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3 Best Ways of Standard Shipping from US to Canada

Pramod Bhat
  •  
  •  
September 10, 2020

Long-time online buyers have mastered some ways to get better deals out of their shopping experience. They know which significant holidays or events to look out for to optimize their online purchasing deals.

Digital buyers from Canada, who love to shop from US major retailers, get disappointed with the high rates of standard shipping from US to Canada. Unfortunately, while belonging to the same continent, sending packages over the border still accounts for international shipping rates from US to Canada.

As Canada’s entrepreneurs have been slow to embrace the e-commerce platform, competitive postage options were almost non-existent. But thanks to digital transactions now rising and continuing to grow, people have more options today. In March 2016, 83% of Canadians bought products online from the US, according to published data by Statista.

How to Ship from US to Canada

Let’s talk about one of the most ingenious ways that many online consumers have been sending packages from the US to Canada in a cost-effective way -- cross-border shipping.

I. Cross-border Shipping

This variation of shipping allows Canadian customers to possess a US address where they can have their ordered item/s shipped directly to. You might wonder why someone would go through creating a US address when they can just have the product/s sent straight to their home. 

However, it is important to note that Canada and the United States are separate countries, and sending packages from the US will fall under international standard shipping from US to Canada shipping rates, which is more expensive than domestic shipping. 

Of course, major postal service providers do offer uber-expedited shipping packages that come in handy for those urgent parcels.

How Does it Work?

Several online providers offer cross border services. It all boils down to reliability and if every step of the process is done in-house to avoid extra costs.

  1. Take time in researching a company that offers cross border shipping.
  2. Sign up for an account.
  3. A predetermined US address will be generated (usually, this is the provider’s storage warehouse with a designated unit number).
  4. Start shopping online and input the US address (as your postal destination) generated for you by the site.
  5. Your ordered item/s will be delivered to your US address, which will be received by the cross border provider’s personnel from the US-based office. 
  6. There are three options on how to receive your online purchases:
  1. Let the provider process the customs & duties clearances (billed to you of course) and pick up the goods from their Canada location;
  2. Let the provider process the customs & duties clearances (charged to you, of course) and have the goods delivered to your door for domestic shipping and handling fee.
  3. Drive and cross the border (if applicable) and go to the provider’s US-side pick-up location and process the customs and duties requirement yourself. 

5 Reasons Why You Should Ship to Canada via US Address

Setting aside the fact that both belong to the same continent, and that 95% of Canadians live within 160 kilometers from the US border, a good number of people living on the northern country still opt to purchase things online from US brands and retailers because:

  1. The majority of these US-based businesses offer low prices, even after considering the added taxes and duties when crossing the border.
  2. Buyers have more options when it comes to product selection and categories that are hard to find in Canadian retail stores.
  3. Retailers often give out promos exclusive to US residents.
  4. A lot of these US retailers offer free delivery within the US territory.
  5. Online purchasers can save up on delivery fees by avoiding the cost of paying international shipping fees.  

One of the advantages of this service is that as long as you are in no hurry to receive all your ordered package/s, you can continuously shop online from these US retailers and have it delivered to the generated US postal address. The cross border establishment will consolidate your items and re-ship them all at once when you’re ready to receive them.

When choosing the cross border provider, keep in mind a few things: (1) select a carrier that has offices in both countries; (2) ensure that the provider is transparent in all the costs you need to cover; customs duties and taxes particularly; (3) make sure that the establishment includes the whole process internally-- from US shipping address, customs border clearance, and reshipping within Canada -- to avoid additional cost and delivery delays.

II. FedEx Shipping Services

Emarketer, in a June 2020 report, shares that retail e-commerce will reach CA$52.04 billion for the rest of 2020. The market research company had to revise its initial outlook on sales from the digital retail market share early this year, primarily due to the spike of e-commerce transactions brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. And it looks like it will be at a steady growth in the years to come.

Even before the pandemic occurred, among the factors that enticed people to purchase things online are the shortened delivery time. This is applicable mainly for Amazon Prime account holders who get fast shipping for free on numerous eligible purchases. To cater to this expedited movement of goods, a reliable delivery provider that has a proven track record is crucial.

Enter FedEx, which has not only been shipping products from Canada to US, but to about 220 countries and major cities.

ServiceDelivery TimeframeMaximum WeightBase RateDay-definite DeliveryDoor-to-door DeliveryCustoms Clearance Service

StandardPremium
FedEx International Mail Service7 - 11 days4 - 7 business days50 lbsdependent on weight of packageNoNoNo
FedEx International Ground2 - 7 business days
150 lbsUS$21.97YesYesYes, for additional fee
FedEx International Economy2 - 3 business days
150 lbsUS$81.99YesYesYes, for additional fee
FedEx International Priority1 business day
150 lbsUS$ 88.36YesYesYes, for additional fee
FedEx International First10am in 1 business day
150 lbsUS$135.36YesYesYes, for additional fee
FedEx International Next FlightWithin hours
2,200 lbsUS$402YesYesYes, for additional fee

Money-back Guarantee

For the International Next Flight service, FedEx offers a money-back guarantee (based on its Terms and Conditions agreement) if it misses delivery time by 1 minute from it’s published or quoted time. An exception to the rule is if the delay is caused by customs.

