Sending packages domestically is pretty simple. We can just go to our local US Postal, UPS, or FedEx, put a label on a package, and drop it off. But once we are tasked with shipping internationally, our brain starts to scramble. Luckily, we can say that shipping to Canada is actually a straightforward process. Let’s look at how you can send packages and freight from the United States to Canada.
How to Ship to Canada
You can walk into any FedEx, USPS, UPS, or DHL if you want to ship to Canada. It’s required that you have to write some paperwork including a U.S. export form with a materials list.
Some other documents that are may be required include:
- Canada Customs Invoice
- Bill of Lading
- Manifest or Cargo Control Document
- Shipper’s Export Declaration
You also have to declare how much the item that you are shipping is worth. It’s important to note that Canada does have their own list of restrictions and prohibited shipping items. We’ll get into that list a little later.
USPS is a solid choice because of its flat-rate shipping service. Unlike UPS, FedEx, and DHL, only a flat charge is required from USPS (if you have the right weight and class).
USPS also has a bunch of drop off destinations all over the country making it highly accessible. You can go to the local post office location or even just stop by the mailbox.
USPS does have a con however. Packages are delivered to Canada Post. Once they arrive in Canada, the package is transferred to Canada’s postal system. A new tracking number is assigned and delivery time is not always consistent.
FedEx is yet another stellar choice for Canadian shipping because they have sophisticated logistics. Fedex is capable of making a straight-run delivery right to Canada in a matter of days. They even have overnight services available.
FedEx and UPS are long time rivals in the shipping industry which is great if you are looking for a competitive market price. For freight purposes FedEx can net you a good deal. Look for shipping services to Canada including Worldwide Expedited/Saver.
You’re going to find that FedEx and UPS have a lot of similarities. UPS also has a deep logistics system and can deliver to Canada overnight. When it comes down to FedEx or UPS, it’s most likely your preference more than anything.
Be on the lookout for International Priority/Economy services for shipping to Canada. One added benefit of using FedEx or UPS, is that you won’t have to worry about losing your tracking number once it reaches Canada.
DHL probably won’t be your first choice if you are shipping to Canada. But it is worth noting that DHL is leading the charge for land and sea competitive shipping services. In most cases, you wont need air to deliver your package to Canada, but the option is there if you don’t care about pricing.
The Most Cost Effective Method
There is a definite answer if you’re looking for the cheapest way to ship to Canada. By using the United States Postal Service (USPS) you can save some easy money. Packages are shipped to the Canada Post where they handle the final steps of delivery. However, you should know that any package priced over a value of CAN$20 is due for taxes and a handling fee.
If you are shipping freight (or larger products) you may want to consider using FedEx International Ground. This service is likely the cheapest and claims (on their site) that this is the fastest way to reach Canada.
Shipping to Canada does have restrictions that are more harsh than domestic shipping. If an item is restricted, specific documents need to be completed before it crosses the border. Additionally, any freight weighing more than 150 pounds needs to have a freight designation. This may require your license or other documents depending on the restriction. Here is a list of some restricted items when you ship from the US to Canada.
- Copyright works
- Game, fish, and wild birds
- Dairy products
- Live animals
- Medical material
- Anything flammable, chemical, or commercial
Shipping from the United States to Canada isn’t too different from shipping domestically. You just have to do some research before stopping at your local shipping carrier. Once you make some minor adjustments you will be well on your way to delivering packages and freight right to Canada. To learn more about shipping to Canada, check out this page for all kinds of information that you might need in the future.