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A Need-to-Know Guide on Shipping Rates from US to Canada

Pramod Bhat
  •  
  •  
August 31, 2020

When sharing the same continent, a common language, and a border, it is no wonder that a lot of Canadians are familiar with US retail brands.

However, despite the stability of the country’s digital capabilities, it's been slow to adapt to the e-commerce platform of buying and selling products online. Undoubtedly because of the high shipping rates from US to Canada and affordable shipping options were hard to come by, until a few years ago. 

A JP Morgan article on Canada’s e-commerce payments and trends shares that 72% of Canadian shoppers online discard their shopping cart once they see that the shipping charges are too high. 

Better Postal Options to a Growing Market 

Until recently, Canada has been the go-to country for retailers who wish to expand their business internationally. With its strong economy and accessibility to Canada, US retailers, big and small, are tapping into the growing audience of online shoppers.  

With the robust growth of the e-commerce market coupled with better pricing offers on shipping, most shareholders now have other options apart from the standard shipping from US to Canada. Realizing the market potential across the border, major US-based postal services have come up with different rate listings and package services for Canada, so buyers and sellers alike don't need to worry about how to ship from the US to Canada.

A July 2020 report published by Statista stated that 87.1% of the Canadian population accessed the internet in 2019 and out of this percentage, 25 million people purchased goods and services online, as printed in a separate report by the market and consumer data provider. It is forecasted that by 2024, that number will rise to 30.1 million.

The year 2019, e-commerce sales for the country totalled about US$25.4 billion and is projected to reach US$33.3 billion by 2024.

Looking at the upward trend of online buyers and entrepreneurs embracing the e-commerce industry, various postal service providers have realized their impact on the business-to-consumer chain. Major players have come up with better shipping packages that cater to both the buyer and seller.

Best Postage Options from the US to Canada

As far as shipping rates US to Canada, there are quite a few to choose from. Primarily these rates are driven by the customer-centric online marketplace that demands the shortest delivery time possible. The United States Postal Service (USPS), FedEx, and United Parcel Service (UPS), among others, have tailor-fit services exclusively for Canada parcels.

USPS Rates

When shipping to Canada from the US, USPS is among the cheapest options. They also have the most varied options available in the industry.

Priority Mail International 

This is an expedited shipping service from USPS that allows sending parcels from 4lbs to 70lbs. Packages are expected to arrive at its destination within 6-10 business days and there are two pricing selections: 

  1. Priority Mail International (Retail Pricing)

Items will be packed in your own boxes, and pricing will rely on the weight of the package and country of destination. 

  • Delivery time: 6 - 10 business days
  • Maximum weight: 70 lbs.
  • Base price: US$36.35
  • UPS Tracking: Yes
  • Package Pick-up: Yes
  1. Priority Mail International (Flat Rate)

It is a service that offers pre-determined varying size envelopes and boxes (small to large) that allow the sender to pay a flat rate, as long as it falls within its maximum weight allowance.

Priority Mail International (Flat Rate Envelopes)

  • Delivery time: 6 - 10 business days
  • Maximum weight: 4 lbs.
  • Base price: US$26.90
  • UPS Tracking: No
  • Package Pick-up: Yes

Priority Mail International (Flat Rate Boxes)

Are pre-determined varying size boxes (from small to large) produced by USPS

Small Flat Rate Box

  • Delivery time: 6 - 10 business days
  • Maximum weight: 4 lbs.
  • Flat Rate: US$27.90
  • UPS Tracking: No
  • Package Pick-up: Yes

Medium Flat Rate Box

  • Delivery time: 6 - 10 business days
  • Maximum weight: 20 lbs.
  • Flat Rate: US$51.55
  • UPS Tracking: Yes
  • Package Pick-up: Yes

Large Flat Rate Box

  • Delivery time: 6 - 10 business days
  • Maximum weight: 20 lbs.
  • Flat Rate: US$67.05
  • UPS Tracking: Yes
  • Package Pick-up: Yes

Priority Mail Express International

This is an expedited shipping service that allows someone to send parcels up to 70lbs. Packages are expected to arrive at their destination within 3-5 business days and free package pick-up from your home or office. Moreover, it features a money-back guarantee if the package does not arrive at the committed date, where USPS will refund your shipping costs. There are two pricing categories: 

  1. Priority Mail Express International (Retail Pricing)

Items will be packed in your own boxes, and pricing will rely on the weight of the package and country of destination. 

  • Delivery time: 3 - 5 business days
  • Maximum weight: 70 lbs.
  • Base price: US$45.95 (beginning at 0.5 lbs)
  • UPS Tracking: Yes
  • Package Pick-up: Yes
  • Insurance: Yes, US$200 for objects or missing contents with restricted exceptions based on the International Mail Manual
  1. Priority Mail Express International (Flat Rate Envelopes)

Items will be packaged in regular, legal, and padded size envelopes supplied by USPS. This allows the sender to pay a flat rate up to the permitted maximum weight capacity.

