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November 2016

News and Views for the clients of Universal Logistics

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Shipping tips for Chinese New Year

Port of Shanghai

Operations at the Port of Shanghai (above) and other major Asian shipping hubs will stop during the ChineseNewYear.

Chinese New Year 2017 will be observed on the following dates:

  • China:
    January 27, 2017 – February2,2017
  • Hong Kong:
    January 27, 2017 – January31,2017
  • Taiwan:
    January 27, 2017 – February 1, 2017

If your shipments are coming in from mainland China, we recommend making booking arrangements with your suppliers as early as possible to avoid delays and potential space issues. In addition, shippers should place their bookings at least 10 days prior to vessel departure time.

Other recommended steps include:

  • Make early arrangements on original bills of lading (telex release or courier of originals) to avoid potential storage issues at destination.
  • Where feasible,arrange express B/Ls or telex release to prevent any stress of late deliveries and storage fees

If you have any questions concerning shipments booked with Universal Logistics and how they may be impacted by the Chinese New Year, please call Debbie McGuire, Manager – Freight Solutions at (905) 882-4880, ext.308.

Shrinking ocean carrier capacity could mean higher prices

Freighters a tDock

Maersk Line, the world’s largest ocean carrier, has agreed to acquire the German container shipping line HamburgSüd, the seventh largest container shippingline.

This is the latest in a series of consolidations that is significantly reducing the number of ocean carriers.Over the next few years, industry experts predict that the 20 largest global carriers could be cut down to just a handful. The top five ocean carriers now control over 50% of the world’s containership fleet. These developments, in the long run, could mean higher prices for ocean freight shippers.

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

Get help to deal with challenges created
by rising demand for airfreight

Loading air cargo

With demand in the global airfreight market experiencing the fastest pace of growth in 18 months, now is the time to speak with our freight forwarding experts about the challenges created by shrinking capacity and risingprices.

This is especially true for Asian airfreight, however, with a little extra planning, it is possible to largely avoid the problems less forward thinking shippers could face up to the Chinese New Year.

Industry observers are predicting not only higher prices, but also backlogs in major Asian hubs.

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

Legislation to promote faster crossings at
Canada-U.S. border gets green light

Canada-U.S. border

Final government approval has been obtained from both Canada and the U.S. for a series of new projects created to promote faster travel through our international border.

The key change is the extension of "preclearance" to passengers using trains and buses. In addition, the list of Canadian airports offering preclearance will be expanded to include Toronto’s Billy Bishop and Quebec City’s Jean Lesage airport.

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

Time to renew NAFTA Blanket Certificates


Don’t forget to get your Blanket NAFTA Certificates of Origin renewed for 2017. Or simplify your life by taking advantage of our NAFTA Management Service, the fast, easy way to ensure your NAFTA Certificates of Origin 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 NAFTA Certificate.

Get started now by forwarding your 2017 Blanket NAFTA Certificates to or contact Brian Rowe, General Manager – Customs Consulting Services, for more information.

Terminology Explained – What is "Chargeable Weight"?

The freight cost of airfreight shipments is calculated on the "Chargeable Weight", whichever is the greater of two measures – Gross Weight or Volumetric Weight (also called Volume or Dimensional).

Typically, large, low-weight items take up more space than a small, heavy item. For example, 500 kgs of cotton would need far more cargo space than 500 kgs of rocks.

To determine the Volumetric Weight of an air shipment, multiply the package dimensions (LxWxH) by number of packages to obtain the total cubic centimeters, then divideby 6000. Compare your result with the Gross Weight. The higher number is used to calculate your freight rate.

Global Spotlight Quiz
Global Spotlight
Current attitudes toward public bathing have come a long way from the days when these iconic bathing boxes, constructed a century ago, were built to maintain modesty.

Global Spotlight Quiz

What major trade centre was once known as "Batmania"?

In this mystery city, it is possible to experience all four seasons in a single day. Keep reading to get more clues.

  • This city’s metropolitan area has a population of around 4.5 million and was founded in1835
  • This city is culturally diverse, with 38% of the population born overseas
  • This city’s port is the largest container, automotive and general cargo port in thecountry
  • This city has more restaurants and cafes per capita than any other city in theworld
  • The world-famous spread, Vegemite, was invented in this city
  • The tram system is the biggest outside of Europe

Click here to see the answer

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

Quick Tip

Design your packaging to suit your chosen mode of transport

When selecting packaging for your product, always consider the intended mode of transport and design your packaging to fully optimize your load capacity.

Can the packaging be confirmed to contain more weight, stack cartons higher, or hold more units?

Always consider the dimensions of the shipping equipment (i.e. pallets, ocean container, truck trailer or aircraft) being used and know the limitations you must work within.

More efficient use of packaging will help to reduce your freight costs.

Taren Francisco - Truck Services

Taren Francisco –

Truck Services

At Your Service: Taren Francisco – Truck Services

After working in sales and client relations, Taren Francisco joined the Truck Services Team at Universal Logistics – Head Office in early 2016.

He quickly earned the confidence of management and is now responsible for key Truck Services accounts.

Taren can be reached by phone (905) 882-4880, ext.296 or byemail.

December 2016

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

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