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October 2017

News and Views for the clients of Universal Logistics

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Deadline for completion of NAFTA renegotiation extended

The goal of completing the renegotiation of NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) by the end of this year has been abandoned. Moreover, the prospects for success do not look good as the latest round of negotiations ended with representatives of each participating country (Canada, U.S., Mexico) saying there were major areas of disagreement. The key stumbling blocks include dairy, auto and “Buy American” rules.

A U.S. trade representative, Robert Lighthizer, says other countries must accept that export access to the U.S. market will no longer be easy. Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland says there is room to modernize NAFTA, but progress will be difficult so long as the U.S. has a "winner-take-all" approach.

The next round of negotiations will happen at an as yet undetermined date in 2018.

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

What Canada’s modernized border means for your business

USA-Canada Border Sign

The 2017 Canadian Society of Customs Brokers (CSCB) National Annual Conference, held in St. Andrews by-the-Sea, New Brunswick, September 24-26, focused on Canada’s Modernized Border, a hot button topic for many Canadian businesses.

Our attendees included several of the company’s most senior executives: Michael Glionna, President, David Glionna, Vice President – Finance and Mark Glionna, Vice President – Client Relations & Business Development. "This conference was a top priority for us and well worth the investment of time as the workshops and seminars gave us a unique insight on what is happening on the border," says Michael Glionna. "There was a lot to learn in terms of security, trade agreements and future CBSA (Canadian Border Services Agency) initiatives, and we will be passing on those insights to our many valued clients."

For more information, contact Mark Glionna, Vice President – Client Relations & Business Development.

Teaming up to help the homeless

Hockey Helps the Homeless (HHTH)

For the 7th consecutive year, Universal Logistics is sponsoring Hockey Helps the Homeless (HHTH). But instead of sponsoring a team as usual in the local HHTH hockey fantasy tournament, we will be the official "Game Day & Participant Gift Sponsor".

Plus, this year we have set a fundraising target for our employees, who are learning about the important work done by HHTH and can win exciting prizes (Maple Leafs tickets, free paid vacation day) by being our top fundraisers. "Every dollar our employees raise during this one-month campaign will have double the value," notes company President Michael Glionna, "as we will make a matching donation up to a maximum of $5,000".

Employee Management Plan
Click image to enlarge

Formed in 1996, HHTH is a Canadian registered charity, established to raise awareness and financial support for the homeless through education, fundraising, and partnering with local homeless support agencies.

It is best known for running fantasy hockey tournaments across Canada. We are supporting the Markham event, which benefits 360 Kids, a local organization that gives a helping hand to homeless and underprivileged youth. Across Canada, about 30,000 people are homeless on any given night.

Visit our HHTH Team page if you would like to learn more or make a donation.

Factory closures slow shipments from China

Hong Kong Port
Hong Kong Port

Operations in major Chinese ports are being disrupted by supply chain problems that could last formonths.

The origin of the problem is the forced closure of factories, implemented to improve air quality in and around Beijing, Shanghai and South China’s Pearl River Delta, under a national air pollution action plan, which expires at the end of the year. Some factories have been completely shut down, others will be closed for an unknown period. The sectors affected include everything from chemicals totextiles.

Delays can occur in suppliers’ ability to fill orders, manufacture products and in shipping as the holidays approach in North America and Europe.

For more information, contact Debbie McGuire, Manager – Freight Solutions.

Time to renew Blanket Preferential Trade Certificates

Don’t forget to get your Blanket Certificates of Origin and/or Origin Declarations renewed for 2018. This would include NAFTA, CETA and all other Free Trade Agreements you are taking advantage of, to benefit from reduced/duty-free status, upon import.

You can also simplify your life by taking advantage of our complete NAFTA Management Service, the fast, easy way to ensure your NAFTA Certificates of Origin are fully compliant and our Consulting Services for all your Free Trade needs.

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 Certificate/Declaration on file.

Get started now by forwarding your 2018 Blanket Certificates / Declarations to or contact Brian Rowe, Director – Customs Compliance & Regulatory Affairs, for more information.

Global Spotlight Quiz
Global Spotlight
Look familiar? Hint: King’s Landing.

Global Spotlight Quiz

How many clues do you need to name the forward thinking city that is a magnet for tourists and film crews?

  • This city is surrounded by two kilometers of ancient walls that are up to 20 feet thick.
  • Scenes in Star Wars: The LastJedi were photographed in this city.
  • This city was added to UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Centres in 1979.
  • This city has been attacked by multiple invaders, including Napoleon, and was involved in Europe’s most recent war in 1991 and1992.
  • This city receives approximately 7.2 hours of sun per day or about 2,630 hours annually.
  • This city is just three meters above the sea level.
  • This city’s sewage system, installed in 1296, is still used today.

Click here to see the answer

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

Quick Tip

Avoid overspending on transportation when it is not necessary

Loading air cargo

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 HongKong are typically cheaper mid-week than on weekends, when airlines have less availability.

Crystal Thongmanivong – Customs Operations

Crystal Thongmanivong – Customs Operations

At Your Service: Crystal Thongmanivong – Customs Operations

After graduating from Seneca College’s International Business program, Crystal Thongmanivong joined Universal Logistics in 2016, as a member of the Inside Sales team.

One year later, Crystal transferred to the Customs Operations team, working out of Universal’s head office. She currently handles customs clearances, including FTL and LTL truck, courier and rail shipments.

Crystal can be reached by phone (905) 882-4880, ext. 226 or byemail.

October 2017

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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