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March 2024

Save the Date
Universal Summer Family Event
Saturday, July 13th!!!

Save the Date Universal Summer Family Event Saturday, July 13th!!! - Universal Logistics Universal & YOU Internal Newsletter
Save the Date Universal Summer Family Event Saturday, July 13th!!! - Universal Logistics Universal & YOU Internal Newsletter

Save the Date and plan on attending Universal’s Summer Family Event! We are going back to Bruce’s Mill in Stouffville, Ontario – a beautiful facility just north of the city of Toronto.

The Events Committee is planning a fun filled afternoon of Food! Games! & Entertainment! – so clear your schedule and come out and have a great time! Stay tuned for more details!

Mark your calendars – Saturday, July 13th!

Universal Logistics is on Social Media!

Following the launch of our website in August 2023, Universal has also become more active on several social media platforms.

Social media is a great way to engage with our clients and prospects. In the spirit of business development, we encourage you to follow and share this information with our clients who can learn more about who we are, and what services we have to offer. 

Follow Universal Logistics on social media to keep current on new and evolving logistic trends, regulations and world events that impact global trade and our clients’ business.

Let’s get social and connect!

Employee Education & Engagement

On February 28th, the Ignite team announced our 2024 Employee Education & Engagement Program. Here’s what to look forward to in the coming months:

Educational Sessions

Review of Benefits Package for Canadian Employees

Session Dates: To be announced

Canadian CCS (Certified Customs Specialist) – Study Sessions

Employee Education & Engagement - Universal Logistics Universal & YOU Internal Newsletter

Session Dates:

  • AprilStudy Session 1: CCS Designate Quiz 1
  • JuneStudy Session 2: Review of CCS Quiz 2
  • OctoberStudy Session 3: Review of CCS Quiz 3

The date, time and format of these Study Sessions will be announced one month prior.

Health and Wellness Days

Shift Your Mind

The second round of Shift Your Mind kicked off on February 26th

Spirit Days

Throughout the year, we will be dedicating days to Team-Building events and activities related to enhancing our workplace culture, our business practices and our client service. These days will help foster a spirit of continuous improvement, strengthen our company culture, develop better working habits while adding a bit of fun to our workplace. Dates to be announced.

2024 Summerlicious Days

The LEAD team is now excited to announce the dates for our 2024 Summerlicious Days at Universal. Like last year, on set dates over the summer months, the LEAD team has arranged for a Food Truck to provide lunch for our Head Office staff, as well as an Ice Cream Truck to provide tasty frozen treats for those hot summer days – all courtesy of Universal Logistics!

  • Tuesday, May 28th – Food Truck – 12:30 pm
  • Tuesday, June 18th – Ice Cream Truck – 2:00 pm
  • Tuesday, August 20th – Ice Cream Truck – 2:00 pm
  • Tuesday, September 17th – Food Truck – 12:30 pm

Our Canadian Branch and U.S. Offices are also going to enjoy lunch and treats at their offices on the above dates, arranged with options specific to their locations.

Something's Brewing

Contributor: Alice Yan

8 Unique Restaurants in Nature Around the World

While we’re still in early 2024, plans for your annual trip might still be in the works. You might add one of these 8 restaurants to your itinerary if you want to experience the phrase “adventurous eating” in a whole new way.

1. Ithaa Undersea RestaurantAlif Dhaal Atoll, Maldives

Built 5 meters (16 feet) below sea level in the Maldives, Ithaa seats 14 guests at a time. Restaurant goers descend a spiral staircase from a jetty and find themselves in a space with a striking panoramic underwater view.

The restaurant, which is part of Conrad Maldives Rangali Island resort, provides views to the reef and various fish species, circumnavigating the transparent structure.

8 Unique Restaurants in Nature Around the World - Ithaa Undersea Restaurant – Alif Dhaal Atoll, Maldives - Universal Logistics Universal & YOU Internal Newsletter

2. Le 3842Chamonix, France

Travel 3,842 meters up to the top of Aiguille du Midi to discover passion in mountain views and gastronomy at Le 3842.

This mountain-top restaurant was awarded with the title Maître Restaurateur – the only title awarded by France for professionals in the restaurant business.

If you want this high-altitude dining experience, booking a reservation is highly recommended as this intimate restaurant only seats 30 for lunch!

8 Unique Restaurants in Nature Around the World - Le 3842 – Chamonix, France - Universal Logistics Universal & YOU Internal Newsletter

3. Treepod Dining, Soneva Kiri Resort – Koh Kood, Thailand

This dining experience is owned by Soneva Kiri, a nature inspired resort.

Raised 16 feet high in the tropical foliage of Koh Kood’s ancient rainforest, the tree pods where you dine give you the unique opportunity to admire the boulder-covered shoreline.

