater flexibility in the sourcing of biofuels than there is in hydrocarbon energy sources and this may be attractive to particular governments. Once the regulatory framework is clear, economics will determine how the regulations will best be met and seaborne trade will be at the centre of the outcome. In many parts of the world, environmental concerns are the leading political driver for biofuels. Reflecting these concerns, the global Kyoto Protocol, was negotiated in 1997, and this further provides a driver for the use of biofuels.

5.4  Shipping Routes and Economics Impacts

 

The above trend analysis discussed indicate potential capacity requirement from shipping, so far  North America, Europe and South East  Asia are the key importing regions where this growth is concentrated. This includes the Latin American counties of Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, and Paraguay and Southeast Asia’s Indonesia and Malaysia will remain key suppliers for the palm oil, Philippines and Papua New Guinea have potentials for vegetable oil and agricultural while Thailand has potential for sugarcane. This trade potential will determine future trade route from Malacca Straits to Europe, ballast to Argentina, to load soybean oil to China, and then make a short ballast voyage to the Malacca Straits, where the pattern begins again, a typical complicated fronthaul / backhaul combinations that can initiate, economies of scale need top reduce freight costs and subsequent push for bigger ship production and short sea services like recent experience of today’s tankers.  According to plateau case study the following regional impact can be deduced for shipping.

Biofuel

Demand

North America

ethanol

33 million tons

Europe

ethanol and biodiesel.: 50:50

30 million tons

Asia

ethanol and biodiesel.: 50:50

18 million tons

North America demand – policy work support biofuel use in the us and 32 Handysize equivalent tankers will be needed to meet US demand in 2015. with technological breakthrough there will be need for 125 vessel 2030.

European demand – Due to environmental requirement and energy security believed to be politically acceptable in the EU but economics may drive a different outcome.80 Handysizes with some due to the growth in trade and longer voyage distance.  With technological breakthrough for 2nd and 3rd generation biofuel growth will need growing to 145 in 2030 Aframax vessels if the technical issues can be overcome.

Asia demand  – In plateau case  50 Handysize equivalents are required in 2015 and 2030 with forecast vessel sizes being Handysizes with some Panamax vessels 162 vessels total in the three regions.

By adding up all the regions, with biofuels as only 3% of world transport demand, we are looking at a fleet of about 400 Handysize vessels to accommodate the demand and supply drivers by 2030 and 162 by 2015. The total vessel forecast for 2030 could means 2,560 vessels of 81 million deadweight tons.

As regions identify these growth markets and recognize the economies of $/tonne scale that can be achieved, as shown here, with bigger tonnage, we are seeing natural investment occurring. New port developments in concerned trade rout will be required to accommodate large Panamax vessel and parcel size for palm oil exports. on the long haul routes.

5.5  Biomass  Ship Technologies Impacts

Generation

A variety of methods could turn an age-old natural resource into a new and efficient means of generating electricity. biomass in large amounts is available in many areas, and is being considered as a fuel source for future generation of electricity. Biomass is by its nature both bulky and widely distributed and electricity from conventional, centralized power plants requires an extensive distribution network. Traditionally power is generated through centralized, conventional power plant, where biomass is transported to the central plant, typically a steam or gas turbine power plant, and the electricity is then distributed through the grid to the end users. Costs include fuel and transportation, power plant construction, maintenance, and operation, and distribution of the electric power, including losses in transmission.

Electrical efficiency

capacity

 biomass

thermal efficiency -40 %

$2,000 per kilowat

coal

45 %

$1,500 per kilowatt,

However, micro-biomass power generators located at the site of end-use seem to offer a path for new solution for energy. Recent development in towards use of micro biomass will equally offer best practice adaptation for marine power. Biomass is used at or near the site of end-use, with heat from external combustion converted directly to electricity by a biomass fired free-piston genset . Costs include fuel and acquisition and maintenance of the genset and burner. Since the electricity is used on site, both transmission losses and distribution costs are minimal. Thus, in areas without existing infrastructure to transmit power, there are no additional costs. In this case it is also possible to cogenerate using the rejected heat for space or hot water heating, or absorption cooling. Previously, option two has not been feasible, since there have been no small (less than ~50 kW) devices for directly and efficiently converting biomass energy to electricity. Micro-biomass power generation is a more cost-effective means of providing power than central biomass power generation. In particular, areas where there is a need for both power and heat – domestic hot water and space heat and absorption chilling – are attractive for cogeneration configurations of this machine. Biomass can be generated using single or ganged free-piston Stirling engines gensets. These micro-biomass generators offer a number of advantages over centralized biomass fueled power plants. They can be placed at the end-user location taking advantage of local fuel prices and do not require a distribution grid. They can directly provide electrical output with integral linear alternators, or where power requirements are larger they can be ganged and drive a conventional rotary turbine. They are hermetically sealed and offer long lives through their non-contact operation.

Biomass for electricity generation is treated in four ways in NEMS: (1) new dedicated biomass or biomass gasification, (2) existing and new plants that co-fire biomass with coal, (3) existing plants that combust biomass directly in an open-loop process,18 and (4) biomass use in industrial cogeneration applications. Existing biomass plants are accounted for using information such as on-line years, efficiencies, heat rates, and retirement dates, obtained through EIA surveys of the electricity generation sector.

Emissions offsets and waste reduction could help enhance the appeal of biomass to utilities  An important consideration for the future use of biomass-fired power plants is the treatment of biomass flue gases. Biomass-combustion flue gases have high moisture content. When the flue gas is cooled to a temperature below the dew point, water vapor starts to condense. By using flue-gas condensation, sensible and latent heat can be recovered for district heating or other heat-consuming processes; this increases the heat generation from a cogeneration plant by more than 30 percent.  Flue-gas condensation not only recovers heat but also captures dust and hazardous pollutants from flue gases at the same time. Most dioxins, chlorine, mercury, and dust are removed, and sulfur oxides are separated out to some extent. Another feature of flue gas condensation is water recovery, which helps solve the problem of water consumption in evaporative gas turbines.

Biomass open door for another way rather than competing with fossil fuel plants a substantial opportunity exists to generate micro-biomass electric power, at power levels from fractions of a kilowatts through to tens or hundreds of kilowatts, at the point of en d use. At these power levels neither small internal combustion engines, which cannot use biomass directly, nor reciprocating steam engines, with low efficiency and limited life, can offer the end user economic electric power. Free-piston Stirling micro biomass engine engines are an economic alternative. Stirling offers the following advantages over significantly larger systems:

  • Stirling machines have reasonable overall efficiencies at moderate heater head temperatures (~600ƒC)
  • cogeneration is simple
  • large amounts of capital do not have to be raised to build a single evaluation plant with its associated technical and economic risks
  • A large fraction of the value of the engine alternator can be reused at the end of its life
  • Stirling systems can be ganged with multiple units operating in parallel.

United States: 1996, P1-R96-STAB-00-NTH (Washington, DC, November 1996). l.

Source by Oladokun Sulaiman

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07 Oct 2017

Why Is English Such an Important International Language – How English Is Used Worldwide

In today’s global marketplace, it’s hard to pick just one universal language that everyone must learn. The best business language will depend on what industry you work in, for example. However, in many cases English is a safe standard to learn at first, because this is widely spoken throughout the business world. If you are in need of corporate English training to help improve your communication skills, you have a variety of options to choose from. Corporate English can be divided into two portions: written skills, and spoken skills. Some students may already be strong in one area but not in another, so it’s important to evaluate your current skill set.

Once you have more clearly defined the area that you need help with, you can then find a school that offers corporate English training. Written communication could include writing emails, presentations, and business proposals. Students will need to learn how to best use the specific terminology for their industry, as well as a more formal and strict standard of grammar than what you may have learned in conversational English classes. Sentence structure, spelling, and slang terms that might be helpful in business should all be covered in any corporate course.

As far as spoken communication goes, in corporate English training you will also have many topics to consider. Speaking skills can include grammar, sentence structure and flow, and vocabulary. Slang is particularly important with spoken English, whether it’s corporate or not, so that you understand where your clients or business contacts are coming from. The best courses will combine written exercises with face to face conversational practice, preferably taught by a native English speaker. If you don’t live in a country where English is widely spoken, you might want to look at distance learning courses online.

With new methods of technology, it’s now possible to practice your corporate English training face to face with a teacher of your choice, all from a distance. Video and audio chats make it seem like you are speaking to someone in the same room. Another benefit of using these online courses for your corporate needs is that it is easier to fit them into a busy work schedule. You could arrange to have them during your lunch hour, for example, or in the evenings when you get home. The best programs will take into account the corporate schedule and be able to accommodate your needs.

Source by Grace Rimando

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20 Sep 2017

7 Steps to Buying the Right POS System for Your Business

Many times we tend to avoid change because the options can be overwhelming. For example, my cell phone died and I needed to replace it. Between reviewing top brands, unique features to each model, the more expensive current version versus the cheaper previous model, clarity of pictures, and size of device, I was more confused than ever.

Maybe you feel this way about your current POS software. You know that there are more updated versions available that can make your life a lot easier, but where do you even begin to find the best one to suit your retail business’ needs? Well, here are seven steps to help you on your journey towards buying the right POS system.

  1. Define the needs of your business. – Consider how you cater to your customers including mobile needs, how you process their payments, and your ecommerce site. Also, think about your inventory management issues: how do you know when you need to reorder supplies? How do you track product located at various locations? How would your dream software address these important issues?

  2. What kind of hardware does your business require?  – Log the brand and model number of existing equipment to determine if it is compatible with newer software. In the future, what hardware are you considering purchasing? Do you need new or additional terminals, cash drawers, mobile devices, or receipt printers?

  3. Plan your budget. – There are a variety of POS systems out there and seemingly just as many ways that they charge for their services. Some choose to have upfront costs, others bill monthly, and still others come in package deals. Assess your budget, what you need and don’t need, and find a POS system that fits your company where you’re financially at.

