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COVID-19 disruption… sharpening our resolve

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Six weeks into this unique work-from-home environment, we are all hoping and looking for the light at the end of the tunnel, which, for many, cannot come soon enough.  The fact is, however, we don’t get to control the timeline for ending the COVID-19 pandemic.  What we can control is our unwavering commitment to our clients.  We have made it our number one priority to ensure that Universal Logistics Canada and Universal Logistics USA continue to be fully operational, providing innovative logistics solutions, uninterrupted customs clearance, consulting, freight and distribution services to all our clients.

COVID-19 is disrupting shipping globally, making shipment planning increasingly more difficult.  Despite these challenging circumstances and even though freight movement is drastically reduced, it hasn’t stopped entirely.  While it is true that the supply chain shipping process has slowed down, our efforts to keep the supply chain moving have not.   Like many companies in our industry, Universal has been forced to quickly adapt and develop new solutions to ensure that our clients continue to receive the high standard of service that they have come to know and expect from us. 

So what’s happening?
Ocean freight “blank sailings” (cancellations of scheduled vessel sailings) have skyrocketed during COVID-19, as a result of decreased demand in North America and Europe.  This has contributed to schedule reliability being at an all-time low.

Airfreight’s rapidly increasing rates, service cuts and frequent last-minute flight cancellations have caused immense disruption to the global aviation industry.  Previously agreed upon shipment rates are frequently required to be renegotiated, often at higher rates.  Airfreight has, consequently, hit its lowest capacity in recent years.

Border closures by national governments anxious to limit transmission of the virus, and the limited workforce availability due to self-isolation policies, are also taking a toll on all modes of transit by increasing disruptions and delays.  Note – the Canadian and US borders remain open for all commercial trade.

What are we doing about it?
We recognize that this level of unpredictability makes it very difficult for our clients to plan ahead.  It is the reason for Universal’s focus on timely client communication which is vital to streamlining the shipping process. 

We continue to:

  • Provide full, uninterrupted service coverage
  • Confirm warehouse operating days and hours of both our clients and shippers well in advance of pickups and deliveries
  • Communicate changes or delays in overseas “shipment ready” dates
  • Keep clients fully informed of shipment transit status

There is no “normal“ now as situations change quickly and flexibility is key.  Innovative logistics solutions are needed to navigate the new obstacles you are facing, and we are committed to helping.  For this reason, Universal Logistics continues to provide Coronavirus (COVID-19) Alerts, an email service providing our clients with concise and informative updates by mode of transport on a regular basis.

We have also added a new page to the Universal Logistics web site under Client Care dedicated solely to the impact of COVID-19 on international trade, including a list of informative FAQs.

If you have not done so already, please make sure you are signed up to receive Universal’s Email Alerts! and visit our web site often.

We know you have a lot of questions – please remember we’re here to help.  Contact us with any inquires and we’ll assist you in any way we can.  Stay safe!

For more information, contact John Leis, Director – Client Relations.

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