Even more exciting is that your waiter delivers the food and drinks to your pod by zipline!

8 Unique Restaurants in Nature Around the World - Treepod Dining, Soneva Kiri Resort - Koh Kood, Thailand - Universal Logistics Universal & YOU Internal Newsletter

4. Chillout Ice LoungeDubai, United Arab Emirates

Located in Times Square Center Dubai, this cool experience starts in a lobby where guests are given thermal gear, and time in the “buffer zone” which is 5°C.

This is where they get their bodies adjusted to endure the sub-zero temperature of the dining area.

Inside this unique ice den is ambient colour-changing lighting, filtered through crystal blocks of ice, and intricate ice sculptures sure to amaze your friends and family back home.

8 Unique Restaurants in Nature Around the World - Chillout Ice Lounge – Dubai, United Arab Emirates - Universal Logistics Universal & YOU Internal Newsletter

5. Ristorante Grotta PalazzesePuglia, Italy

Carved out of limestone rocks and overlooking the Adriatic Sea, Ristorante Grotta Palazzese feels like something out of a fairy tale.

Steeped in history – it supposedly held banquets for local nobles as far back as the 1700s – the cave restaurant is open May-October so you can enjoy that warm summer breeze.

8 Unique Restaurants in Nature Around the World - Ristorante Grotta Palazzese – Puglia, Italy - Universal Logistics Universal & YOU Internal Newsletter

6. The Labassin Waterfall RestaurantSan Pablo City, Philippines

Located in the Villa Escudero, the Labassin Waterfall Restaurant is a centerpiece of the villa where visitors can enjoy authentic local cuisine.

Guests dine at bamboo tables where they can soak their feet in shallow crystal-clear water.

In such a humid climate, the running waterfall works as a natural air conditioner – that paired with the water right at your feet, what could be more refreshing?

8 Unique Restaurants in Nature Around the World - The Labassin Waterfall Restaurant – San Pablo City, Philippines - Universal Logistics Universal & YOU Internal Newsletter

7. The Rock RestaurantUnguja Island, Tanzania

This restaurant clings to a rock on Michamvi beach on Unguja, part of the Zanzibar archipelago.

It was once a fisherman’s post and now has just a dozen tables sheltered by a roof made of palm fronds.

The seafood-heavy menu, peppered with vibrant local flavours, is the perfect complement to the Indian Ocean views.

8 Unique Restaurants in Nature Around the World - The Rock Restaurant - Unguja Island, Tanzania - Universal Logistics Universal & YOU Internal Newsletter

8. CuliAir Luchtballon restaurantVelp, Netherlands

CuliAir Skydining is a deliciously unorthodox adventure in the world’s only hot air balloon restaurant.Taking to the skies gently as a breeze, between heaven and earth, floating out into the infinite…Temperature sensors line the interior of the balloon, which can be inspected from the kitchen basket during flight.This allows the chef to determine exactly whether dishes should be slightly lowered or raised over the heat source in order to achieve a perfect plate – can’t forget the first-class wine pairings either!

8 Unique Restaurants in Nature Around the World - CuliAir Luchtballon restaurant – Velp, Netherlands - Universal Logistics Universal & YOU Internal Newsletter

A. New York City

B. Zurich

C. Paris

D. Dubai

E. Tokyo

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

Submission deadline
Wednesday, April 3rd (Noon)

$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 Corner - Universal Logistics Universal & YOU Internal Newsletter

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 entry from John Leis of our Client Relations team:

“Starting in mid-2023, our incredible Administration Team at Head Office, headed by Manager Tina Scharnberg, and supported by Claudia Di Giorgio and Sharon Fong, took on the daunting task of scanning and uploading a massive array of essential client documents, including signed copies of our GAAs, Brokerage Agreements, Payment Terms, and US Power of Attorney. For over 7 decades, these items have been amassed in hard copy and stored in binders on various storage shelves. Now, because of the incredible work this team has taken on, all of these items are now housed in our Admin Database and available to view, save, share and print with just the click of button!”

Book Buzz

Contributor: Barbara Mulatinho

Author Spotlight: Agatha Christie

I’m an avid mystery reader, however, a few years ago I tried my first Agatha Christie novel and I hated it. At first, I thought that I would never read another one of her books again, but then Harper Collins Brazil released a collection of her books with colourful covers to mark this special edition. Since I am totally a person who judges a book by its cover, I decided to give Ms. Christie one more chance. I was pleasantly surprised when I ended up enjoying the book, but also became really excited to read more by her. It’s never too late to discover the classics! I started collecting the new editions and am on my way to completing the collection.