  4. Compare POS software. – One of the things I love (and hate) about the Internet is that just about everyone has an opinion that they want to share. I like to take advantage of this tool by researching every major (and many minor) items that I purchase… and this includes POS software. Conduct an online search of POS systems and then find out what other retailers are saying about them. You may also want to search for companies that are similar to your own and then contact them asking how they like their POS system. Next, hold the information from steps 1-3 in your hand and find out if the POS systems that you are interested in address these needs.

  5. Test drive the POS system. – You wouldn’t buy a car without taking it for a spin, and this certainly applies to business management software. Contact the POS company that you are considering and ask if they offer a free trial or possibly visit a local vendor to get a brief overview of the product. Look for speed, functionality, and user-friendliness. How do you think your employees will adapt to this new software? How easy it is to transfer data from your old system to the new?

  6. Start on the right foot. – Woo hoo! You’ve made that tough decision and finally chose your new POS system. Now all the equipment is in boxes on your floor. What’s next? Take your time to get it right. Be sure to have CSV files of your inventory and customer data ready, carefully read all instructions, and when in doubt, call your vendor. You might even want to set up a dummy account to make sure you understand how everything works and to train your employees.

  7. Know your POS system’s capabilities. – I mentioned choosing a new cell phone earlier and I know that it can do amazing, limitless functions. However, I mainly use it to text, check email, and entertain my kids. What a waste! Don’t let this be you and your POS system! Are there apps, add-ons, or hardware that can enhance your POS and make your life easier? Talk to your vendor and tell him how you are using the software. He may have tips for you to save time (and therefore money) implementing tools you otherwise didn’t know existed.

Now I’m not saying that it’s easy to find the right POS system, but I promise that it will make your life easier once you’ve made the transition. The tools you need are out there, but it takes a little bit of practice to make them habit. So, if you’re currently in the market, I would recommend checking out Vend – a top-rated pos software technology solution for thousands of retail stores worldwide and offers a 30 day, risk-free trial too.

Source by Christina Morales

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15 Sep 2017

Why Is The Spanish Language So Popular?

In the United States of America and around the world

economic conditions are changing. Commercial enterprises

increasingly need to compete on a global scale. To do this

it is frequently necessary for business people to

communicate with others whose native language is not the

same as their own.

The English language has for most of the 20th century been

the principal language of commerce and there was not a great

urgency to learn a second language. But that is changing.

The urgent need for people whose occupation involves

international travel and communicating with other

nationalities is to be fluent in more than one language.

The Spanish language, (officially known as Espanola),

presently ranks as the fourth most spoken language in the

world after English, Chinese and Hindustani. It is spoken by

more than 400 million people world-wide. This figure is

increasing rapidly year by year. While there are more people

speaking either Chinese or Hindustani than Spanish, both

these languages are confined to fairly well defined areas of

the globe and do not as yet have the same impact on world

trade.

The Spanish language is proving to be a popular choice for

learning as a second language. There are sound reasons for

this. It is comparatively easy to learn and is spoken by

approximately half the people in the Western Hemisphere. In

the United States of America the Spanish language is by far

the most popular second language and is the most spoken

after English by a large margin. In South America, all the

countries except Brazil have Spanish as their principal

language. Spanish is also the principal language in Central

America, Latin America and Mexico. In Europe too the Spanish

language is gaining in popularity and being more frequently

chosen as a second language

Phonetically, Modern Spanish is very good, which makes it

easy to learn. Unlike English in which groups of letters are

pronounced differently depending on where they are used. The

Spanish language is lexically close to Italian and shares

the same phonological system as well as grammar, making it

possible for the two to mutually understand each other to

some extent. Added to that, learning Spanish gives the

student an understanding of the other Romance languages,

(French, Portuguese and as mentioned, Italian.)

Written Spanish shares sufficient features with other

Romance languages for them to be able to have some mutual

communication.

The number of Spanish-speaking people is increasing rapidly

and this provides a considerable advantage for anyone who is

fluent in both English and Spanish. The advantages of

learning a second language go beyond the purely commercial

benefits. Learning a second language opens up the exciting

prospect of being able to experience the cultural side of

the people and the country and to learn something of their

customs and way of life. This can greatly increase the

enjoyment of a trip to a foreign country. Choosing to learn

the Spanish language offers the opportunity for those

traveling for pleasure, to make contact with a wider choice

of countries

Source by Norm Pavelka

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15 Sep 2017

All About ASAP, FYI and FYA

ONE day, a colleague turned to me and asked, “What’s FYI?”

“For your information.”

“What’s FYA?”

“For your action.”

“What’s WRT?

“With reference to…”

Before the conversation dragged on any further, I quickly looked up a website on acronyms used in business communications and sent it to him via e-mail.

This conversation made me realise that the full meaning of many acronyms and abbreviations may not be immediately apparent for many people – students or working adults alike.

For starters, an acronym is a word created from combining the initial letters of each word. For example, For your action.

An abbreviation is a word shortened from its original form. For example, “Attn.” is an abbreviation of the word “attention” to convey the meaning “for the attention of”.

In general, a full stop is used for abbreviations where the last letter of the word and the abbreviation are not the same. For example, “Co.” (Company) needs a full stop but “Ltd” (Limited) does not. Acronyms do not need punctuation marks.

Below are some frequently used short forms in business communication like e-mails, faxes and letters:

a.k.a. – also known as

On Monday morning, Kay El, a.k.a. The Boss, walked in happily and greeted her assistant, Pee Jay.

approx. – approximately

Checking her e-mail, Pee Jay read, “Today is the boss’s birthday. Can everyone please slip off quietly to the cafeteria in approx. 15 minutes?”

ASAP – as soon as possible

Pee Jay opened up her daily planner and scribbled ASAP next to some of the urgent items on her to-do list.

Attn. – for the attention of

Leafing through the stack of mail to be sent out, Pee Jay asked her boss, “To whom should I address the cheque for the annual report?”

Her boss replied, “Just write ‘Attn: Ms. Christine Jalleh’. She’ll know what to do with it.”

Bcc. – blind carbon copy or blind copy to. In this case, the carbon copy is sent to an e-mail recipient whose e-mail address is not visible to the cc or other bcc recipients.

“By the way, I think it’s better if you bcc me in your e-mail to Brown. We wouldn’t want him thinking that I’m supervising you for this project.”

Cc. – carbon copy, or copy to

“But I would like to be cc-ed on the e-mail to Mr Green as I have not yet introduced the both of you to each other.”

c/o – in care of, used when sending a document to A who will receive it on B’s behalf because B is away from the office.

“Boss, I think Christine is back in China this week. Would it be all right if I sent the cheque in care of her assistant? I’ll still write her name on top with c/o Ah Sis Tern below.”

COD – cash on delivery, where a person makes payment for an item purchase after it has been delivered.

“I’m also sending out the cheque for the set of Business English reference books we bought COD on eBay.”

e.g. – exempli gratia (for example)

Pee Jay replied to the e-mail, “Hi everyone. Please remember that the boss doesn’t like surprises, e.g. everyone shouting ‘Surprise!’ in the cafeteria.”

et al. – et alii (and others). Usually used to list co-authors after the lead author in a bibliography, this form is now popularly used to address the other people other than the recipient in e-mails.

She received a new e-mail, which read, “Dear Pee Jay et al., I was reminded that the boss does NOT like surprises …”

etc. – et cetera (and so on OR and so forth)

This means that we will not be able to collectively surprise her by springing out of the cafeteria doors as we had planned, etc.

exc. – except

“Can everyone, exc. Pee Jay, be at the cafeteria in 5 minutes? We need to figure out a surprise without the surprise element. Thanks!”

FYI – for your information

Her boss’s voice brought the young assistant back to the present, “Pee Jay, I’m forwarding you all these e-mails FYI, okay?”

FYA – for your action

“Note that some of these e-mails are FYA …”

i.e. – id est (that is)

After acknowledging her supervisor, Pee Jay decided to help her colleagues out and typed, “She’s in a good mood today, i.e. we won a new account and completed a major project.”

K – thousand, e.g. 450K = 450,000

“Just to give you an idea of her mood, it’s a 450K retainer for the first quarter …”

PA – personal assistant

The immediate reply to Pee Jay’s e-mail read, “Thanks for the info, Pee Jay – you’re the best PA!”

p.a. – per annum (per year)

Pee Jay smiled and responded, “Haha, there is a reason why I’m paid RM65K p.a.”

p.p. – per pro (used when signing a document on someone’s behalf)

Looking back at her paperwork, Pee Jay signed some invoices on her boss’s behalf, inserting p.p. just before her signature.

Pto. – please turn over, used at the end of a page to indicate that there is a continuity to the text.

“By the way, please remember to type Pto. on the first page of the proposal you’re sending. The last time we sent it to him, he forgot to read the subsequent pages,” chimed in Kay El.

viz. – videlicet, namely

She got up and left a note on Pee Jay’s work station before leaving. Scribbled on it was, “Can I pass you my slice of birthday cake after I cut it? I really don’t need a lot of carbo, viz. refined flour, at my age.” The note ended with a wink.

Readers can go to http://www.acronymfinder.com/ to search for the meanings of over 4 million acronyms and abbreviations. This online dictionary also allows users to filter their search according to categories like information technology (IT), military and government, business and finance, science and medicine, organisations and schools, and slang and pop culture.

Source by Christine Jalleh

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14 Sep 2017

The Primary Duty of the Intermediary in Internet Oil Trading and Refined Petroleum Product Deals

A. LACK OF KNOWLEDGE AND PROPER INFORMATION AMONG INTERMEDIARIES

Most experts and keen analysts of the industry often lament and bemoan one nagging fundamental shortcoming of the modern Internet-era class of brokers, agents and other intermediaries – namely, that, as a class, they tend to be overly handicapped and plagued by a general lack of education, training, knowledge and proper information concerning the true nature and workings of international trade, and of its fundamentals and basic procedures.

