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April 2019

News and Views for the clients of Universal Logistics

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We are 100% behind the publishing industry – book it

London Book Fair

We never tire of taking our annual tour of the major international book fairs, starting this year with a stop at the London Book Fair, held March 12-14 at the Olympia in West London, England.  We were represented by Chris Barnard, Vice President – Projects & Market Development and Andrew Doick, Business Development – International.  Mr. Barnard, who has visited this book fair many times, observed, “There is still a lot of life in the book industry.  People still like the feel of a book in their hand, and that means publishers will need companies like Universal Logistics to ship their books.”

We continue to meet and exceed client expectations by offering an unmatched combination of local and international strengths:

  • the leading provider of logistics services for the Canadian book publishing industry
  • the only Canadian representative (and a founding member) of BookFreight, a worldwide network of freight forwarders, specializing in book industry transportation management
  • the only company endorsed by the Canadian Book and Periodical Council (customs broker and international freight forwarder) for the last 24 years

For more information, contact Chris Barnard, Vice President – Projects & Market Development.

Canadian Export Reporting process update

CERS to replace CAED: December 2019

The Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) is replacing the Canadian Automated Export Declaration (CAED) with the Canadian Export Reporting System (CERS).  The original go-live date (July 2019) has been delayed and a new tentative start date has been set (December 2019).

The goal is to ensure CBSA, in partnership with Statistics Canada, can provide a solution that meets the needs of the export community.

All existing users of CAED/DLM/SRP will be required to activate their business account during the revised onboarding window.  The pilot phase, commencing January 2020, will include a select number of trade chain partners (TCPs), including CAED, Data Loading Module (DLM) and Summary Reporting Program (SRP).

Elimination of paper export reporting: No more B13A

Mandated electronic export reporting, including elimination of the B13A Export Declaration form, is coming soon as part of the CERS implementation.  Exporters will learn more about these changes in the near future through multiple channels:  Customs Notice, the CBSA and Statistics Canada websites and anywhere paper B13As are stamped.

You also need to know that the Definition of Exporter has now been identified as the primary cause of ambiguity in the Reporting of Exported Goods Regulations – and all resulting issues.

Summary Reporting Program (SRP): Addressed in Future Regulations

  • Since goods of unknown risk are being reported after export, thereby evading CBSA pre-export risk assessment, the CBSA will amend the eligibility criteria to refocus the SRP to its original purpose, a “facilitative reporting method for bulk goods (e.g. wheat, lumber, coal).”
  • Non-Bulk goods will no longer be eligible for the program and will have to be reported on a transactional basis.
  • This regulatory change will not be included in this round of regulatory amendments and will be addressed in a future regulatory package.

For more information, contact David Lychek, Manager – Ocean & Air Services.

Why getting U.S. LTL Truck Freight Classifications
right is so important

There are eighteen different U.S. LTL Truck Freight Classifications.  Choosing the right one is important because a mistake can lead to increased costs that are entirely avoidable.  For example, it is important to show the right National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC) item number on the bill of lading, as this is required to allocate correct shipping costs and avoid reclassification or rate differences.

Freight class questions and answers

Q:  What is a Freight Class? 

A: Freight Classes provide common standardized freight pricing for use by carriers, warehouses and brokers.  Freight Classes are defined by the National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA) and made available through the NMFC or National Motor Freight Classification.

Q:  What is a National Motor Freight Classification?

A: In the United States, each commodity or type of product is assigned a National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC) and corresponding class for less than truckload (LTL) freight shipments.  The NMFC system gives consumers a uniform pricing structure when transporting freight.  The number assigned to an item is important to LTL carriers in determining the tariffs, which in turn determine the price charged to the customer.

Q:  What factors are used to calculate Freight Class?

