How to Get the Best Shipping Rates in Canada

Get the Best Shipping Rates

Shipping in Canada can be a pain due to the high cost and complexity. However, with proper planning and finding a quality shipping service provider, you can ship your packages within Canada or across the border.

While shipping in Canada, cost is always a factor. This is why you need to research and compare rates before hiring a shipping company. 

Canada has the advantage of having various leading shipping carriers that operate in the eCommerce industry. You can ship your parcels by hiring Canada Post, FedEx, UPS, DHL, Purolator, Canpar, Loomis, Dicom, and ShippingChimp of course.

If you are seeking the best or cheapest shipping rates to ship your orders in Canada or to an overseas destination, you can try flat rates shipping from a carrier. 

There are more options too, depending on your requirements. In this blog, we have covered various aspects and options of shipping in Canada, including shipping rates, tax, factors to consider, etc.

What is the Cheapest Way to Ship in Canada? 

As of now, ground shipping is the most affordable way of shipping in Canada. Although it might take longer to reach a destination than express shipping, it is more budget-friendly. Dive right into the cheap shipping options in Canada

You have a Small Business and Ship Small Orders

For a small eCommerce business, carriers such as Canada Post, FedEx, and Purolator are ideal options. You can buy postage from these carriers and print labels online. This way, you can save money at the time of scheduling a pickup or a drop off.

You can have the advantage of being a small business owner as Canada Post can get you a business Post Office Box and a priority mail starter kit for free. You can earn rewards from the small business program of FedEx when shipping. 

Similarly, Purolator provides discounts on shipping to help small businesses like yours. Each carrier has its benefits, so you can compare costs or talk to an expert for help.

Ecommerce sites like eBay and Etsy will let you purchase and generate shipping labels on their website. Etsy offers attractive shipping rates from Canada Post and FedEx. 

EBay also offers discounted rates for FedEx, along with volume discounts. It means you can save more if you ship more. 

Your Business Ships Over 1000 Orders Monthly

You can outsource your shipping if you:

  • Ship over 1000 orders in a month.
  • Consistently shipping orders long distance and bearing high cost.
  • Are struggling to fulfill orders internally.

If these conditions apply to you, outsourcing order processing and shipping can save you time and cost. Once you start outsourcing order fulfillment and shipping, a carrier will do everything from storing inventory to packing and preparing parcels for shipping. 

A third-party carrier usually has several warehouses, which will make order fulfillment cheaper and quicker while shipping long distances. 

For hiring shipping carriers for order fulfillment, there are many options. You can do some research on local shipping carriers for fast and affordable shipping. We will also suggest a few in the latter sections.

ShippingChimp offers competitive rates to businesses that ship upwards of 1000 packages a month. In addition ShippingChimp also offers free pick up, insurance up to $100 and seamless end-to-end delivery.

Your Business Ships Large Packages in Bulk 

If your eCommerce business regularly ships large packages in bulk, you can think of freight shipping. Through this shipping, you can send large and heavy parcels (over 150 lbs) by land, sea, or air. 

Usually, eCommerce businesses use freight shipping while sending packages from the product maker to the order fulfillment center.

Several carriers offer the following three types of freight shipping: 

Less-Than-Truckload or LTL Shipping

LTL shipping provides a practical solution when you ship relatively smaller-sized packages.  

This type of shipping involves transporting lighter loads that only need to be in the capacity of the truck. Consolidating orders into a single truck will maximize efficiency, use up space, and reduce shipping costs.

This approach perfectly meets the requirements of your business that handles different shipping volumes of freight without needing a full truckload of commitment.

Full-Truckload or FTL Shipping

Ground shipping with full-truckload freight is important in logistics through the movement of significant quantities of cargo that uses an entire trailer. 

This method helps small businesses by shipping high volumes of items that can utilize the full capacity of a truck.

During FTL shipping, the shipper carries the cost of utilizing the entire truck, making it the cheapest way to ship bulk orders. 

In this shipping, the truck transports the freight from the warehouse to a singular destination without stoppages. It makes the shipping efficient and ensures the items remain intact throughout the journey.

Partial Truckload Shipping

In this shipping, you can split the shipment cost with other packages onboard. It makes freight shipment affordable if you can’t fill an entire truck.

Carriers such as FedEx, DHL, Purolator, and Canada Post provide freight shipping. However, there can be better offers from other freight service providers like Amazon. 

You should always look around for better deals. Compare different carriers for their services and shipping costs before hiring. A few carriers even offer freight shipments with temperature control. 

Some other carriers let you schedule and manage your shipping online. Pick a carrier that suits your business process and your customers.

Cost of Shipping in Canada

The shipping cost in Canada depends on several variables, such as parcel size, weight, dimension, distance, and timeframe. 

For a 5 lbs parcel, the cost will be around $30 for standard shipping and up to $170 for next-day overnight shipping.