Mr. R. Ambardar, a broker experienced for over 10 years in international market development and advisory services who has personally closed several petroleum deals, calls “lack of experience and knowledge” one of the principal primary reasons why many brokers and facilitators fail in crude oil endeavors and never close any deals. “Many people are attracted into this business because of [the tales they hear about the] kind of money one can earn on account of successful deals,” Ambardar asserts. “Many agents fail, [however], to understand that requirements to succeed in this business are very demanding, [and that] only those who have years of hands-on experience and thorough knowledge of the industry can strive to do well as middle-men.”

Echoing what almost every other respected expert in the field emphatically asserts, Ambardar adds, that “To become a ‘Facilitator’ in oil business,… what you actually need is right knowledge and expertise [since this is what will help] you hook up genuine buyers and sellers. One should be in the industry for long to have acquired knowledge related to the dynamics of this business.”

In the same vein, Davide Papa, the co-author with Lona Elliot of “International Trade & the Successful Intermediary,” one of the most prominent experts in the field today on the basic methodology and procedures of international trading by brokers and intermediaries, asserts that,

“Without the requisite knowledge of the correct trading procedures, you [the broker or agent/intermediary] are simply wasting your time by attempting to trade. The vast majority of traders you will meet on the Internet don’t know how to close a deal. Most don’t even know how to start a deal correctly, let alone bringing one to a successful conclusion.”

Consequently, says Mr. Papa, “Anyone attempting to do business with these types of intermediaries [or with their procedures] will also be unable to close a deal or collect a cent in commission, no matter how long they trade for or how hard they try.”

What Misguided Agents and Intermediaries erroneously think is “trading”

Yet, as a factual matter, most (in deed, just about ALL) brokers and intermediaries that one meets on the Internet who claim they have oil to sell, or who, for example, flood my Consultancy Office with “offers” and “deals” by the dozens every hour of the day each day, haven’t got even the foggiest clue of what is actually involved in proper trading, or how it works or is done. Almost to a man or woman, they essentially think that all there is to oil “trading,” is basically the accumulation of any number of some copied generic documents – ‘SPAs,’ ‘LOI,’ ‘FCO,’ ‘ICPO,’ and what have you – with almost none ever verified, and passing them around on the Internet to potential buyers or their agents, asking them to “just sign,” “just sign”! In deed, what is even worse, they hardly ever have the foggiest idea of even what their PROPER function and duty is, or should be, as an intermediary in the modern Internet era of TOO MUCH information and data, but TOO LITTLE quality or genuine information and data!

B. A MAJOR WAY IN WHICH THIS LACK OF KNOWLEDGE BY THE INTERMEDIARY IS MANIFESTED

Quite oddly enough, one of the major but most fundamental ways in which this woeful pervasive lack of knowledge and information of the fundamentals and proper procedures manifests itself on the part of the intermediaries, is the awesome lack of knowledge among them concerning even the basic purpose and proper function or duty which the modern intermediary is supposed to serve for the oil trader and in the marketplace. Most Internet intermediaries are NOT even aware of what EXACTLY that is!

THE TRADITIONAL ROLE & FUNCTION OF THE INTERMEDIARY

First, let us start with looking at the “traditional” role and function of the intermediary in the marketplace. This description of the duties and functions of a facilitator given by Sam Nelson, the author of a noted primer on oil trading that’s commonly used by many brokers and agents, best represents, perhaps, the conception of the traditional primary function of the intermediary in oil deals:

“Facilitating a business [by a Facilitator] is an act of arranging business activities as contained in a contract and bringing two parties into an agreement towards the smooth implementation of a contract as defined by the contract procedures… The facilitator is the individual, or group of people, arranging business activities as contained in a contract and bringing two parties into a mutual agreement towards the smooth implementation of a contract as defined in the procedures of the contract… There are people who work as facilitators in different kinds of business transactions, for example, ‘Currency trading.’ “

Nelson adds that, as a Facilitator on the seller’s side, for example, “the seller depends on you to find a reputable buyer. You, as the facilitator, become the hub for these deals. Honesty is required on your part. You can facilitate a deal as a buyer or seller’s facilitator but I will advise you not to be on both sides at the same time for the same deal. That will be an absolute greed.”

Robert McAngus, the Chairman and CEO of the McAngus Group, a Marbella, Spain-based global conglomerate actively engaged in the business of primary commodities, including oil products, through its network of offices and partners in Africa, Europe, the Far and Middle East, and the Americas, gives his own description of the usual traditional role of the intermediary, this way: “a broker’s entire job is to help a petroleum company’s trading department find or sell oil and related products so that he will receive a commission when the deal comes together.”

In other words, by traditional standards, the primary role and function of the intermediary in the so-called “secondary” market petroleum trading operations, is simply the “sourcing” function – that is, the job of finding the suppliers of the product and matching them with intending buyers, in return for which the sourcing broker or agent will receive commission payments for successfully completed deals.

THE NEW PARADIGM SHIFT IN THE ROLE & FUNCTION OF THE INTERMEDIARY

But here’s the central point to be made here, however. And that is this: That this old, “traditional” role and function of the broker or the intermediary in crude oil and petroleum products deals have changed in this current era of the Internet – and in a big, big and drastic way! And anyone who operates in the oil trade industry today as a broker, agent or other intermediary without knowing, or understanding or recognizing this critical modern-era reality, or who continues to operate as though, as in the past, all that is required of him is just to find a seller and “match” him with a buyer, or vice versa, totally misses the mark as to his proper place or function today in the marketplace, or his true market value or worth.

In deed, in this writer’s studied assessment, much of the problems and negative aspects (the so-called ‘dark side’) of the international commodities trading business that have often been primarily attributed to the role and involvement of the modern intermediaries’ in the business – the inability of most to successfully close deals or to make a commission, the involvement of many in scams and fake offers, etc – can be directly traced to this factor alone: namely, the failure on the part of the intermediary, whether knowingly or otherwise, to modify and adjust his business tactics and method of operation to align with this new “paradigm” shift of the current Internet era market place.

I’LL SUM IT UP SIMPLY THIS WAY, IN A NUTSHELL: True, in the past, BEFORE the present-day business ethics of the computer/Internet-era, what the average traders viewed to be the more important need and service from an intermediary – and one about which, therefore, the trader primarily sought and employed the services of the intermediary for – was primarily to obtain trade leads and contact sources for business prospects. But in this present post-Internet era, however, what the average trader now primarily wants and needs from the broker or intermediary, is not so much the trade leads or contact sources. But, rather, he primarily needs and wants the broker/agent intermediary to get him trade leads or contact sources and information that are duly verified or verifiable. Or, to put it another way, the trader’s primary need and most vital interest in an intermediary today, is for the broker and intermediary to aid and assist him in verifying and doing DUE DILIGENCE on the trade leads and opportunities or contact sources that are now generally available in superabundance, whether online or offline.

Jeffrey P. Graham, President of JPG Consulting, a Philadelphia-based international business consulting and research firm, makes that point rather quite clearly in his classic 1997 essay titled, “Evaluating Trade Leads.” Graham, who was one of the first to make that profound observation, states that with the coming of the Internet, the major issue and concern of international traders significantly became, NOT having too few or an insufficient number of trade leads on the buying or selling of a particular product or service, but having too many and too much of it. And that with that profound change, the central issue for the world traders became the ability and facility of traders – and the brokers, agents and intermediaries who work for them – to carry out good DUE DILIGENCE on the trade leads presented by or about a company or product, and being able to do competent evaluation on such company or product as to its genuineness and quality.

Thirty years ago, Graham says (meaning before the Internet became a factor), there were far fewer companies doing business as traders and intermediaries, and, secondly, the task of finding out how credible a company was, was a simple matter of just checking the telex address and obtaining some bank references on the company.

However, Graham adds, all that has drastically changed – thanks, or no thanks, to the Internet!

Graham sums up this view this way:

“Until very recently, gaining access to reliable sources of trade leads was a very expensive and time-consuming proposition for many small and medium sized companies (SME’s). In the United States, [for example], the Department of Commerce was the sole purveyor of trade leads… companies paid a monthly subscription fee then in order to gain access to what was available, whether it was appropriate or not. [However], with the proliferation of trade lead sources available on the World Wide Web (WWW), access to trade leads is no longer a problem. What has not changed, however, is the time involved in handling trade leads.

Enthusiastic proponents of the Internet will always tell anybody willing to suspend common sense that more is better. What is wrong with this concept… is the assumption that the additional information provided by the Internet can be easily assimilated into a business enterprise and made useful without any cost whatsoever; [or that], therefore, the proliferation of trade leads now available on the [Internet]… should translate into more and better opportunities for everybody. [The reality, however, has been that] Nothing could be further from the truth, because the real problem with trade leads, is that most of them are of questionable value.”

Asserting that “a trade lead in 1997 means something quite different than it did in 1977,” Graham adds that:

“The Internet presents troubling issues even for the most experienced international business people because of the enormous amount of misleading information which is pumped into the system; a system which is not yet ready to process this amount of information. One issue is, really, [about being able] to evaluate the company which posts the trade lead and this is now a very tedious process… Since 1993, when the browser technology really began to take off and the Internet began to seriously emerge as a marketplace, the changes have been staggering… It is not unusual for people who are just wishfully thinking, to write and post trade leads which are designed primarily to elicit responses. These ‘companies’ [put out]… what many call ‘trade leads’ but which almost always turn out to be worthless junk… Such postings can send companies on time consuming and very expensive fishing expeditions which yield no sales and have little potential for future business as well.”

TRANSLATED: In short, the central point made by experts and keen students of modern trade history, is that the role and purpose of the intermediary in the Internet-era international commodities trading, have undergone some drastic, even staggering, fundamental change – a ‘paradigm shift” or change – from, say, the late 1980’s and early 1990’s to these days. In that previous era, a relatively few buying and selling trade leads existed which consisted really of just information posted on on-line bulletin boards and from the U.S. department of commerce trade publications. But by the mid 1990’s, with the rise of the World Wide Web, the Internet and Usenet gradually but steadily assumed more useful role for business purposes. The Internet soon emerged as a major and central marketplace itself, consequently making the need for, and expense of, subscribing to trade leads a thing of the past.

