Shipping Parcels from the USA to Canada: Review the Best options

Posted on Fri, Feb 1, 2019

For many American companies, their biggest international opportunity is just north of the border: Canada. Trade between Canada and The United States remains one of the strongest in the world with Canadians increasingly ordering direct online from American merchants.


Warehouse worker with box and manager controlling products


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The growth in e-commerce is contributing to significant growth in USA to Canada cross-border volumes. Canadian consumers are interested in globally purchasing goods from American and other international sites.



Jet Worldwide assists companies with low cost parcel delivery solutions to Canada from The United States.



Depending upon your volume of parcels, there are several methods of sending to Canada.  Contact our Canadian team to discuss ways to ship to Canada.




Ship from the USA via the Big Three

USPS, FedEx and UPS

For Delivery to Canada




Shipping to Canada via US Postal Service

Canada is the largest international destination for USPS parcels. USPS offers a great choice for individuals shipping to Canada. Among the most popular US Postal post options is the International Flat Rate Boxes to Canada.




For merchants using Shopify shipping from the US to Canada, USPS offers a value for small shipments.  Get a quote for your larger shipments to Canada.


USPS Flat rate boxes to Canada - Delivery within 2-3 weeks

Up to 20 pounds

  • Priority Mail International Large Flat Rate Box: est. cost US$64
  • Priority Mail International Medium Flat Rate Box: est. cost US$49

Up to 4 Pounds

  • Priority Mail International Small Flat Rate Box: est. cost US$26
  • Priority Mail International DVD Flat Rate priced box: est. cost US$26
  • Priority Mail International Large Video Flat Rate priced box: est. cost US$26


USPS Global Express Guaranteed to Canada

  • Delivery via USPS partner FedEx Canada
  • Delivery in 1-3 business days
  • Can be less expensive than using FedEx Directly





USPS Priority Mail Express International

  • Delivery in 3-5 business days
  • Estimated average cost: US$68

USPS Priority Mail International to Canada

  • Delivery in 2-3 weeks
  • Estimated average cost varies with weight


USPS shipments are imported to Canada and delivered via Canada Post

Canada Post has strong domestic capabilities with a commanding market share for at home deliveries.



Importing parcels to Canada via Canada Post

All parcels mailed to Canada are potentially subject to duty and/or taxes. . Canadian Customs (CBSA) collects provincial sales taxes (PST) and Harmonized Sales Taxes (HST) according to the province of residence on most taxable imports valued at over CA$20.


Canadian customs border 

Dutiable and taxable items mailed to Canada are subject to a handling fee of CA$9.95 per dutiable or taxable parcel. If charges are applied, the parcel will be delivered along with a CBSA Invoice (E14). Canada Post collects the fees on behalf of the CBSA and accepts payment online via credit card and other methods.

For those who have read about the Free Trade agreement between Canada and the USA (namely NAFTA and USMCA), it often comes as a surprise that their shipments are subject to duty.   To qualify for duty free entry under NAFTA, the goods must be accompanied by a NAFTA Certificate of Origin.




Sending Gifts to Canada via USPS

Gifts between individuals can be considered duty and tax exempt, not otherwise restricted and valued under CA$60. To qualify as tax exempt, the gift must be sent to the recipient personally and include a card or other notice indicating that it is a gift. Advertising material and alcohol cannot be cleared as tax exempt gifts.


Woman sigining electronic receipt of delivered package-1


Shipping from the USA to Canada via FedEx or UPS

FedEx and UPS are by far the most dominant carriers in North America. They also have a sizeable presence in Canada and, along with Purolator, are market leaders in the Canadian Market.


The  “shipping from USA to Canada offer” via FedEx and UPS are similar. Both companies offer air express delivery, economy air delivery and ground delivery.


FedEx USA shipping options to Canada Include:

  • FedEx International Priority to Canada: 1-2 business days
  • FedEx International Economy Canada: 2-3 business days
  • FedEx International Ground Canada: 2-6 business days



Get a price estimate to compare parcel shipping costs.



