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December 2021

News and Views for the clients of Universal Logistics

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Universal’s Community Giving

Universal's HHTH Employee Fundraising
David, Michael, Mark & Paul Glionna and
Universal’s HHTH Employee Fundraising Thermometer.

Our corporate wide adherence to family values includes an unending commitment to giving back that peaks during the holiday season.  “We always try to best the previous year’s results and this year was no different as our employees at every level and every location stepped up like never before,” said Company President, Michael Glionna.

Most significant this year is the big jump in funds raised for Hockey Helps the Homeless (HHTH), a Canadian charity that organizes and runs fantasy hockey tournaments across the country, and raises money to help fund the work of over 40 homeless support agencies.  The funds raised by Universal benefit 360Kids ( and Blue Door Shelters (, two local organizations committed to ending homelessness.

In October and November, seven employee teams at Universal rallied together to raise an incredible $26,409.26, surpassing last year’s total by over $10,000!  Together with the company’s funds matching program and participation as game day sponsor for HHTH’s York Region tournament, a total contribution exceeding $55,000 was made by the Universal group.

Even more giving took place in December as our employees were enthusiastic supporters of two other charities we support annually: the Vaughan Food Bank and the Toy Mountain gift drive.  “It is a great feeling knowing that the bags and bags of food and gifts contributed by our employees will bring joy this holiday season to those who are less fortunate,” said Mark Glionna, Vice President – Client Relations & Business Development.

Plan early to ship goods before Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year

The weeks leading up to Chinese New Year (CNY) put incredible pressure on exporters in China and China’s transportation infrastructure.  CNY is generally a 7 day festival, however, most people in China celebrate for up to two weeks or more.  Factories shut down over the holiday and, after they reopen, it can take a few weeks to get back to full production capacity.  Proper planning and coordination are important if you want to ensure your supply chain remains fluid.

Chinese New Year 2022 falls on the following dates:

  • China:             January 31, 2022 – February 6, 2022
  • Hong Kong:   February 1, 2022 – February 4, 2022
  • Taiwan:          January 29, 2022 – February 6, 2022

If you have shipments that need to depart prior to Chinese New Year, we recommend that you place bookings with our Freight Solutions Team in mid-December, ensuring enough lead time to find the best option for space and rates.

For more information, contact Debbie McGuire, Director – Freight Solutions.

What is Carrier Limit of Liability?

Limited Liability

The carrier limit of liability determines the maximum amount of money that carriers can be held liable for in the event of damage or loss of cargo.  The limits of liability vary between carriers and mode of transport, however, in most cases they do not reflect the value of the cargo.  For example, in terms of ocean cargo, the limited liability is typically 2 SDR/KG.  SDR or, more specifically, Special Drawing Right is an artificial currency instrument used by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).  At present, the SDR value is $0.70 USD, so 2 SDR = $1.40.  In the case of a shipment weighing 100 kgs, the limited liability value is $140.00 USD, no matter what the value of the cargo is.  This can come as an unpleasant surprise to shippers, as many are under the impression the parties involved in a claim will provide them with complete reimbursement.  To many, this is the first time they are made aware of limited liability, and the fact that the liability of the carrier is very low.

To be clear, carrier limit of liability covers damage or loss that occurred due to carrier negligence.  To settle a claim, the responsibility to prove that the damage was the fault of the carrier is typically on the importer or exporter, which can be difficult to verify in many cases, affecting the ability to receive even minimal reimbursement under the terms of limited liability.  There is also no official deadline to settle a claim, so the process could drag on for months.  At the same time, for a carrier to be liable for loss or damage, importers have to prove that their cargo was in good condition when given to the carrier, but was delivered damaged, or not delivered, and they must prove the amount of the damage they are claiming.

As you can see, under limited liability terms shippers will have a difficult time recouping any monetary losses in the event of a claim and it could a very long time to settle such matters.  The only way to protect your interests is to have cargo insurance in place for all of your shipments, especially for cargo you control, from a freight cost perspective.  If you are responsible for the freight charges (we always recommend you control your freight), you would normally be responsible for ensuring your shipment has proper cargo insurance in place.  As noted, even when carriers are liable, the liability is limited – either by contract in the bill of lading or by law.  And, as outlined, in most cases shippers will only recover cents on the dollar from the carrier.  Cargo insurance gives you total coverage, and ensures you receive full compensation in the event of loss or damage.  At the same time, your cargo insurance provider will coordinate the claims process with all parties involved and expedite the settlement process.  Typical cargo insurance coverage will cover the commercial invoice value of the cargo as well as the freight costs and add a 10% margin to this to cover any accessorial costs incurred.  This is to ensure you are fully compensated in such instances.

In terms of cargo insurance, Universal Logistics can help you find the best match between your needs and the available coverage options, with the sole purpose of protecting your interests and limiting risks when shipping.

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

Global Spotlight Quiz
Global Spotlight
Our mystery city has is own
triumphal arch, modelled after the
Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France.

Global Spotlight Quiz

Name the city that is home to Arcul de Triumf

  • First mentioned in 1459 in a document issued by the court of Prince Vlad the Impaler, the prince who allegedly inspired the creation of the world renowned character of Dracula.
  • Earned the nickname “Little Paris” or “Paris of the East” in the period between the two World Wars.
  • The Palace of the Parliament is the world’s second largest administrative building (after the Pentagon) and also claims the title of the world’s heaviest building.
  • Home to the longest boulevard in Europe.  Bulevardul Unirii is 3,500 metres long, which makes it significantly longer than the Champs Elysées in Paris, which is 1,900 metres long.
  • More than 10,000 people are bitten by stray dogs in this city every year.
  • Dental tourism is very popular.  People from all over the world come to the city for professional and affordable modern dental treatment.

See the answer

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

Quick Tip

Quick Tip

Timing is everything with your international trading partners

Remember to take into account time zones when you are communicating with your international trading partners.  Anyone working in Europe is generally 5-6 hours ahead, so start your day by speaking with them.  Use the mid-day to communicate with trading partners in your time zone and reserve the end of the day for business contacts on the West Coast of North America (who are three hours behind) or correspondence to contacts in Asia or Europe, who will see it first thing when they start their work day.

Tom Gross, Office Manager – Cleveland
Tom Gross,
Office Manager – Cleveland

At Your Service: Tom Gross, Office Manager – Cleveland

Tom Gross joined our Cleveland, Ohio team in March 2020, focusing on sales and business development.  In June 2021, Tom was promoted to Office Manager – Cleveland, responsible for all of our US freight operations.

Tom brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in all aspects of international and domestic freight, as well as an extensive background in client service and business development.  He is eager to guide our U.S. freight operations and ensure our clients continue to receive the top level service they have come to expect from our team.

Tom can be reached by phone (440) 360-7850, ext. 2103 or by email.

December 2021

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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