But, in making the subscription to and expense of trade leads a thing of the past, the Internet brought about, however, a host of other big challenges of its own – it has made the task and process of evaluating the trade lead or opportunity that’s posted online considerably more difficult than it was, compared to the pre-Internet times of 30 years ago, such that today, while the sheer volume of trade leads and information available is gigantic, and the buying or selling of leads from around the world can be solicited at low-cost or practically for free, being able to evaluate the authenticity and actual worth and value of such information is the central task and challenge of the time.

C. WHAT IS THE REAL AND PROPER ROLE OF THE GOOD INTERMEDIARY IN TODAY’S MARKET?

In short, summed up very simply, the central point is that, in terms of the business needs and desires of today’s world traders, there has been a gradual but drastic “paradigm shift” or a major change, over the past two to three decades of transitioning to the Internet era, and hence, in what the average world trader wants and requires from their brokers and intermediaries and the Primary Duty of the Intermediary in Internet Oil Trading. Today, what they (the traders) principally want and desire from their intermediaries, is not so much obtaining some sheer “raw data” concerning any trade leads or contacts, or merely what the volume and “quantity” of trade leads or offers they’re provided is, since the average trader generally has access already to such material in overabundant supply. But, rather, what they want and desire most particularly, is “quality data,” meaning data that shall have already been properly vetted and verified, data for which a good deal of “due diligence” shall have already been done on.

That is, long gone are the old days of the “traditional” role and function of the sourcing broker or agent when his primary role was only to obtain trade leads or offers about a product or business prospect and just try to “match” them with, or, in deed, more accurately stated, just ‘dump them on,’ a seller or buyer – without first verifying or authenticating them, or first doing even a minimal amount of due diligence on them as to their actual worth and legitimacy. For the credible or authentic buyer or seller today, that traditional approach will not suffice or be even remotely acceptable any more.

BUT MOST AGENTS & INTERMEDIARIES TODAY FAIL TO FOLLOW THIS NEW PARADIGM ROLE

Yet, that profound new reality notwithstanding, that is precisely what many a sourcing broker and agent – in deed, the vast majority of them – who operate in the Internet crude oil and petroleum products trading business today, largely do: they merely go around dutifully but indiscriminately collecting and amassing SPA (Sales and Purchase Agreement) documents, ‘LOI,’ ‘ICPO,’ and ‘POP’ documents, and other copied similar documents, from any and every conceivable sources they can find on the Internet, and simply passing them over to any prospective buyers they can reach, virtually with nothing ever vetted or evaluated by them concerning the reliability of the information being peddled, or the bona fides of the providers or originators of the documents or the even actual existence, availability or authenticity of the product claimed. No DUE DILIGENCE ever done by the broker/agent intermediaries on the offers presented and represented in those “documents”! To the vast majority of these brokers and agents on the Internet, notorious for largely being uninformed and non-knowledgeably in the business, this is what and all they think is “trading.”!

Frequently, the most that the Internet broker or agent (or trader) who sends in the offer would add, is that he or she would throw in some meaningless, worthless, self-serving statements such as: “This is an authentic seller.” “I can assure you this seller has excellent reputation and is reliable.” Some would even claim something like, “We just successfully concluded another deal like this with this seller.” Yet, as a rule, no shred of concrete evidence whatsoever, much less any proof, is ever provided by such broker or agent to substantiate or back up any of such statements and claims – and therefore still making them (i.e., the intermediary and the offer they might have presented) not only just as worthless in the eyes of any credible buyer viewing the offer, but additionally irritating and time-wasting to them, since virtually no credible buyer in the business would view such representations as worth even one dime, any way!

Think of the image of the scornful “Joker Broker” role in the present-day international trading described by Kamal J. Southall, in his book on trade and financial fraud and the ‘Joker Broker.’ The image of individuals (call them brokers, agents, mandates, facilitators, etc) “who knowingly or unknowingly peddles and plies deals and products that, in the vast majority of instances, are non-existent, or badly defined… [and go] plying deals often involving a string of brokers from one end of the planet to another, and yet not a single one has verified the very existence of the goods at hand.”

IN SUM

By and large, most unfortunately the modern Internet broker/agent intermediaries largely fail to provide the current market (i.e., the legitimate buyers and sellers in the industry) “what the market actually wants,” pure and simple. Namely, they woefully fail frequently to provide and serve the primary duty of the intermediary in Internet oil trading, to serve their Number #1 and most appropriate and most important function for the trader, which is, basically, to help do the essential DUE DILIGENCE on the trade leads or offers or information they provide or come across, before or when they pass them on to the trader, and to have fully evaluated and verified such material before hand as to their authenticity, reliability, and intrinsic worth and legitimacy.

And the result? Predictably, largely as a result of such woeful mass failure to provide the current commodities market “what the market actually wants,” the average broker and agent today often invariably is unable to close any deals with any traders, month-after-month, even after years and years of doing the business. Or, worse still, partly because of this general failure on their part to legitimately make sales or legitimately earn any commission income, many of these brokers and agents often resort, wittingly or otherwise, to the act of defrauding and scamming other innocent traders and the peddling of fake offers.

And what then might be the remedy for this?

As a broker or agent today, if you wish to be able to make any progress and to close any deals with any credible traders, the first and foremost thing you should at the very least know, is what should be, and is, your most important and proper duty and function as an intermediary in this Internet era. And then, quickly get yourself back to that crucial business of serving that purpose and function for the traders. You had better got yourself back to serving what should be your Number #1 and most proper and valued function to traders’ and providing the current market (the legitimate buyers and sellers in the market) “what the market” of the present-era actually “wants.” Which is, in a word, to provide the traders trade leads, offers and information that you shall have properly evaluated, verified, and shall have subjected to the requisite due diligence as to their authenticity, reliability, and intrinsic worth and legitimacy, before you submit them to buyer (or a supplier, as the case may be). Or, to put it another way, be sure NEVER to provide any such material to traders UNLESS you’ve first done your proper due diligence on such material – since, in short, doing proper due diligence is really your principal job and value, your ONLY function, as a broker/agent intermediary! And if you do this – and ONLY if you follow this basic procedure in doing business – will you be able to see progress with credible buyers as they will be more inclined even to look at the offers you present or to consider them, and not just toss them in the proverbial waste paper basket outright, unconsidered and unread.

Source by Benjamin Anosike, PhD

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14 Sep 2017

T-Shirts – Common Terms Explained

T-shirt manufacturers use many terms to describe their products. The terms are not always consistent and it helps to have a reference guide.

The following is the official Green Man T-Shirts Guide to understanding t-shirt terms:

20s, 20/1, 20s single: Unit of measurement that defines the fineness of cotton thread. A standard spool of single-ply cotton thread is comprised of 840 yards of cotton thread. If it takes 20 spools to weigh one pound, then the thread on those spools is referred to as 20s cotton, or 20/1. If 30 spools weigh one pound, then the thread on those spools is referred to as 30s cotton thread, or 30/1. If it takes 40 spools to weigh one pound, then the thread on those spools is referred to as 40s cotton, or 40/1. The higher number means a finer thread, and thus a finer, softer fabric is created. T-shirts made of 30s and 40s are softer, finer, and have better drape than t-shirts made of 20s. The terms are used many ways, but it’s the number that counts; “20s,” “20/1,” and “20 singles” are the same. Threads can be twisted together into thicker strands. If two 20/1 cotton threads were twisted together, it would be referred to as 20/2.

Bamboo Fabric: Rayon made from bamboo cellulose. Although rayon is a man-made synthetic material, most experts agree it is readily biodegradable. Bamboo fabric is extremely soft and has excellent drape.

Bamboo: Fast growing plant, classified as a grass, which can be readily processed into rayon to make bamboo rayon clothing.

Bleach Wash: A process that uses bleach to soften and distress the look of the fabric being washed.

Boat Neck: A very wide neckline that runs across the collarbone area to the shoulder points. Derives from early sailors’ shirts, where the wide neck enabled quick removal if the sailor fell overboard.

Boy Beater: Women’s fashion answer to the wife beater. A women’s tank top, although it can be any color.

Brushed Cotton: A method to remove excess lint and fibers from cotton fabric. Brushed cotton usually has a very soft, smooth finish.

Burn-Out: A process that uses sulfuric acid or other strong acid to “burn-out” parts of a fabric knit, usually a polyester/cotton blend. The process gives a see-through, very sheer effect.

Cap Sleeves: Usually refers to shorter sleeves on women’s garments.

Carbon Dioxide: CO2. A chemical compound composed of two oxygen atoms and one carbon atom. Known as a “greenhouse” gas because of its relationship with global warming. A few t-shirt manufacturers are now measuring and recording the CO2 emissions involved in manufacturing their shirts.

Carbon Trust: Independent organization founded in 2001 in Great Britain that monitors carbon emissions. The Carbon Trust works with companies to help reduce their carbon footprint, and now certifies companies and products as having a “low carbon” or “no carbon” footprint. A few t-shirt companies now manufacture “low carbon footprint” t-shirts.

Carding: A fiber cleaning process that eliminates short fibers and removes dirt and foreign matter. Carding can be done by hand or by large machines using drum rollers. Carded-only cotton is not as desirable as combed cotton.

Cellulase Wash: Another name for enzyme wash. This gives fabric a soft feel and a vintage look, depending on how the wash is done.

Cellulose: Derived from the cell walls of certain plants. Useful in making certain types of fabrics, including acetate, triacetate, and rayon. Bamboo fabric is actually rayon made from bamboo cellulose.

Cheap Cotton T-Shirt: T-shirts made with carded cotton, using 18/1 thread, usually knitted on 20 gauge machines. These t-shirts are coarse, rough, and have poor drapability. Used often as cheap promotional give-aways.

