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July 2019

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Universal Summer Family Event

On June 22nd, we celebrated Universal’s 70th Anniversary with a great bash at Bruce’s Mill Conservation Area in Stouffville.  Close to 150 Universal employees and their family members attended the Summer Family Event. 

Summer Event 1
Summer Event 2

The weather was more than cooperative and everyone had a lot of fun exploring the games and enjoying delicious BBQ food and treats from the ice cream truck on a hot and sunny day.

After lunch and once the line to the ice cream truck had finally cleared out, Michael Glionna gave a brief speech commemorating Universal’s 70 years in business.  The Events Committee then handed out gift bags that included a 70th Anniversary Commemorative Sweatshirt for everyone in attendance.

Summer Event 3

Also after lunch, the Zorb Ball, Hungry Hippo and Racing Games competitions really began to heat up.  Aside from a minor Zorb Ball mishap involving Michael Glionna and Andrew Doick, things remained friendly (In case you missed out, here’s the link:  The Jungle Fun Combo Slide, Photo Booth and Airbrush Tattoo Artist were also big hits with everyone in attendance.

Summer Event  4  

Can you recognize them?

  Click for answer

  Can you recognize them?

  Click for answer

The Events Committee is always looking for ideas for our Summer Family Event.  Please forward any suggestions to Tina Scharnberg.

50-year work anniversary with WTA

A bit of Universal history

Universal just passed another significant milestone in our 70 year history – celebrating our 50th year anniversary working with our UK partners, World Transport Agency.

This long term partnership is highly unusual in the international logistics industry and a real testament to the special, one-of-a-kind business relationship we share with WTA.

Mr. Charles Sommer, Director of WTA (left) and
Mr. Michael Glionna celebrated the 50-year work anniversary in Venice, Italy.

The start of this relationship dates back to 1969 and was the driving force behind our expansion of services and transition of being just a customs broker into being an international ocean and air freight forwarder as well.  Over these 50 years working closely together, our two companies have provided Canadian importers and exporters with a premium selection of freight services developed exclusively for the UK-North America trade lane.

We are extremely proud of this amazing 50-year partnership and together we will continue to build customized and innovative logistics solutions to meet the needs of our mutual clients.

Central FCA Gala Dinner 2019

(Front row from left to right) Cathy Fong, Yunji Park, Irina Moskvitina
(Back row from left to right) Pardis Molaei, Diane Richer,
Paul Glionna,
Debbie McGuire, David Lychek

On May 16th, 2019, Universal’s Freight Team attended the annual FCA (Forwarder’s Choice Award Gala 2019) at the Mississauga Convention Centre.  This is an annual event with food, entertainment, prizes and awards, held between April and May.  This event brings together freight forwarders, NVOCC, steamship carriers, truckers, airlines, warehouse operators etc. allowing us to mingle and catch up with vendors and clients that we do not normally have the opportunity to meet with in person.  This is the perfect opportunity to network and put a face to the email or a call.  Our Team had a great time.

CIFFA Scholarship Program

Universal is a long time member of the Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association (CIFFA) which on an annual basis supports the children of their members in their pursuit of post-secondary education by providing scholarship opportunities.

The objectives of the CIFFA Scholarship program are to:

  • Promote higher learning in international trade, logistics and commerce
  • Increase awareness of freight forwarding as a career among children of CIFFA Regular Members’ employees
  • Support the children of CIFFA Regular Members’ employees in achieving higher learning designations

If you have a child enrolled in undergraduate or graduate studies at an accredited Canadian college or university – particularly, but not exclusively, in international trade, logistics or business – your child is eligible to win a scholarship.

Applications must include confirmation of the student’s enrollment and of the parent’s permanent full-time or part-time employment, three letters of reference, a résumé, a school transcript, and a 500-word essay entitled, “The Value of Higher Education.”

A minimum of one and a maximum of three $3,000 scholarships are awarded each year, with funds provided in two instalment payments of $1,500.

If you are interested, please find full information about the CIFFA Scholarship Program and an application form here which will be accepted until August 20, 2019.

Something’s Brewing – Conserve our wildlife
Contributor: Thomas Potter

Over the summer months Canadians love getting outdoors to experience the endless trails, camp grounds and cottages that we are lucky to have.  However most people are unsure of the various animals that we share this space with.  Being knowledgeable about the different species and what to do when encountering them can avoid any unwanted interactions or damage to habitat.  Reading up on the local wildlife before venturing out is always recommended.

Below are pictures of 6 animals that can be found in Canada.  See if you can identify the 4 animals that are found in Ontario!