  • Delivery time: 3 - 5 business days
  • Maximum weight: 4 lbs.
  • Base price: US$45.95 (beginning at 0.5 lbs)
  • UPS Tracking: Yes
  • Package Pick-up: Yes
  • Insurance: Yes, US$100 for objects or missing contents with restricted exceptions based on the International Mail Manual

Golden Express Guaranteed (GXG)

This premium service is a FedEx-partnered postage option from USPS. It's the fastest package on the USPS roster and promises a date-guarantee delivery date within 1 to 3 business days. If unable to deliver within the committed time frame, the shipping costs will be refunded. Postage price is dependent on the package’s size, shape, dimensional or actual weight (whichever is higher), and country of destination.

  • Delivery time: 1 - 3 business days
  • Overnight delivery: Yes
  • Maximum weight: 70 lbs. (beginning at 0.5 lbs)
  • Maximum combined length and girth: 108 inches
  • Base price: $67.80
  • UPS Tracking: Yes
  • Package Pick-up: Yes, it's offered. However, it does have limitations
  • Insurance: Yes, up to $100
  • Shipping Kit: Yes. Includes GXG-labeled envelopes, stickers, mailing labels, custom forms

First-Class Mail International

This postal option is the cheapest way to ship to Canada from US, with an estimated delivery time frame is between 7-21 days, however, the USPS does not guarantee this. As a rule, it is an inexpensive option if you plan to ship out light items, letters, postcards, and large envelopes. The price relies on weight and destination. 

  • Delivery time: ideally 7 - 21 days (no guarantees from USPS)
  • Maximum weight: 15.994 ozs.
  • Base price: US$1.20
  • UPS Tracking: Yes
  • Delivery confirmation: Yes
  • Global Forever stamp: Yes
  • Return receipt: Yes

First-Class Package International

Similarly, this is the heavier package version of First-Class Mail International and has an estimated delivery time frame of between 7-21 days. However, USPS does not guarantee this. The price depends on the total weight of the package and destination country.

  • Delivery time: ideally 7 - 21 days (no guarantees from USPS)
  • Maximum weight: 64 ozs.
  • Base price: US$12.25
  • UPS Tracking: Yes
  • Delivery confirmation: Yes
  • Return receipt: Yes

FedEx E-commerce Postage Rates

Recognizing the online platform of the e-commerce consumer market, and the proximity between both countries, FedEx provides retailers, big or small, tailor-made shipping options that offer friendly rates to entice more transactions. 

FedEx International MailService

This mailing service is preferred for items lower in value and lighter in weight, e.g., clothes, books, CDs.

  • Delivery time (Standard): 7-11 business days
  • Delivery time (Premium): 4-7 business days
  • Maximum weight: 50 lbs.

FedEx International Ground

With about 75% of Canadians living within a 100-mile radius from the border, it is no wonder that this shipping option can cover 100% of the county, and is one of the most recommended methods to send packages.

  • Delivery time: 2 - 7 business days
  • Maximum weight: 150 lbs.
  • Base rate: US$21.97
  • Day-definite delivery: Yes
  • Door-to-door delivery: Yes
  • Customs clearance service: Yes, for an additional fee

FedEx International Economy

  • Delivery time: 2 - 3 business days
  • Maximum weight: 150 lbs.
  • Base rate: US$81.99
  • Time-definite delivery: Yes
  • Door-to-door delivery: Yes
  • Customs clearance service: Yes, for an additional fee

FedEx International Priority

  • Delivery time: 1 business day
  • Maximum weight: 150 lbs.
  • Base rate: US$88.36
  • Time-definite delivery: Yes
  • Door-to-door delivery: Yes
  • Customs clearance service: Yes, for an additional fee

FedEx International First

  • Delivery time: 10 am in 1 business day
  • Maximum weight: 150 lbs.
  • Base rate: US$135.36
  • Door-to-door delivery: Yes
  • Customs clearance service: Yes, for an additional fee

FedEx International Next Flight

  • Delivery time: Within hours, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, depending on the availability of flight
  • Maximum weight: 2,200 lbs.
  • Base rate: US$402
  • Door-to-door delivery: Yes
  • Customs clearance service: Yes, for an additional fee

Bottomline

Without a doubt, it's essential to spend a reasonable amount of time contemplating the shipping options when pricing your products. For example, consider integrating some of the shipping costs to the price. 

Furthermore, it's important to note is that every package that weighs more than a pound needs a supporting customs form, which will be provided by the postal provider. It is mandatory to describe the contents and value of the package. 
Figuring out some of the best shipping rates from US to Canada can be overwhelming and time-consuming. Whether you’re looking for standard shipping Canada to US rates or vice versa, check out what Stallion Express can offer to you. Talk to our experts by calling 877-863-7447 so they can help streamline this process for you.

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

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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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