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Important Information about Shipping from Canada to US

Thousands of products are shipped over the Canada/US border each year as both countries enjoy the benefits of items from the other. However, that does not mean that the border does not present some concerns when shipping. Though these countries share an impressively long border, with many sections easy to drive or even walk over, when shipping between the two countries, it is still considered an international shipment. And, with that distinction, there comes additional documentation and costs.

To make shipping from Canada to US as worry free as possible, we go over some of the concerns and issues that can arise from this transaction and give you actionable solutions for each.

Freight Shipping from Canada to US Cost

No matter the size of a shipment or the distance it must travel, there are always chances for something to go wrong, get delayed or rack up unexpected fees. However, freight shipping presents an exceptional number of concerns and when things go wrong, shipping from Canada to US cost goes up quickly.

Logistically, freight shipping requires a multitude of additional documents and shipping fees over what a single item or small shipment would require. However, with careful planning and the use of a qualified freight broker to plan your shipment, you can minimize shipping from Canada to US cost. Here’s some ways to do this:

Choosing the Right Lane/Route/Carrier: one of the major jobs and advantages of a freight broker is their ability to match a shipment with the right driver, and lane. Depending on your priorities of cost and speed, a broker can match you with drivers who are capable of expedited shipping or slower carriers who are cheaper.

Maximizing Density: The more closely packed your product is, the less space it takes up. This either means you will be able to ship more in a Full Truckload (FTL) or downsize and make better use of a Less Than Truckload (LTL).

Pre-Planning and Documentation: Having proper documents, packing lists and other information like this is important for all shipping but is especially critical for international shipments and long-distance shipments where it may be more difficult to deliver the right information quickly if it is not placed with the driver from the start. RoadLINX provides or can direct you to all proper documentation and information required for successful shipping from Canada to US.

Consider a Dedicated Contract with a Carrier: While it can be tempting to go rate shopping periodically, having strong connections with one carrier can save you more money and time in the long run. By staying with one carrier, you are often able to simplify your shipping which will save you labor hours on your end and also give you peace of mind that your carrier is able to successfully complete your shipping. Signing a contract will also give you a steady rate for a certain period of time, often two to three years which will make it easier to budget. Before hopping to a new carrier, always consider the lost hours and frustration that comes with learning a new company’s ways and methods.

Plan Your Shipments Early: Carriers, just like many other businesses, will have fees associated with rush and expedited deliveries. If you inform your carrier of when shipments are likely to go out, they can better allocate their resources for that time and pass on the savings to you.

Getting Documents in Order for Shipping from Canada to US

Many of the documents required for shipping from Canada to US are the same as they would be for domestic shipments. For example, a bill of lading is required. However, to ensure you have everything in order for your documents, ensure you have these items:

  • Bill of Lading (BOL): This document acts as a receipt and contains important information about the contents, destination, weight, etc. of the shipment. RoadLINX will provide this document which is needed at the time of pick up.
  • Invoice (Commercial): Also needed at the time of pickup, this serves to help customs assign rates and duties.
  • License for Import/Export: Not always required, this document is mostly used for items that are restricted or controlled.
  • NAFTA Certificate: This Certificate of Origin is used when trading occurs between the US, Mexico and Canada. It allows for “preferential tariff treatment.” Not all products will require this and a licensed RoadLINX broker will help determine which documents are needed.

Product Classification and First Time Shipping from Canada to US

Ensuring your products are properly classified is an important part of getting your shipping done correctly. Failure to classify your products correctly can lead to delays at the border along with fees for storing the products while the issues are sorted.

One way to avoid bigger problems, is to send out a sample shipment. By sending a small quantity of your product, this will alert you to any potential issues of misclassification or other concerns. While a test shipment is not required, it can be a good idea especially if you are shipping a product you are unsure of or that is restricted or regulated in some way.

How to Ship from Canada to US with RoadLINX

RoadLINX’s experienced team and established network of brokers, drivers and shipping professionals make it our priority to ensure the safety of your products from the pickup to drop off. We employ and work with team members who have critical experience and proven track records of excellence to give you peace of mind and high-quality service always.

Our broker and logistics specialists will work with you to manage priorities and fulfill needs based on cost and timing. We always keep in mind your goals and company’s requirements to best plan routes and other elements of your shipping. By choosing us for your shipping from Canada to US needs, you get a committed team of experts who will alleviate the stress of international shipping by checking and double checking for documentation and other requirements before your shipment reaches critical pick up and drop off points.

To learn more about what RoadLINX can mean for your company’s shipping needs, please contact us at 905-784-2963. We serve both Canadian and US based companies.

Call us us at 905-760-1141 for further information or to request a free quote.