Domestic Shipping Rates from Leading Carriers

The following are the shipping rates of a few leading carriers’ samples for shipments from Toronto to Vancouver for a parcel weighing 1kg and measuring 15cm x 8cm x 5cm:

CarrierShipping TypesPricing (CAD)Transit Time
Canada PostRegular Shipping$28.057 business days
UPSUPS Standard$41.137 business days
FedExFedEx Ground$42.846 business days
PurolatorPurolator Ground$72.307 business days
CanparCanpar Ground$75.194 business days (no guarantee)

Here’s a sneak peak into ShippingChimp’s domestic shipping rates :

Shipping origin : Ontario

Weight (lb)TorontoMontrealCalgaryVancouver

How to Calculate Shipping Costs Accurately?

For online eCommerce businesses, finding affordable shipping costs is crucial. If your shipping rates are too low, it takes away a major chunk of your profit. Also, setting the shipping costs too high may drive customers away. 

Various leading carriers often offer free shipping, and they plan everything carefully. While calculating shipping costs, you can give instant quotes to customers.

This process requires setting shipping rates for every product and location. Although it demands time and effort, it builds trust and boosts sales. 

Transparency in shipping costs also improves brand loyalty. If you provide various shipping options at different rates, it can lower the instances of cart abandonment, improving customers’ shopping experience.

You need the following factors to calculate shipping costs:

  • Shipment origin and destination
  • Parcel weight, size, and dimension
  • Shipping service
  • Add-ons

Things to Consider

Besides the time and cost of sending your shipment, it would also be ideal if you keep track of various shipping regulations in Canada. 

If you are sending cross-border shipments, you need to complete customs declaration forms with all the details about your package content.

Remember that there are several restrictions in Canada on various items that are not allowed to ship in the country. Ensure to comply with these restrictions while sending your packages.

You also need to be careful if your packages contain fragile items. In that case, inform your carrier in advance. 

Stay Updated on Canadian Tax and Duties

If you regularly ship cross-border to the US, you should be aware of the Canadian taxes and duties that may apply. On every shipment, a 5% tax will be levied on the items over a threshold of CAD 20.

The threshold of duty is CAD 20 and will apply at different rates in the categories such as fashion, home appliances, home décor, health & beauty, and luggage. 

There are several categories where duties will not apply, including cameras, dry food & supplements, watches, and more. 

Finding Affordable Shipping Options

You should look for a carrier that offers the best shipping rates in Canada. Use the following steps to find a carrier that is ideal for your business due to reliability and affordable shipping.

Do Market Research 

You should research and compare various shipping carriers to find the most affordable shipping rates. Check the websites of different shipping carriers or speak to them to find services that fit you best.

Leading carriers have online shipping rate calculators on their websites, and you can use them to estimate the shipping costs for various distances and items. Ask those companies about the cheapest way to ship products to longer or overseas destinations.

You can ask the carriers about their ongoing promotions and discounted rates. Getting discounted rates will make shipping more affordable. You should get the best deal that is on offer to maximize your profits and grow your business.

Get Higher Discounts on Bulk Shipping

If the shipping carriers do not have discounts at present, you can negotiate for a discount if you have a bulk volume. 

Many carriers provide discounts to businesses that regularly ship large quantities of items. Speak to them since these discounts will significantly lower your shipping costs. If you are looking to switch carriers, read this article on finding the right carrier

How to Reduce Shipping Costs?

Let’s look at simple strategies to lower shipping expenses in your online store.

Adjust Packaging: While packaging orders, ensure you use lightweight yet robust materials that protect the items. By bringing down dimensional weight charges, you can reduce the overall shipping costs. 

Consolidate Packages: Consolidate various orders into a single shipment to save cost. This way you can get bulk shipping rates, significantly lower shipping costs of individual shipments and efficiently utilize the available space. 

Offer a Threshold for Free Shipping: Set a threshold of minimum purchase for customers to be eligible for free shipping. It will encourage customers to buy more items. 

This strategy improves customers’ shopping experience and lowers delivery costs because of higher order value.

Use Ground Shipping: Picking ground shipping over air freight is a good idea when the longer delivery window is not an issue. 

Ground shipping offers a cost-effective option, as air freight usually has higher charges. This decision will allow you to save time and cost, especially when you have budget constraints.

Closing Thoughts

To find the best shipping rates in Canada, you need to carefully consider various factors. The most crucial ones are domestic/international services, shipping costs, and comparing rates from different shipping carriers. 

You can also partner with ShippingChimp that offers you the best-discounted rates for shipping in Canada as well as to the US. You can also get a free pickup facility, free insurance up to a specific amount, and guaranteed delivery. 

Besides, do not forget to regularly reassess your shipping needs to ensure you keep getting benefits from the best shipping rates available.

Revathi Karthik
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