Should FedEx be unable to deliver on its committed date under the International Ground service, it will give your money back (by requesting a credit of shipping charges), provided you got the assistance of a brokerage service. 

III. United Parcel Service (UPS) Shipping Services

Seeing Canada as the United States' second-biggest market, due in part to the reliable economic trading agreements, UPS has special standard shipping from US to Canada rates that cater specifically to Canada.  

UPS Standard Delivery

  • Delivery timeframe: 2-7 business days
  • Door-to-door: Yes
  • Delivery attempts: maximum of 3
  • Maximum weight: 150 lbs.
  • Base rate: US$ 21.93 (starting at 1 lb.)

Air Freight NGS

NGS, which stands for non-guaranteed service, are services that, although have committed delivery timeframe, do not offer a money-back guarantee should UPS be unable to deliver on a committed day due to circumstances beyond their control like the weather.

This service offers door-to-door delivery for packages that have a minimum weight of 151lbs. Based on its respective base rate, the heavier the weight, the lesser the per-pound rate. For an additional fee, you can avail of the UPS brokerage service for customs clearance processing.

  1. UPS Next Day Air Freight NGS
  • Delivery timeframe: Next business day, as early as 12:00 pm
  • Base rate: US$5.68
  1. UPS 2nd Day Air Freight NGS
  • Delivery timeframe: 2 business days, as early as 12:00 pm
  • Base rate: US$4.00
  1. UPS 3 Day Air Freight NGS
  • Delivery timeframe: 3-4 business days
  • Base rate: US$1.59

Air Freight

Delivery services have specified zones that cover the landmass area of Canada. Considering the distance from the border, the temperature, and the terrain's difficulty, UPS is among these companies that offer varying prices that cover the specific region.

This service offers door-to-door delivery for packages that have a minimum weight of 151lbs. Based on its respective base rate, the heavier the weight, the lesser the per-pound rate. For an additional fee, you can avail of the UPS brokerage service for customs clearance processing.

  1. UPS Next Day Air Freight
  • Delivery timeframe: Next business day by 12:00 pm or 5:00 pm
  • Base rate: US$6.01
  1. UPS 2nd Day Air® Freight
  • Delivery timeframe: 2 business days, as early as 12:00 pm or 5:00 pm
  • Base rate: US$4.24
  1. UPS 3 Day Freight
  • Delivery timeframe: 3-4 business days, as early as 5:00 pm
  • Minimum rate: US$1.68
  • Time-definite delivery: Yes

Worldwide Express

The listed package services offer the maximum weight of 150 lbs, time-definite delivery, money-back guarantee, door-to-door delivery, customs clearance service, and a max of 3 delivery attempts.

  1. UPS Worldwide Express Plus & UPS Worldwide Express
  • Delivery timeframe: Next day, as early as 9:00 am and 10:30 am, respectively
  • Letter base rate: US$47.27
  • UPS Pak Express 1 lb base rate: US$77.68
  • UPS Pak Express 2 lbs base rate: US$84.93
  • 10kg box base rate: US$152.87
  • 25kg box base rate: US$244.91
  • Standard base rate: US$89.06 (starting at 1 lb.)
  1. UPS Worldwide Saver
  • Delivery timeframe: Next business day
  • Letter base rate: US$46.52
  • UPS Pak Express 1 lb base rate: US$76.53
  • UPS Pak Express 2 lbs base rate: US$83.67
  • 10kg box base rate: US$146.99
  • 25kg box base rate: US$235.49
  • Standard base rate: US$87.74 (starting at 1 lb.)
  1. UPS Worldwide Expedited Shipping
  • Delivery timeframe: 2 business days
  • Standard base rate: US$82.45 (starting at 1lb.)

UPS Pak Express are packages that are selected at the time of the shipping. The customs value of the item should be less than US$100. These are enclosed in UPS-branded packaging.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic that forced countries to enforce stricter measures on packages entering its territory, UPS has temporarily suspended all it’s service guarantees to any destination, regardless of origin. This took effect earlier this year until further notice.

Summary

In conclusion, as much as consumers lookout for the greatest deals that online retailers have to offer, figuring out the most economical way to receive the product is as equally important as grabbing the ideal bargain. If the ordered item/s hold much value, it is best to have the package insured.
Take a moment to research the procedures of some of the establishments out there. Stallion Express offers some of the best Canada-US border shipping rates together with its reliable partners. Call our toll-free number at 877-863-7447 and talk to a representative who is willing to help you pick out the right delivery service for your needs.

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Pramod Bhat
Written by Pramod Bhat

Pramod is the CEO of Stallion Express - the leading eCommerce shipping provider in Canada. His vision, leadership, and innovative strategies have catapulted Stallion into one of the industry's most trusted brands. He is on a mission to help online sellers in Canada scale and succeed. He is also the reigning office ping pong champion.

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