Cross Border Shipping

By Amylee Silva
June 15, 2023
Folded Canada flag USA flag cross border shipping concept

The U.S-Canada border is the longest international border, and businesses from either side can freely exchange supplies. A large portion of the Canadian market is stretching to the United States. Many individuals also deliver their personal packages, including gift packages, to and from the U.S. Shipping companies keep the supply chain between the two countries running.

Several shipping companies offer cross-border shipping and alongside that, there are different shipping options to choose from. You can choose standard shipping options for shipments that are less time-sensitive or expedited shipping options for deliveries that are time-sensitive.

Read on to learn all you need to know about cross-border shipping.

How Cross Border Shipping Works

Shipping companies have pick-up stations where goods shipped from the U.S. are stored. When your merchandise arrives, the pick-up station will inform you and instruct you to drive cross-border to pick them up. The good thing with most companies is that they allow you to track your shipment until it is delivered. The shipping services are offered at a small fee, depending on the location, size, and shipment type.

Ensure you provide your retailer with your delivery address. The goods will be shipped to the U.S. pick-up station, where you can cross the border and pick them. For the pick-up procedure and cost, consult your shipping company prior to shipment.

Best Cross-Border Shipping Services in Canada

The best cross-border shipping services include: 

Canada Post

Canada Post offers business and personal delivery needs to Canadians and businesses. It has air and land freights to ship packages and mail to all U.S. states. The average delivery time for Canada Post is between two to eight business days. However, choose expedited shipping services if you need your merchandise delivered urgently. 

This shipping option will deliver your items in the next business day or two business days. However, you’ll need to pay an additional $100 for insurance.

Canada Post has flexible pick-up options, including:

  • On-demand
  • Scheduled
  • Third-party on-demand
  • Third-party scheduled

CanPar Express

CanPar Express is a shipping service that mainly delivers small parcels between Canada and the U.S. 

The shipping service offers three major shipping options. These include:

  • Expedited Shipping: CanPar Express ships parcels with urgent delivery needs with this shipping option. You can choose this option to ship from Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver hubs.
  • CanPar Ground: If you need an economical shipping service to the U.S., consider this shipping option. The average delivery time for this option is between one and four days. Scheduled picking and tracking services are free.
  • CanPar Letter Select: This shipping option is exclusively for shipping letters to the U.S. Expect deliveries after two to ten days.


Purolator has specialized in Canada-U.S shipping for more than 60 years. You can rely on them for export trade compliance. Opt for expedited shipping services when shipping merchandise valued at $3000 or less. They offer expedited shipping services to more than 30 U.S. locations.

You can choose any of the following expedited shipping options:

  • Next day
  • Two or three days
  • Three to five days

Purolator has an additional shipping option for emergency deliveries. The Day-Definite Elite service ensures your shipment is shipped the exact day you expect it delivered.

ICS Courier

ICS Courier offers shipping services for individuals and businesses. Their delivery services run across Canada and internationally to the U.S. They also offer exclusive insurance coverage for shipments. Lastly, they have tracking services that allow customers and businesses to track their in-transit shipments until they are delivered. For shipping rates and procedures, consult their customer service.


Averitt provides shipping services from Canada to Mexico, and the U.S. Shipping options for cross-border deliveries include land, air, and ocean. The company has all the custom certifications, so you shouldn’t worry about your shipment being rejected. Therefore, all shipments run smoothly.


DHL offers cost-effective cross-border shipping for Canadian businesses. Their deliveries are also timely. Unlike CanPar Express, this shipping company ship small packages and large shipments. The company does all the customs documentation, so the customs requirements shouldn’t worry you. You can determine the delivery time and shipping cost by obtaining a quote online from their website.


FedEx has a single network connecting Canada and the United States. Their eight gateways bridge the Canadian shippers to the U.S. markets. The two standard shipping options are FedEx Freight Priority and FedEx Freight Economy. Choose FedEx Freight Economy if you’re on a budget and FedEx Freight Priority if you want your shipment delivered the next business day.

The average delivery time for FedEx is between one and seven business days. For your delivery, choose A.M. or a custom delivery option depending on your schedule. Customers shouldn’t be worried about cross-border documentation requirements. FedEx Freight International Service (FIS) deals with all paperwork, ensuring a smooth shipping process.


UPS has a diversified network system in Canada and the U.S. Therefore, cross-border shipping between the U.S. and Canada is smooth and convenient. The average delivery time for all shipments is between one and three business days. For delivery costs, obtain a shipping quote from the UPS website.

Currency Exchange for Cross-Border Shipments

The U.S. customs impose customs duty tax for all shipments from Canada to the U.S. The U.S. custom should inform you through your shipping company of the payable amount. Note that all payments must be made before the shipping process begins. This way, your shipment can be cleared for cross-border shipping.

Customs duty fees are high. However, paying for this service is easy, thanks to online banking services. It is wise exchanging currency beforehand to skip the conversion fees at the border.

Advantages of Cross-Border Shipping

Cross-border shipping has the following benefits:

  • They facilitate the supply of goods to Canada from U.S. retailers who don’t ship to Canada.
  • Cross-border shipping is cheaper than international shipping from the U.S. to Canada, allowing you to save shipping costs.
  • Since you drive across the border to pick up your items, you will avoid delays and damage to your goods.

Cross-border shipping is smooth, thanks to reliable shipping companies. You can choose between ground, air, or sea shipping for shipments between U.S. and Canada. Ensure your shipping company does all the customs documentation for a better experience. Also, familiarise yourself with shipping rates, terms, and insurance coverage before selecting a shipping company.

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