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February 2022

News and Views for the clients of Universal Logistics

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Going to the 2022 London Book Fair?

London Book Fair

We are getting back on the road – starting with the 2022 London Book Fair.

This year, the London Book Fair will be held April 5-7 in London, England and Universal will be represented by John Leis, Director – Client Relations and Andrew Doick, Business Development – International.

Contact John or Andrew by email if you would like to arrange a meeting at the Universal booth (6B81), which we are sharing with our long-term UK partner, World Transport Agency.

“We look forward to, once again, meeting with our client and business partners, who are our best source on what is happening in the book publishing industry,” said Mr. Leis.

CARM Release 2 Update


As customs brokers we are used to managing change, especially new CBSA initiated programs.  In most cases, we manage these changes behind the scenes.  Our clients rightfully expect that we will take care of everything on their behalf – and we do.  CARM , however, is one of the first Customs initiatives that absolutely requires importer engagement.

Universal Logistics will help our clients along the road to CARM to ensure a smooth transition.  The CARM initiative will be implemented in phases (or releases).  Release 1 went into effect on May 25, 2021.  Full implementation of Release 2 (expected May/June 2022) is delayed until at least January 2023.

IMPORTANT:  All importers to Canada (whether resident or non-resident) must take certain steps – if not, they simply won’t be able to import into Canada once CARM Release 2 comes into effect (January 2023).

CARM Release 2 Key Functionality for External Clients:

  • Submit new commercial accounting declarations with ability to make corrections and adjustments.
  • All Importers must post security for duty and GST outlays in order to participate in RPP (Release Prior to Payment).
  • Harmonized billing cycle that aligns payment due dates and provides more time to make interest-free corrections.
  • Customizable electronic notification options.

Here’s what you need to know to get ready…

  1. Identify your company’s Business Account Manager(s) – BAM
  2. Register your business in the CARM Client Portal
  3. Delegate authority to your customs broker
  4. Secure a Release of Goods Bond – Release 2 (scheduled for May/June 2022)

The CBSA’s Assessment and Revenue Management team is hosting free CARM webinars – tailored specifically for Importers – and focusing on CARM Client Portal Onboarding.

Registration is required for these webinars.  Please register using the links below:

Date / Time Registration Link
Tuesday, March 22, 2022 – 1:00pm-2:30pm EST – English Register
Tuesday, March 22, 2022 – 3:00pm-4:30pm EST – French Register

For more details on CARM and for tips on how to get ready – visit our website – or speak with your Universal Logistics Client Care representative.

2022 brings record level truck freight rates

Truck on highway

The North American trucking industry has dealt with significant disruptions over the years.  The recent protests and border blockades happening throughout Canada are just a couple of examples of the larger challenges facing this valuable sector of the supply chain.

At the forefront of the issues currently being felt is the unprecedented rise of trucking rates during the past 2 months.  Rates have catapulted to historically high levels due to a multitude of concerns beyond the aforementioned demonstrations.  Among them are the current record-breaking fuel costs, the ongoing driver shortage crisis, a lack of equipment due to delays in manufacturing of tractors and trailers as well as a robust economy with an overwhelming demand for transportation equipment that shows no signs of letting up.

“Combining the current truck shortage with the huge surge in shipments only compounds the capacity constraints.  Truck-to-load ratios are even lower than the record low capacity crunch that temporarily ensued following the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) mandate in the US close to 5 years ago,” says Claudia Milicevic, President of Loadlink Technologies.  Additionally, year-over-year, January’s truck-to-load ratio was 0.93, 64 percent lower compared to the ratio of 2.57 in January 2021.

Furthermore, according to, trucking rates for cross border shipments between Canada and the U.S. rose a shocking 44% from January 2nd until February 5th, 2022.  The expectation is that this already staggering amount will maintain or continue to rise throughout the remainder of 2022 and, possibly, up until early 2023.

During this tumultuous period, freight decision makers have been forced to secure equipment abruptly, at increased costs and with adequate service levels at best, in an effort to keep their cargo moving.  While it is hopeful that as the weather warms up, we will see a bit of relief when it comes to rates and an increase in equipment supply to lessen the current imbalance in the market, we can be assured that the hurdles within the trucking industry will persist for a lengthy period of time due to the unprecedented number of issues at hand.