UPS USA shipping options to Canada Include:

  • UPS Worldwide Express: Morning delivery to main cities
  • UPS Worldwide Saver: End of day delivery to main cities
  • UPS Worldwide Expedited: 2 Day delivery to main cities
  • UPS Standard: 2-6 days Ground





Clearance and Entry Fees to Canada via UPS and FedEx

Carrier clearance fees in Canada vary by the service type. Typically, there are three elements to standard parcel clearance:


Entry preparation

  • No charge for express shipments
  • Charge for ground shipments based on value of shipment (see below)



  • Calculated using the H.S. classification and can be as high as 20% for clothing
  • Many are surprised to learn of duties and how NAFTA country of origin duty free is rarely used for parcel shipments from the USA to Canada.


  • GST, HST, PST: Sales tax is applied based on destination of parcel


Prepayment of duty fees

  • If duty and taxes are paid, FedEx and UPS charge for “prepayment” of these fees.
  • The charge for payment is usually around 3% of the amount prepaid with minimum charge of between CA$7 and CA$15.


Delivery man grabbing a package from inside a mailbox

In general, express shipments to Canada are not charged an entry preparation fee by the carrier.     However, ground shipments sent via FedEx and UPS to Canada are subject to an entry preparation fee.

Sample Clearance fees for Ground Shipments sent to Canada

As a rough guide, here are some estimated charges for entry preparation sent via FedEx or UPS ground to Canada. Their entry preparation fees and processes are very similar.



Approximate Entry Preparation Fees for Ground Shipments to Canada:

  • Parcel Import Value up to $40: CA$7
  • Parcel Import Value up to $60: CA$16
  • Parcel Import Value up to $100: CA$20
  • Parcel Import Value up to $200: CA$30
  • Parcel Import Value up to $1,000: CA$51



Exact FedEx ground and UPS ground entry preparation fees can be found online and can be negotiated for high volume shippers.



Warehouse worker with box and manager controlling products-1

For US merchants with regular volume to Canada, it may be best to establish a high volume parcel import and distribution process. This type of “zone skipping” has the added benefit of lower per shipment clearance cost. American companies can establish themselves as a foreign importer of record and do one consolidated entry for many individual parcels.




Ship Smarter 



Jet Worldwide works with American shippers for low cost parcel shipping solutions from the USA to Canada with final delivery via Canada Post and Purolator carrier.



The most efficient routing for regular parcel flows is via consolidating parcel volumes for a single shipment for single entry cross border entry. After clearance, the goods can be transferred a Canadian domestic carrier for delivery across Canada. Get information from our Canadian team on shipping your American parcels to Canada.




Shipping from the USA to Canada for Canadian companies

There is a demand from Canadian companies who are looking for cost effective solutions for receiving goods from their American suppliers. Often, ground is too uncertain and air is too costly. Contact Jet for a low cost express solution that includes entry preparation and delivery in 1-3 days from the USA to Canada.



Canadian storage and Distribution

For specific items, American shippers find it cost effective to store and distribute from their goods stored in Canada for on demand distribution.   For information on Canadian warehouse solutions, contact our parcel logistics team.   



Lower Cost Shipping for Shopify and other e-commerce shipments

American e-commerce parcel shippers from the USA need lower cost for parcels shipped from the US to Canada.    Jet Worldwide offers low cost advanced pricing for basic shippers on Shopify, Wix, Volusion, Big Commerce and Demandware and other platforms.    

For most US parcel shippers using Shopify, the USPS offers the lowest cost for parcel shipments from the US to Canada.    However, for heavier shipments and for when entry preparation is included, economy express is often the better option.   Get a cost comparison and rates for your US parcel shipping to Canada.



Jet Worldwide can also offer Shopify shippers a return service from Canada.






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