Climate Neutral: A term used to describe a company, process, or product that has zero impact on the Earth’s climate. A few t-shirt manufacturers advertise their company as climate neutral.

CO2: Carbon dioxide. A chemical compound composed of two oxygen atoms and one carbon atom. Known as a “greenhouse” gas because of its relationship with global warming.

Colorfastness: The ability of a garment to withstand multiple washings without losing its color.

Combed Cotton: A method to remove short fibers and to arrange longer fibers parallel to create a smooth, fine cotton yarn. Combed cotton has high strength, excellent uniformity, and better hand. Combed cotton costs more and is used in finer t-shirts.

Compacting: A process that compacts the space between cotton fiber pockets. Helps to reduce shrinking.

Contrasting Stitching: Stitching with a different color than the garment. Gives a nice design detail in t-shirts.

Control Union: An international organization that offers certification services for a variety of programs–including many organic certification programs. Certifies USDA Organic, as well as GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard).

Cotton Jersey: Knitted, very slightly stretchy fabric with a smooth flat face and a more textured but uniform back. Average weight per yard is about 5.5 to 6 ounces. Basic t-shirts are made of cotton jersey. Fine cotton jersey is usually smoother and has a lighter weight per yard.

Cotton: A natural fiber that is the most popular in the world for fabrics. Cotton fibers are usually ½ to 2 inches long. Longer fibers produce finer cotton fabric. Varieties such as Pima and Egyptian, which feature fibers exceeding 1.5 inches, are more highly valued than ordinary varieties.

Crew Neck: A round close-fitting neckline. Most common neck on t-shirts.

Crop Top: A shirt with a short body to it; made to expose the midriff area.

Double-Needle Stitched: Used mostly on sleeve/bottom hems and refers to a parallel row of stitching. This type of stitching gives durability and a cleaner, more finished look.

Drape, Drapability: Refers to how a fabric hangs. A fabric like bamboo rayon has excellent drape, while a coarse fabric like burlap has very little. T-shirts that have good drape qualities feel nicer to wear.

Drop Tail: A garment that features a longer back than front.

Eco-Friendly: Extremely loose term that refers to a product’s “greenness.” Almost useless in realistically assessing a product. Favorite term used by green washers.

Egyptian Cotton: Cotton produced in Egypt and valued for its long length of fiber. Apparel made with true Egyptian cotton is prized for its softness and fineness.

Environmental Justice Foundation: A registered charity established in 2000 to help people who suffer most from environmental abuses such as pesticide poisoning, water depletion, and soil destruction. Especially active in curbing abuses in cotton farming.

Enzyme Washed: A wash process using special enzymes to produce a soft finish and smooth look to a fabric. Ages dyes to create a special look to dyed fabrics. Enzyme washing is physically less harsh on the fabric compared to stone washing.

European Cut: A style of t-shirt that is narrower than what one normally finds. For example, a full cut men’s t-shirt, size large, usually runs 22 inches across the chest (measured one inch below the sleeve). A men’s large European cut will run about half an inch to 1 inch narrower, sometimes more.

Fabric Dyed: Fabric dyed before being cut and sewn into a finished piece of clothing.

Fair Labor Association: A nonprofit organization dedicated to ending sweatshop conditions in factories worldwide. Works to develop Code of Labor Practices, especially important in the apparel business where working conditions have historically been so poor.

Fair Wear Foundation: An international group dedicated to enhancing garment workers’ lives all over the world. Works with companies that produce clothing and other sewn products and that take responsibility for their supply chain.

Fine Cotton Jersey: Knitted, very slightly stretchy fabric with a smooth flat face and a more textured but uniform back. Fine cotton jersey is usually smoother and has a lighter weight per yard than regular cotton jersey. T-shirts made with fine cotton jersey have a better drape and feel than regular t-shirts. Usually made with 30s and higher cotton thread, and weighs about 4.3 ounces per square yard.

Fitted Cut: Definitions vary, but generally a fitted cut refers to a cut that flatters the body. Used often in women’s t-shirts, the middle section of the shirt will be tighter than the top or bottom. Overall, the shirts run narrower than a basic full cut.

Full Cut: A generous, roomy cut. In t-shirts, tubular styles are generally considered full-cut, but there are exceptions. Full Cut differs from the slimmer European Cuts, Slim Cuts, and Fitted Cuts.

Garment Dyed: Clothing dyed after it has been cut and sewn into a finished article of clothing.

Garment Washed: A process where finished articles of clothing are washed, usually with added softeners to improve the feel and look of the fabric.

GMO Free: GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organisms. First used in the 1990s when consumers became worried about genetically modified food. Many companies now apply the GMO free label on everything from food to natural fabrics, like cotton.

GOTS: Stands for Global Organic Textile Standard. A project of the International Working Group. They have developed standards to ensure organic status of textiles, from the harvesting, manufacturing, and labeling, in order to provide a credible assurance to the end consumer. An organic t-shirt that meets the standards can be GOTS certified.

Green: Generic term used by marketing gurus to promote products. Another favorite term of “green-washers,” who are hopping on the environmental bandwagon without any real commitment.

Green-Washing: Take off on the term “white-washing,” but in an environmental context. Companies that green-wash are paying lip-service to environmental concerns to attract more business, but haven’t taken any real steps to be environmentally responsible.

Hand: The way a fabric feels to the touch. A fabric that feels soft and smooth is considered to have a good hand.

Hemp Fabric: Hemp, or Cannabis sativa, has been used for fabric for thousands of years, mostly as an industrial fabric. Newer processing methods have made it suitable for finer clothing, and now it is used in many clothing articles, including t-shirts. Hemp is valued for its strength and durability.

Henley T-Shirt: Similar to a collarless polo shirt, a Henley is a pullover t-shirt featuring 2 or 3 buttons (sometimes up to 5 buttons are used, but that’s uncommon). A Henley can be either short or long sleeved.

Ice Wash: A method of stone washing where the stones are first soaked in a solution of potassium permanganate. This method produces a frosted appearance to fabric.

Interlock Knit: A type of knit that is very soft and has a good drape. Interlock knit stitches are tighter, more stretchy than Jersey knit, but less stretchy than rib knit. Used in very fine garments.

Jersey Knit: Commonly found in t-shirts and is the most durable of knits. It is light weight, and has fine vertical ribs. The Jersey knit was named after the British Island in the English Channel. Fine cotton Jersey refers to Jersey Knit made with fine cotton threads such as 30s and 40s.

Knit: Defines how the interlocking loops of yarn that make up fabric were made. There are many types of knits. Jersey Knit is commonly found in t-shirts and is the most durable of knits. It is light weight, and has fine vertical ribs. On the other hand, rib knits have heavy ribs running down the fabric, while interlock knits are used in very fine fabrics. T-shirt collars are usually rib knit.

Muscle Shirt: Sleeveless style t-shirt, but not exactly a tank top. Basic t-shirt, just without the sleeves. The shoulder strap portion is much wider than an ordinary tank top.

Neck Tape: A thin strip of fabric sewn over the seam running across the shoulders and neck area. It covers the seam and looks better than an exposed stitch. Often referred to as “shoulder to shoulder taped.”

OekoTek 100: Certification from the International Oeko-Tex® Association, which assures consumers that the apparel they buy is chemical free and poses no risk to their health. Under the Oeko-Tex standard, clothing must be free of formaldehyde, arsenic, lead, cadmium, and other toxic chemicals.

Organic Apparel: A term very loosely applied in the garment industry. It can mean anything from 100% organic to as little as 6% organic. Often combined with terms like Eco-Friendly, Green, and so on. Consumers must check the labels and verify the materials used to see if something is truly organic or not.

Organic Cotton: Cotton grown without the use of pesticides. Certified organic cotton has been inspected to insure it truly is organic.

Organic Soil Association: Founded in 1946 by a group of farmers, scientists and nutritionists concerned about the relationship between farming practices and plant, animal, human, and environmental health. The Organic Soil Association pioneered the first organic standards in 1967, and certifies farms and businesses that meet those standards.

Overdyed: A process where previously dyed garments or fabrics are dyed with an additional color to create a unique look.

Performance T: Name for t-shirts manufactured for athletes and outdoor enthusiasts. Performance Ts are characterized by their breathability, moisture wicking, fast drying, and odor control capabilities. Many performance Ts are polyester/cotton blends, or can also be 100% polyester. Bamboo t-shirts, due to their absorbency and wicking properties, have become known as performance t-shirts, although they do not dry as fast as performance t-shirts made of 100% polyester.

PFD: Stands for Prepared For Dyeing. Sold this way to t-shirt customizers who want to create their own look with dyes.

Pigment Dyed: A type of dye that creates a washed out, distressed look.

Pima Cotton: A cotton developed in the U.S. in the early 1900s to compete with Egyptian cotton. It features longer fibers and is used often in fine men’s and women’s shirts. The name Pima comes from the Pima Indians, who helped with the first crops of the new cotton as it was first grown in the U.S.

Pique: A method of knitting that creates a waffle-type, fine textured surface. Used often in polo shirts.

Polyester: Man-made fiber manufactured from synthetic polymers. Used widely in apparel, especially combined with cotton in 50/50 blends.

Pre-Shrunk: Refers to the process of pre-shrinking fabric before it is cut and sewn. Occasionally it refers to an actual finished garment that has been preshrunk. Clothing that has been preshrunk shrinks less once the buyer washes it. Preshrunk cotton t-shirts will still shrink a bit, however, especially if dried using a clothes dryer.

Raglan T-Shirt: Style of t-shirt featuring sleeves that run directly to the collar. Usually the sleeves are a contrasting color from the body. Raglan sleeves are wider under the arms, and are preferred by wearers who want maximum freedom of movement. Baseball t-shirts usually feature a raglan sleeve style.

Rayon: Man-made fiber that uses plant cellulose as its main ingredient. Rayon is very soft, has excellent drape, and is very absorbent. Originally developed as a silk substitute.

