The Cheapest Ways To Ship From Canada: Couriers + Tips & Tricks

The Cheapest Ways To Ship From Canada

Table of Contents

1. How Much Does It Cost To Ship From Canada?
2. The Factors That Affect Shipping Prices
3. Tax and Duties In Canada
4. The Cheapest Ways To Ship From Canada: Couriers + Tips & Tricks
5. Key Takeaway

As a small business owner or individual in Canada, finding affordable shipping options is essential. It helps to keep costs low and maintain competitiveness. With a range of courier companies operating in the country, it can be overwhelming to determine which one offers the best rates and services for your specific shipping needs. 

In this article, we will provide an overview of the major courier options available in Canada. We will compare their rates and services to help you find the cheapest way to ship from Canada. We will also provide tips and tricks for finding the most cost-effective shipping option and maximizing savings.

So, without further ado, let’s dive into the cheapest ways to ship from Canada.

How Much Does It Cost To Ship From Canada?

The cost of shipping from Canada highly depends on various factors. There’s no one-size-fits-all shipping cost here.  

The size and weight of your package will play a large role in determining your costs, as each shipping method or courier service has its own pricing structure. Other factors are the delivery method, destination, and the courier company you choose. 

Among the companies that ship from Canada are FedEx, Canada Post, and UPS. You can also find shipping solutions and fulfillment centers that can help you ship in a cheaper way.  

To show you the differences, here’s an example: if you’re trying to send from Canada to New York with Canada Post, a 5-pound package will cost you between $38.89 and $56.03. The cost differs based on the service availed, which differs in terms of delivery time. If you’ll send thru FedEx, the same package will cost you somewhere within CA$40.31–229.50. Again, different courier services have different costs. 

To help you learn what to expect when it comes to shipping from Canada, below is a list of the factors affecting shipping prices, as well as the taxes and duties.

The Factors That Affect Shipping Prices

Shipping from Canada requires careful consideration of several factors in order to accurately determine shipping costs. These key factors include the following:

  • Weight. Heavier packages tend to cost more than lighter ones because their dimensions require them to occupy more space within a vehicle or freight plane, or ship. 
  • Size. If you are shipping something large and bulky, such as furniture, then you should expect higher rates due to the extra cost associated with securing it properly during travel.
  • Distance your package has to travel. Packages that need to be transported farther will likely incur higher costs than those that do not travel as far.
  • Courier company selected. Selecting a reliable and reputable courier service can provide peace of mind. However, courier delivery rates vary from one another. This is why it is important that you choose a courier with the best rates.
  • Delivery speed. Choosing expedited delivery speeds can greatly increase costs, while opting for slower modes will oftentimes reduce them significantly.
  • Delivery to a residential location. When sending something to a residential address, you should keep in mind that there may be additional charges related to making deliveries outside commercial areas. This could add up quickly depending on the distance from your destination.
  • Incorrect delivery address or insurance coverage. These issues may also result in higher shipping fees. Additionally, fuel prices are a significant factor as they affect courier services just like any other method of transportation.  

Taking all these aspects into account will help ensure that your package arrives safely at its destination for a reasonable price. 

ecommerce business owner packing shipment in canada

Tax and Duties In Canada

In Canada, sales tax is typically included in the price of goods and services that are sold. The federal government levies a 5% goods and services tax (GST) on most purchases, while some provinces also charge a provincial sales tax (PST) or a harmonized sales tax (HST), which is a combination of the GST and PST.

For example, clothing and footwear have a duty rate of 18%, while electronics have a duty rate of 9%. However, duties will not be charged on a wide variety of products, including timepieces, cameras, dry foods, and vitamin supplements. Canadian customs may also charge around $10 for handling fees.

In addition, take note that many items, particularly those valued more than CAD 20, are also subject to other taxes and fees, such as provincial sales taxes (PST) and harmonized sales taxes (HST). It is important to be aware of these charges when shipping to Canada, as they can add up quickly. Check with the Canadian customs office before shipping anything into the country to avoid any unexpected charges and ensure that your shipment arrives smoothly.

On the other hand, if you’re exporting goods and services from Canada, they are usually zero-rated (taxed at 0%), depending on the situation. This means you don’t have to pay GST/HST. For more details on how your goods and services can be zero-rated, click here.

The Cheapest Ways To Ship From Canada: Couriers + Tips & Tricks

Courier services are often your best bet when it comes to inexpensive shipping in Canada. Below are some tips and tricks that will walk you through the basics of choosing and using a courier service in Canada.

#1: Get Free Shipping Supplies!

Shipping supplies are essential for businesses that need to send out products to customers. Fortunately, there are several ways to get free shipping supplies. Major parcel companies like UPS, FedEx, and DHL offer free shipping materials, such as boxes, bubble wraps, and air pillows. Most of these companies provide free shipping on orders over a certain dollar amount or number of pieces. 

Additionally, Canada Post offers free flat-rate boxes with its shipping services. With this option, you have to pay the associated shipping costs in-store before taking the box out. 

#2: Use Shipping Solutions

Who wouldn't want shipping solutions that make life easier for both buyers and sellers? Here are several shipping solutions available in Canada that can help you save time and money when buying or sending shipments.

