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July 2023

Universal Summer Family Event

On Saturday, July 8th, we returned to Bruce’s Mill Conservation Area in Stouffville for our annual Summer Family Event.  This year, the Events Committee pulled together a mega fun afternoon at the Universal Carnival for Universal employees and their family members, with 170 in attendance!

With beautiful weather to get the party started, attendees enjoyed a delicious lunch from Fire It Up BBQ Catering and (almost) everyone got to cool off with their choice of classic Ice Cream Truck desserts.  Amongst the many activities was the return of the Jungle Fun Combo Slide, enjoyed by guests of all ages, and the Hungry Hippo game.

To get everyone into the carnival mood, there was Zap-a-Mole and an inflatable with 5 carnival games to compete in against friends and family.  The Magic Mirror photos were decorated with the iconic red circus big top, and to add more colour and vibrancy to the zany family photos, an airbrush tattoo artist gave everyone the chance to make their body a (temporary) canvas.

After lunch and a bit of playtime, the Events Committee handed out gift bags – a cross body bag with flipflops, treats, a foam soccer ball, and a pack of Bicycle 1885 Heritage Playing Cards held in a custom Universal Logistics card holder.

The caterers weren’t the only ones firing it up.  Teams faced off in several heated rounds of tug-o-war – alliances were formed, relationships were tested, rivalries blossomed!  It all came down to a relay race won by Universal Ladies Alice Yan, Daisy Nguyen and Hailey Hwang!

As the day wound down, so did the weather, giving everyone a bit of reprieve from the sun and heat, wrapping up another successful Universal Summer Family Event.

  Click here to see more photos and videos from the event!

If you find any photo of yourself that you would like removed, please advise Administration.

Summerlicious Days at Universal!!

In May, the LEAD team announced a new initiative, 2023 Summerlicious Days at Universal, the first in a series of programs aimed to enhance employee engagement.  On set dates over the summer months, everyone will be treated to lunch and ice cream – courtesy of Universal Logistics!  This tasty initiative was a direct result of the Universal Employee Engagement Survey 2022, conducted by the LEAD team.

On May 29th, we kicked things off with a Food Truck BBQ feast for our Head Office staff, and the LEAD team organized delicious meals for our Canadian Branch Offices.  Due to the Memorial Day Holiday on May 29th, our US Offices enjoyed their Summerlicious Day on May 30th.

On June 20th, we kicked things into high gear with ice cream!!  Our Head Office staff enjoyed treats from the Ice Cream Truck, and the LEAD team ordered frozen treats for our Canadian Branch and US offices.

It is safe to say that Summerlicious Days at Universal have been a great hit so far – and don’t forget to mark your calendar for two more events:

Tuesday, August 22nd

Ice Cream Truck at Head Office & Ice Cream Treats for Canadian Branch & US Offices

Tuesday, September 19th

Food Truck (Greek Feast) at Head Office & Lunch provided by the LEAD team for Canadian Branch & US Offices

We hope you all will keep participating to ensure this initiative remains a tasty success!

Employee Education & Engagement

Employee Engagement Survey Results

On Thursday, July 13th, the LEAD team sent an email to provide you with detailed results of our Universal Employee Engagement Survey 2022.  If you have not done so, please take some time to review this comprehensive presentation. You can find a copy of the results in the Employee Guidelines, Benefits & Information folder on the G Drive under Employee Engagement Survey 2022.

An engagement survey is vital, as it provides a chance for all of you to be heard and provide constructive feedback.  Thanks to this feedback, over the next few months, the LEAD team will be providing you with our action plans to address areas where Universal can improve.

Thank you again to all employees for participating!

Microsoft Excel Training Session

Our IT Solutions Team will be hosting training sessions on the Use of Microsoft Excel.  An announcement on the session dates will be coming in August, with sessions beginning sometime in September.  Training sessions will be divided into two modules, one for beginners and one for intermediate users.  To allow for smaller group sizes, we will have three session dates, per module.  These will be hands-on modules, where participants will use their own computer to run through training exercises.
Beginner Module: Master the shortcuts; import data from a Website; filter your results; calculate the sum; autocorrect and autofill; display formulas; manage page layout.
Intermediate Module: Worksheet management – comparing/moving/copying; conditional formatting; linking excel data; paste specials; freezing/hiding rows/columns; working with formulas; working with date and time functions.

