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July 2021

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Wellness Guides

It has been a challenging year, which has taken a toll on our mental health.  Our group benefits service provider, Sun Life, has recently launched free resources to support emotional wellness and resilience.

Understanding My Coverage

Help on your way to better health

Following please find links to two articles that might help you, a family member or a friend in need.

First, here’s a brand new  Emotional Wellness Guide   available from Lumino Health.  This is the newest in a series of guides that provide an easy starting point to help you get on track, and stay on track, to better health.

Each guide provides focused health information, including tips and recommendations, which you can share with friends and family, too.

This free Emotional Wellness Guide covers: 

  • Emotions 101
  • Tools for emotional wellness
  • Finding the right  support

Building resilience:
Second, through a year that has posed a series of unique challenges, building resilience is more important than ever.  That’s why Lumino Health created the article How to build resilience, providing coping strategies from mental health professionals.  

Please share these with your family and friends – and encourage them to share, too.
You can share these links to the Emotional Wellness Guide and the How to build resilience article. The guide is available on, too. You can get the whole series of guides by signing in to and selecting Lumino Health Centre.

Colgate RFP – Well worth the wait
Contributor: Mark Glionna


If you ain’t first… you’re last

Going through a formal RFP (Request for Proposal) process can be a long, and painful, process, especially when the RFP is for an existing client – and not winning the business means losing.  Like Ricky Bobby says in Talladega Nights – “If you ain’t first… you’re last”.

As most of us know, Colgate-Palmolive Canada has been a long-standing and valued client of Universal Logistics for a very long time – a “flagship” account since 1961!

When Colgate’s corporate office in New York decided to put their entire North American customs brokerage business out to tender in May of 2020, we were a little nervous.  The Colgate “stakeholder” team consisted of people from the U.S., Mexico, Canada and Europe and was coordinated by their Global Procurement team in Atlanta, Georgia.

The process started with an RFI (Request for Information) which was sent to multiple service providers across North America.  The RFI consisted of 50 or so questions, covering a wide range of topics (company details, compliance capabilities, cost-savings initiatives, IT applications, training and education support, Standard Operating Procedures, etc.).  All responses had to be submitted electronically through Colgate’s procurement portal.

Those parties that passed the RFI process were then invited to submit an RFP response with pricing.  All bids had to be submitted by the RFP deadline of October 16th.

On November 18th, we were notified that Universal had been selected to participate in the final phase of the RFP (5 other companies were invited to do the same).  This was the opportunity to present our services directly to the Colgate stakeholder team in a 3 hour (virtual) workshop presentation – it was our time to shine!

The Presentation highlighted our value proposition to Colgate – built on the following pillars:


    Colgate Logo


  • Visibility
  • Data reporting and analytics
  • Continual improvement and accountability
  • Agility and flexibility

We presented a simple goal to Colgate:

  • Continue to offer solutions that match Colgate’s best interests and align well with our proven service capabilities.
  • Adhere to our core values of providing innovative logistics solutions, delivered by a dedicated and knowledgeable team of people who respect our traditional family values and act with both honesty and integrity.

To truly differentiate ourselves from the competition, we wanted the Universal team to speak directly to the key decision makers at Colgate – and you made the difference in our UL team video that was presented to Colgate as part of our bid!

On June 2, 2021, we finally received the news – “Congratulations – Colgate has selected Universal Logistics” – we will continue to manage the Canadian clearances for Colgate – hopefully for another 60 years…!

A special Thank You from the Glionnas to the entire Universal team – your professionalism, hard work and dedication does not go unnoticed.  We certainly recognize and appreciate all of your efforts – and our clients do too! 

RFPs can be a long and painful process, but in this case, the results were well worth the wait.  See the UL team video that helped make the difference in Colgate’s decision.


Something’s Brewing
Contributor: Alice Yan

Good News – Now Two Winners will be selected for each Something’s Brewing contest!  And, we have added to our prize options with an Amazon gift card!

Pick up a Two-Four



Alice Yan’s 2021 Beer Can Collection

History:  Beer was first introduced in Canada by European settlers in the seventeenth century.  French herbalist Louis Hébert and his wife are Canada’s first documented brewers, with immigrants brewing beer for their own private consumption as early as 1617.