Rib Knit: Characterized by heavy vertical ribs running down the fabric. Rib knits are usually classified as 1×1, 2×1 or 2×2. This lets you know the width of the rib compared to the space between. For example, a 1×1 rib knit or a 2×2 rib knit means the space between each rib is the same width as the ribs. But a 2×1 rib knit means the ribs are twice as wide as the spaces in between. Rib knit is very stretchy and is often used for t-shirt collars, cuffs, and tank tops.

Ring Spun: Refers to yarn made by twisting and thinning a rope of cotton fibers. The continuous spinning results in a softer feel and stronger yarn. Ring-spun t-shirts are noticeably softer to the touch.

Ringer T: A t-shirt with colored sleeve bands and matching crew neck. Most ringers are white, with the armband sleeves and crew necks in various colors.

Sand Wash: Refers to using sand while washing a garment or fabric to soften and distress it.

Satin Washed: Another term for silicone washed, which produces a very smooth and soft finish to fabric, and also gives the fabric good draping properties.

Scoop Neck: Wide, gently curved neckline that varies in depth. Favored in women’s shirts.

Sheer Jersey: Very light weight jersey knit, weighing about 3.9 ounces per yard. A little stretchier than fine jersey.

Shoulder to Shoulder Tape: A thin strip of fabric sewn over the seam running across the shoulders and neck area. It covers the seam and looks better than an exposed stitch.

Shrinkage: Usually refers to cotton apparel and the amount it can be expected to shrink. Most cotton t-shirts are pre-shrunk, but 4-5% shrinkage can still be expected.

Side Seamed: Refers to shirts with a seam running down at each side under the arm sleeves to the bottom hem. Side seamed t-shirts are more expensive to manufacture.

Silicone Washed: Refers to using inert silicone in a washing process. Produces a very smooth and soft finish to fabric, and also gives the fabric good draping properties.

Singlet: another term for a men’s tank top.

Slim Cut: A style of t-shirt that is narrower than what one normally finds. For example, a full cut men’s t-shirt, size large, usually runs 22 inches across the chest (measured one inch below the sleeve). A slim cut will run about half an inch to 1 inch narrower, sometimes more.

Stonewashed: A washing process that uses lava rocks or sometimes silicon and rubber balls. This method makes fabric softer and gives it an aged or distressed look. Sometimes bleach is used in this process.

Tank Top: T-Shirt characterized by thin shoulder straps and no sleeves. The name came from the early term for swimming pools: swimming tanks.

Taped Seam: Not actual “tape,” but a thin strip of fabric sewn over the seam running across the shoulders and neck area of t-shirts. It covers the seam and looks better than an exposed stitch.

Tubular Style:A style that has no side seams; the body of the t-shirt is round and straight. Tubular t-shirts are less expensive to manufacture, and make up the bulk of the cheaper t-shirts.

Unisex T-Shirt: No standard definition exists for a unisex t-shirt, but generally speaking a unisex t-shirt is made of lighter weight, fine cotton jersey, side seamed, and not cut as full as a regular men’s t-shirt. The sleeves are not extra short, like cap sleeves, but are not full elbow lengths either. The body length is usually medium/long. However, there are wide variations in unisex t-shirts, depending on the manufacturer.

Uzbekistan: Former U.S.S.R. satellite that became independent in 1991 and is notorious for its cotton production methods, which include forced child labor and environmentally destructive practices. Ethical apparel companies boycott Uzbekistan cotton; however, many companies don’t care and have refused to join in the boycott because Uzbekistan cotton is cheap.

V -Neck: Inverted triangle style of neckline. Can be deep or shallow, depending on the style. Usually favored by women, but a shallow style v-neck is popular among men.

Viscose: Typically another name for rayon, as in viscose rayon.

Weight: Usually expressed ounces per square yard. A 5.5 ounce weight cotton fabric means that one square yard will weigh 5.5 ounces. Fine jersey cotton fabrics usually have lighter weights, while coarser cotton fabrics have heavier weights.

Wife Beater: Derogatory term for a men’s tank top t-shirt. Usually refers to a basic white tank top.

Yarn Dyed: Yarn that is dyed before it is woven into a fabric.

Source by David Urban

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13 Sep 2017

The Ugly Facts of Life About Being a Petroleum Trader

Anyone who’s gotten involved in the inevitable daisy chains that are part of the online international commodity “trading” business has learned a new meaning of the term “dead end.”

The fact is (and this is learned from real oil traders who know from experience) that most of these “deals” are just fake, plain and simple.

Thanks to the Internet, these days some phony-baloney oil brokers even have their own websites and call themselves petroleum suppliers or petroleum companies even though they may not have completed a single real oil trade transaction in their lives. Why do they keep doing it?

I honestly don’t know. The sad thing is these traders’ persistence could be put to good use if they ever took the time to actually learn about the business. And don’t think it’s only the unschooled who fall victim to these daisy chains. Many lawyers, MBAs and educated men and women who should know better are frequently sucked in too.

When real petroleum companies deal with real refiners in foreign countries, the standard procedure is that the seller makes a firm offer to the buyer – subject to whatever he needs done – and the buyer then takes a look at the offer and says either we’ve got a deal or we don’t.

Simple. It’s just like any other trade transaction in that regard. Too many buzzwords and too many qualifiers usually mean you should stay clear. And contacts who are actively seeking banking information before any discussion of product are usually non-players.

What about discounts? Real traders know there’s no discount on orders whether it’s a big deal or a small deal but the “play traders” believe that if the deal is bigger, there should be a bigger discount. This is another example of not knowing the industry.

Instead of looking for suppliers of huge amounts of oil in its various forms, the real buyers know that no single supplier can come up with one million barrels a month (an amount frequently tossed around) because the refining capability just isn’t there.

What about someone fronting for a rich Saudi sheik?

Fat chance, say the real traders. In the case of Saudi Arabia, there are only two legitimate organizations that sell oil on behalf of the country or an oil consortium. Someone who says he’s selling on behalf of a Saudi sheik is just, well, full of sheik!

And if they start talking about millions of barrels per month it’s almost certainly not real unless they’re talking about crude oil.

Remember, a broker’s entire job is to help a petroleum company’s trading department find or sell oil and related products so that he will receive a commission when the deal comes together. Will you get paid? That’s always an issue for export intermediaries but it can be especially tricky in the oil business.

The fact is that most oil companies — and especially the big ones — have traders in their marketing departments who operate honestly and fulfill obligations to brokers. But there are some independent and smaller companies who treat brokers shabbily and their reputations are widely known – another reason to get smart on the oil business before you dive in.

Surprisingly, you will probably find that many of the bigger oil trading companies will not only accept your services but may also provide advice and assistance.

So what’s the bottom line?

Like I said before, it ain’t easy. And you’ve got to know what you’re doing. The fact is, petroleum marketing is a dog-eat-dog business and if you’re a broker, you’d better have the resilience and perseverance to work through the baloney and outright deceit which seems to attach itself to petroleum trading.

Frankly, unless you have contacts in or familiarity with the petroleum industry, I recommend you stay with small- and mid-sized product manufacturers who are not exporting their products. It may not be as exotic as trading in petroleum, but it works – and you can make some real money. If you insist on trading in the volatile petroleum industry, try to find someone who will mentor you on the ins and outs. This is probably the best way to make sure you don’t get “burned” by oil.

Source by Dennis Hessler

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13 Sep 2017

Most Oil Sellers and Brokers Fail – Crude Oil Selling Procedures That Sell in Today’s Internet Era

Most Crude Oil And Petroleum Product Sellers, Brokers and Agents, in the International “Secondary” Oil Market, Do Not Make Any Sales Or Income. Do You Ever Wonder Why?

A MAJOR “HIDDEN SECRET” OF OIL SELLERS & BROKERS: MOST DO NOT MAKE ANY SALES or INCOME

Crude oil and petroleum products sellers, and their brokers and agents, who operate in the so-called “secondary market” of the international oil market today, do not usually speak about this, or like to do so. Or like the fact about this to be known. In deed, many of them would rather that it be kept obscured, or simply misrepresented. But, the fact is that one distinctive part of their business “reality” is this: as a group, they frequently close no deals nor make any sales for the oil product they purport to have available to sell, and, in fact, the vast majority of them often go for months, even years, or perhaps for ever, without ever landing even a single sales contract or deal. It is probably what might simply be called “the open secret” of the oil selling industry!

C. Keila Nakasaka, a California attorney and real estate investor and entrepreneur, who conducted extensive market research and investigations into the D2 diesel oil trade to see if he could prudently recommend taking up the commission broker’s job to his clients, says he came away from his research greatly disillusioned and disappointed. According to him, the “stories that these brokers concoct are that the seller has some direct connection with a refinery. Some even claim that the seller is, in fact, one of the leading energy companies in Russia… [but] what bothered me [the most] is that almost every one of these brokers failed to be forthcoming. They often misrepresented themselves as mandates, direct representatives, and even buyer and sellers.”

Probably the principal and most sensitive thing about which most such sellers and intermediaries (the agents, facilitators, mandates, brokers, etc.) are least “forthcoming” and “misrepresenting” about, is concerning the number and volume of sales deals they have ever closed, if any, or the income they have earned in the trade, if any. Simply put, almost all of these operatives generally close no deals, and earn almost nothing. Most of them go for months, even years – or forever – without successfully closing any sales deals, not to speak of earning even a dime in commission income!

As Nakasaka put it, describing his findings: “Another factor which I thought was odd was that most of the brokers I spoke with never closed a D2 deal despite their months and sometimes years in this business. There was one broker who claimed that he had pending deals, and two who stated that they did in fact close these deals. However, I did not find them credible.”

