Shipping costs depend on a range of factors including the weight and dimensions of your shipment, the freight classification, and the distance to be traveled. When shipping from one country to another there are additional fees associated with this including certain taxes and customs charges.
Fortunately, as more companies operate internationally, cross-border carriers like RoadLINX have developed solutions that help to streamline the process and make shipping more affordable.
Here we will look at the costs associated with shipping from Canada to the US including some cost cutting tips and other important considerations.
Note: the following article focuses on shipments that are at least 150lbs, the minimum weight required for a less than truckload shipment. However, RoadLINX does also offer personal package shipping for lighter packages including residential pickup and delivery.
Shipping costs are affected by so many factors that it is difficult to pinpoint a true average cost that is relevant for most shippers. Fortunately, you can receive a customized free shipping quote by visiting our shipping rates form.
Shipping costs, no matter where you ship to or from, are dependent on many of the same factors:
Shipping costs are calculated either based on the actual weight of your cargo or by dimensional weight. Actual weight is a straightforward measure of how much your cargo weighs on a scale.
Dimensional weight, in contrast, takes the dimensions (length x width x height) to calculate volume. This volume is then converted into a weight measurement. For example, 5,000 cubic centimeters could be equivalent to 1kg. A per kilogram rate is then applied to this number.
Dimensional weight is most often used when packages are light for their size. Items like pillows or loosely packed garments may take up significant space while not weighing much.
Cost Saving Tip: If you are shipping soft, voluminous products such as bedding or certain clothing, consider space saving options like vacuum packaging. When items are densely packed you will spend less per pound.
Cargo that is easily stackable is also easier to handle and to fit onto a truck. Due to this, sturdy items that are on pallets will cost less to ship compared to fragile items that cannot be stacked.
Similarly, any items that require special handling because they are potentially dangerous or perishable will also incur extra fees.
Cost Saving Tip: Take care in packing items so they can be stacked and handled without special provisions whenever possible.
Typically, the months leading up to the winter holidays and back to school sales, mid august through November, see an increase in shipments as retailers prepare for sales volume spikes. Due to this, there are often premiums put on shipping during this time.
Cost Saving Tip: Whenever possible, avoid shipping at these busy times. If you can ship before or after, that is ideal.
Along with the weight/dimensions of your cargo, the next most important cost determining factor is the distance your shipment will travel. Additionally, you will have to consider last-mile delivery if you have packages that need to go to individual businesses or residences.
Cost Saving Tip: Partner with a carrier who offers last mile-delivery services. This is often more cost-effective and streamlined compared to having one company for shipping and another for last-mile services.
Specific costs associated with cross-border shipping largely have to do with customs fees, documentation, and any additional inspections needed for the items. For example, many food items, wildlife, and potentially dangerous substances will require special clearance or certification before being shipped.
Cost Saving Tip: Hire a customs broker to manage your shipment and documentation. One of the most costly mistakes a shipper can make is not properly filling out documentation. This can cause significant delays as the shipment will often get stopped by customs agents until all necessary information is available.
A dedicated customs broker will handle much of the paperwork and will be experienced in what is needed. Note that you will need to hire a broker in the country you plan to ship to, not where you are shipping from.
Get started with cross-border shipping with RoadLINX. Our network of logistics experts and carriers work to provide shipping solutions to meet the needs of both small and large companies.
We offer FTL and LTL shipping between Canada and the United States, including refrigerated trucks and last mile delivery solutions. Fill out our quick shipping rates form here. Simply input a few basic details about your shipment and we’ll provide you a quote tailored to you.
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