You have a great product, the right platform, but now you are wondering how to ship your products to your international customers. Shipping is actually an extension of your product. Having great shipping options leads to better more click through purchases.
In this guide to choosing the best international carrier from Canada, we discuss shipping beyond the USA. Shipping to the USA is made much simpler due to the availability of ground, cross border direct injection, USMCA and $800 duty-free threshold.
The main international shipping options form Canada include:
- Canada Post
- FedEx, UPS and DHL
- Postal consolidators
- Direct airfreight for direct import
Information in this post and all Jet Worldwide online content is for general information only.
Retail rates should not apply to e-commerce shippers
E-commerce businesses need large discounts from base retail shipping rates. All carriers offer incentive programs for volume shippers. Shipping platforms - including eBay and Shopify - offer ways to get pre discounted rates for online stores. The discounts can seem large but often the final rate leaves you still paying too much.
Shipper should look into getting business accounts that can offer a variety of services. Carriers offer added online tools to more efficiently manage the shipping aspects of your business.
International Shipping for e-commerce via Canada Post
Canada Post is a great place to start with online pricing tools, easy to understand discount policies. An online business account with Canada Post will help you saves time by lowering your shipping expense. Canada post options are cheap for small shipments via surface, but your parcel can take several months.
International Shipping for online orders via FedEx, UPS, DHL
Information on these companies is readily available. Often the best way to access the maximum discount is via one of their partners. For higher value items and for heavier weights, these commercial carriers can provide the greatest benefit.
FedEx and UPS welcome small business accounts with significant discounts from their express options. While the discounts offer a way to save, heavily discounted express shipping services are too expensive.
Postal Consolidators from Canada for e-commerce orders
International mail services (mostly European) have locations in North American that allow access to international postal options. The use of this reliable method compares to Canada Post in terms of the best deal.
Another option is to contact a consolidator who uses US Postal service (USPS) ISAL (surface) or IPA (priority) options. This is a bit complicated by the fact of having to ship from a new origin (USA).
Ship Directly to the Country of your Customers
Shipping direct to the country of destination is the most competitive option for sending internationally. Building such a custom solution required minimum volumes. This new option enables to scale your sale and create innovative options to every address.
Having a local in country delivery option reduces cart abandonment, is much cheaper at is much faster than postal options.
Your orders to major world markets will have a shipping label of the local carrier. The carrier can be integrated into your shipping platform, so your customer will be able to see the tracking of their local carrier. The integration also includes seeing your shipping rate.
This expectation means that for many businesses selling outside of Canada means going above and beyond. Sellers can to add customers and exceed their expectations by delivering a great delivery experience.
Packaging: Secure but not over packed
As an e-commerce business, the shipping packaging is a main element to consider. Goods should be securely packed to withstand the regular rigours of courier handling but be aware of how volume weight is calculated. Read about chargeable weight.
The easiest way to reduce cost of international shipping is choosing the right size box and not paying for empty volume.
Payment of import fees
It is critically important to let your customer know at checkout what estimated import fees they may receive. The default delivery terms for all carriers are shipments being sent "EXW." To ensure no import fees, you can ship your goods delivery duty paid. Delivery duty paid is not offered by the post office and commercial carriers charge and additional fee for this option. Read more about shipping terms.
Paying tax even if duty free
Most major markets now require value added tax be paid on all orders regardless of value or duty status. It is best to capture these charges at time of checkout.
Bringing International shipping using local carriers
Amazon Prime shipping has become synonymous with online shopping and raised expectations for international e-commerce orders. To lower shipping costs, working with a third-party logistics expert can enable you to scale your international sales.
Slow is cheaper but has to be faster for online orders
Different e-commerce businesses use differently rate structures to charge customers for shipping. The popular e-commerce shipping rate options are charging a premium for faster delivery. But super slow shipping for international orders can increase the rate of cart abandonment. Customers want to be able to choose the cheapest delivery with a well known provider.
Managing International Returns
Returns can be a major issue for international e-commerce orders. Have a return option completes the total offer. Easy returns a big part of your overall e-commerce strategy.
Studies show that consumers ability to return will directly impact the decision to visit the sellers site again.
Shipping online orders direct to the UK and Europe
British and European online buyers are keen to purchase from Canadian online sites. These markets present a huge opportunity if only there was a cheaper way to ship! Direct shipping is an option at volume and offers a way to substantially grow your volumes to major markets. Contact our team for details.