Ecommerce Shipping BlogCarrier RatesBest Shipping Options in Canada

Best Shipping Options in Canada

Posted on February 22, 2022 by

Finding the best shipping options for shipping your parcels domestically or internationally doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, once you figure out which services work best for local deliveries, shipments heading across Canada, or crossborder, you’ll be able to develop a workflow of automatically selecting the best carrier service and package type for each parcel. 

With ShipStation, you can integrate with the world’s top ecommerce platforms

You can also save additional time by automatically generating customs forms for your international shipments. We’ll go over all the best services based on when your customers need their order and maybe even give you a few new options to choose from!

Carriers Available in ShipStation

Below are the carriers you can connect to ShipStation. They can serve similar functions or have unique purposes like international or express shipping. Regardless of what your shipping needs are, you can satisfy them with these carriers below. 

Canada Post 

With the broadest and most thorough delivery network available within Canada, Canada Post is a trusted shipping provider for many businesses and individuals alike. Businesses can sign up for a commercial shipping account with Canada Post or create a small business account. However, if you would like to upgrade your small business account, ShipStation offers discounted rates that are better than you’d find on small business accounts.

Purolator

Purolator is a great carrier to use when you have specific time frames you need parcels delivered. They have both domestic and international shipping options available for both morning, by-noon, and afternoon delivery windows. 

UPS CA

UPS is one of the most trusted carriers in the world. With parcel and express document services for all budgets, businesses and individuals trust UPS to deliver shipments in a timely manner. Whether domestic or international, UPS offers solutions for all types of shipping needs. 

DHL

One of the most trusted names in international delivery, DHL delivers to countries all over the world in an affordable and timely manner that has kept them at the forefront of logistics. What’s more, ShipStation’s integration with DHL. ShipStation integrates with both DHL Express and DHL Ecommerce depending on which 

FedEx 

FedEx is a global leader in parcel delivery. Excelling in domestic and international delivery options, they are frequently used for day-definite delivery services the world over, even making final delivery on behalf of other Canadian couriers’ international express services. 

CanPar 

CanPar Express offers shipping to all 10 provinces and the continental US. Best of all, ShipStation users get instant access to CanPar upon signup. Compare shipping rates between all carriers to find the best option for your domestic and crossborder shipping needs. For information about their international shipping options, check CanPar’s website for the most up-to-date transit times. 

How Distance Impacts Shipping Rates

One of the biggest factors that will increase a shipping rate is the distance between the ship-from location and the customer. Many metro areas have larger hubs and sorting facilities with a larger fleet of vehicles to make deliveries quicker and more affordable. However, shipping cross-country or to territories or First Nation reserves can cause shipping rates and transit times to increase dramatically.

How Weight and Dimensions Impact Shipping Rates

A package’s weight and dimensions impact its shipping rate because of the space and mass it takes up on a plane or carrier truck. Every few hundred grams or so, a package’s rate will increase. Additionally, as a package grows in size, the more a rate will increase. 

Best Shipping Options in Canada

Domestic shipping can be tricky. Whether you’re shipping from Toronto to Montréal, or from Vancouver to a remote outpost, there is not usually a one-size-fits-all shipping solution. Whether you are sending a package out that is not time-sensitive, or your customer needs it tomorrow morning! there are a wide range of options available. 

Domestic Economy Shipping Services 

These are services that don’t have a specific date they will be delivered by.  They can take up to 10 days to make final delivery depending on how remote the delivery area is. Occasionally, carriers will apply additional remote area/fuel surcharges to these parcels. Keep in mind that shipping between metro areas is generally much more affordable and quick—sometimes even making final delivery in a day or two! These are the most economical options available from our support carriers to ship domestically within Canada. 

  • Canada Post Regular Parcel: Regular Parcel is Canada Post’s economical ground service for parcels shipped within Canada. It offers tracking and estimated delivery times are usually between 2–9 days depending on destination address. Generally speaking, though, the most you’d have to wait for a cross-country delivery would be 5–7 day, with shorter transit times ranging 3–5 days. 

Standard Domestic Shipping Services 

These services tend to take between 3–5 days to make final delivery. If you are shipping between metropolitan areas, it is likely that the transit time and shipping will not be on the higher end. However, the longer the distance and more remote the location, the more this will impact shipping rates and transit time. 

  • Canada Post Expedited Parcel: Expedited Parcel ™ is like Regular Parcel but a little quicker. It generally takes 1–7 days for final delivery depending on destination.
  • Purolator Ground: Purolator Ground® is a shipping service that lets you ship to all provinces and territories in 1 or more business days.
  • FedEx Ground: A standard ground service for intra-Canada shipping that takes 1–7 business days to make final delivery. 
  • CanPar Ground: CanPar Express Ground is an economical shipping service that offers tracking and takes 1–4 business days to make final delivery across Canada. 

Expedited Domestic Shipping Services

These services tend to take between 2–4 days to make final delivery. As with other service types, these transit times and rates are quicker and more affordable when shipping to metro areas. 