Something's Brewing

Contributor: Alice Yan

Universal Client Spotlight: Food & Drinks

Here at Universal, we all love tasty treats and refreshing drinks, so isn’t it fitting that we have quite a number of clients in the food and beverage industry?  Some of these clients offer unique experiences and products.  Here are 5 of our top picks for you to learn more about: Equals Brewing Company Inc. – Brewing for Brewers! Using our Canadian customs & freight; US customs services


Founded in 2017, Equals Brewing Company is a contract brewing manufacturer in London, Ontario who provides high quality, reliable brewing for craft beer makers in Canada and internationally.

Star Products

Equals Brewer Series; Shake Larger; BANGARANG – craft seltzer

Star Services

Private Label or Custom Batch Offerings

Collective Arts Brewing Limited
– Drink in Creativity!
Using our Canadian & US customs services

Alice Yan’s Tower of Beer Power!


Founded by Matt Johnston & Bob Russell in 2013, Collective Arts fuses the creativity of craft beverages with the inspired talent of artists.  They are building a community of drinkers, artists, musicians, brewers, and creatives around the world.


Hamilton Brewery – Enjoy their beer garden + beerhall; Toronto Taproom – Beer & tasty food.

Star Products

Variety of Beers; Award Winning Gin & Rum; Spirits & Cider.

Star Services

Call For Art – Twice a year, Collective Arts announces a new “Call For Art”, which is categorized in a numbered series.  The Call is open to any artist, from anywhere in the world, who is of drinking age. Submit your creative art now, and if selected, your piece will be featured on cans and bottles!

Yogen Früz Canada Inc. – Natural, Healthy & Flavourful!
Using our Canadian customs & freight; US customs services


Originally a small frozen yogurt retail store at the Promenade Mall in Toronto in 1986, and now one of the Top 100 Global Franchises by Franchise Direct.  The name Yogen implies yogurt, of course, and Früz calls forth “frozen”, “fruit” and “fresh”.


27 retail stores in the U.S.; Over 120 retail stores in Canada.  Find one in your area!

Star Products

Flavoured frozen yogurt, smoothies, and fruit tea.  Online ordering available as well.

A Taste of Britain Ltd
– Enjoy some British Snacks!
Using our Canadian customs & freight services


Southwestern Ontario’s largest British shop established in fall 2001.  The owners, who emigrated from Scotland in 1967, settled in the London, Ontario area in 1976. The store offers the most extensive line of British food and gifts.


Four stores located in Southwestern Ontario – North & South London, Sarnia, and Chatham.

Star Products

Bassetts/Rowntrees/Tavener’s/Simpkins Candy & Sweets; Cadbury Chocolates; Walkers Crisps; McVitie’s Biscuits. 
*All stores are open to walk-in customers and continue to offer curbside pick-up.

Pablo Canada (2863595 Ontario Inc.)
– Memorable Crispy & Fluffy Bites!
Using our Canadian Customs & Freight Services

Introduction This authentic Japanese dessert consists of delicious, oozy, cheese mousse wrapped in a double-baked crunchy crust.  With each bite, you indulge in its salty-sweet aroma and flavour, characteristic to some of Japan’s finest delights.
Locations 6 locations across Canada – Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, Markham, and Newmarket.
Star Products Signature 3 cheese tarts – original, chocolate, and matcha.
 Question:  As our biggest food related account, Tree of Life has been providing natural, organic, multicultural, specialty and gourmet foods to the North American market since 1969.  Which company acquired Tree of Life in 2010 to further increase their market share? A. McCormack Bourrie B. KeHE Distributors C. Northbud Distributors D. Numage Trading Click on the question above, submit your answer to Sharon, and you’re eligible to win! Submission deadline Friday, August 4th (Noon) Prize $25 Tim Hortons, Starbucks or Amazon gift card for the 2 winners (If more than two contestants have the right answer, we will pick the winning names out of a hat)

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 Pamela Randolph of our US Freight Operations team:

Maryam Mehrdad of our IT Solutions team at Head Office is a fantastic asset to our company and is constantly incredibly helpful.  She works quickly, effectively, and goes above and beyond.  I truly hope she never leaves us.  We much appreciate her assistance during our busy day.