Summer Event 3

Click the link above, submit your answer to Phoebe, and you are eligible to win! 

Submission deadline
August 2, 2019 (Friday) noon

$25 Tim Hortons or Starbucks gift card for the winner
(If more than one person has the right answer, we will pick the winning name out of a hat)

Employee Training and Development

Employee Training and Development

Great News – the newly designed Employee Training and Development Program is now underway and has been well received!

The Ignite team has led 2 Training Sessions so far – SpeakUP on July 4th and Cargo Insurance on July 24th which were well attended.  The first study session for CCS Designates, led by the Customs Consulting Services team, took place on June 25th and provided valuable insights and clarification on quiz questions.

Here is the schedule for the remaining sessions for 2019:

Training Session: International Freight
Topic: Incoterms
Session Overview: Whether buying or selling, negotiating favourable commercial terms of sale is the most effective way for clients to cut costs and optimize transit times.  In this session, we will provide a simple introduction to Incoterms and explain the rules that make up the Incoterms framework.
Hosts: Dave Lychek and Debbie McGuire
Date: Thursday September 26, 2019
Time: 10:30 am to 12:00 noon

Study Session – Canadian Customs
Study Session 2: Review of CCS Quiz
Session Overview: Review of CCS Quiz 3: Distributed October 17th; Due for Completion November 7th
Hosts: Chris Cartan and members from the Customs Consulting Services Team
Date: Tuesday October 22, 2019
Time: 11:00 am to 12:00 noon

An email with registration information for each session will be sent out a couple of weeks prior.  All sessions are open to all employees, regardless of whether you are a CCS or CIFFA Designate.  Employees enrolled in the Introductory Customs Course are encouraged to participate in the study groups.  All sessions will be held in the main boardroom at head office.  Branch offices are encouraged to participate, via conference call.

We would like to get your feedback and encourage everyone to bring forward educational topics of interest.  These could range from industry specific topics, to topics of IT or areas that you feel will help build a better understanding of systems and procedures.  Please forward any ideas to your manager.

Step right up and take the stairs!
Contributor: Crystal Thongmanivong

While most of us think of exercise as ‘sport’, scientific evidence shows it is everyday activities like walking and stair climbing that are most closely associated with improved health.

Benefits of taking the stairs:

  • Seven minutes stair climbing a day can halve the risk of heart attack over 10 years
  • Even two flights of stairs climbed per day can lead to 6 lbs of weight loss over one year
  • Burns more calories per minute than jogging.
  • Reduces cardio risk by more than 30%
  • Climbing stairs can improve the amount of “good cholesterol” in the blood
  • Stair climbing can help you control weight build and maintain healthy bones, muscles and joints.
  • This is free as there is no special equipment or membership required
  • Easy to build into your life and make it a habit

New Employee
Contributor: Thomas Potter

Monse Vazquez – Freight Solutions

Monserrat Vazquez,
Freight Solutions

Monserrat Vazquez is the newest member of Universal Logistics at head office.  She has joined the Freight Solutions Team and is confidently learning her new role with the help of Manager, Debbie McGuire, Mandy Chan, Lilija Lautenschlaeger and others.  It is evident that by working near the ladies, she has been forced to expose her good sense of humour and fun personality.  

Monserrat and her husband love the beach and the hot weather that they used to enjoy almost year round in Mexico.  This obviously played no role in the decision to move to Canada where they now have a window of 2 months.  They also like to travel and experience new places and the food that comes with it.  On the rainy days, Monse spends her time watching Netflix or grabbing a good book.

Educational Achievements

Knowledge is what can separate you from the pack.
It can take you as high as you want to go if you put it into action.”

The employees of Universal Logistics regularly receive industry training that is paid for by the company.  We are proud to recognize the achievement and success of our latest program graduate.

CIFFA Certification Program

Lilija Lautenschlaeger (Freight Solutions) – Completed second portion of CIFFA Certificate Program – Essentials of Freight Forwarding

  Lilija Lautenschlaeger (Freight Solutions)


Calling all Universal Employees!

We are looking for volunteers to contribute short articles to Universal & You.  Topics can be team or industry-related or you might want to share a personal experience (e.g. volunteer work or travel) with your fellow employees.

Please forward your ideas to Phoebe Shum.

  July 2019

Universal & You is produced bi-monthly for the employees of Universal Logistics. Reader comment and story ideas are welcome. Comments of general interest to all Universal & You 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.

Universal & You is produced by Universal Logistics, Editor: Sharon Fong, 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.

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