MAJOR REASONS FOR THIS, WHICH ACCOUNT FOR WHY MOST “SECONDARY MARKET” SELLERS & THEIR INTERMEDIARIES NEVER CLOSE ANY DEALS

Why is this so – that they make no sales or income? Many factors account for it. They could roughly be summed up as follows:

1. MOST SELLERS (and their intermediaries) ARE FAKE, ANY WAY, WITH NO CRUDE OR OIL PRODUCT TO SELL

A fact that is by now well-established and not subject to any disputation whatsoever among credible experts in the industry, is that the overwhelming majority of selling offers peddled by crude oil and petroleum product “sellers” in the so-called “secondary” oil markets, and their brokers, agents, and other intermediaries, are fake and bogus. In deed, some objective studies and research have put its extent at a whopping level of some 99.999999 percent of all offers presented for sale. Probably the only thing of much redeeming value that could be stated about this, is that with particular respect to those who act as foreign brokers and intermediaries in the business, some of them may often be engaged fraudulently in the business but innocently and unwittingly, mistakenly believing that the deal or selling operation is authentic and legitimate, when it actually is not.

2.LACK OF PROPER TRAINING, SKILLS OR KNOWLEDGE IN THE FUNDAMENTALS OF THE BUSINESS

Put very simply, perhaps nowhere is the saying that “we live in a wide interconnected world” more applicable today than in the world of the international buying and selling of crude oil and petroleum products. For the most part, virtually all that one needs in order to become a “seller” of crude oil or petroleum product, or his agent, legitimate or not, who are operating out of any part of the world, is simply to have an access to a computer and an Internet connection. That’s just about all! Unfortunately, however, one dire negative effect of this so-called “revolution of the Internet” (among many others), has been that many who now claim to be, or operate as, “sellers” or the sellers’ “brokers” or “agents,” are largely uneducated or semi-illiterate, untrained and unskilled, and are lacking in any knowledge of the proper fundamentals of international oil trading.

Kamal J. Southall, one of the foremost experts on the subject, whose book, “Trade Fraud, Financial Fraud, and the Joker Broker,” is one of the most authoritative texts on the phenomenon, puts it this way:

“Have you noticed that as you’ve searched Google and libraries, and looked high and low, finding bits of information here and there, you encounter interesting phenomena: very little practical information on the art and science of dealing in International trade as an independent trader exists in any comprehensive way. Certain practices, documents, and procedures; mysterious acronyms such as “NCND” or “MPA,” are thrown back and forth, badly corrupted model documents and forms may filter your way, but the reality is that most attempted home based traders, brokers – or, more properly, intermediaries – learn through highly expensive ‘trial and error,’… often re-inventing the wheel each time, in that ever-elusive search for a deal and knowledge on how to close that deal.”

Southall estimates, citing another expert’s calculation, that out of some one million individuals currently trying to make it as brokers or trade intermediaries in the world, “perhaps no more than 1% has the training and skill needed to ever close a deal… [meaning that] the overwhelming majority, are trading blindly, [hence] deals are collapsing… and more to the point, [oil dealers are] being defrauded – sometimes massive..”

Mr. R. Ambardar, a broker of over 10 years of wide experience in international market development and advisory services, calls “lack of experience and knowledge” one of the principal reasons why many brokers and facilitators fail in crude oil endeavors. “Many people are attracted into this business because of [the tales they hear about the] kind of money one can earn on account of successful deals. Many agents fail, [however], to understand that requirements to succeed in this business are very demanding, [and that] Only those who have years of hands-on experience and thorough knowledge of the industry can strive to do well as middle-men.”

A great many number of brokers, Ambardar adds, forget that “To become a ‘Facilitator’ in oil business,… what you actually need is right knowledge and expertise [since this is what will help] you hook up genuine buyers and sellers. One should be in the industry for long to have acquired knowledge related to the dynamics of this business.”

Consequently, one fundamental way in which this general lack of competence or knowledge about the basics of the oil trade manifests itself, is in the inability of the average person among the string of brokers and agents and intermediaries that operate in the trade, to craft good deals and successfully close sales deals even after several months or years in the business.

3. BYE AND LARGE, MOST BROKERS AND AGENTS LEARN THEIR CRAFT FROM THE INTERNET, AND THIS HAS SOME SERIOUS DRAWBACKS

There is, for the average contemporary seller’s agent or broker, one other serious shortcoming and negative consequence that emanates directly out of the fact that the primary source of their education and training by which they learn the workings of the oil trading business, is essentially the Internet. Again, Kamal J. Southall sums up these negative consequences this way:

“The expertise in recognizing a questionable trade lead or tender request from a strong one, is generally lacking through the Internet, [and] there is no critical filtering of the leads you end up reading. Anything that can be put out there, is put out there, from the genuine to the questionable, to the fraudulent. Moreover, the nature of the “broker network” is such that information is often passed about with little critical filtering, lack of knowledge of proper trading procedures and the general tendency of information to become corrupted as it trades hands, [and this] leads to dangerous results.”

4.LONG STRING OF BROKERS, AGENTS AND MIDDLEMEN, MOST OF WHOM UNDERCUT EACH OTHER.

Partly as a result of the virtual lack of any objective requirements for qualification as an agent or middleman in the trade, and the ease of entry into it, these operators generally tend to function in a climate of little or no rules or standards, and of loose or no ethics, in which the “dog eat dog” mentality seem to prevail – a climate in which each broker, agent, or mandate, being only selfishly concerned with just his own personal gains and self-interest, is constantly trying to undercut and circumvent the other in deals. Thus, often leading to the ultimate detriment of ALL the parties involved in an offer, as ALL of them, as a whole, and not just one party or the other, invariably wind up the losers since NO deal at all is had with any buyer.

“[One] reason why it’s difficult to ascertain the truth [concerning the oil product market],” reported C. Keila Nakasaka, the California attorney and entrepreneur who investigated the industry in 2010 for possible recommendation of the trade to his clients, “is that there are multiple brokers involved in any given transaction; and they’re all afraid of circumvention. Hence, it’s almost impossible to know the end buyer or seller. Now, I understand that sometimes it requires teamwork to put a large transaction together, but what bothered me is that almost every one of these brokers failed to be forthcoming. They often misrepresented themselves as mandates, direct representatives, and even buyer and sellers.”

THE “JOKER BROKER” CHARACTER

Sure, admittedly, there’s no question that the phenomenon of having a lengthy string of players, including brokers, agents and intermediaries, in a business transaction, is a necessary aspect of international business. Even more so, especially, in today’s Internet world in which we are all so interconnected globally. Certainly, in oil sales transactions, it should come as no surprise or anything unusual to anyone that such operations, because they often tend to involve huge sums of money and elaborate logistics, would sometimes require teamwork to put the transactions together. And hence, should sometimes involve a multiple number of parties – traders, agents, intermediaries, brokers, mandates, buyers, distributors, etc – to conclude a deal. However, what is different here, is not so much the fact that in the Internet crude oil dealings one encounters a string of too many brokers and middlemen. Rather, it is the fact that most of these brokers and middlemen or intermediaries that get involved in it, typically act and behave in the detrimental manner of what is known as the so-called “Joker Brokers.”

As Kamal J. Southall put it, “But the experience of the underground string of international brokers trading meaningless offers and circumventing each other, left and right, illustrates well the term “Joker Broker” and resembles, often, a Zoo full of monkeys.”

Adding that “the character, [which is] often scorned as ‘the Joker Broker,’ is one thing most people encounter very quickly in their forays into the world of trading,” Southall, the author of a classic on the “Joker Broker” character, gives a definition and explanation of the essence of this “Joker Broker” behavior, this way:

“Defined in the first instance as a bit of a time waster, the joker broker is an individual who knowingly or unknowingly peddles and plies deals and products that, in the vast majority of instances, are non-existent, or badly defined. Characterized by a tendency to bluff his way through transactions, the Joker Broker is one… [who goes about] plying deals often involving a string of brokers from one end of the planet to another, and yet not a single one has verified the very existence of the goods at hand.”

.One significant result of this?

With a multiplicity of brokers and chain of agents often involved in a trade, and each party operating selfishly and undercutting and sabotaging each other in a working environment in which each party is untrusting of the other in a transaction, and is scared of being circumvented by the other; most deals which the “secondary” market sellers and their brokers and agents undertake, are automatically doomed to failure, even from the very beginning. And often do fail.

5. PERVASIVENESS OF “The Joker Broker” MENTALITY AMONG THE INTERNET BROKERS, AGENTS & OTHER INTERMEDIARES

However, probably the most fundamental and central factor which accounts for why most intermediaries involved in the “secondary” oil market are generally not able to, and do not, close any sales deals or earn any income or commission as brokers and agents even after several months or years of peddling their oil product, could simply be condensed into one broad term: namely, the powerful pervasive grip that the “The Joker Broker” mentality has come to have on the brokers and agents, most of whom today are merely Internet-based brokers and agents.

What Is meant by this?

Put very simply, many brokers and agents, driven and limited by the fact that they generally lack much training or knowledge in the fundamentals of international trading, and by the fact, in today’s Internet era, that their only “qualification” for assuming the mantle of being a “broker” or “agent” in the oil business, is simply that they have an access to the Internet and a computer, often behave in their conduct of the oil selling operation, in a manner that “resembles, often, a Zoo full of monkeys” – in the words of Kamal J. Southall, the author of a classic on “‘the Joker Broker” character. A common characteristic of these brokers and agents, is that they peddle, knowingly or unknowingly, crude oil deals and products that on the face of it, are in most instances seemingly non-existent or questionable, or at least badly defined, while yet acting as though all is well with the product they offer, and that there’s absolutely nothing for the prospective buyer to worry about concerning it. They are mostly blinded by greed and false belief that they “are going to be super rich next week or next month” by doing nothing, other than, just shoving around a few copied documents on the Internet usually passed down to them from other jokers, none of which any of them has usually verified as to the very existence of the goods they purport to be selling.