For more information, contact William Sanchez, Manager – Truck Services.

Port Congestion Update


Port congestion, which dramatically worsened in the second half of 2021, appears to have temporarily peaked, although it’s too soon to tell whether it’s a reprieve before the next run-up, a high-level plateau, or the beginning of the end.  Import growth is expected to moderate during the first half of 2022, which should give North American ports a much needed break, however, at the present time cargo volumes remain high, which is a clear sign of continued consumer demand.  The other issue is that backlogs cannot be erased quickly, so while there is some hope for improvement, the outlook remains fragile at best.  Given roughly 80% of all world trade ships via ocean, a return to some form of normalization is much desired by all parties engaged in international sea shipping.

The situation at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, which experienced the most severe backlogs in North America last year, seems to be improving as these ports saw the lowest tally of ships waiting to berth in recent months.  However, this must be viewed with cautious optimism, as the recent pattern of ships waiting off Southern California has mirrored what happened the year before.  The backlog grew throughout the fall, peaked around year-end, then began declining in the first few months of the year.  In 2021, the queue numbers fell from February until the third week in June, then began climbing again.

While “vessel bunching” at key ports of arrival has been reduced, the reasons for this can be deceiving.  Inbound vessel volume to the U.S. and Canada remains high, as import volume continues to surge and, rather than having vessels pile up at destination ports, in some cases they are simply anchored much further offshore.  In other instances, vessels are slow steaming from origin ports as they await a berthing opportunity.  These actions are resulting in inconsistent shipping schedules and making vessel arrival times very difficult to predict.

Other factors, such as the recent flooding in British Columbia, affected the Port of Vancouver, which handles the highest volume of Canadian inbound cargo and is still recovering from this event.  This environmental catastrophe interrupted both rail and truck service at the port and caused a major back-up of containers at its marine terminals.  As well, ongoing Covid outbreaks at major ports worldwide have impacted the local labour force and resulted in cargo flow to and from these arteries being compromised, as operations are forced to temporarily shut down.

While West Coast ports have faced the brunt of issues related to high cargo volume, both U.S. and Canadian East Coast ports have seen an increase in cargo levels and backlogs, which are affecting port efficiencies.  The same problems the West Coast is faced with, such as overwhelmed terminals and the inability to efficiently transfer cargo out of these areas to end destinations, are now commonplace on the Eastern seaboard.  In addition to these issues, many steamship lines are charging congestion surcharge fees as they struggle to deal with challenges within their shipping networks.

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

Global Spotlight Quiz
Global Spotlight
The old port city of Jaffa is the southernmost part of our mystery city and well worth a visit.

Global Spotlight Quiz

Name the city known for its Bauhaus architecture

  • Founded in 1909, it was the first modern Hebrew city and was originally called Ahuzat Bayit.
  • Enjoys 300 days of sunshine per year.
  • Called “the city that never sleeps” – has beautiful beaches, lively entertainment venues on almost every corner, a wide variety of world class restaurants as well as many art galleries and museums.
  • Has more than 25 miles of bike paths – a great way to get around the city and avoid being stuck in traffic.
  • “The White City” features a collection of over 4,000 buildings built in the unique International Style, including Bauhaus, and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003.

See the answer

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

Quick Tip

Quick Tip

Two ways to control the cost of your freight shipments

Looking for new ways to reduce your shipping costs?  Start by ensuring you are not wasting money by carrying weight that can be removed.  Then make sure your shipping cartons are not bigger than they need to be.

Look for every possible saving, but never do anything that weakens the carton to the point where it could no longer carry your goods safely.  That would be a penny-wise, pound foolish mistake.

Michael Agee, Manager – Distribution Services
Michael Agee, Manager – Distribution Services

At Your Service: Michael Agee, Manager – Distribution Services

Michael Agee joined Universal Logistics in April of 2021 as Manager – Distribution Services.  In this role Michael is responsible for all aspects of our distribution and warehousing operations.  His focus is on growth and development of our Distribution Services as well as ensuring our internal quality control processes surpass industry standards.

Michael brings over 20 years of experience in the distribution and supply chain field, and his knowledge and dedication have proven to be a valuable resource for our clients’ needs.

Michael can be reached by phone (905) 676-2763, ext. 2023 or by email.

February 2022

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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