Why Are Shipping Costs High in Canada Even In 2024?

By Mona Sohal
March 1, 2024
Delivery van giving parcel to customer

Ever need to send something across Canada, but the price tag makes you say, “Whoa! Why Are Shipping Costs High in Canada?” You are not alone! This blog is like a friend explaining why shipping in Canada costs so much. 

Ready to solve the mystery of Canada’s high shipping costs? We’ll explain why sending things across our vast country can cost more than you expect, using easy-to-understand terms. You’ll leave knowing exactly why, and hopefully, you’ll feel a little less frustrated next time you ship a package!

We’ll keep it simple, so next time you need to mail something, you’ll be less surprised (and hopefully not as frustrated!). Let’s figure this out together!

Reasons Why Shipping Costs are High in Canada

Why Are Shipping Costs High in Canada

Apart from the obvious geographic handicap for Canada. There are some other notable factors affecting the overall high price of all the shipping to and from Canada. Such as –

Canada Post’s Commitments

Canada Post, the main mail carrier, has to deliver everywhere in Canada, even in remote areas with few people. This is awesome because everyone gets their mail, but it’s also expensive.

Think about it: delivering to a tiny northern village with just a few houses wouldn’t make much money, right? But Canada Post can’t close those offices, so they need to make up for the lost money somehow.

That’s where the higher shipping costs come in. A tiny bit of everyone’s shipping fee helps cover the costs of those far-off post offices. It might not seem like much per package, but it adds up and makes shipping in Canada more expensive overall.

Climate Conditions

Canada is a huge country that stretches all the way north to the Arctic Ocean. This means snowy winters and unpredictable weather most of the year, making things tough for delivery people!

Imagine a mail carrier trying to reach a tiny town buried in snow. It takes extra time, High fuel consumption, and effort to get there, which adds to the cost of shipping. ️

Plus, changing weather conditions make it hard for shipping companies to plan their deliveries. They need to be flexible and adjust their schedules on the fly, which can be expensive. ️

Limited Transportation Infrastructure

Canada’s breathtaking beauty comes with a unique shipping challenge. Unlike some countries, Canada’s vastness doesn’t always have perfectly built roads everywhere. Imagine the frustration of a closed highway, forcing everyone onto a slow, bumpy detour. That’s what sellers can face in some areas, leading to:

  • Slower delivery times: You might have to wait a bit longer for your purchases.
  • Higher shipping costs: Finding alternative routes or transportation can cost sellers more.

This is especially true in remote areas, where getting your favorite product from a local shop to your door can be even trickier for sellers.

Difficulties in Accessing Remote Areas

Canada’s got some seriously remote towns tucked away where roads can be rough, especially in bad weather. Getting deliveries to these places means taking longer routes that cost way more in fuel and other expenses.

  • Remote Towns: Canada has lots of cool towns tucked away in far-off places. But getting there can be tricky, especially with rough roads and crazy weather.
  • Longer Routes: To reach those remote spots, delivery trucks have to take longer routes, which means more gas and more time.
  • Extra Costs: All that extra travel adds up, and sometimes shipping companies need special equipment to handle the tough roads.

All these factors cause shipping companies to raise their delivery rates. And sellers have to plan accordingly to reduce shipping costs.

Customs Procedure and Paperwork

Imagine your package arriving in Canada, all set to be delivered. But wait! It needs to go through customs, like a check-in point, to make sure everything’s okay. This can take extra time, which adds to the overall shipping time. This can be frustrating, but it’s an important part of making sure things are safe and secure.

Regulation Check  delays can add storage fees and even penalties to your shipping costs. Even though companies try to speed things up, it’s not always enough to bring down the overall cost of shipping in Canada. That’s one reason why it can be expensive. 

Limited Competition In The Shipping Market

One reason for such high costs is that a few big companies control most of the shipping market. This can mean:

  • Fewer choices: In Canada, a few big companies have a stronghold on the whole market. This means you might not have as many options for different prices or services.
  • Higher prices: With less competition, companies can sometimes charge more because they know you might not have many other choices.

The lack of competitive pressure within the Canadian shipping market presents a challenge for both consumers and businesses. Due to limited options, consumers are often restricted to choosing from a select number of providers. This means shipping costs stay high, and it’s harder for businesses to optimize their delivery costs.


Picture this: a Canadian company wants to ship you something awesome. But wait! Before it reaches you, they have to navigate the tricky world of import and export taxes. It’s like passing a border with a fee for every item in your bag!

These taxes make things expensive. Companies try to find clever ways to reduce costs, but there’s only so much they can do.  With everyone juggling these added fees, it’s no wonder Canadian shipping can sometimes leave a dent in your wallet.

Remoteness From Major Markets

Imagine ordering something amazing online, but it takes ages to arrive and costs more than expected. One reason could be Canada’s location!

Being further away from major markets like China and the US means things have to travel farther, which makes shipping more expensive. Think of it like sending a postcard – the farther it goes, the more it costs.

While companies try to find ways to be efficient, these factors all contribute to higher shipping costs in Canada. So next time you see a shipping price, remember it might be because your package is taking a long journey across a vast country with unique challenges!

Tips For Canadian Sellers To Manage Shipping Costs 

Okay, we’ve talked about why shipping is so expensive in Canada. It might sound a bit overwhelming, making you wonder, “Can I even afford to ship anything there?”

Here’s the good news: YES!

While the initial costs might seem high, there are ways to save:

  • Shop around: Compare prices from different shipping companies to find the best deal.
  • Consider alternative shipping options: Explore slower but cheaper methods like ground shipping or sea freight.
  • Combine shipments: If you’re ordering multiple items from the same seller, try to combine them into one shipment to save on costs.
  • Look for deals and promotions: Many companies offer discounts and promotions on shipping, so keep an eye out for those!

And don’t worry about your precious cargo! Many shipping companies offer insurance to protect your belongings in case of damage or loss during transit.

So, while shipping in Canada might require a bit more planning and comparison shopping, it’s definitely not impossible to get your desired items delivered safely and affordably. 

Plus, companies like ShipSimple can help you navigate the shipping landscape and find the most efficient and cost-saving options. So, while shipping to Canada might require a bit more planning, it’s definitely doable!

Just be smart, shop around, and don’t be afraid to explore your options!

Parting Words

Finding the most affordable and efficient shipping option in Canada requires some effort, but the savings can be worth it! Don’t limit yourself to a single carrier. 

By comparing quotes from various providers, both private and traditional, you can ensure your shipping costs don’t overshadow the value of your product. 

Remember, taking the time to research your options can lead to significant savings!


Why Is Shipping So Expensive Within Canada?

Due to a very low population density and not spread enough people living close to each other,. Transportation and other related fees increase greatly. As each populated town needs individual delivery routes and maintenance, opposed to one for many delivery models if lived close.

What Is The Cheapest Way To Ship In Canada?

The cheapest way to ship within Canada is to use Ground Shipping. Even if it takes a little while longer to be delivered to the destination. It is a very well budget friendly option, and caters to customers who are not in dire need of an emergency delivery.

Why Is It So Hard To Ship Things To Canada?

Due to compliance with various customs regulations and payments of different duties and taxes. It usually causes delays. Which causes the items to be delivered at a later date and also increases the overall cost of the operations.

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