Freight Class is based on weight, length and height, density, ease of handling, value and liability from things like theft, damage, break-ability and spoilage.  The definitions for each are as follows:

  • (Weight, Length, Height) Density and Value: Density guidelines assign classification 50 to freight that weighs 50 pounds per cubic foot.  The Commodity Classification Standards Board (CCSB) assigns classifications 70, 92.5, 175 and 400 to freight with densities of 15, 10.5, 5, and 1 pound per cubic foot, respectively. Freight less dense than 1 pound per cubic foot is classified as 500.The density is the space the item occupies in relation to its weight.  The density is calculated by dividing the weight of the item in pounds by its volume in cubic feet.  Your item’s volume in cubic feet is Length x Width x Height/1,728, where all dimensions are measured in inches.  The density of your item = Weight/Volume, where Weight is measured in pounds and Volume is measured in cubic feet.
  • Stow-ability: Most freight stows well in trucks, trains and boats, but some articles are regulated by the government or carrier policies.  Some items cannot be loaded together.  Hazardous materials are transported in specific manners.  Excessive weight, length or protrusions can make freight impossible to load with other freight.  The absence of load-bearing surfaces makes freight impossible to stack.  A quantifiable stow-ability classification represents the difficulty in loading and carrying these items.
  • Handling: Most freight is loaded with mechanical equipment and poses no handling difficulties, but some freight, due to weight, shape, fragility or hazardous properties, requires special attention.  A classification that represents ease or difficulty of loading and carrying the freight is assigned to the items.
  • Liability: Liability is probability of freight theft or damage, or damage to adjacent freight.  Perishable cargo or cargo prone to spontaneous combustion or explosion is classified based on liability and assigned a value per pound, which is a fraction of the carrier’s liability.  When classification is based on liability, density must also be considered.

Q:  What are the 18 Different Types of Freight Class?

Class Name Cost Notes, Examples Weight Range
Per Cubic Foot
Class 50 – Clean Freight Lowest Cost Fits on standard shrink-wrapped 4X4 pallet, very durable over 50 lbs
Class 55 Bricks, cement, mortar, hardwood flooring 35-50 pounds
Class 60 Car accessories & car parts 30-35 pounds
Class 65 Car accessories & car parts, bottled beverages, books in boxes 22.5-30 pounds
Class 70 Car accessories & car parts, food items, automobile engines 15 to 22.5 pounds
Class 77.5 Tires, bathroom fixtures 13.5 to 15 pounds
Class 85 Crated machinery, cast iron stoves 12-13.5 pounds
Class 92.5 Computers, monitors, refrigerators 10.5-12 pounds
Class 100 Boat covers, car covers, canvas, wine cases, caskets 9-10.5 pounds
Class 110 Cabinets, framed artwork, table saw 8-9 pounds
Class 125 Small Household appliances 7-8 pounds
Class 150 Auto sheet metal parts, bookcases 6-7 pounds
Class 175 Clothing, couches stuffed furniture 5-6 pounds
Class 200 Auto sheet metal parts, aircraft parts, aluminum table, packaged mattresses 4-5 pounds
Class 250 Bamboo furniture, mattress and box spring, plasma TV 3-4 pounds
Class 300 Wood cabinets, tables, chairs setup, model boats 2-3 pounds
Class 400 Deer antlers 1-2 pounds
Class 500 – Low Density or High Value Highest Cost Bags of gold dust, ping pong balls Less than 1 lbs.

For more information, contact Lisa Fertita, General Manager – Freight Services.

Steel safeguard ruling

Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT)

The Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) has announced that safeguard measures are warranted for two steel products:

  • Heavy steel plate (other than goods originating in Korea, Panama, Peru, Colombia and Honduras)
  • Stainless steel wire (other than goods originating in Korea, Panama, Peru, Colombia and Honduras)

These two products are included in the seven categories of steel products that were assigned a 25% tariff surtax for imports beyond a certain quota, effective October 2018.

The duration of the safeguards is unknown, but they could be extended for three years.

