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Cheapest Way To Send A Package From U.S. To Canada (2024)

Published: March 28, 2024
Author: Aman Chopra

Navigating cross-border shipping, particularly when sending packages from the US to Canada, can feel like wandering through a maze.

Fortunately, we're here to shed some light on the process, ensuring you have all the essential information at your fingertips. Whether seasoned or new to cross-border shipping, grasping the basics is essential to ensure your packages reach Canadian doorsteps smoothly.

Key Takeaways

  • When shipping from the US to Canada, follow best practices: check prohibited items, choose the right carrier, provide accurate details, and select a suitable shipping option.
  • The UPS and USPS offer low shipping rates for light parcels, while USPS and FedEx offer the cheapest options for heavy packages.
  • Other fees associated with shipping to Canada include customs fees and brokerage fees.
  • Shippsy, a dependable package forwarder, offers the cheapest and easiest way to send in parcels from the US.

How Do You Send A Package To Canada?

Canada flag inside the shopping cart

Online shopping is easy, but shipping can be challenging. For sure, you’ve encountered several shipping issues before, like finding out that your store does not ship directly to Canada, paying super expensive shipping fees, or perhaps experiencing customs issues like delays and documentation errors.

So, the burning question is, “How do you ship from the US to Canada the right way?” Let’s delve into this article as we lay down the basics of shipping packages from the US to Canada.

Review The List of Prohibited Products

Check the list of shipping restrictions

While the USA has so many items to offer, you cannot ship everything to the country. Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) regulates the goods that enter Canada by imposing guidelines and regulations on imported goods.

You may be wondering why it is so important to check the list of prohibited items before you go online shopping. This is because you surely don’t want to waste your time going through the shipping process and paying the shipping fees only for your package to be held at customs.

Safety regulations are one significant reason for prohibiting certain items. Items that pose a risk of fire, explosion, or leakage, such as flammable liquids, corrosives, or certain batteries, are often prohibited to prevent accidents during transportation.

Additionally, health and environmental concerns come into play. Some items may harbour pests, diseases, or contaminants that could harm agriculture, ecosystems, or public health. To prevent the spread of invasive species or diseases, certain plants, seeds, and food items might be restricted or prohibited.

Understanding these prohibitions and limitations is essential for ensuring legal compliance as well as the safety and integrity of cross-border shipping between the US and Canada. So, it's always a good idea to double-check the appropriate rules and standards for cross-border shipping to avoid issues or delays.

Choose The Right Shipping Provider

a man lifting a box on a pallet with shipping boxes

The shipping carrier plays a big role in getting your hands on your US orders. So, you should ensure that you’re shipping only with a trustworthy shipping provider with an established reputation for providing the best quality of service.

If you’re unsatisfied with your current provider or if you’re still looking for one, there are some factors you need to take into account when deciding which one to choose.

  • Shipping Options - Get to know the services and options provided by shipping providers and check if they are aligned with your shipping needs and budget. 
  • Shipping Rates - Everybody loves affordability! So, always take a good look at the shipping rates provided by carriers and compare which one gives you the cheapest offer.
  • Delivery Time - Let’s get straight to the point: Nobody likes waiting for too long.
  • Customer Support - We have all experienced getting frustrated by automated response systems that seem to beat around the bush. We don’t like that, either. Choose the shipping carrier that has friendly experts to provide you with great customer support.
  • Customer Experience - The good thing about the internet is it keeps a record of customer experience. If you want to know how shipping carriers take care of their customers, feel free to go to Google and search for their reviews. Customer reviews and feedback often tell the truth!

Provide Accurate Package Details

Provide complete and accurate parcel details

Some customers often fail to double-check the information they provide whenever they request their shipments. Failing to provide complete or accurate information has a negative impact on getting your packages into Canada as customs can hold them.

Whenever delays happen, you will have to contact your shipping service provider and go through several steps again to resume the process of package shipping. This is a real hassle as it consumes more time, and you may have to pay additional fees.

Avoid all the hassle by taking a good look at your package details. Be honest with your item value and description as the CBSA inspects your parcel during customs clearance to see if they match the information that you present in your paperwork.

Additionally, providing correct details such as your name, complete address, contact number, and account number also plays a huge role in shipping. Your shipping carrier will use this information to ensure that they’re sending the right packages to the right recipient.

Choose Pick Up or Home Delivery Service

a person handing a shipping box to a courier personel

Whenever you’re ready to ship your packages from the US, deciding which cross-border shipping option to use is important.

Opting for pick-up means that you prefer to claim the shipment yourself from a specified location. Aside from allowing you to save more money on shipping costs, this option grants you the flexibility to collect your items at your convenience. Also, the pick-up option is best for customers who live near the pick-up centres or prefer hands-on control over receiving their deliveries. Additionally, this service enables you to get your hand on your parcels anytime you want*.

On the other hand, the mail-out option or home delivery service provides the convenience of packages arriving directly at your doorstep. This option eliminates the need for additional travel, especially for customers who live in remote areas and is ideal for individuals who prioritize convenience and prefer to have their purchases brought directly to them.

*Storage fees may incur after a certain number of days. Thus, check with the carrier’s terms and conditions on this matter to avoid additional charges.

Cheapest Way To Send Package From US To Canada

Now, you may be wondering what the cheapest way to send your US orders is. Remember that your total shipping charges may depend on factors such as the package weight and dimension.

Here are some things you would like to know about the shipping costs when shipping light or heavy packages.

Light Parcels

If you’re shipping small or light packages, the UPS and USPS* offer low fees on items weighing not more than 2.2 kgs (5 lbs).

UPS Standard

UPS Standard provides a cost-effective and timely solution for transporting parcels for Canadian customers.

