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Worldwide Shipping from Montreal: Things to Consider

Montreal is a leading international city that depends on low cost international shipping to connect to the US and around the world. Many Montreal companies are connecting to suppliers and customers to China, Mexico, Germany, France and around the globe.

Planning on shipping an international parcel shipment from Montreal,- or from anywhere in Canada? To help answer the many inquiries we get regarding shipping from Montreal, here are some basic items to consider.

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Things to consider When Shipping international from Montreal

Choose the Best International Shipping Mode from Montreal

The size and weight of your shipment are primary determinants in the best shipping mode. The speed of delivery and nature of your goods are also factors to consider. In general:

  • The best option for Personal packages and personal shipments are via Canada Post
  • The best option for heavier commercial packages is via a commercial carrier
  • Air cargo is preferable for consignments up to around 150 kilograms chargeable weight
  • Sea Freight is ideal for shipping pallets and large commercial orders with a lead time of over 1 month

Shipping International packages from Montreal

Shipping International via Canada Post in Montreal

Canada Post has great options for individuals shipping personal packages. Their small packet option is popular for e-commerce sellers. Canada post gets expensive for larger packages and their lack of customer support can be an issue for commercial shipments.

Useful "How to Ship" Videos

Sending international shipments from Montreal via FedEx and UPS

FedEx, UPS are among Canada's largest carriers. Along with DHL, they offer reliable time definite international delivery form Montreal.

FedEx and UPS Canada International Services from Montreal include:

  • International Priority: Delivery to in 1-3 days
  • International Economy: Delivery in 2-5 days
  • USA Ground: Best Choice for heavier parcels to the USA (especially if less than $800 USD)

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Shipping International Cargo from Montreal

Companies can choose between air cargo and sea freight. The Port of Montreal provides benefits for local companies. Air freight is also available with air service delivery usually within around 1 week worldwide. Ocean cargo from Montreal averages around1 month to Europe and up to three months to other countries.

LCL cargo from Montreal

Less than container load - LCL - is a service that shares space in a container with different consignment. It requires and additional transit time to account for loading and de-consolidation.

FCL ocean cargo from the Port of Montreal

Full container loads - FCL - can ship either via a 20 or 40 foot container.

Ocean cargo versus sea freight: Which is cheaper?

Ocean cargo's many surcharges can add significant costs for smaller cargo shipments. Consignments up to around 150 kilograms often have a lower price via air versus ocean.

invoice for customs

Prepare a list of items being sent and invoice for customs

For international parcels, a clear complete listing of the goods is necessary. This customs invoice and is necessary even if there is no commercial sale such as a gift or sending sample.

Useful information about preparing a customs invoice.

The following information is necessary for customs clearance:

  • Name an address of shipper
  • Name address, phone, and email of receiver>
  • Exact description of item(s) being sent
  • Value of each item (be sure to indicate the currency code)

Also consider if you should include a certification of origin.

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Verify if there are any restrictions for your goods

A common restriction we see for international shipments from Montreal is food shipments sent to the USA. (Food shipments require a “Prior Notice” number from the USA Food and Drug Administration/ FDA).

We recommend you clarify the requirements with your consignee. Usually, companies in a particular country are most familiar with the processes for the products they import.

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Is your shipment over $2,000 CAD?

For international shipments from Montreal (or anywhere from Canada) over $2,000, the shipper must prepare a Canadian export declaration / CERS. Information is available on Canadian Custom’s website. Useful information regarding valuation. 

Note: A CERS export declaration is not necessary for most shipments from Montreal to the USA.

Read More about B-13 CERS export declaration.


Understand Import Duty

Before shipping from Montreal, you should determine who will be paying duty and other import fees. By default, clearance and duty fees charge forward to the receiver. Even if you are not responsible, the fees will impact the consignee.

Your goods may qualify for duty free import via one of Canada's many free trade agreements.

In conclusion, when considering international shipping from Montreal, it is important to evaluate the size and weight of your shipment, as well as the nature of your goods. Choose Canada Post for personal packages. Commercial carriers are best for heavier shipments, air cargo and for faster delivery. Sea freight is ideal for pallets and larger orders.Keep in mind customs export requirements, restrictions, and import duties.

By following these considerations and preparing your shipment accordingly, you can ensure a smooth and successful international shipping experience. If you have any questions or need assistance with your shipping needs, don't hesitate to reach out to a logistics specialist for rates and support. Happy shipping!

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