  • Canada Post Xpresspost: Xpresspost™ is a little quicker than Expedited Parcel ™. Final delivery takes only 1–3 days for final delivery. 
  • Purolator Ground® 9AM, 10:30 A:M, and Evening: These are services that deliver parcels within customer-preferred timeframes. The transit time is 2 or more days and depending on the option chosen, the delivery is before 9:00 or 10:30 AM, or between the hours of 5:30–9:00 PM. These services are only available on shipments prepared using an automated shipping system. 
  • FedEx Economy: FedEx’s most economical express delivery service that takes 1–3 business days to make final delivery. Final delivery is made to businesses by 5 pm and 8 pm to residential addresses in most metropolitan areas. 
  • CanPar Select: Whether using Selectletter for envelopes, Selectpak for polybags or large documents, or SelectParcel for larger shipments, CanPar Select takes 1–3 days to make final delivery. 

Domestic Next-Day and Two-Day Shipping Services

These are services that are day-definite, next-day delivery options for shipping within Canada. While other services listed above can make final delivery sooner, these services are guaranteed to reach their destination within the timeframe advertised by the carrier. If you are using a shipping service like ShipStation, the shipment will not process and we will not display a rate if a service is not available for a selected order. Keep in mind that there are situations where domestic express options will not be available for a desired order. This is particularly if it is late in the day or if the customer is in a remote area. 

  • Canada Post Priority®: Priority™ is Canada Post’s quickest domestic shipping option. Deliveries are made on the next business day in major urban centres. 
  • UPS Standard®: Standard® is a good next-day option if you need to balance affordability and express shipping times. 
  • UPS Expedited: Expedited is a day-definite service that offers two-day delivery to supported domestic locations. 
  • UPS Express Saver®: Express Saver is UPS’s service that delivers on the next business day, sometimes as early as 3:00 p.m. 
  • UPS Express® Early: Like Express Saver, this is a next-day delivery service for domestic shipments. Delivery can happen as early as 9:00 a.m. in some areas. 
  • Purolator Express: Purolator Express is a next-day delivery option that, like Purolator Ground, delivers to all provinces and territories. 
  • Purolator Express® 9AM, 10:30 A:M, and Evening: These Purolator Express services are their time-definite domestic next-day shipping options. As with Ground, tthe delivery is before 9:00 or 10:30 AM, or between the hours of 5:30–9:00 PM. These services are only available on shipments prepared using an automated shipping system. 
  • FedEx 2Day®: A 1–2 day delivery option that makes final delivery by 5 pm to businesses and by 8 pm to most residential addresses. 
  • FedEx 2Day® A.M.: FedEx’s domestic 2Day service but delivers by noon in most major cities. 
  • FedEx Standard Overnight®: Final domestic delivery is made by 5 pm next business day to most businesses or by 8 pm to most metro areas. 
  • FedEx Priority Overnight®: Priority Overnight® is FedEx’s time-definite delivery service that delivers to most metro areas by noon next-day, or 2–3 business days to other areas. 
  • FedEx First Overnight®: First Overnight® makes final delivery to most metro areas by 10 am local time. 
  • CanPar Express: CanPar Express is an expedited service that guarantees delivery in 1–2 days depending on location. 

Best Options for Shipping to the United States

The US is Canada’s largest shipping partner. As such, being a successful ecommerce merchant means having a good shipping strategy for your customers south of the border. Luckily, you get access to a wide array of affordable crossborder shipping options when you sign up for ShipStation. Below are the best services available for you to easily and affordably ship to your American customers. 

Luckily, ShipStation makes international shipping simple. If you want to learn more about how to get started with customers forms or taking your business to the next level of international shipping, read our Getting Started with International Shipping guide. 

Lightweight Economy Services to the US

If you have lightweight parcels that you want to send crossborder, Canada Post has a couple of great options that you can choose from. Both of these are for parcels weighing less than 2 kg. 

  • Small Packet Air – USA: This is a lightweight option to ship parcels destined to the US that weigh up to 2 kg. It generally takes 5–8 days to make final delivery.
  • Tracked Packet – USA: Tracked Packet is a way of shipping trackable parcels to the US that weigh up to 2 kg. Parcels can also be insured up to $100. 

Standard Shipping Services to the US 

If your customer isn’t in a rush to receive their parcel, there are some great economical crossborder services available to you from ShipStation. These shipping options range anywhere from 3–7 shipping days without having day-definite guarantees. 

  • Canada Post Expedited Parcel USA: This is a shipping service that takes 4–7 days to reach final destination in the US. It includes $100 insurance and is avialable for parcels weighing up to 30 kg. 
  • Canada Post Xpresspost™ USA: With Xpresspost™ USA, you can ship to the 48 contiguous US states in 2–3 business days. There is also a day-definite delivery guarantee when delivering to certain metro areas.
  • Purolator Ground® U.S.: A ground service that takes two or more business days to make final delivery to US addresses. 
  • FedEx International Ground™: An affordable ground delivery option that delivers to US addresses in 2–7 business days depending on the delivery location. 
  • DHL Economy Select: This is DHL’s more economical shipping service that takes 1–3 days to make final delivery to supported international destinations. 

