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Innovative Logistics Solutions   |   Traditional Family Values


Why we stay true to our family values

Glionna brothers
The four Glionna brothers currently own and operate the family business. From left: Michael, David, Mark and Paul.

Choosing Universal Logistics means you can expect innovative logistics solutions delivered by a company that has grown and prospered by never straying from the family values and client focus established by our founder Frank Glionna Sr., who served as President from 1949 - 1957.

"Everything starts with the client," he said. "Think first about the Client's business, the Client's needs and the Client's opportunities."

The next generation (Frank Glionna Jr., President 1957 - 1995) honoured that commitment and set the stage for an all-new standard of client service, established by the current generation of Glionnas. It's called Client Care, an apt name for a program that makes the client the center of everything we do.

"There are many differences between what we offer the client and what the competition offers," said Michael Glionna, President and head of the current executive team that also includes David Glionna, Vice President – Finance; Mark Glionna, Vice President – Client Relations & Business Development; Paul Glionna, Vice President – Systems Development & Operations; and Chris Barnard, Vice President – Projects & Market Development.

Photo of Frank Glionna, Founder of Universal Logistics, a trusted provider of freight forwarding and management services and customs brokerage services in Canada and the U.S.
Frank Glionna Sr., Founder Universal Logistics, 1949
Photo of Frank Glionna Jr., a former President of Universal Logistics, among the top freight forwarders and customs brokers in Canada, serving importers and exporters worldwide.
Frank Glionna Jr., President Universal Logistics, 1957-1995

"The key difference is that every client is assigned a Client Relations representative, dedicated to understanding the client's needs and bringing value to the client's business. It does not matter whether you have 50 shipments a year or 2,000, you get that level of service."

Clients also appreciate that they have direct access to the four Glionna brothers, who jointly own the company. "You can contact any one of us on any issue at any time," said Mark Glionna."We want to be very close to our clients because that's how you acquire the insight and perspective required to deliver customized client-specific solutions. Being accessible also means we can be quicker and more nimble than organizations with multiple layers and diffused decision making."

The emphasis on family values applies to not just the big things we do (International Freight, Trucking, Customs Brokerage, Distribution, Consulting) but also the little touches, such as having a corporate office reception where every visitor and caller is greeted by a person, not a message board or auto attendant with instructions on how to get assistance. "The personal touch makes a difference," said David Glionna. "People relate to people, they don't relate to titles or corporate policies and they don't want to be treated like a number."

"We don't have trucks or planes or ships," added Paul Glionna. "What we do have is a dedicated and knowledgeable team of people who share the same values in taking care of our clients. It's a successful formula for building lasting relationships with our clients, many of whom have been with us for over a decade. They expect us to help them succeed by achieving some combination of the following goals: reducing their freight costs, optimizing transit times and achieving air-tight customs compliance."

Add it all up and it's easy to see why so many businesses say Universal Logistics is in a league of its own – big enough to offer innovative logistics solutions, small enough to offer superior client service based on family values.

Why settle for less?

The values that guide everything we do (click to reveal content)

Michael Glionna
Michael Glionna, the third generation of the Glionna family to serve as President of Universal Logistics,
founded in 1949 by Frank Glionna Sr.
  • Honour our heritage – follow the example set by our founders
  • Promote team work – we are stronger together
  • Honour our commitments – do what we say and expect our employees to do the same with our valued clients
  • Take responsibility – never pass the buck
  • Empower employees – give every employee the ability to make decisions
  • Nurture our employees – invest in their professional development
  • Regular communication – employees perform better when they know "the plan"
  • Treat others as you want to be treated – everyone deserves respect
  • Value every employee's contribution – even the simplest client service requires the contribution of multiple employees – and everyone is important
  • Help others – support those who are less fortunate
  • Be humble – under promise, over deliver

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