Submitted by Brenda Munroe of our Client Relations team:

Wayne Arsenault at Airborn Flexible Circuits, Inc. asked me to thank Claudia Di Giorgio of our Head Office very much for the prompt and courteous attention she gives on each call.  Wayne said that on many occasions, Claudia goes above and beyond to ensure that his inquiry is dealt with.  He said that using Universal Logistics is the best decision he has made.  Dealing with a live Receptionist who knows who he is when he calls, speaks volumes.  Claudia keep up the good work!

CN Tower EdgeWalk

Contributor: Barbara Mulatinho

When I got my Canadian citizenship, I decided that I had to do something to mark the occasion.  Ever since I came to Canada, I wanted to try the CN Tower EdgeWalk.  The more I thought about it, the more butterflies I felt in my stomach, however, not going was never an option.

What surprised me the most was that on the day of my EdgeWalk, there were no butterflies at all.  I was just so excited, to finally experience it.  So much so, that I was the first one to step out.

From then on, I couldn’t stop smiling.  It was the most fun I’ve had in ages.  We leaned forward, leaned back, cheered for each other, and simply enjoyed being on the world’s highest full circle hands-free walk.  It was the perfect way to celebrate.  

That night, my mom asked me if I would do it again.  

My answer:  In a heartbeat!

Book Buzz

Contributor: Barbara Mulatinho

Happy Place by Emily Henry

Harriet and Wyn have been the perfect couple since they met in college – they go together like salt and pepper, honey and tea, lobster and rolls. Except, now – for reasons they’re still not discussing – they don’t. They broke up six months ago. And still haven’t told their best friends…

…Which is how they find themselves sharing the largest bedroom at the Maine cottage that has been their friend group’s yearly getaway for the last decade. Only this year, Harriet and Wyn are lying through their teeth while trying not to notice how desperately they still want each other.

This is the last week they’ll all have together in the cottage since it’s now for sale. Harriet and Wyn can’t stand to break their friends’ hearts, and so they’ll play their parts. It’s a flawless plan – if you look at it from a great distance and through a pair of sunscreen-smeared sunglasses.

After years of being in love, how hard can it be to fake it for one week… in front of those who know you best?

Culture and Entertainment

Contributor: Barbara Mulatinho

Summer Entertainment

Barbie and Oppenheimer fight it out at the box office on Friday, July 21st.

Both Greta Gerwig’s Barbie and Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer are opening in theaters on July 21st.  The two movies couldn’t be more different, but instead of showing up to the theater to see just one, fans are buzzing online over a novel concept in moviegoing:  Why not ride the whole theatric roller coaster all at once and just watch Oppenheimer and Barbie back to back…at the same theater… on the same day?

The contrast between Barbie, a fantasy comedy film about Barbie the fashion doll, and Oppenheimer, a biographical thriller film about theoretical physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer, provoked a comedic response from Internet users.  

It has created a rising-tide environment of buzz ahead of the two films’ release.  There is real genius in this tactic of opening films catering to different audiences on the same day, known as counterprogramming.

The real question is:  Do you start the day with Oppenheimer’s weighty themes or nosedive into pink fantasy mode with Barbie?

Playing July 5th to August 20th – At the Royal Alexandra Theatre (260 King Street West, Toronto)

Welcome to Hadestown, where a song can change your fate.  Winner of eight 2019 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and the 2020 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theatre Album, this acclaimed new show from celebrated singer-songwriter, Anaïs Mitchell, and innovative director, Rachel Chavkin, is a love story for today…and always.

Hadestown intertwines the two mythical tales of Orpheus and Eurydice, and King Hades and his wife Persephone.  It invites you on a hell-raising journey to the underworld and back.  Mitchell’s beguiling melodies and Chavkin’s poetic imagination pit industry against nature, doubt against faith, and fear against love.  Performed by a vibrant ensemble of actors, dancers, and singers, Hadestown is a haunting and hopeful theatrical experience that grabs you, and never lets go.

Health and Lifestyle

Contributor: Veena Ramesh

On the Trail with Nature: Hiking Trails

In this final chapter of our 3-part series, On the Trail with Nature, we are looking at some of the hiking trails located near our Branch Offices.

In the previous two issues of Universal & You, we provided tips on hiking and camping.

So, what exactly is hiking, and what is a trail?

Both the above terms go hand in hand.  In simple terms, a trail is a path or track which is not intended for motorized vehicles.  This makes it safer for hiking, some trails are especially good for cycling.  Hiking allows us to explore nature, like hidden lakes, and gives us an opportunity to experience peace and solitude.

