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The Ins and Outs of Canada Ground Shipping

Diana Zheng
  •  
March 6, 2024

Canada is one of the biggest e-commerce globally. In fact, over 27 million Canadians used e-commerce in 2022 alone, accounting for over 75% of the country's population. However, one of the challenges businesses experience in Canada is its complicated shipping network, affecting the costs and efficiency of the shipment.

If you're a business owner, it is crucial to lessen the shipping expenses to maintain your brand's competitiveness. Therefore, consider ground shipping to reduce shipping costs. What is it, and how does it work? This blog post will discuss the ins and outs of ground shipping in Canada.

Key Takeaways

  • Ground shipping in Canada offers a cost-effective solution for businesses amidst the country's booming e-commerce industry.

  • Despite the country's robust e-commerce market, businesses face challenges with Canada's complex shipping network, affecting costs and efficiency.

  • Ground shipping involves transporting goods over land using trucks, vans, or trains, making it a reliable, accessible, and economical option for domestic and regional shipments.

What is ground shipping?

Also known as land or road shipping, it refers to transporting goods or cargo over land. It is one of the most popular and commonly used shipping and logistics methods worldwide. This service is usually characterized by its reliability, accessibility, and cost-effectiveness. Overall, it's a popular option for domestic and regional shipments.

What is considered ground service?

Any deliveries made through land-based vehicles are all ground shipping. This includes using trucks, vans, or trains. It covers many delivery options, including rail shipping, courier services, and truck transportation.

What makes ground service different from other shipping services?

Ground service differs from other shipping because it primarily uses roads and railways, unlike air or sea shipping. It's cheaper and more dependable. It's excellent for shorter distances and can carry all sorts of things, from small packages to big loads. It is suitable for sending items to nearby places without costing too much. Meanwhile, air and sea shipping is perfect for long-distance deliveries.

What items require ground shipping services?

non-time-sensitive items you can deliver by land

Ground shipping services are suitable when shipping various items, including:

  • consumer goods
  • electronics
  • furniture
  • vehicles
  • industrial equipment
  • food and beverages
  • pharmaceuticals
  • e-commerce orders
  • printed materials
  • household items

It can also ship everyday items, manufacturing and construction supplies, and retail shipments. It's also good for fragile and high-value items, like art, medical supplies, and dangerous things, because it's safe and easy to control. This makes it a versatile choice for moving goods overland.

However, checking the list of prohibited items before shipping any product is best to ensure they stay within the regulations. Sending things that are not allowed can get you in trouble with the law, cost you money, and hurt your business and reputation.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of ground shipping?

pros and cons of ground shipping

Ground services have their fair share of advantages and disadvantages. Understanding the effects is important before deciding if it's right for your shipping needs.

Advantages:

Cost-Effective

It is usually cheaper than air or sea transport because of the lower operational expenses. So, it doesn't need costly airport or shipping port infrastructure. This means it uses less fuel and costs less to keep the workers and vehicles going.

Reliability

Ground services are more dependable than air or sea delivery because they're not as quickly slowed down by bad weather. Even though delays happen sometimes, they're less by bad weather. This means businesses can count on them more to get the packages where they need to go. It is beneficial if the items must be at the receiver's doorstep at a particular time.

Flexibility

Many carriers offer fast, standard, and LTL (Less-Than-Truckload) shipping choices. This makes it easier for businesses and customers to pick the most suitable package option. Ground services can handle all cargo and delivery needs, making them a flexible shipping option.

Accessibility

Its extensive road and rail networks help it access far locations, even remote areas. Unlike other transport services relying on specific hubs, this service can go around local streets and highways. This ensures widespread coverage and easy access to many geographic locations.

Reduced Environmental Impact

This service often has a lesser environmental impact because of the following:

  • Uses less fuel per cargo unit.
  • Emits fewer greenhouse gases.
  • Generates less pollution compared to air or sea shipping

Additionally, the newer land vehicles are more fuel-efficient. So, they have the potential to use alternative fuels and help make ground shipping better for the environment.

Disadvantages:

Longer Transit Times

The longer transit times are mainly because of its overland nature. Vehicles must navigate roads, highways, and potential congestion, resulting in slower travel. Because of this, it is less ideal for far-off or urgent shipments.

Limited International Reach

Its limited international reach is primarily due to geographical obstacles and the reliance on land-based networks. Oceans, mountains, and political borders can hinder seamless international transit by road or rail. Additionally, customs regulations and varying road infrastructures in different countries pose logistical challenges, making air and sea more suitable for international shipping.

Weather-Related Delays

While less susceptible than air transport, adverse weather conditions can still delay any ground shipment, especially during winter, leading to road closures, reduced visibility, and hazardous driving conditions.

Size and Weight Restrictions

There are weight and size restrictions because of road regulations and vehicle limitations. For safety reasons, roads and bridges are designed to accommodate specific weight and size limits, restricting the transportation of oversized or extremely heavy cargo to the greater ship or plane capacity in other shipping methods.

Security Concerns

Ground shipments have more security concerns than other shipping methods due to their extended exposure to potential threats. It is more accessible, making them vulnerable to theft, tampering, and damage during transit. Additionally, the multiple handling points in ground transport can increase the risk of security breaches compared to more controlled air or sea transport environments.

What are ground delivery providers in Canada?

carriers you can consider when ground shipping

Numerous ground delivery companies in Canada provide domestic shipping services. In Canada, some of the prominent ground delivery services are:

FedEx

FedEx, a global leader in logistics, extends its shipping expertise to Canada, offering a range of services, such as FedEx Ground and FedEx Home Delivery.