  • 3-7 business days delivery time
  • Streamlined shipping solution
  • Package tracking

USPS Priority Mail International

USPS Priority Mail International serves as a practical and efficient shipping solution for Canadian online shoppers seeking to receive their purchases from the US.

  • 6-10 business days delivery time
  • Cost-effective international shipping options
  • Package tracker

Check The Rates

Here are the fees for UPS Standard and USPS Priority Mail International for a 10 x 8 x 6 inches package weighing 5 lbs (2.2 kgs) and with a declared value of 15 USD, shipped from Claremont, Los Angeles, to Mississauga, Canada.

Shipping CarrierShipping OptionPricingTransit Time
UPSUPS Standard36.67 USD6-7 business days
USPSUSPS Priority Mail International55.55 USD6-10 business days

*Once the parcels arrive at the border, the USPS hands them over to Canada Post for the final delivery.

Shopping from a U.S. brand? Keep reading to learn how you can get your packages shipped to Canada for $6.99 only!

Heavy Parcels

Shipping heavy parcels across the border requires careful consideration of shipping options and potential additional fees, as their size and weight can affect shipping rates and delivery timelines.

USPS Priority Mail International

USPS Priority Mail International stands out as an excellent choice for shipping heavy parcels to Canada from the US.

  • Cost-effectiveness and reliable service
  • Reasonable rates for heavier items
  • Efficient delivery within predictable timeframes

FedEx International Ground

FedEx International Ground service offers a cost-effective solution for huge items bound to Canada.

  • Competitive rates tailored for larger and heavier packages
  • Ground shipping option 
  • Reliable delivery within specific transit times

Check The Rates

Here are the fees for FedEx International Ground and USPS Priority Mail International for a 20 x 15 x 15 inches package weighing 40 lbs (22.6 kgs) and with a declared value of 150 USD, shipped from Claremont, Los Angeles to Mississauga, Canada.

Shipping CarrierShipping OptionPricingTransit Time
FedExFedEx International Ground92.75 USD5-6 business days
USPSUSPS Priority Mail International172.95 USD6-10 business days

Note: Visit the shipping carrier’s website or contact customer support for more accurate pricing and details.

Other Fees Associated With Shipping To Canada

stacks of coins with the word fees on top

Aside from the shipping costs, Canadian customers should also be aware of the other fees that come along when sending items from the US.

Customs Fees

Customs fees are charges imposed by the Canadian government to cover various expenses such as processing, inspection, and tariffs on goods entering the Canadian borders.

Taxes and duties help regulate trade and protect domestic industries by influencing the flow of goods between the US and Canada. These fees vary depending on factors like the type of goods and their value.

Goods and Services Tax

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a type of tax applied to goods and services in most countries. Think of it as a unified tax that replaces a bunch of smaller taxes, making the system less complicated.

It's levied at different stages of production and distribution, but consumers only pay it when they buy things. The main idea behind GST is to prevent the stacking up of taxes at multiple levels, making the tax system more straightforward and equitable for everyone involved.

Provincial Sales Tax

Provincial Sales Tax (PST) is a type of tax collected by individual provinces in Canada on goods and services purchased within their specific region. It's separate from federal taxes and can vary depending on the province. PST is added to the selling price of most goods and some services, aiming to generate revenue for the provincial government.

Harmonized Sales Tax

The Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) merges the provincial sales tax (PST) and the federal Goods and Services Tax (GST) into a single tax in certain Canadian provinces. It is intended to simplify the tax structure by combining various taxes into a single charge.

It means that instead of dealing with different provincial and federal taxes, customers will see simply one tax rate on their transactions. The HST applies to the majority of products and services, making it easy for consumers to understand the total tax they pay on purchases.

Here is the list of Canadian provinces with their assigned customs fee category.

British Columbia
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia
Prince Edward Island
Northwest Territories

Brokerage Fees

Brokerage fees refer to the fees that cover the service of clearing your package through customs and handling the necessary paperwork for the shipment. They are usually collected by courier service providers or customs brokers.

Handling Fees

Handling fees cover the cost of processing and managing your package as it moves through customs and shipping procedures. These fees can include various expenses like operational, processing, and documentation costs.

Storage Fees

Storage fees occur when your package stays at a warehouse or storage facility for an extended period. These fees are typically imposed by shipping carriers or logistics companies and can increase the longer your package remains in storage.

Best Way To Send Package To Canada

The best way to ship to Canada from the US is through a package forwarder. The reason behind this is that package forwarders offer simple and cheaper shipping options, especially for Canadian online shoppers who love shopping at various online retailers from the US.

Most US stores do not ship directly to Canada or may require expensive shipping fees that can make your online shopping experience a hassle - or worse, a nightmare! Package forwarders allow you to get access to your favourite stores without having to worry about spending too much or opt for online stores that offer Canadian shipping (but may not offer the products you want to order).

To make this possible, use a US shipping address and get yours only from a trustworthy and reputable cross-border shipping provider!

Get Started With Shippsy

Ship with Shippsy

If you’re wondering how many Canadian online shoppers enjoy cross-border shopping and shipping, then we’re talking about millions! All thanks to package forwarders, like Shippsy, for doing magic in shipping US products to Canada the easiest and fastest way.

So, don’t miss out on this great journey and ship with Shippsy today! Experience the best and most affordable way to ship your US orders to Canada, starting at 6.99 CAD*!

Shippsy continues to amaze hundreds of Canadian online shoppers by providing a high-quality shipping service with its simple shipping options, unmatched pricing, and unbeatable delivery times.

So, what are you waiting for? Create your Shippsy account today and use your free and exclusive US shipping address and Shippsy number when checking out your orders.

*For Ontario shipments only. Shipping rates for British Columbia and Quebec start at 7.99 CAD.

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