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November 2021

News and Views for the clients of Universal Logistics

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Why cargo insurance is a good investment

Container ship swamped

On October 22, 2021, the Zim Kingston vessel was engulfed in flames off the coast of Vancouver.  Severe weather caused a collapse of containers, sweeping more than 100 containers overboard.  Ensuing damage ignited a fire in other containers with hazardous materials that quickly spread throughout the vessel.  The salvaging of lost containers and the assessment of damages had begun.

Subsequent to this, on November 1st, the owners of the MV Zim Kingston, declared “General Average”.  This is a principle of maritime law whereby all stakeholders in a sea venture proportionally share any losses resulting from a voluntary sacrifice of part of the ship or cargo to save the whole in an emergency.

Examples of General Average include:

  • Jettison of cargo
  • Hull and engine damage, caused by efforts to refloat the vessel
  • Vessel assistance from tugs or other vessels
  • Discharge and reloading of cargo at a port of refuge
  • Damages to a vessel or cargo caused by firefighting

Losses covered by a General Average declaration are shared by every shipper that has freight on the vessel.  The cost per uninsured shipper can be catastrophic.  Moreover, uninsured shippers are unable to receive any surviving cargo until they have posted an Average Bond.  In contrast, shippers with proper cargo insurance suffer little or no loss.

If you have questions about cargo insurance or if you want Universal Logistics to place cargo insurance on your behalf, please contact Debbie McGuire, Director – Freight Solutions.

Export declaration requirements

Export container

As a reminder, you will need an export declaration if you are exporting non-restricted commercial goods valued at CAD $2,000 or more, from Canada.  The only exception to this is if you are exporting non-restricted goods from Canada to the United States (including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands) as a final destination.  Proof of export declaration must be provided to the exporting carrier, prior to departure, in order for your cargo to exit Canada.  Failure to provide proof of export to the carrier will result in your cargo not being able to ship as intended, which could result in extra costs to the exporter.

Export declarations are submitted to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), via the Canadian Export Reporting System (CERS).  This web-based portal allows the exporting community to electronically submit export declarations, bulk data uploads and monthly summary reports to the CBSA.

Universal can complete the export declaration via CERS on your behalf.  We simply need to have the exporter complete the CERS Application Form BSF831 (which we will provide) and return to us.  We will then apply for an Authorization ID number, which will allow us to complete a CERS export declaration and ensure your export shipments move seamlessly.

Ensure your export shipments are not delayed by contacting us in advance to set up your profile and obtain authorization to file the export declaration on your behalf.

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

Ongoing truck driver shortage further hampered
by supply chain challenges

Truck on highway

According to industry experts, the Canadian trucking industry has been faced with a decreasing number of truck drivers since 2005.  Making this situation more difficult is a multitude of issues, highlighted by the current global supply chain difficulties as we recover from the nearly 2-year-old Covid pandemic.

A recent report by Trucking HR Canada found that at the end of the second financial quarter of 2021, there were over 18,000 truck driver vacancies in the country.  About 40% of employers surveyed by Trucking HR Canada said current business activity was higher than pre-pandemic levels, while 2/3 were unable to hire all the people they needed in the past year.  Filling those positions will be a tall task due to an aging workforce, barriers to appropriate training and a negative image of the position within the general population.

Compounding the issue even further are recent announcements by both the Canadian and US governments in regards to the implementation of COVID-19 vaccine requirements for all truck drivers crossing the border as of January 15th and 22nd, 2022 respectively.  This has the potential to eliminate 38,000 drivers in Canada and another 40,000 in the U.S..  To date, truck drivers, as essential workers, have been exempt from the vaccine mandates.

In an effort to combat this long-standing problem, the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) will soon be unveiling its largest image/public relations campaign in history, with the goal of appealing to a broader audience needed to infuse necessary personnel to this vital component of our economy.

In addition, the CTA is calling on the Government of Canada, provinces, and major private and public sector buyers of transportation services to continue working with the CTA on improving truck safety measures, hoping to appeal to a younger and more diverse demographic.

Further short-term and long-term measures will be critical, including a streamlining of the application processes for Canadian companies hiring temporary and permanent foreign workers to fill these ever-increasing labour shortages.

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

Time to renew blanket CUSMA/USMCA Origin Declarations


Don’t forget to get your Blanket CUSMA/USMCA Origin Declarations renewed for 2022.  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 2022 Blanket CUSMA/USMCA Origin Declarations to or contact Ivy Woo, Manager – Customs Consulting Services, for more information.

Global Spotlight Quiz
Global Spotlight
Jemaa el Fna marketplace lies at the heart of the city and acts as a gathering point for locals, street performers and food vendors.

Global Spotlight Quiz

Name the city that is often referred to as “Red City”

  • The weather tends to be balmy and sun-soaked all year long – with a particularly hot period from June to September, when temperatures peak above 30-degrees-celsius.
  • Often called the “Red City” thanks to the pinkish red colour of its walls and ramparts, sun protection and headgear is required all year long – even during winter.
  • The official language is Arabic, however, Berber (Amazigh) and French are also quite common, and a lot of the locals can speak English very well, too.
  • The city is broken up into two distinct areas – Old City (also called “Medina”), which houses the souks (or market area) and Modern City, which houses the commercial quarter (Guéliz) and residential area (l’Hivernage) of the city.
  • If you snap a picture of a snake charmer, monkey, or street dancer, they will expect you to pay them and hassle you if you don’t.  Even directions come with a price tag!
  • The 11th century medina was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1985 thanks to its “impressive number of masterpieces of architecture and art”.  Examples include the Bahia Palace and Koutoubia Mosque.
  • The city’s signature dish is tangia – slow-cooked lamb which is placed in a clay urn with lemon, garlic and saffron, then cooked in charcoal until tender.

See the answer

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

Quick Tip

Quick Tip

The perils of being underinsured

Make sure you read the fine print before purchasing insurance abroad for freight shipments.  A
common mistake is to assume that minimum insurance gives you some degree of protection against all
perils when, in fact, it actually excludes many perils.  Protect your business interests by ensuring you
buy a policy that gives you protection against all perils.

Ivy Woo, Manager – Customs Consulting Services
Ivy Woo, Manager – Customs Consulting Services

At Your Service: Ivy Woo, Manager – Customs Consulting Services

After joining Universal Logistics in 2005, Ivy Woo has held positions of increasing responsibility which have led to her recent appointment to Manager – Customs Consulting Services.

Ivy holds the designations of Certified Customs Specialist and Certified Trade Compliance Specialist.  In her new role, Ivy will oversee our Customs Consulting Services team, while managing our resources on technical customs issues.

Ivy can be reached by phone (905) 882-4880, ext. 1243 or by email.

November 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. 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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