View All Route Newsletters

Take The Right Route Logo

January 2021

News and Views for the clients of Universal Logistics

arrow Visit the Universal Logistics web site

Ocean & airfreight update

Ociean & Air Freight

Ocean Freight
As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic threw global markets into disarray, consumer behaviour altered dramatically, leaving carriers as well as shippers stranded, either with goods they could not sell, or, in the second half of the year, with goods that could not be moved. The latter crisis stems in part from a lack of containers, as the pandemic has caused box repositioning problems. Today, even if a shipper can get an empty container for their cargo, there is no guarantee that the cargo will make it onto a ship.

The latest findings show that most major ports saw high levels of rollover cargo from November to December. This, in turn, is causing further delays to cargo which is stranded at origin ports. Of twenty global ports that were monitored, 75% saw an increase in the levels of rollover cargo in December, compared to the previous month. Major transshipment ports such as Port Klang, Malaysia and Colombo, Sri Lanka have recorded more than 50% of cargo delayed, with the largest delays coming from Singapore and primary ports such as Shanghai, China and Busan, South Korea, who rolled over more than a third of their containers last month. Industry experts are cautioning that the cargo surge could last well into 2021, with a strong likelihood that the current equipment shortage and lack of space will continue throughout the first half of the year.

The critical lack of ocean containers and capacity for exports out of China, coupled with vessel schedule disruptions, is continuing to drive the shift to airfreight. This is adding to a shortage of airfreight capacity already stretched by demand generated from PPE shipments and the e-commerce boom. COVID vaccine transport is creating an extra squeeze in capacity, with a large number of inquiries and booking requests – mostly from Asia to Europe or the U.S..

Large air charter services in all directions are also experiencing a boom at the moment, including commodities that are not traditional charter commodities, such as raw materials. Canada is upping its freighter capacity, with both Cargojet and Air Canada expanding to take advantage of new opportunities. Cargojet has committed to purchasing multiple freighters for delivery from this year until 2023. Air Canada, which has long toyed with the possibility of having its own freighter fleet, is in the process of converting several passenger aircraft into freighters, which are due to be entered into service later this year.

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

Canada-UK Trade Continuity Agreement

Canada UK Flags

The United Kingdom Trade Continuity Remission Order (the Remission Order) extends Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) benefits to the UK until the Canada-United Kingdom Trade Continuity Agreement (CUKTCA) takes effect, even though the UK is no longer part of the European Union (EU) due to the BREXIT transition ending December 31, 2020.

Importers should obtain documentation from UK exporters to identify goods meeting the current CETA Rules of Origin in order to ensure CETA rates of duty apply at time of import to Canada after January1,2021. The Remission Order is also extended to CETA qualifying EU origin goods being exported from the United Kingdom.

This Remission Order replicates the tariff benefits that would have applied to eligible imports from the UK and certain associated territories under the CUKTCA as the tariffs and rules of origin are equivalent under the two agreements. The CETA is referenced because those preferential tariffs and rules of origin already exist in domestic law and the new CUKTCA agreement will mirror the CETA Rules ofOrigin.

For more information on the CETA and the associated rules of origin, please consult the CETARules of Origin Regulations and Memorandum D11-5-15 Canada–European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) Rules of Origin.

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

Rising truck freight rates

Truck rates

Driven by a surge in consumer demand, a rise in the cost of fuel and capacity tightness years in the making, trucking rates are rising substantially to begin 2021.

Adding to the usual constraints of driver supply, the Coronavirus pandemic has meant fewer new drivers while more retirements and career changes are leading to the aforementioned truck driver shortage.

Increased spending on goods which began in the second half of 2020 has catapulted the need to get more trucks on the road but, with a shrinking pool of potential operators to pull from, rates could realistically reach record levels in 2021.

Industry experts expect overall rates to increase anywhere from 5 to 11% during 2021, when compared to 2020. Experts indicate that, as the economy continues to rebound from the doldrums of last spring, the potential for further increases is not out of the question.

The effects of the climbing costs are being felt in both cross border and domestic shipments and as the COVID-19 vaccine rollout is being implemented and expanded, consumer confidence is surely going to continue to grow, putting more pressures on the supply and demand of trucks and drivers alike.

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

CBSA Trade Verification Priorities issued for 2021


Your chances of being selected by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) for trade compliance verification are higher if you import products on the following


updated thismonth.