In 1786, John Molson founded Canada’s first brewery in Montreal, making Molson Canada’s oldest brewery as well as the oldest in North America.  Currently, there are believed to be over 100 different beer styles in the world.


Beer toast

Fun Fact:  There is no doubt that the most popular alcoholic beverage in Canada is – Beer!  On average, one Canadian drinks about 79 litres of beer in a year.  Together, Canadians drink more than 22,700,000 hectolitres of beer.  If you have trouble imagining how much beer that is, think of it as enough beer to fill at least 900 Olympic-size swimming pools (that’s A LOT!).  Canadian-brewed beer accounts for 84% of this number.

You’re probably thinking that Canadians drink a lot of beer, but when it comes to annual consumption of beer, Canadians only rank around 25th in the world.

 So, which country consumes the most beer annually (per person), and which province in Canada drinks the most beer (per person)?

Click on the question above, submit your answer to Alice, and you’re eligible to win!

Submission deadline
Friday, July 30th (Noon)

$25 Tim Hortons, Starbucks or Amazon gift card for the 2 winners.
(If more than two people have the right answer, we will pick the winning names out of a hat)

If you are looking for more information about beer, please check the

Kudos Corner

Kudos Corner

Kudos (Noun) – Praise & honour received for an achievement

Kudos Corner is a forum where Universal employees can recognize the efforts of their co-workers.  Bring forward candidates for Kudos Corner at your next Team Meeting or simply drop your Manager a line whenever you feel someone’s efforts should be recognized in Universal & You.

For this issue we received the following entries:

Submitted by Paul Glionna of our Executive team:

“We had a call with Diepekh Bholansingh from BrandLoyalty yesterday, a former top revenue distribution account that is considering returning to Universal.  Diepekh made a point to mention that he called our office prior to setting up the call so that he could test if Claudia Di Giorgio of our Head Office still remembered his name!  He was obviously impressed that Claudia always gave him a personal greeting when he called — something he did not get when they switched to DSV back in 2018.  Unfortunately Claudia was away when Diepekh called, but he was very happy to hear Claudia was still with us.  So we should certainly not forget how important that initial call is to the overall client experience!”

Submitted by Debbie McGuire of our Freight Solutions team:

Mandy Chan of our Head Office has been working late and doing a fantastic job assisting Penguin Random House with their bookings.  It has been very challenging to get space/equipment, but Mandy has been researching all options and Bryant Harte at Penguin is very happy.”

Submitted by Kathleen Pope of our Client Relations team:

Marina Mescerjakova of our Head Office showed great professionalism handling the issue rising out of a client’s improperly prepared paperwork and signage on a Hazmat Ocean Export.  The errors were discovered upon arrival of the container to the Halifax port.  Marina received an irate call from Transport Canada.  She, in turn, relayed the message to the client, who was also very upset.  The client relies on her shipper to provide accurate information and signage.  Although the client had threatened to pull the next container booking from Universal, with Marina’s help, she came to understand that the responsibility for the errors did not lie with Universal.  With patience and extra care, Marina educated the client and advocated with Transport Canada and the steamship line to correct the mistakes.”

Growing again

In Universal & You, we want to introduce all new employees.  We have new additions at our Head Office, our Toronto Airport branch office and our U.S. office in Buffalo.  Please join us in welcoming everyone to the team!

Vivien Yu            Emma Kim

Name: Vivien Yu
Team: Ocean Services
          (Head Office)
Start date: June 21, 2021

  Name: Emma Kim
Team: Customs Consulting             Services (Head Office)
Start date: June 28, 2021
Melanie Basu            Naara Garcia

Name: Melanie Basu
Team: Truck Services
          (Head Office)
Start date: July 5, 2021

  Name: Naara Garcia
Team: Customs Operations
            (Head Office)
Start date: July 12, 2021
Raj Aadur     Cody Keser

Name: Raj Aadur
Team: Distribution Services
           (Toronto Airport)
Start date: July 19, 2021

  Name: Cody Keser
Team: US Customs Operations
Start date: July 19, 2021

Book Buzz
Contributor: Barbara Mulatinho


Beach Read by Emily Henry

Beach Read by Emily Henry

Augustus Everett is an acclaimed author of suspense novels.  January Andrews writes bestselling romance.  While she pens a happily ever after, he kills off his entire cast.  They are basically polar opposites.