With respect to the other five product categories, the Tribunal concluded that safeguard measures are not warranted:

  • Concrete reinforcing bar
  • Energy tubular products
  • Hot-rolled sheet
  • Pre-painted steel
  • Wire rod

It is reasonable to expect that the provisional safeguard measures will be discontinued and a process will be established for the prompt refund of import surtaxes that have been paid by importers during the provisional period.

For more information, contact Brian Rowe, Director – Customs Compliance & Regulatory Affairs.

A new round of EU tariffs threatened by U.S.


The United States is threatening to impose $11 billion in tariffs against the European Union after the World Trade Organization ruled that the EU’s Airbus subsidies are not fair.

The specific duties, by product, will be announced this summer.  A preliminary list of goods, covering a wide range of items from seafood to jets, has been issued for public consultation, including:

  • Salmon fillets, fresh or chilled
  • Cheese, including Cheddar, Roquefort, Stilton, Gruyere and Pecorino
  • Lemons fresh or dried
  • Virgin olive oil
  • Marsala wine
  • Cashmere sweaters, pullovers and similar
  • Ceramic household steins with pewter lids
  • Motorcycles with an engine size of between 500cc and 700cc
  • Wall clocks, not electrically operated, designed to operate over 47 hours without rewinding

Duties may also be placed on goods if they are produced in France, Germany, Spain or the UK, including:

  • Helicopters
  • Undercarriages for use in new civil aircraft
  • Fuselages for use in new civil airplanes

For more information, contact Brian Rowe, Director – Customs Compliance & Regulatory Affairs.

Global Spotlight Quiz
Global Spotlight
Remnants of this mystery location’s medieval past are evident throughout the city.

Global Spotlight Quiz

How many clues do you need to name a capital that borders two countries?

  • The city’s history has been strongly influenced by people of different nations and religions, namely (in alphabetical order) Austrians, Bulgarians, Croats, Czechs, Germans, Hungarians, Jews, Serbs and Slovaks
  • The city is dominated by a Castle built in the 9th century
  • The city was known by its German name Pressburg before receiving its contemporary name in 1919
  • Once the center of a major kingdom controlling a large part of a major continent
  • Likely the only city in the world where you can have lunch in a UFO
  • The population works primarily in the service sector (trade, banking, IT, telecommunication industry, tourism)

  Click here to see the answer

For more information about shipping freight to or from this city, contact Debbie McGuire, Manager – Freight Solutions.

Quick Tip

Quick Tips

The perils of being under insured

Make sure you read the fine print before purchasing insurance abroad for freight shipments.  A common mistake is to assume that minimum insurance gives you some degree of protection against all perils when, in fact, it actually excludes many perils.

Protect your business interests by insuring you buy a policy that gives you protection against all perils.

Vickey Ison, Office Manager – Cleveland
Vickey Ison,
Office Manager – Cleveland

At Your Service: Vickey Ison,
Office Manager – Cleveland

Our senior management team now includes Vickey Ison, who joined Universal Logistics USA as Office Manager – Cleveland, effective February 5, 2019.

Vickey brings ten years of industry experience to her position, including all aspects of freight operations, client service and new business development.  “I am excited about this opportunity and look forward to helping guide the entire Cleveland office team to an all-new level of excellence,” says Vickey.

Vickey can be reached by phone (440) 360-7850, or by email.

April 2019

is produced monthly for the clients of Universal Logistics. Reader comment and story ideas are welcome. Comments of general interest to all Route readers will, with the permission of the writer, be published. Copyright ©
Universal Logistics Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction for any commercial use is strictly prohibited.

Route is produced by Universal Logistics. Editor: Bettina Scharnberg. Email: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of information contained herein, Universal Logistics accepts no responsibility or liability for errors or omissions. Written correspondence should be forwarded to:

Universal Logistics Inc.
125 Commerce Valley Drive West
Suite 750, Thornhill, Ontario L3T 7W4
Tel: 905-882-4880    Fax: 905-882-2250
Attention: Bettina Scharnberg
Universal Logistics

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