Hiking, in very simple terms, is a long walk along a path while enjoying the scenery around you.  It can be a lot of fun, be done at a comfortable pace, brings together family and friends, stimulates the mind, and improves mental health.

Historically, access to holy places in many countries involved walking long distances through rough terrain.  The sole purpose of hiking was to visit shrines.  However, people gradually started taking hikes for enjoyment.

North America has many beautiful National and Provincial Parks.  The following are a few trails worth visiting near Universal’s offices.

Head Office – Jefferson Climb Trail (Jefferson Forest)

Camping is all the more fun when we are well equipped and have chosen a good campsite.  We will be talking about camping equipment and the points to consider when choosing a campsite.  If you are a first-time camper and don’t want to invest in all of these, you can always rent equipment from outdoor retailers or camping outfitters.

Jefferson Climb Trail

The other trails that can be accessed are Endurathon, Northern Run, and Gravel Cut Loop.  Each one has something to offer during the four different seasons.

Niagara Falls – Niagara Whirlpool Loop

The Niagara region is beautiful in any season and always sought after by nature lovers and artists.  There is a network of trails offering stunning views, fresh air, and peaceful surroundings.  Many of the trails in the Niagara region feature waterfalls, including the Niagara Whirlpool Loop.  This trail is recommended for advanced hikers, as it is considered difficult and dangerous in a few spots.  This hidden gem is challenging but totally worth the effort.

Niagara Whirlpool Loop

Fort Erie – Friendship Trail

Friendship Trail runs from Fort Erie to Port Colborne.  It is easy and flat, but around 27 km in length which will take almost 5 hours to complete.  It takes hikers through lush farmland, quaint villages, pristine watersheds and quiet residential areas.  This trail is open year-round, allowing visitors to enjoy activities like bird watching, cross country skiing and biking to name a few.  The trail itself is well maintained and paved.

Windsor – Black Oak Heritage Park (Ojibway Prairie Complex)

Black Oak Heritage Park in Windsor, Ontario features a 9 km loop trail.  The hiking path is fairly easy and can be completed in less than 2 hours.  Many different birds can be viewed from this trail and is ideal for bird watching.  The trail also attracts mountain-bikers of all skill levels and cross-country skiers.  If you’re looking for a quiet trail, make sure to plan your trip for the morning.

Buffalo – The Wilkinson Trail (Saratoga National Historical Park)

The Wilkinson Trail is 4.2 miles (close to 7.2 km) in length with a smoothly graded footpath through fields, woods and hills in the northern section of the Saratoga Battlefield.
Be prepared with water, snacks, bug spray and an interest in history.

The Wilkinson Trail

If you are interested in a shorter hike, try the Liaison Trail which is only 2 miles long.

Cleveland – Whiskey Island Trail

With such an interesting name, Whiskey Island Trail is one of the most popular hiking trails in Cleveland.  Whiskey Island was given its name for the distillery built there in the 1830s.  The trail provides a safe, off-road connection between Edgewater Park and Wendy Park.  The 9 km trail is popular with hikers and their dogs in the Fall for its colourful scenery.

I hope you have enjoyed and benefited from this series.  The outdoors has a lot to offer, and making the best of our experience with the proper equipment, whether it be shoes for a hike or gear for a night under the stars, is essential.  Now, you have a starter’s guide on what to wear, what to do, what to bring, and where to go.

Take more shortcuts! There are multiple shortcuts that you can utilize on your keyboard to make tasks both quicker and easier to complete.  While some are quite common, there are numerous shortcuts available that could directly benefit you and your daily tasks. Take a screenshot
Windows + Shift + S
 Windows + Shift + S
If you constantly send pictures of your screen to others, there is an easier way!  By pressing the windows key, shift, and “S”, the snippets tool is opened and prompts you to select an area of your screen to copy.  After selecting the relevant information, it will be saved to your clipboard and can be pasted anywhere.
Select an entire paragraph
 Ctrl + Shift + up / down arrow
Instead of using your mouse to highlight large blocks of text, you can easily select whole paragraphs at a time by pressing control, shift and the up or down arrow.  This can be extremely useful for deleting, copying, and formatting text.
Find specific words/phrases
 Ctrl + F
If you know what you are looking for in a document, but don’t want to scroll through pages of information, you can quickly search for words using control F.  This will open up the “find” tool, letting you enter any word or phrase, and allowing you to jump back and forth to find the exact information you need.

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 Sharon Fong.

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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