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May 2024

News and Views for the clients of Universal Logistics

Universal Logistics attended the Certified Transportation Network conference in Athens, Greece

This year’s Certified Transportation Network (CTN) Annual General Meeting (AGM) took place in Athens, Greece, the historical capital of Europe. Universal Logistics was well represented by Debbie McGuire, Director – Freight Solutions, Cathy Fong, Director – Freight Pricing, and Mark and Paul Glionna from the Executive team.

Throughout the three-day event, Universal met with over 80 individuals from 49 freight forwarding companies representing 58 countries worldwide.

Universal Logistics participates in Certified Transportation Network conference in Athens, Greece - Route Newsletter: May 2024
Group photo of attendees at the CTN AGM in Athens, Greece
Universal Logistics participates in Certified Transportation Network conference in Athens, Greece - Route Newsletter: May 2024
Mark (on the left) & Paul Glionna (on the right) participating in a “fire side” chat during the CTN AGM

Mark and Paul Glionna were speakers for a “fireside” chat with the members, where they discussed various topics related to international trade. These topics included the new reality of the post-Covid workplace, the use of Artificial Intelligence in freight forwarding, air freight security challenges, and cyber security threats. Mark Glionna said, “Although we are all faced with similar challenges, by sharing our experiences, we gain perspective and best practices from professional freight forwarders from all parts of the world – which is a unique and valuable opportunity.”

Universal Logistics participates in Certified Transportation Network conference in Athens, Greece - Route Newsletter: May 2024
Mark Glionna (on the right) accepting the CTN Top Contributor award on behalf of the Universal Logistics team

Universal Logistics was also recognized with a 2023 “Top Contributor” award for business controlled and shared with CTN-partner firms. Debbie McGuire stated, “Knowing our CTN partners and the local knowledge and expertise they contribute to managing our clients’ international freight is an integral part of our success.”

If you require ocean or airfreight options and pricing for international shipping, please contact Cathy Fong, Director – Freight Pricing.

Unlock Superior Logistics with Universal’s Expert Services! - Route Newsletter: May 2024

Unlock Superior Logistics with Universal’s Expert Services!

At Universal Logistics, we offer comprehensive logistics services, including international freight forwarding and customs brokerage for Canada and the U.S. Our expertise extends to warehousing and distribution, providing a seamless logistics experience. Discover how our tailored solutions can optimize your supply chain, ensure compliance, and enhance efficiency. Visit our services page to learn more about our offerings and how we can support your business.

The role of the freight forwarder in supply chain resilience

In today’s ever-changing global business environment, it’s crucial for companies to establish a strong supply chain that can withstand disruptions and uncertainties.

Freight forwarders are at the forefront of this resilience effort, playing a vital role in ensuring the seamless movement of goods across borders.

The following summary outlines the critical role of freight forwarders in relation to global supply chain resilience.

The role of the freight forwarder in supply chain resilience - Route Newsletter: May 2024
Understanding Supply Chain Resilience

Challenges in the Global Supply Chain

The global supply chain faces numerous challenges, including natural disasters, labor disputes, carrier deficiencies, and geopolitical tensions. These disruptions can lead to delays, shortages, and financial losses for international businesses.

Defining Supply Chain Resilience

Supply chain resilience refers to the capability of a supply chain to adapt, recover, and maintain continuous operations in the face of disruptions. It requires strategic planning, robust risk management, and a network of reliable partners to navigate unforeseen challenges.

Strategies Freight Forwarders Employ in Building Supply Chain Resilience

Crucial Intermediaries

Freight forwarders play a crucial role as intermediaries in the supply chain. They manage the transportation of goods from the point of origin to the final destination. Their responsibilities go beyond logistics and include strategic planning, risk mitigation, and proactive measures to ensure a resilient supply chain.

Proactive Problem Solvers

Reliable freight forwarders are proactive problem solvers rather than reactive service providers. They use their expertise to anticipate challenges, implement preventive measures, and navigate disruptions seamlessly.

Efficient Routing and Mode Selection

Freight forwarders optimize transportation routes and select the most efficient modes of transport. This not only minimizes transit times but also reduces the risk of disruptions by avoiding high-risk areas or congested routes. By optimizing transportation routes, modes, and processes, freight forwarders also enhance cost-efficiency to ensure that businesses remain financially robust, even in the face of disruptions.

Compliance and Documentation Expertise

Navigating international government regulations is a complex task, and any misstep can lead to delays. Freight forwarders have in-depth knowledge of international shipping requirements, ensuring seamless customs clearance, reducing the risk of bureaucratic hurdles, and mitigating potential legal issues that could disrupt the supply chain.

