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June 2015

News and Views for the clients of Universal Logistics

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The Market Intelligence Minute

What you need to know about North Atlantic trade

Container ship

This Market Intelligence Minute is a natural follow up to last month’s article on the West Coast ports. This time we’ll talk about the situation on the East Coast ports. As always, it takes less than 60 seconds to read, but it could be the most important thing you reviewtoday.

  • The unusually bitter cold winter in combination with record snowfalls took their effect by slowing operations in Canada’s East Coast ports, particularly Halifax, with the major ocean carriers struggling to deliver reliable service schedules.
  • With the return of warmer weather, the situation has improved considerably, with ocean carriers’ sailing schedules back on track and containers moving well between the Ports of Halifax and Montreal on rail to Toronto.
  • The North Atlantic trade still remains strong with higher rates than normal, mainly because volumes have exceeded carrier capacity.
  • Low water levels in the St. Lawrence Seaway have forced carriers to reduce vessel capacity and make up that loss by implementing a Low-Water Surcharge.
  • With demand up and capacity tight, ocean carriers are looking to implement General Rate Increases (GRI), and some are so busy they are reluctant to even quote rates for new business.
  • Some carriers have announced launching new, larger vessels later this year to meet the increased demand for capacity and replace aging vessels plagued by mechanical problems.

Try this

  • Pre-book your freight well in advance to ensure container availability.
  • Ask our freight specialists to look into what shipping options best meet your requirements.

More Market Intelligence is available on request. Just call (905) 882-4880, ext. 308 and ask to speak with Debbie McGuire, Manager – Freight Solutions.

What is the next chapter for the book publishing industry?

Book Expo America show floor

A team of senior Universal Logistics executives visited Book Expo America, held in New York May 27-29, to get the latest news on what is happening in the book publishing business.

“This is a must-attend event for us because we always pick up market intelligence that translates into better service for our clients,” said Mark Glionna, Vice President – Client Relations. Mark was accompanied by Chris Barnard, Vice-President – Projects & Market Development, and John Leis, Manager – Client Relations. “We saw many familiar faces and were introduced to some new contacts who will help us build an even stronger network within the book publishing business,” said Mr. Barnard.

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

Ensuring compliance with NRCAN reporting requirements

Natural Resources Canada (NRCAN)

Natural Resources Canada (NRCAN) is the Other Government Department (OGD) that governs Canada’s Energy Efficiency Act and Energy Efficiency Regulations. Certain energy-using products are regulated by NRCAN for which additional information is required at the time of importation. This additional information must be transmitted electronically to the CBSA and contain the following:

  • Name of product (e.g. dishwasher, television, etc.)
  • Model number
  • Brand name, if any
  • Address of the dealer who is importing the product
  • Purpose for which the product is being imported:
    • for sale or lease in Canada without modification
    • for sale or lease in Canada after being modified to comply with the prescribed energy efficiency standard, or
    • for use as a component in a product being exported from Canada

To date, CBSA has not been issuing AMPS penalties for non-compliance with respect to NRCAN declarations. However, the framework for penalties of this nature already exists. AMPS Contravention C005 reads, 1st Infraction: $150 – Non-compliance occurs when mandatory prescribed information required to be provided by electronic or written means, in respect of imported or exported goods is untrue, inaccurate or incomplete. CBSA is now focusing on OGD requirements (including NRCAN) with their Integrated Import Declaration (IID) testing which is expected to commence in Q3 of 2015.

In order to ensure clients of Universal Logistics are compliant with NRCAN reporting, we have been contacting those clients with regulated imports, in cases where the commercial invoices include incomplete NRCAN details. Clients of Universal Logistics may also request an NRCAN Impact Study based upon import transactions, and listing their commodities and vendors which are affected.

For more information see our Natural Resources Canada (NRCAN) – OGD Import Requirements or contact John Leis, Manager – Client Relations.

How to expedite air export shipments

Air Cargo

As an approved participant in Transport Canada’s Air Cargo Security Program (ACS), Universal Logistics can arrange air export shipments without going through airline cargo screening that leads to delays and added costs. To obtain this status, we had to meet the following requirements, as mandated by Transport Canada:

  • Staff must be fully trained to fulfill ACS standards and pass in depth background checks
  • Operate a secure facility
  • Utilize carriers/warehouses that are also participants in the ACS program

In order for your cargo to move as part of the ACS program, you must apply to become a Registered Shipper, by calling 1-866-375-7342 or sending an email to If you plan to ship air cargo, please do not delay in registering.

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

Canada asks World Trade Organization
to impose $3 Billion tariff on U.S.

Map & Gavel

After the U.S. rejected a request by Canada to remove a contentious meat labelling law, the Canadian government has asked the World Trade Organization for authorization to impose more than $3 billion a year in tariffs on products imported from the United States.

The U.S. says the labelling is necessary for safety reasons; Canadian meat producers say it is a protectionist measure created to compel Americans to buy domestic beef.

Canadian officials say the U.S. has only two options – repeal the law or pay billions in tariffs.

For more information, contact Brian Rowe, General Manager – Customs Consulting Services.

Global Spotlight Quiz
Global Spotlight

Global Spotlight Quiz

It’s a long trip to this mystery portcity

This city is located on one of the world’s busiest shipping corridors. See if you can name it after looking at the following clues.

  • Strategically located – yet thousands of miles away from any major port in North America, Europe or Asia.
  • Situated in a country called the "Rainbow Nation" because it has 11 official languages.
  • Home of the doctor who performed the world’s first heart transplant.
  • Welcomes so many sailors it is known as the “Tavern of the Seas”.
  • Next to a mountain believed to be among the oldest in the world.
  • The only country in the world to voluntarily abandon its nuclear weapons program.
  • Hosted the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Click here to see the answer

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

Quick Tip

Stay on schedule by staying informed

Couple at computer

As a client of Universal Logistics, you will always be among the first to learn about key events that could influence the shipping of your imports or exports.

That’s because we issue Email Alerts! whenever something important happens. It could be a terrorist act on a major trade lane, extreme weather, a labour dispute, a trade sanction or a natural disaster, such as SARS, Mad Cow Disease, Ebola.

Make sure you read our alerts as soon as possible because you never know when an alert contains information that impacts your business. Learn even more by taking a moment to read this monthly newsletter and other key sources of industry information, such as private sector and government magazines and websites.

Remember you always have the option of calling your Client Care rep, who is available to answer questions and, in some situations, may be your very best source of market intelligence.

At Your Service: Karen Murray, Branch Manager Fort Erie & Niagara Falls

Karen Murray – Branch Manager Fort Erie & Niagara Falls

Karen Murray, Branch Manager –
Fort Erie & Niagara Falls

The critically important support supplied by our branch offices is delivered by employees who have just the right mix of practical experience and education.

Take, for example, Karen Murray who joined our Fort Erie Customs Operations Team in January of 1984, processing the Customs release of cargo via the Fort Erie border crossing. She advanced her professional qualification in May 1996 by completing the Certified Customs Specialist (CCS) course and was named Manager of our Fort Erie Branch Office in 2006. In 2012, Karen added Manager of the Niagara Falls Customs Team to her job responsibilities.

Karen can be reached by phone at (905) 871-0220 or byemail.

June 2015

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
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