  • Shopify makes it easy to purchase shipping labels directly through their app.
  • ChitChats allows customers to buy labels quickly and easily by integrating with all major platforms, such as Shopify, Etsy, and Amazon. They’re also quite affordable if you live near one of their locations. 
  • Sendle is a newer service that’s offered in Canada, the United States, and Australia. They have a $1 shipping promotion currently running (at the time of writing), which includes free pickup and insurance up to $100. You might even be able to get the best shipping rates if you contact them and ask nicely for their highest-tier plan. 
  • PayPal recently launched its own shipping solution, which has gotten quite popular as well.
  • Amazon offers its own Prep/Ship Services that are great for those who use Amazon Fulfillment services to ship items out. 
usps express mail

#3: Compare Courier Services: USPS vs UPS 

When choosing a courier service, you need to take into account a few things. What is your budget? How fast do you need your shipment to arrive? And what type of customer service do you require? In Canada, two of the most popular courier services are UPS and USPS Let's take a closer look at each one to see how they compare.

Here is a comparison of UPS and USPS in Canada:

Delivery speed: Both UPS and USPS offer express delivery options for time-sensitive shipments. However, UPS generally has faster delivery times compared to USPS.

Pricing: In general, USPS tends to have lower prices for shipping packages within Canada and the US. However, UPS often offers more flexible and customizable shipping options, which may be more expensive.

Package tracking: Both UPS and USPS offer package tracking services, allowing you to track the location and delivery status of your shipments.

Services: UPS offers a wide range of services, including ground and air delivery, freight forwarding, and customs brokerage. USPS offers a variety of services, including first-class mail, priority mail, and international shipping.

Ultimately, the choice between UPS and USPS will depend on your specific shipping needs, including delivery speed, cost, and the services offered.

Take a look at our in-depth comparison of two of these couriers by clicking here. 

#4: Remember: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle (RRR)

The packaging materials and shipping boxes used for shipping can quickly add up and result in a significant environmental impact. So whether you are a seller or a buyer, make sure to remember how to reduce, reuse, and recycle these packaging materials.

Whenever possible, utilize a smaller box and less packaging material. This will not only save on shipping costs but will also reduce the amount of waste generated. If you're using new shipping boxes, be sure to recycle the old ones. Also, keep an eye out for other opportunities to reuse packaging materials, such as using recycled newspapers as packing material.

#5: Business Organization Discounts

You can save money on shipping by taking advantage of business organization discounts from courier services in Canada.

Many courier companies offer special rates for businesses, so it's worth shopping around to find the best deal. By taking advantage of these discounts, you can keep your shipping costs down and provide your customers with the best possible service.

In addition to discounts on shipping, you may also be able to negotiate customized services that meet the unique needs of your business. For example, some courier companies offer same-day or next-day delivery for an additional fee. 

#6: Fulfillment Centers (International Shipments)

Hundreds of other smaller fulfillment centers are available in the market. As a seller, you need to do your diligence when it comes to choosing one. Here are some of the best for e-commerce:

Shipbob

Shipbob is a third-party logistics or 3PL that provides fulfillment solutions for e-commerce brands. The company has an international fulfillment network Across the US, Canada, Australia, and Europe. If you're using Shipbob to fulfill orders to Canada, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

  • First, all products must be properly labeled with the country of origin.
  • Second, you will need to obtain a customs bond for each shipment. This bond covers the costs of any duties and taxes that may be assessed by the Canadian government. 
  • Finally, you will need to provide a commercial invoice for each shipment. This invoice should include the value of the goods, as well as any shipping and insurance charges. 

Shiphero

A cloud-based multi-channel inventory and warehouse management solution, Shiphero offers outsourced fulfillment at scale and aims to make it easy to ship e-commerce. Aside from shipping, they also provide tools for inventory, barcoding, managing orders, batch picking, returns, and more. 

Here are a few things you need to know when shipping with Shiphero.

  • First, all shipments to Canada must have a valid tracking number. 
  • Second, all shipments must be declared on the appropriate customs forms.
  • Third, all duties and taxes must be paid by the sender. 
  • Fourth, note that Shiphero does not provide insurance for shipments to Canada. If you would like to insure your shipment, you will need to purchase insurance from a third-party provider.
  • Finally, make sure to include all relevant documentation with your shipment, including a commercial invoice and any other required paperwork. 
handing over packages to courier

Amazon

Amazon provides a convenient and efficient way to ship your products to customers all over the world. If you have products that need to be shipped to Canada, you can use Amazon's Fulfilment Center. Here's how it works: 

  • First, you need to have an Amazon seller account.
  • Create a listing for your product on Amazon.ca. Make sure to include all the necessary information about your product, such as price, quantity, and shipping details. 
  • Once your listing is created, you'll need to select a shipping carrier. Amazon offers a variety of carriers, so be sure to choose one that best suits your needs. 
  • After you've selected a carrier, you'll need to create a shipping label. You can do this easily on Amazon's website. 
  • Finally, you'll need to package your product according to the carrier's specifications and drop it off at the nearest Amazon Fulfillment Center.

Key Takeaway

Shipping can be expensive, but there are ways to reduce the cost. By using free shipping supplies and comparing courier services and fulfillment centers, you can keep your expenses down and improve your shipping experience when doing business in Canada. For more business tips and tricks, click here.

If you need sustainable packaging options, check out our mailers and tapes at Impack. We offer a cost-effective and more personalized packaging option to save you from the high prices of MOQs or customized packaging.

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