Author Spotlight: Agatha Christie - Book Buzz - Universal Logistics Universal & YOU Internal Newsletter
Harper Collins Brazil - Agatha Christie Book Collection - Book Buzz - Universal Logistics Universal & YOU Internal Newsletter

Here are 3 recommendations if you want to start your Agatha Christie journey, with books featuring her two iconic characters: Jane Marple, an amateur detective who is often brushed off as just another nosy elderly spinster; Hercule Poirot, an extremely astute Belgian private detective who has keen observation skills and the ability to make people talk willingly.

Sparkling Cyanide

Six people sit down to a sumptuous meal at a table laid for seven. In front of the empty plate is a sprig of rosemary—”rosemary for remembrance.” A strange sentiment considering that no one is likely to forget the night, exactly a year ago, that Rosemary Barton died at that exact table, her beautiful face unrecognizable, convulsed with pain and horror.

But then again, Rosemary had always been memorable—she had the ability to arouse strong passions in most people she met.  In one case, strong enough to kill …

Sparkling Cyanide - Agatha Christie - Book Buzz - Universal Logistics Universal & YOU Internal Newsletter
Sparkling Cyanide by Agatha Christie
A Murder is Announced - Miss Marple

A Murder is Announced is a staple of crime fiction and is often considered the best of all the Miss Marple novels.

The villagers of Chipping Cleghorn, including Jane Marple, are agog with curiosity over an advertisement in the local gazette which reads: ‘A murder is announced and will take place on Friday October 29th, at Little Paddocks at 6.30 p.m.’ A childish practical joke? Or a hoax intended to scare poor Letitia Blacklock? Unable to resist the mysterious invitation, a crowd begins to gather at Little Paddocks at the appointed time when, without warning, the lights go out …

A Murder is Announced - Miss Marple - Agatha Christie - Book Buzz - Universal Logistics Universal & YOU Internal Newsletter
A Murder is Announced – Miss Marple by Agatha Christie
The ABC Murders - Hercule Poirot

There’s a serial killer on the loose, working his way through the alphabet, and the whole country is in a state of panic.

A is for Mrs. Ascher in Andover, B is for Betty Barnard in Bexhill, C is for Sir Carmichael Clarke in Churston. With each murder, the killer is getting more confident — but leaving a trail of deliberate clues to taunt the proud Hercule Poirot might just prove to be the first, and fatal, mistake.

The ABC Murders - Hercule Poirot  - Agatha Christie - Book Buzz - Universal Logistics Universal & YOU Internal Newsletter
The ABC Murders - Hercule Poirot ​ by Agatha Christie

Culture and Entertainment

Contributor: Barbara Mulatinho

Oscar Award Winners

It finally arrived! The night to celebrate the movies that moved and entertained us throughout 2023. The Oscars were delivered on Sunday, March 10th, and what better recommendation than the movies that won in the Best Screenplay categories on Hollywood’s biggest night.

Best Original Screenplay - Anatomy of a Fall

Sandra (a ferocious, magnetic, and edgy Sandra Hüller) is a successful German writer who lives in the French Alps with her husband Samuel and their visually impaired son Daniel. A brilliant, decibel-bursting opening scene suggests tensions in their isolated chalet, so when Samuel is discovered dead in the snow beneath one of their windows, suspicion is quickly aroused. Did he take his own life, or was he pushed to his death? When the investigation proves to be inconclusive, Sandra is ultimately indicted and put on trial.

A captivating and sharply directed, written, and acted courtroom procedural. Taut, suspenseful, and thrilling until the final moment, Anatomy of a Fall progresses like a heady puzzle that tackles the messiness of existence and the often-elusive nature of truth itself.

Best Original Screenplay - Anatomy of a Fall - Culture and Entertainment​ - Universal Logistics Universal & YOU Internal Newsletter
Available on Prime Video
Best Adapted Screenplay - American Fiction

Thelonious “Monk” Ellison is a respected author and professor of English literature. But his impatience with his students’ cultural sensitivities is threatening his academic standing, while his latest novel is failing to attract publishers; they claim Monk’s writing “isn’t Black enough.” One night, in a fit of spite, Monk concocts a pseudonymous novel embodying every Black cliché he can imagine. His agent submits it to a major publisher who immediately offers the biggest advance Monk’s ever seen. As the novel is rushed to the printers and Hollywood comes courting, Monk must reckon with a monster of his own making.

Adapted from Percival Everett’s novel Erasure, Cord Jefferson’s directorial debut is a wildly entertaining send-up of our hunger for so-called authenticity. American Fiction is a timely reflection on the fictions we tell ourselves about race, progress, and community.

