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September 2019

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Hockey Helps The Homeless – Employee Fundraiser

Hockey Helps The Homeless

Following last year’s fantastic Employee Fundraiser –we raised an incredible $18,617 for HHTH and 360Kids) – this year Universal will once again support the Hockey Helps the Homeless (HHTH) tournament by being the Game Day and Participant Gift Sponsor for the November 15th event.

We will kick off this year’s campaign with a Lunch ‘N Learn event at Head Office on October 9th – mark your calendar and stay tuned for more details in the coming weeks!

Save The Date

Christmas Party

Believe it or not – the Christmas season is just around the corner!  And so are our company events, so please save the date and plan to attend:

  • Universal Kids Christmas Party – Sunday, December 8
  • Company Christmas Party – Friday, December 13

Toronto Caribbean Festival

Toronto Caribbean Carnival logo

The Toronto Caribbean festival, also known as Caribana, started in 1967 on University Avenue and has stayed alive and strong for 52 years.  The parade starts at the Exhibition Place and proceeds west along Lakeshore Blvd..

With over 2 million people coming out to support the parade and other festivities, the Caribbean festival is one of many ways the West Indian community keeps our culture alive among the diaspora.

Debbie D'Ornellas, Truck Services

Debbie D’Ornellas, Truck Services

For the past 7 years, I have been volunteering with Carnival Nationz, one of the most popular carnival bands in North America having won Band of the Year many times.  As a volunteer, I spend my summer making the amazing revellers wear.  From foot pieces to headpieces, every minute in the masquerade (“mas”) camp is accounted for.  I was a Road Marshall for 5 years and part of my responsibilities were keeping the band and sections organized, providing refreshments for masqueraders, and even driving a supply truck in the parade.

Debbie and her daughters, Melanie & Stephanie

Debbie and her daughters, Melanie & Stephanie.

This year, however, I decided to play mas and participate in the parade.  I dressed up in my front line costume and danced down Lakeshore Blvd. for over 7km!  Without a doubt, it was an amazing experience.  I got to celebrate my culture and the culture of all West Indians with my daughters, and also to celebrate the tradition of carnival that started centuries ago in Trinidad and Tobago.

The key to a longer and happier life

Did you ever wonder why some people live longer than others?

According to award-winning author and National Geographic researcher Dan Buettner, who travelled the world to meet the planet’s longest living people, it all comes down to a few simple but powerful lessons.

Buettner identified, in just five world locations — Sardinia (Italy), Okinawa (Japan), Loma Linda (California), Icaria (Greece) and Nicoya (Costa Rica) — there are a disproportionate number of people living past the age of 100.  He studied the shared characteristics of the people living in these regions to figure out their secret and learned that the path to an amazing quality and longevity of life is the result of three main categories:

  1. Genetics
  2. Lifestyle (diet, physical activity, meaningful work, eliminating stress, not smoking, watching your weight)
  3. Engagement in family, social and spiritual life

While studies show around 10% is attributed to our genes (something we have no control over), the other 90% we can control through the making of positive lifestyle and relationship choices.  For example, the number of people you care for or love can have a huge impact on how long you live.  Time is the one thing money cannot buy you more of but investing in meaningful and loving relationships may help add years to your life!

If you want to learn more – try reading: In The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest by Dan Buettner.

Something’s Brewing – Fire Safety in the Workplace
Contributor: Crystal Thongmanivong

Fire extinguisher

The majority of fires attended to by rescue services are caused by workplace incidents.  There are many factors that can increase the likelihood of a fire being caused, and with so many people in the workplace, it is essential that the appropriate measures are taken to reduce these risks!

Do you know how long can a fire extinguisher be used for?

A) 30-40 seconds
B) 3-4 minutes
C) 15-20 seconds
D) 1-2 hours

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

Submission deadline
September 20, 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

All sessions are OPEN TO ALL employees
Branch offices are encouraged to participate, via conference call (and, coming very soon, via video conferencing)
Please forward any feedback and ideas to your manager.

Here is a quick reminder on 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

Employees enrolled in the Introductory Customs Course are also encouraged to participate in the study groups. 

The Client Experience

High Quality

As we all know, our business is to provide logistics services to clients.  It’s an industry filled with countless competitors, all appearing to do the exact same things as us.  So, the big question is, how do we create amazing client experiences and build loyalty-based relationships to make us stand out from the competition?

According to Donald Cooper, a renowned international management consultant and business speaker (, one of the biggest myths in business today is that there is no such thing as “client loyalty”.  Mr. Cooper states that the real truth is, people are loyal, fiercely loyal, but to what is best or perceived to be best for them. 

Studies also show it costs companies substantially more to find new clients than it does to keep existing ones.

The answer to creating client loyalty and clearly differentiating our business from the competitors is in the incredible role our employees play.  This is accomplished by building solid relationships, delivering value and creating confidence in order to make our clients feel extra special.  Ultimately, our goal is to build a strong base of loyal clients whose work quality is better, more productive and efficient due to their experience with Universal.

Everyone has the ability to contribute to this objective by always looking for innovative and amazing ways to create a difference.  This simple shift in thinking will create energy, passion and purpose in our business, and most importantly, will make a real difference in our clients’ lives.

The following is a link to some questions to get you thinking about your role in exceeding our clients’ expectations.

IT Corner

Creating rules in Outlook

To better organize your email, you can create rules to automate tasks such as moving items to another folder, flag messages, etc.  When in the ‘HOME’ tab in Outlook, click on ‘Rules’ and select ‘Create Rule’ if you want to create a new rule, or ‘Manage Rules’ if you want to change or see your rules.  

A window will pop up with a list of tasks you can do.  Choose the one that best describes what you want to accomplish and click “Next” and then follow the instructions until you can click ‘Finish’, and the rule will be created.

If you need more information on how to use this Outlook feature, contact the IT Team.

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.

  September 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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