The only thing they have in common is that for the next three months, they’re living in neighbouring beach houses, bogged down with writer’s block.  One hazy evening, one thing leads to another and they strike a deal: Augustus will spend the summer writing something happy, and January will pen the next Great American suspense novel.

A fun and surprisingly deep book that will keep you invested until the end.

Culture and Entertainment
Contributor: Barbara Mulatinho

Don’t be afraid of subtitles – tune into these international gems

One of the advantages of the new television era is that foreign-language TV shows that previously wouldn’t have crossed borders, let alone language barriers, are now readily available to stream.  Netflix and Amazon Prime, on a mission to appeal to global audiences, boast a big collection of foreign shows that you may be overlooking.  Try one of these titles next time you wonder, “What should I watch?”



Brazil – Available on Amazon Prime Video

Dom, Amazon’s first Brazilian production came out with a bang and it’s working its way to becoming the most watched non-English language series in North America on Amazon Prime.
Will a father’s love be enough to save his son’s life?  Based on a true story, the series follows Victor, a cop who has fought all his life to curb cocaine trafficking, and Pedro, his drug addict son who has become one of the most wanted burglars in Rio de Janeiro.  With 87% approval on Rotten Tomatoes, this series is definitely worth an evening of binge watching.


Who Killed Sara?

Mexico – Available on Netflix

The series follows Álex, who was convicted of the murder of his sister, a crime that he did not commit.  Hell-bent on exacting revenge and proving he was framed, Álex sets out to unearth much more than the crime’s real culprit.

Who Killed Sara? was watched by 55 million households during its first 28 days and went on to become one of the most popular foreign shows on Netflix.




France – Available on Netflix

This French mystery thriller stars Omar Sy in the role of gentleman thief Assane Diop, a man who is inspired by the adventures of master thief Arsène Lupin.  Assane sets out to avenge his father for an injustice inflicted by a wealthy family.
70 million households watched the series during its first month, becoming the most-watched non-English language series on Netflix.  Lupin is an addictive, clever puzzle that combines elements from Luther, Sherlock Holmes and Inside Man for an engrossing experience.

Health and Lifestyle
Contributors: Tina Scharnberg & Chris Cartan

Take a hike


“99 Steps” at Joker’s Hill Trail


The “99 Steps” at Joker’s Hill Trail
in Newmarket, ON

Hiking in nature is not only great cardiovascular exercise, it’s beneficial for our moods and minds as well.  You don’t need a lot of equipment to go hiking – proper footwear and a day bag for carrying a water bottle, sunscreen, snacks, etc. are the key items.

Following are a few trails that are easily accessible in the GTA.  If you do not live in the area, a quick Google search will help you find hiking trails in any region and for every level, beginner to advanced.

High Park Trails – 1873 Bloor Street West, Toronto, ON M6R 2Z3
For a nature-infused outdoor experience, High Park is home to some of the most scenic urban hikes in Toronto.  Located in the city, High Park’s paved paths offer an accessible and easy option for all levels, including children and dogs!

Joker’s Hill Trail (Thornton Bales Conservation Area)
– 17186 Bathurst Street, Newmarket, ON
Forest lovers will appreciate the lush wooded areas of Joker’s Hill Trail, which is located in the Thornton Bales Conservation Area.  Trails can be accessed from the main entrance located on Bathurst Street and a less busy entrance located off Mulock Drive.  The infamous ’99 Steps’ is accessible by the entrance off Mulock Drive and consists of 99 natural log steps along a steep hill that offer an intense workout.

Lynde Shores Conservation Area – 1225 Victoria Street West, Whitby, ON  L1P 2B3
Best known for its wildlife viewing opportunities, Lynde Shores offers easy trails, many of which are paved and are suitable for strollers and wheelchairs.  At the southern tip of the trail is an entrance to a secluded beach which many swans call home in the summer.  If you’re into getting up close with wildlife, make sure to bring bird food with you.  The squirrels are so friendly they will eat out of your hand.

