The Cheapest Way to Ship from Canada to the United States
Discover the most cost-effective strategies for shipping from Canada to the United States. Learn how your Canadian SMB can save money and optimize your cross- border shipping.
Finding the cheapest way to ship from Canada to the US is crucial for Canadian small or medium-sized businesses (SMB). With countless shipping options and varying costs, it can be overwhelming to find the best solution. In this blog post, we’ll outline some interesting and surprising strategies. We’ll also share facts that will help you optimize your cross-border shipping.
Use USPS for Small Packages
When shipping small packages, the United States Postal Service (USPS) can be a surprisingly affordable option. It may seem counterintuitive to use an American carrier for cross-border shipping. However, USPS offers competitive rates for packages under 4 pounds, which can be significantly cheaper than Canadian carriers. To use USPS, simply have your packages delivered to a mail forwarding service near the border, and they’ll handle the rest.
Opt for Consolidated Shipping
Consolidating multiple shipments into a single shipment can help you save on shipping costs. When you combine smaller packages into a larger shipment, you can take advantage of volume discounts offered by carriers. This is particularly beneficial for SMBs that frequently ship to the United States, as it allows you to reduce costs by shipping in bulk. Working with a shipping logistics platform like Inex can help streamline this process and ensure you’re getting the best rates.
Factor in Customs and Duties
When shipping to the United States, it’s essential to be aware of customs and duties fees. These costs can quickly add up and impact your bottom line. To minimize these expenses on expensive consignments, consider using a customs broker. These professionals can help you navigate the complex world of customs and ensure you’re not overpaying on fees.
Be Strategic with Packaging
When it comes to affordably shipping from Canada to the US, every millimeter counts. For example, the way you package your products can significantly impact shipping costs. By using lightweight materials and optimizing package dimensions, you can save money on dimensional weight fees. Additionally, carriers like UPS and FedEx offer free packaging materials; take advantage of these resources to reduce your shipping expenses.
Choose the Right Shipping Service
This one might sound obvious, but it can be a deceptively complicated decision.
Carriers offer a dizzying variety of shipping services, such as standard, expedited, and overnight shipping. Each comes with different costs and delivery times. Assess your customers’ needs and the nature of your products to determine which service level suits you best. Opting for a slower delivery time can significantly reduce shipping costs, but ensure it doesn’t negatively impact your customers’ experience.
Take Advantage of Off-Peak Discounts
Shipping carriers sometimes offer discounted rates during off-peak periods. If you ship to the United States on a regular cycle then you can monitor carrier promotions. Plan your shipments during these times to save on shipping costs. Additionally, shipping during off-peak periods can help you avoid potential delays caused by high shipping volumes.
Utilize Hybrid Shipping Services
There are a range of hybrid shipping services available. Examples include UPS Mail Innovations and FedEx SmartPost, combine the services of multiple carriers to optimize delivery times and reduce costs. These services use a primary carrier for the initial transportation and then transfer the shipment to a local carrier for final delivery. While hybrid shipping services may take longer than standard shipping, they can provide significant cost savings for your SMB.
Implement a Prepaid Shipping Plan
Some carriers offer prepaid shipping plans to the United States. These plans allow you to purchase shipping labels at a discounted rate. By estimating your shipping volume and prepaying for labels, you can save on shipping costs and streamline the shipping process. This option is especially beneficial for SMBs with predictable shipping volumes and consistent product weights.
Negotiate with Carriers
As your SMB grows and your shipping volume increases, you may be able to negotiate better rates with carriers. Schedule regular check- ins with carrier representatives to discuss your shipping needs and inquire about potential discounts or customized shipping solutions. Establishing a strong relationship with your carriers can lead to long- term savings and better service.
Leverage Shipping Aggregators
Shipping aggregators are platforms that compile shipping rates from multiple carriers. This enables you to compare and choose the most cost-effective option. Inex, a Quebec-based shipping logistics platform, is a great example of such a service.
The leader in Right Rating, Inex is a great solution for SMBs who need to ship to the United States affordably. Inex’s shipping rates are informed by preferential relationships, algorithms, and analytics. Moreover, our unified platform means you can simplify your operations. Inex will handle duty and discounts so you can get the most out of the Right Rate and optimize your shipping logistics.
By comparing rates across carriers, your business can find the best prices and options for your shipments. Additionally, these platforms often negotiate discounted rates with carriers, which means even more savings for your SMB.
Shipping from Canada to the United States doesn’t have to break the bank. By leveraging shipping aggregators, considering USPS for small packages, consolidating shipments, factoring in customs and duties, and optimizing packaging, you can save money and improve your shipping process. Take advantage of the tools and resources available through Inex to streamline your cross-border shipping and make it more cost-effective for your Canadian SMB.