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American e-retailers can market to Canadian customers to increase their online sales. But if you’re worried about how to get affordable shipping between the countries, there are easy ways to accomplish it.
Together, we’ll explore options for shipping internationally to Canada so you can expand your business and reach your sales goals.
United States Postal Service
Flat-rate shipping and generally low prices make USPS an ideal carrier for sending orders from the US to your Canadian customers. Of course, the flat-rate option depends largely on the mail class your package qualifies for, and its weight.
Possible mail classes include Priority Mail Express International for orders that need to be delivered quickly; Priority Mail International; or First-Class International Service.
USPS is pretty convenient, too, thanks to numerous locations available for dropping off your packages, including post office locations, the iconic blue mailbox, and other retailers who accept USPS packages. You can even request package pickup, which your mail carrier will handle.
There are two drawbacks for international shipping via USPS. First, your delivery times may be longer than other services. Second, every USPS package transfers to Canada Post when they cross our northern border. Not only does this extend the delivery time, but it creates a new tracking number for Canada Post, which can complicate any tracking systems you have in place.
FedEx eCommerce Shipping
Logistics expert FedEx is another option for shipping your ecommerce orders from your homebase in the US to your Canadian customer. Their international shipping options include International Priority or International Economy.
Shipping prices tend to be fairly competitive because they want to stay ahead of their rivals, and tracking is always included, door-to-door.
FedEx will pick up your packages for you, and generally are able to get them to Canada overnight or within just a couple of days. However, if you’re shipping heavy items – those weighing 10 pounds or more, shipping prices may get expensive.
The United Parcel Service, best known by their acronym UPS, is a big competitor in the US-to-Canada shipping world. You can even request package pickup and overnight service. Even non-overnight service usually gets packages where they’re going within three days at a reasonable price.
Like FedEx, UPS doesn’t transfer your packages to Canada Post, so there are fewer hand-offs between pickup and delivery. And also like FedEx, heavy packages weighing more than 10 pounds tend to be more costly to ship.
Tracking is always included on services to Canada including Worldwide Expedited and Worldwide Saver shipping classes.
eCommerce and Customs
Any retailer shipping from the US to Canada should be aware of taxes and customs rules they may need to follow that could affect your customers. If you offer Delivery Duty Paid (DDP) shipping, your customers will not need to pay any custom taxes on their orders.
For items worth more than $20, your or your customers will need to pay a percentage of duty and customs taxes. Canadian customs also can charge handling fees, which you’ll need to factor into the shipping cost you charge your customers.
Know that getting through customs can delay orders for up to a week on average, although some may spend far more time being processed. For the best customer satisfaction, be sure your Canadian customers know that customs may delay their orders.
Secure Third-Party Logistics to Streamline Shipping to Canada
You need not suffer headaches of figuring out the logistics of shipping your orders to Canada. 3PL not only can provide you with guidance on shipping to Canada, but it also can run your fulfillment operation and store your inventory, too.
Shipping Pilot can help you transition your shipping cost center into a revenue driver, as your customer base grows internationally. Working with us can save you money, time, and physical space, streamlining your infrastructure and warehousing your products, so you can focus on business development, product buying, and marketing.
See how our fulfillment logistics can change how you do business! Contact Shipping Pilot to get started.