Real-Time Tracking and Visibility

Advanced tracking systems utilized by freight forwarders offer real-time visibility into the movement of goods, enabling businesses to promptly address disruptions, redirect shipments, and keep stakeholders informed.

Identification of Vulnerabilities

Freight forwarders collaborate with businesses to identify weaknesses in the supply chain. This involves mapping the entire supply chain, pinpointing potential risks, and creating backup plans to address these weaknesses.

Supplier and Carrier Relationships

Establishing strong relationships with suppliers and carriers is essential for contingency planning. Freight forwarders leverage their networks to maintain open communication channels, ensure quick response times, and engage in collaborative problem-solving when disruptions occur.

In the complex realm of global commerce, the significance of freight forwarders in bolstering supply chain resilience cannot be overstated. With 75 years of experience in navigating international trade challenges, Universal Logistics stands as an invaluable ally for businesses navigating the ever-evolving global marketplace.

For further information, please reach out to David Lychek, Director of Ocean & Air Services.

U.S. to increase tariffs on China imports

On May 14, 2024, President Biden instructed his Trade Representative to raise tariffs under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 on $18 billion worth of imports from China. This action is aimed at safeguarding American workers and businesses.

The following statement from the White House was issued on May 14th:

“Following an in-depth review by the United States Trade Representative, President Biden is taking action to protect American workers and American companies from China’s unfair trade practices.

U.S. to increase tariffs on China imports - Route Newsletter: May 2024

To encourage China to eliminate its unfair trade practices regarding technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation, the President is directing increases in tariffs across strategic sectors such as steel and aluminum, semiconductors, electric vehicles, batteries, critical minerals, solar cells, ship-to-shore cranes, and medical products.”

The following tariff increases have been proposed:

    1. Certain steel and aluminum products will increase from 0–7.5% to 25% this year, and battery parts will rise from 7.5% to 25%.
    2. Lithium-ion EV batteries will increase from 7.5% to 25% this year, while lithium-ion non-EV batteries will increase from 7.5% to 25% in 2026.
    3. Certain other critical minerals will increase from zero to 25% this year.
    4. Solar cells will increase from 25% to 50% this year.
    5. Syringes and needles will go from zero to 50% this year.
    6. Certain personal protective equipment, including certain respirators and masks, will increase from 0–7.5% to 25% this year.
    7. Semiconductors will increase from 25% to 50% by 2025.
    8. Natural graphite and permanent magnets will increase from zero to 25% in 2026.
    9. Rubber medical and surgical gloves will increase from 7.5% to 25% in 2026.

The United States Trade Representative (USTR) has advised that they will issue a Federal Register notice next week announcing procedures for interested persons to comment on the proposed modifications and information concerning an exclusion process for machinery used in domestic manufacturing.

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

Global Spotlight Quiz

Global Spotlight Quiz

Name the city known for Signal Hill National Historic Site

  • The oldest city in North America, it was established in 1497 by explorer John Cabot.
  • Known for its colourful row houses, adding a vibrant and picturesque charm to the cityscape.
  • Often referred to as the gateway to ‘Iceberg Alley’.
  • An ideal location for whale watching enthusiasts – visitors have the opportunity to see humpback whales, minke whales and orcas in their natural habitat.
  • Home to a monument dedicated to Terry Fox, a Canadian hero who embarked on the Marathon of Hope to raise funds for cancer research.
  • A UNESCO City of Literature – recognized for its strong literary heritage, vibrant publishing industry and active literary community.
Name the city known for Signal Hill National Historic Site - Route Newsletter: May 2024
Cabot Tower was built to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee and the 400th anniversary of John Cabot’s ‘Voyage of Discovery’.

Answer: St. John’s, Labrador and Newfoundland

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

Quick Tip

Preventing Unnecessary Service Disruptions

“World events such as strikes, lockouts, bad weather, or international holidays don’t have to delay your shipments. It’s easy to get advance notice of these problems in the general media or something much closer to home – this newsletter. That’s just one more reason why Route should always be on your must-read list!”

The Perils of Being Underinsured - Quick Tip - Route Newsletter: April 2024

At Your Service

Hailey Hwang

Ocean Services

Hailey Hwang joined Universal’s Ocean Services team at Head Office in July 2022. Her main focus is handling ocean imports. In her current role, Hailey specializes in managing high-volume FCL ocean import cargo for many long-standing Universal clients. She provides excellent customer service while navigating the complicated and ever-evolving ocean freight supply chain. With her extensive knowledge in this area, Hailey has excelled at onboarding new clients to ensure they always receive top-level guidance and service.

Hailey can be reached by phone (905) 882-4880, ext. 1317 or by email.

Hailey Hwang, Ocean Services - Head Office- Route Newsletter: April 2024

Hailey Hwang
Ocean Services – Head Office

Route 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 © 2024 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

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