The latest semi-annual list identifies products that are of concern which, due to misclassification, have led to a loss of revenue for the CBSA. Non-compliant companies will have to pay retroactive duties and, potentially, Administrative MonetaryPenalties.

All items on the list have appeared on previous lists for which new rounds have been implemented and no new products have been added. Examples of items on thelist:

  • Spent fowl (Round 2)

    Harmonized System Number(s): Headings 02.07, 16.01 and 16.02
  • LED lamps

    Harmonized System Number(s): Heading 85.39
  • Furniture for non-domestic purposes (Round 3)

    Harmonized System Number(s): Headings94.01 and 94.03
  • Pickled vegetables (Round 4)

    Harmonized System Number(s): Heading 20.01
  • Articles of apparel and clothing accessories (Round 3)

    Harmonized System Number(s): Heading 39.26
  • Gloves (Round 2)

    Harmonized System Number(s): Headings 39.26 and 42.03
  • Safety headgear (Round 4)

    Harmonized System Number(s): SubHeading 6506.10
  • Bags (Round 2)

    Harmonized System Number(s): Heading 42.02
  • Air heaters and hot air distributors (Round 2)

    Harmonized System Number(s): Heading73.22
  • Flashlights and miners’ safety lamps (Round 2)

    Harmonized System Number(s): Heading85.13

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

Blanket CUSMA/USMCA Origin Declaration renewal reminder


Don’t forget to get your Blanket CUSMA/USMCA Origin Declarations renewed for 2021. Or simplify your life by taking advantage of our CUSMA/USMCA Management Service, the fast, easy way to ensure your CUSMA/USMCA Origin Declarations are fully compliant.

This is important because significant AMPS (Administrative Monetary Penalty System) transactional penalties could apply if you make a claim for preferential treatment without a valid CUSMA/USMCA Origin Declaration.

Get started now by forwarding your 2021 Blanket CUSMA/USMCA Origin Declarations to or contact Ivy Woo, Manager – Customs Compliance Resources, for more information.

Global Spotlight Quiz
Global Spotlight

Avenida Paulista is our mystery
city’s center of activity.

Global Spotlight Quiz

Name the city that is home to Avenida Paulista

  • This city was founded in 1554 by two priests and today is the commercial and industrial center of its country.
  • Has a big coffee plantation near iconic Avenida Paulista with over 1,500 coffee plants.
  • The city has more than 6,000 pizzerias that produce more than 1,000,000 pizzas per day or 720 per minute.
  • Has the largest helicopter fleet in the world, with 210 heliports in the city where approximately 1,300 aircrafts land and depart daily.
  • The Santa Cecilia and Bras neighborhoods have vegetation levels rivaling that of the Sahara desert.
  • More people of Japanese descent live in this city than in any other city outside of Asia.
  • Home to the only gymnasium exclusively used to practice the sport of Sumo outside of Japan.

See the answer

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

Quick Tip

Quick Tip

Avoid overspending on transportation when it is not necessary

Determine what service level you need to meet your transit time and delivery targets. Match your needs to the appropriate mode of transport and you can cutcosts.

Look at more than one option: air or ocean; truck or rail; direct or by consolidation.

Various modes of transport may offer different rates or services, depending on the day of your shipment. For example, airfreight shipments from Hong Kong are typically cheaper mid-week than on weekends, when airlines have less availability.

Vincent Kwong, Ocean Services – Imports & Exports

Vincent Kwong, Ocean Services – Imports & Exports

At Your Service:Vincent Kwong, Ocean Services – Imports & Exports

Vincent Kwong joined Universal’s Head Office Ocean Services team in July 2018. He is well versed in many facets of our freight operations and an important member of ourteam.

Vincent is presently coordinating ocean imports and exports, which has allowed him to gain a very good understanding of both sectors of our international freight operations. This ensures our clients have a key individual at the ready to assist in any way possible.

Vincent has also been at the forefront of new initiatives such as the recent implementation of eManifest filing, and was previously heavily involved with the Canadian Export Reporting System (CERS) start-up.

Our clients have come to rely on Vincent’s wide-ranging expertise and excellent customer service.

Vincent can be reached by phone at (905) 882-4880, ext. 1201 or by email.

January 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. 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

News and Views for the
clients of Universal Logistics


Email to a friend

Opt Out

Professional business people team meeting and working in corporate office concept

Register now to learn more about our

101 Logistics Quick Tips

Available exclusively from Universal Logistics