Best Adapted Screenplay - American Fiction - Culture and Entertainment​ - Universal Logistics Universal & YOU Internal Newsletter
Available on Prime Video

Health and Lifestyle

Contributor: Veena Ramesh

The Perfect Plate

I hope many of you were able to make use of the meal prep apps that we featured last issue, and tried your hand at doing some meal prep. All of us want to eat healthy, but we also want food that tastes good – the assumption is typically that those two wants, don’t go together. However, the perfect plate should be visually appealing first and taste even better, which isn’t always easy to achieve.

In this edition of Universal & You, we’re going to look at nutrition and what tier each type of veggie, fruit, protein, and grain, will be classified under. The tiers compare nutritional benefits, micro/macro nutrients, as well as shortcomings or poor health related effects.

: Superfoods (food with exceptional nutrient density)

A: Very healthy, rich in both micro and macro nutrients

B: Good for you with fewer nutritional shortcomings

C: Average, fine, not particularly good or bad for you

D: They are not bad for you in particular, but are linked to some risks or negatives

F: These foods do not have any high nutritional value and contribute poorly to your health

(These are based on a measure of 100g per food item shown below)


Firstly, vegetables have a high water content, have low caloric value, provide a wide array of vitamins and minerals, and also have plant compounds that are hard to find in other food groups. All vegetables are healthy, but those in the lower “D” tier are called nightshade vegetables and they have fewer benefits and can cause some harm to people who suffer from auto immune disease.

Vegetables - Health and Lifestyle​ - Universal Logistics Universal & YOU Internal Newsletter


There are no “bad” fruits. Fruits have good water content and they give us fiber, antioxidants and natural sugars. I was personally surprised to find that figs are lower in the tiers!

Fruits - Health and Lifestyle​ - Universal Logistics Universal & YOU Internal Newsletter


Putting protein into tiers can vary. Meat tends to be the main source of protein for most people, but grading its properties depends on why you’re consuming it. Some are looking for protein to aid in weight-loss, muscular endurance, muscle building, exercise performance, or various diets. For the purpose of our list, we are looking at proteins categorized for weight-loss and muscular maintenance. Here, we also provide an example of what falls into an “F” tier – highly processed meats that are mostly filler and lack substantial natural substance.

Protein - Health and Lifestyle​ - Universal Logistics Universal & YOU Internal Newsletter


Grains are one of the oldest sources of calories that are fundamental to the human diet. We have a lot of options when it comes to grains, and it is interesting to see how each type of grain stacks up against the next. Here, we are focusing on whole grains.

Grains - Health and Lifestyle​ - Universal Logistics Universal & YOU Internal Newsletter

Every perfect plate should definitely have some items in the “superfood” star. We can start with a super breakfast for a super day – half a grapefruit, berries, eggs, and some whole wheat bread. Bigger meals like lunch can include a healthy serving of broccoli and/or sweet potato with salmon (omega-3 heavy!) and a whole grain to fill you up. 

The best way to increase the flavor in your meals is to add herbs and spices. They boost the flavor and also have additional health benefits! Black pepper, cayenne pepper, turmeric, cloves, ginger, basil, and cilantro are super stars in taste and in benefits for your body. With a drink to accompany your meal like tea, coffee, or milk, you have a nice full meal. You should avoid drinks that are high in sugar and artificial flavouring such as soda, “diet” drinks, and energy drinks.

We all have our own ways of tying in superfoods with our comfort foods. Hopefully this article helps you with your meal planning.

Things to remember when working from home! - IT Corner - Universal Logistics Universal & YOU Internal Newsletter

IT Corner

Things to remember when working from home!

Most of us are already familiar with working from home and our own at-home set-up by now.  That being said, there are always instances where we find ourselves facing technical difficulties that can be easily resolved by remembering the following:

  1. Remember to connect to the VPN! Although you do not need the VPN to use ITMR, you do need it to access any shared drive (eg. The G:Drive).  You also need it to connect to the soft phone (Bria), that way, you can answer calls on your PC whenever a call from the office is transferred to your phone extension. You can also make calls on using Bria, which is especially helpful when the call is long distance. To connect to the VPN open the FortiClient application  and connect with your VPN access username and password.
  2. Open Bria. As mentioned above, you need Bria to answer calls sent to your extension.  Open the Bria application and make sure that both ‘Presence Status’ and ‘Outgoing Account’ are green, with ‘Outgoing Account’ correctly showing which office you are with
  3. If an internet outage occurs while you are working from home, it is very tempting to find the nearest place with Wi-Fi.  However, a public Wi-Fi network is inherently less secure than your personal, private one.  This is because everyone has to connect to it.  You usually don’t need a password to log on and even if you do, your PC is still on the same network as everyone.  This of course means that your data is not secure, and your safest option, if it is an extended internet outage, is to come into the office.

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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