Apart from the fact that a good many of them would, whether they do it knowingly or not, frequently try to push fake deals on the Internet, they generally act out of many misconceptions and beliefs which are simply not true, usually passed down to them from other jokers. Many times, mainly concerned with “making a quick, fast buck,” they are innocently and naively trying to close a deal for someone who they believe or merely hope to be real, but who is, in fact really not. But oftentimes, they are too proud or conceited to simply accept or concede that their own beliefs and procedures are simply incorrect, refuse to change their ways, and continue to waste their time and others’ time for months and years still trying to push deals – until, perhaps, it finally begins to dawn on them that for so long no deals have been closed, or are likely to be closed, and not a dime of income has been, or would be, earned!

But above all else, perhaps the most detrimental factor that results in the lack of business or income for most “Internet” crude oil brokers and agents, is the fact that, lacking much experience or real understanding of the true workings of international business or the way it actually works, they are often totally unrealistic and impractical about the conditions and requirements they demand of, or expect that, prospective buyers would accept in order to buy the products they purport to have for sale. That is, they often present sales offers and proposals that are so impracticable, unworkable and outrageously unreal, and are totally contrary to the way normal and legitimate business has traditionally been done in the real world.

As one analyst put it, “Some of them [the “Internet” brokers or joker brokers] are quite entertaining [in the notions about business workings they present], and remind us of the Nigerian scam artists. The world simply does not work like that.”

EXAMPLE OF JOKER BROKER OFFER THAT CAN’T WORK

The following is a good example of the Joker Broker-type of offer that the oil sellers and their brokers and agents, most of whom operate mostly online today, typically demand of intending buyers. It is presented in the form of the transactions PROCEDURES they demand that the would-be oil buyer should meet and follow, such as these:

TRANSACTIONS PROCEDURES:

1) The Buyer submits ICPO (Irrevocable Corporate Purchase Order) & banking details

2) Seller issues FCO (Full Corporate Offer) on his letterhead with full contact details.

3) Buyer returns the FCO duly signed and stamped.

4) Seller and buyer sign contract.

5) Seller and buyer exchange the Proof of Product (POP) and Proof of Funds (POF) in the following sequence/order:

6). First: Seller issues POP to the buyer. Second: After buyer verification and within 7 banking days, buyer’s bank issues POF to seller’s bank.

7) Buyers bank opens non-operative Letter of Credit (L/C) to seller’s bank/or Bank Guarantee (at seller’s choice).

8) Seller issues 2% Performance Bond (PB) to activate L/C.

9) Shipment commences as per the agreed contract.

TO TODAY’S BUYERS, THIS IS WHAT THESE PROCEDURES ARE SAYING TO THEM

In point of fact, actually the procedures such as the above-outlined, are “standard” and should, in NORMAL and proper circumstances, ordinarily be a workable and acceptable set of terms and conditions or requirements for a credible prospective buyer to do business by. However, here’s what brings about the big difference here: there is one very serious and fundamental factor that is grossly missing here. And that is this: typically, such offer requiring the intending buyer to comply with these procedures, is made, NOT by or from by a known or established or even readily identifiable person or entity, or necessarily by an AUTHENTIC crude seller or supplier. But merely by an Internet “seller.” It is typically presented by someone who merely writes (or phones) and claims, usually via some Internet connection or communication (a portal, email or website), that he is a crude “seller,” or the broker or agent of one, who supposedly has some oil available to sell. And it is typically presented by someone who, invariably, would present virtually no tangible evidence or proof whatsoever establishing his (or her) bona fides and credentials as an authentic seller, or an intermediary of one, nor shows any real track record of having previously performed in the crude oil selling business, or any other products.

Thus, in effect, what is essentially happening here, is that a set of well-meaning procedures which have legitimately been designed by the industry professionals to be used by LEGITIMATE crude sellers, and have traditionally been used by RELIABLE and respectable crude sellers and buyers alike to do business, have suddenly been hijacked by a new breed of “Internet” brokers and agents – Joker Brokers – who now demand that prudent crude buyers are to adopt precisely those same procedures in transacting business with them! To put it another way, were these Internet brokers and crude “sellers” to have been some of the so-called oil Majors – such as Chevron, Valero, Shell Oil, Exxon Mobile, British Petroleum, Total Oil, etc. – meaning companies and business entities that are well-known, already established, readily recognizable, reputable and trustworthy, there would have been absolutely no problem or question about the crude buyers using those “standard” procedures and conditions set forth above in doing business with the Internet sellers and brokers. However, that is not the case all, here. Rather, quite to the contrary, these Internet-type brokers and agents (and the purported sellers whose offers they peddle), are largely Internet-based; and are generally obscure operations, or even non-existent, with no known identity, no recognized base of operations, or established record or history of past performance as crude sellers.

WHY THE INTERNET BROKERS’ PROCEDURES LARGELY DON’T & CAN’T WORK WITH BUYERS

Yet, this is, in the vast majority of instances, the kind of supposed crude “sellers” who want and ask that would-be buyers should be submitting to those same procedures and conditions in dealing with them. Clearly, that’s a ridiculous “Joker Broker” type of day-dreaming – virtually no credible crude oil buyer anywhere in the world would accept to submit an ICPO (Irrevocable Corporate Purchase Order) to a mere unknown, unproven, dubious Internet “seller” of crude oil to solicit business with such an entity. And certainly, no credible crude oil buyer anywhere in the world would accept to submit its Proof of Funds or financial and banking details to such an entity, or to even sign a contract with it – an entity about whom it knows practically nothing, and whose bona fides, credentials or existence as a supposed crude oil supplier, is largely dubious and unestablished.

A major, well-known, recognizable, or reputable entity or crude dealer, yes. But NOT an obscure, dubious, unknown entity, largely existing merely on the Internet.

Analysts at the JokerBroker.com website, which is a site devoted to extensive compilation of a database of the most notorious “Joker Brokers” persons and companies, sums it up this way, describing why most credible crude buyers would generally reject accepting such procedures and conditions often demanded of them by Internet brokers, outright:

“When a deal starts off with “send ICPO with BCL or Soft Probe, [POF], NCND and IMFPA,” this is “broker language.” Those that know broker language know what this means: “I’m a joker broker. I don’t have any real product for sale, and I don’t know anyone who has any, so I want you to give me an Irrevocable Purchase Order with your full financial details disclosed, so I can run around with your order and your money in my hands looking for product, and the next thing you see will be your company and banking details exposed to the whole world, running around unsecured on the Internet between thousands of other joker brokers.”… That is what this language means. I suggest you learn the language, and please do not send me even one “deal” which starts off with this procedure. Please just put them straight into the rubbish bin, which is exactly where I put them whenever anyone sends them to me.”

Kamal J. Southall, author of “Trade Fraud, and the Joker Broker,” describes the following as “some of the most notorious Joker Broker Documents”:

“The Irrevocable Purchase Order/IPO ICPO: Sometimes known as the Irrevocable Corporate Purchase Order, such a document simply does not exist. Or to put things more rudely, the ICPO is crap. There, we have said it, let the chips fall.”

SUMMARY

Here’s what might probably be called “the open secret” of the so-called secondary market oil industry: as a group, the crude oil and petroleum products sellers, and their long string of brokers, agents and intermediaries, generally close no deals nor make any sales or income out of the oil product they purport to sell, frequently after several months, even years, or perhaps for ever, of doing the business. There are several reasons which account for this. They range from the fact that most oil sellers and their brokers and other intermediaries, are fake operatives with no crude or petroleum product to sell, in the first, to lack of proper training and knowledge by these operatives in the fundamentals of the business, to the existence of certain serious drawbacks and shortcomings inherent in the fact that, bye and large, the principal source by which most brokers and agents today learn their craft today as oil dealers, is merely the Internet.

However, probably the most fundamental and most central factor of all which accounts for the above reality, could simply be condensed into one broad term: namely, the powerful pervasive grip that the “The Joker Broker” mentality has come to have on the brokers and agents, most of whom today are merely Internet-based brokers and agents. Typically lacking much experience or real understanding of international business or the way it actually works, and frequently blinded by greed and false belief that they “are going to be super rich next week or next month” by doing nothing, other than, perhaps, simply shoving around a few copied documents on the Internet, the conditions, requirements, and procedures often proposed by the “Internet” brokers and agents for prospective buyers to buy from a seller, are usually unrealistic, impracticable, outrageously unreal, even laughable and ludicrous atimes. They are unworkable conditions and requirements that are completely contrary to the way normal and legitimate business has traditionally been done in the real world. And consequently, credible buyers generally reject outright the sales offers coming from such Internet sales operatives, thus resulting in common lack of sales or commission income for such operatives, month after month, and even year after year.

For example, most of the selling offers one gets today for the sale of oil, are usually from Internet “sellers” – persons who merely claim, via an Internet communication, that they are “sellers” of crude or petroleum products with some product to sell, but typically have NO known identity, show no credible record or history of past performance as an AUTHENTIC crude seller or supplier, nor present any solid evidence that the supposed seller even exists. Yet, these mere “Internet” sellers would typically demand and expect a serious buyer of oil, to simply sign an “ICPO,” and enter into a binding contract with them committing itself to obligations valued in the several hundreds of millions of dollars with such a yet unproven and dubious Internet “sellers” (or brokers and agents), or to submit its most sensitive financial and banking details to them, etc! Demands which, clearly, virtually no credible crude oil buyer anywhere in the world would accept or submit to with merely a dubious, unknown, yet-to-be-established entity! On top of all that, add to that the reality that those harsh conditions are being demanded of intending buyers by the sellers and brokers in an oil industry that is, by all credible accounts, full of too many fakes and fraud in the contemporary oil selling industry!

And so, here you have it: why most supposed “secondary” market Internet oil sellers and their brokers and agents typically make no sales or income in their stint into crude oil and petroleum product selling business today in this Internet era, for months and years.

FOR A FOLLOW UP

WISH TO FOLLOW UP ON GETTING A CRUDE OIL OR PETROLEUM PRODUCTS SELLER OR BROKER WITH WORKABLE, REALISTIC PROCEDURES THAT A CREDIBLE BUYER CAN READILY ACCEPT? Please see the instructional information in the author’s resource box below

Source by Benjamin Anosike, PhD

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