Shipping services have become a mainstay in many countries across the globe — and Canada is no exception. As a matter of fact, the e-commerce industry in Canada is fast-growing, boasting a revenue of $35.5 billion in 2021. This makes Canada the 10th most influential e-commerce market across the globe. And it won’t be changing anytime soon, as the Canadian e-commerce market will only get bigger and better.
Want your e-commerce business to thrive in Canada? You must understand how Canadian shipping works. Luckily, this post lets you in on all you need to know about Canadian shipping, making the process easy and convenient for you. Read on to discover the details.
Shipping to Canada Basics
First, let’s throw light on the basics of shipping goods to Canada from other countries. Understanding these basics will simplify the shipping process, thereby helping you reduce delays and errors. Below are the shipping to Canada basics you need to know.
Get Your Paperwork Right
Shipping into Canada requires that you fill out some paperwork. Although this might sound demanding, it serves one purpose — ensuring a safe and smooth cross-border experience. Hence, your paperwork must be spot on.
All shipments into Canada require the following paperwork:
- Manifest or Cargo Control Documents (CCDs)
- Electronic Export Information (EEI) forms
- A bill of lading (BOLs)
- Canadian Customs Invoices (CCIs), specifically for commercial shipments worth more than CAD 2,500.
- Commercial Invoices
- North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) certificates of origin (if your items are classified as NAFTA-eligible)
- Proof of Delivery (POD) — in some cases when it isn’t handled on the BOL
- Import permits for goods under the Canadian Other Government Department (OGD) regulations
Use a Customs Broker
All shipments to Canada must involve a customs broker. Custom brokers are professionals that shoulder the responsibility of your customs clearance process during shipment into any country.
They ensure that your shipment complies with the established regulations and standards for the import or export of items. Additionally, they help you reduce costs and save time.
Pay Attention to The Duties, Taxes, and Tariffs
Generally, custom duties are solely dependent on an item, tax rates (GST/VAT) are fixed but calculated based on the overall value of the item imported into a country, and tariffs are the fees attached to certain products from selected countries at specified times.
That said, duties, taxes, and tariffs vary from one country to another. Therefore, it is advisable that you know these Canada shipping fees so you are not taken unawares by additional fees after importing your products.
Canada Shipping Options
A wide range of Canada shipping options is available to you. And knowing how each of them works will help you discover the best fit for your business or a specific need. Regarding this, here are the different Canada shipping options and how they work.
- International Shipping
- Local Shipping
- Multiple Addresses
- Flat Rate
- Priority Mail
- Overnight Delivery
- Expedited Shipping
- Same Day Delivery
- Economy shipping
International Shipping Best Practices
Below are a few international shipping best practices that come in handy when shipping to and from Canada.
- Familiarize yourself with custom regulations and adhere to them.
- Cross-check your documents to ensure that you filled in the necessary fields correctly
- Take accurate measurements of your products
- Use a lightweight bag or box that ensures the overall size doesn’t exceed the product size significantly, as it helps to reduce shipping costs.
- Opt for a fulfillment center near the Canadian border to reduce the transit time.
- Take advantage of shipping discounts (if available)
- Select a reliable carrier
- Get their international freight quote (Inl freight quote) for your goods before shipping.
Canada Shipping Costs?
Canada shipping costs depend on five key factors:
- Carrier service
For these reasons, there is no fixed shipping cost to and from Canada. Note that carriers charge based on your item’s weight, volume, and required speed of delivery.
How to Avoid High Brokerage Fees?
Brokerage Fees are fees or commissions importers pay carriers to help them clear their shipments with customs quickly and smoothly. Sometimes, business owners importing goods from other countries don’t know these extra fees exist. This is why they are taken aback when it comes up.
It is worth noting that UPS is presently the only carrier that imposes brokerage fees on any shipment going to Canada after delivering the package. However, these fees are only particular to UPS Standard, meaning that you can opt for other UPS services if you want to avoid high brokerage fees. Alternatively, you can consider any of the shipping companies we’ll be discussing in a bit.
What Companies Are Great for Shipping To and From Canada?
You need to leverage reliable companies renowned for local and international deliveries if you run a business that requires the shipping of goods to and from Canada.
There are different Canada shipping options you can consider. However, finding one that ticks all the right boxes can be somewhat challenging. Not to worry, you won’t be encountering any of these challenges, as we have saved you the troubles by providing you with the best of the bunch.
Thanks to its reputation for quick and reliable shipping, UPS is popularly known as one of the go-to delivery services across the globe. UPS Canada ships within Canada without international shipping USA (LTL shipping USA) and overseas. You can opt for different UPS shipping options to suit your need. However, as stated earlier, if you would love to avoid high brokerage fees, you should consider other UPS services:
- UPS Worldwide Expedited ( delivers in 2 to 5 business days)
- UPS Worldwide Express Saver (delivers in 1 to 3 business days)
- UPS Worldwide Express (delivers in 1 to 3 business days)
FedEx shipping services reach every residential address in Canada without any complication. This makes the perfect fit for Canadian shipping. FedEx offers businesses an assured transit time whenever they ship in and out of Canada. They deliver goods within a timeframe of 2 to 7 days.
USPS is arguably the most affordable option for Canada shipping when it comes to light products. It has a delivery time of 6 to 10 business days, making it a slower option. Nonetheless, if you need a cheap and reliable option, give USPS a go.
Ship to Canada with GoShip
GoShip is a shipping platform dedicated to providing business owners with a hassle-free and successful shipment experience to and from Canada. GoShip also aims to provide the assistance required with customs clearance and other essential paperwork.