Canada Post

As Canada's official national postal service, Canada Post provides an extensive selection of shipping solutions to meet diverse shipping needs. Among these options are regular parcel service and expedited parcel service, ensuring swift and efficient shipping within the country.

Purolator

Purolator, a prominent courier and freight company in Canada, is a reliable choice. Renowned for its comprehensive offerings, such as Purolator Express and Purolator Ground, Purolator caters to the needs of businesses and their customers, facilitating efficient package transportation across the entire expanse of the country.

Canpar Express

Canpar Express is a distinguished specialist in ground parcel delivery services, excelling in providing economical and efficient shipping solutions. It serves a wide-ranging customer base across the diverse regions of Canada.

How long does ground delivery service take?

ground delivery service time

The delivery time for ground shipments can vary significantly depending on several factors, including distance, service level, carrier, geographic location, weather conditions, and package weight and size. Moreover, if you are international shipping, customs processing is something that you should also take into account.

How long does ground shipping take in Canada?

ServiceTransit TimesRemarks
FedEx Ground1 to 7 business days
ServiceTransit TimesRemarks
Regular Parcel1 to 3 business daysLocal
3 to 6 business daysRegional
4 to 10 business daysNational
ServiceTransit TimesRemarks
Purolator Ground1 or more business days by 9 PM to all provinces and territories
Purolator Ground 9 AM2 or more business days by 9 AM to major citiesThese services are exclusively accessible for shipments processed through an automated shipping system. Please check the Purolator Terms & Conditions of Service available on purolator.com.
Purolator Ground 10:30 AM2 or more business days by 10:30 AM to major cities
Purolator Ground Evening2 or more business days between 5:30 PM and 9 PM to many major cities
ServiceTransit TimesRemarks
Canpar Express Ground1 business day to 4 business daysTransit times are determined based on major city centers, and the delivery speed may differ depending on the specific starting and ending locations. Certain limitations or conditions may also be applicable.

How long does it take from the USA to Canada?

ServiceTransit TimesRemarks
FedEx International Ground2 to 7 business days
ServiceTransit TimesRemarks
Tracked Packet USA4 to 7 business daysDelivery standards may apply to shipments sent between most major urban centers, actual delivery times may differ, and additional terms and conditions may also be in effect.
ServiceTransit TimesRemarks
Purolator Ground USEnd of day in two or more business daysSpecific terms, conditions, and geographical limits apply, including limitations on the money-back guarantee and restrictions on the original location and final-mile destination guarantees. Generally, "end of day" refers to 9 PM in the receiver's local time.
ServiceTransit TimesRemarks
Canpar Express Ground to USA8 daysThe shipment is from Vancouver to New York, and customs clearance may require additional time

It is best to check with the specific ground delivery provider or carrier you intend to use for additional information. They often provide delivery time calculators or estimates on their websites or through customer service. It's also important to make appropriate plans because occasions like holidays and peak seasons can significantly affect delivery times.

Is ground shipping expensive?

ground shipping cost from Vancouver to Toronto

While the shipping rates for this service vary based on factors like distance and package weight, it is often more budget-friendly than air or sea transport for domestic shipments.

How much does it cost?

CarrierShipping ServicesShipping Fees*
Canada PostRegular Parcel$25.84
PurolatorPurolator Ground 9 AM$110.32
Purolator Ground 10:30 AM$87.80
Purolator Ground$71.05
Canpar ExpresGround Service$68.67
FedExFedEx Ground$36.32

*The shipping rates are based on a package weighing 1kg (15cm x 8 cm x 5cm) shipped from Vancouver to Toronto.

It's advisable to compare fees from several carriers, consider package specifics, and assess your budget before deciding whether this shipping service is expensive for your needs. Additionally, some carriers offer online calculators to estimate shipping costs based on your requirements.

Tips for Efficient Ground Shipping in Canada:

ideas to keep your shipping low

Efficient shipping within Canada is crucial for businesses looking to streamline their logistics. You can enhance your shipping efficiency in the Great White North using these top 5 tips:

  • Plan Ahead. When shipping packages within Canada, schedule shipments in advance whenever possible. Planning allows you to choose cost-effective shipping options, avoid rush fees, and optimize delivery schedules.
  • Optimize Packages. Use appropriate packaging materials to protect your items without excess weight or bulk. Well-packaged goods reduce the risk of damage and can lower shipping costs.
  • Choose the Right Carrier. Select a reliable carrier that aligns with your specific shipping needs. Compare shipping rates, delivery times, and services to find the best fit.
  • Leverage Technology. Choose a carrier that allows you to process a shipment online. Utilizing shipping software and tracking systems to monitor your package in real-time. This enhances visibility, allowing you to address issues promptly, keep customers informed, and save time in other essential aspects of your business.
  • Consider Consolidation. If you frequently ship smaller quantities, explore LTL (Less-Than-Truckload) options that consolidate multiple shipments onto a single truck. This can reduce costs while ensuring efficient delivery.

How Can Stallion Help?

choose Stallion

Stallion is your go-to solution for efficient and affordable shipping, whether you're sending packages within Canada, to the US or internationally. With discounts, Stallion empowers sellers to compete locally and globally.

The integration of your online store streamlines order management, and printing shipping label is a breeze. You can choose to drop off your shipments or schedule a convenient pick-up service.

Over 20,000 Canadian businesses have already saved a whopping $10 million on shipping costs while sending over 12 million parcels through Stallion.

Simplify your shipping with us and watch your business thrive.

Get started today! Ship faster, smarter, cheaper with Stallion.

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