Mono Cliffs Provincial Park – 795086 3rd Line EHS, Shelburne, ON  L9W 5Y2
The vast Mono Cliffs Provincial Park includes a section of the Bruce Trail and is home to stunning lookout points, marshland, caves, cliffs, and horseback riding trails.  This moderately difficult trail can be quite busy in the summer months, but offers a variety of well-marked trail options for an hour or a full-day hike.

Spencer Gorge/Webster’s Falls Conservation Area
– Harvest Road, Dundas, ON  L9H 4W2
Hamilton may be best known for its steel factories, but many are unaware it’s also considered by some to be the “waterfall capital of the world”.  This trail includes stunning views of Webster’s Falls, and the highest waterfall in Hamilton, Tew’s Falls.  The Dundas Peak is a must-visit for its panoramic views of Dundas and Hamilton.

Rattlesnake Point Conservation Area – 7200 Appleby Line, Milton, ON L9E 0M9
If you’re in the mood for some adventure on your hike, look no further.  Rattlesnake Point offers hikes along the cliff line, and exploration of countless caves.  This moderately difficult trail requires good footwear, and is best explored in the autumn months as miles upon miles of colourful trees can be seen.  Rock climbing is permitted, with three designated sites.

Elora Gorge Conservation Area
– 7400 Wellington County Road 21, Elora,
ON  N0B 1S0
The Elora Gorge is a natural beauty, hidden in the historical town of Elora, that presents hikers with stunning views of the plunging waters of the gorge.  The trail is moderately easy, ideal for all age groups, and is well maintained throughout the year.  In the summer, the gorge has tubing and kayaking available for adventure seekers.

Beamer Memorial Conservation Area – 28 Quarry Rd, Grimsby, ON L3M 4E7
Beamer Memorial offers the best lookout point in Ontario.  Best visited in the autumn for the stunning panoramic views and colourful foliage, the Niagara escarpment can be seen for miles on a clear day.  Between March and May, dozens of bald eagles can be seen flying over the area during their spring migration, which attracts quite a crowd on weekends.

These patios are calling your name



RendezViews –
Toronto’s largest outdoor patio.

Patios across Ontario have officially reopened and they are calling all of our names.

Sitting on patios is probably one of the best parts of summer – there’s just something about sippin’ on a good cocktail under the sun as the world moves around you.  As a result of the pandemic, restaurants have been forced to improvise, so patios are starting to pop up in back alleys, on sidewalks and even sections of parking lots.

Whether it’s a trip to downtown Toronto or local to York region, here are four patios that are worth trying out this summer and into the fall – in many cases you may not have known these existed.

At the top of the list is Stackt, simply because the design of the restaurant is directly related to our industry – it is made up entirely of shipping containers.  28 Bathurst Street, Toronto, ON

What do you do with a vacant parking lot with a perfect view of the CN Tower in downtown Toronto?  You convert it into a sea of picnic tables and umbrellas.  Toronto Life calls RendezViews, “Larger than Life”.  229 Richmond Street West, Toronto, ON

Tucked away off of Yonge Street in Newmarket, Sociable Pub is the place to be for East Coast comfort foods and live music.  17380 Yonge Street, Newmarket, ON

Overlooking Mussleman’s Lake in Stouffville is Fishbone by the Lake.  Soak up the sun on the patio while enjoying lake views.  As an added bonus, be sure to stop by the Cedar Beach Variety Store across the road from Fishbone.  155 Cedarvale Blvd., Stouffville, ON

IT Corner

IT Corner

Beware of phishing emails

Antivirus companies are reporting that Canada and the U.S. are among the countries where hackers are trying a new tactic for bypassing protections from macro-based malware in Microsoft Office.

Below is an excerpt from an IT World article:

“Briefly, a victim gets a phishing email with a Microsoft Word document attachment.  If the document is opened, a password-protected Microsoft Excel file is downloaded.

By default, Microsoft Office has macros turned off to protect against infected macros automatically executing.  However, the hackers have created a trick message saying the document was created in a previous version of Word, and asks the victim to click on the ‘Enable editing’ and ‘Enable content’ buttons.  That enables macros to run.”

If you receive a Word document and are not sure it’s legit, please reach out to IT for guidance.

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 Tina Scharnberg.

  July 2021

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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