Next-Day and Two-Day Shipping Services to the US

There are many options available to merchants wanting to ship express parcels to customers in the US. Luckily, relationships with UPS, USPS, and FedEx are strong and allow for quick crossborder import with very little delays. 

  • Canada Post Priority™ Worldwide: Priority Worldwide is a next-day shipping service for the US that offers an on-time delivery guarantee regardless of destination. 
  • UPS Worldwide Expedited®: This is UPS’s Canadian option to ship to the US next-day. It doesn’t offer noon or AM services like Express does, however. 
  • UPS Express® and Express Saver and Express Early: This is a next-day delivery option to the US. Express and Express saver will deliver by the end of day, while Express Early is a morning service that can deliver by 8:00 am. 
  • Purolator Express® U.S.: Purolator Express delivers to most all US destinations by the end of the next business day. They also have U.S. 9AM, 10:30AM, and 12PM services that deliver by the speciifcied time on the following business day. 
  • FedEx® International Economy: International Economy is FedEx’s 2-day shipping service that  
  • FedEx International Priority®: Most US-based deliveries are made by 4:30 next business day to businesses and 5:00 pm to some rural areas.
  • FedEx International Priority® Express: Delivers next business day to US-based commercial addresses by 10:30 am and by noon to residential addresses. 
  • FedEx International First®: This is the most express shipping service to the US supported in ShipStation. It will deliver by 8 am to many supported cities in the US.
  • DHL Express Worldwide: Express Worldwide is DHL’s next-day deliver service that delivers by end-of-day the next available business day. Additionally, DHL offers Express 9:00, 10:30, and 12:00 services which make final delivery on the next business day by the selected time. 

Best International Shipping Options

Expanding to global markets is a rewarding and challenging step that takes your business to the next level. Luckily there are many great carriers to choose from that can help you provide the best services for all of your customers, regardless of where they live. 

Shipping globally takes more time than shipping to the US. Europe and Latin America generally take the shortest amount of time, while Asian, Australia, Africa, and Pacific islands can take longer. 

Economy International Services

These are the slower, more affordable shipping options that are generally reserved for lightweight items that don’t need to be delivered as urgently. There are many options available within ShipStation. 

  • Canada Post International Parcel™: International Parcel is an international shipping service that lets you deliver to Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, and South America in 6-10 business days by air. By surface transportation, parcels take 1–2 months to be delivered to Europe and South America, and 2–3 months to reach Asian and African destinations.  
  • Canada Post Small Packet International™: Small Packet International is an economical way to ship lightweight parcels weighing up to 2 kg around the world. Its delivery speed by surface transportation is the same as International Parcel®. However, by air, the transit time is reduced to 12+ days for all non-US international destinations. 
  • Canada Post Tracked Packet International™: Tracked Packet International® is a quicker option for shipping parcels weighing up to 2 kg internationally. Parcels delivered to the supported 31 countries arrive in 6–10 business days.

International Standard Shipping Options

These are international shipping services that take between 3–5 business days to reach their final destination. 

  • Canada Post Priority Worldwide: Priority Worldwide is Canada Post’s quickest international delivery option. It can reach most supported international destinations in 2–3 business days. 
  • UPS Worldwide Expedited®: Worldwide Expedited allows you to ship to metro areas in Latin America and Europe in 3+ days, and metro areas in Asia and the Middle East in 3+ days. 
  • UPS Worldwide Express®: Worldwide Express® lets you ship to Latin America and Europe in 2 days, and the Middle East in 3+ days.  
  • FedEx® International Economy: This international service takes 2–5 days to make final delivery in major markets around the world. 
  • FedEx International Priority: Final delivery is made within 1–3 business days to non-US international addresses.
  • DHL Economy Select: This is DHL’s more economical shipping service that takes 1–3 days to make final delivery to supported international destinations. 

International Express Shipping Options

While there are a surprising number of international express shipping options available, many of them are only available to supported locations around the world. So, a label for an order going to London or Mexico City is a lot more likely to be produced than one going to Uzbekistan. These day-definite services are not only next-day or two-day services. Some of them are also available as 3-day services. And, given the way international shipping has been going lately, a money-back guarantee is nice to lean on when dealing with these high-dollar services and the items people want shipped internationally so quickly. 

  • UPS Worldwide Express Plus®: Wordlwide Express Plus® is a way to ship to business addresses in Europe and Asian in 2 days, as early as 8:00 a.m. 
  • UPS Worldwide Express Saver®: Worldwide Express Saver delivers in 2 days to locations in the US and Europe, and 3 days to Asia. 
  • Purolator Express International®: For parcels bound to non-US international destinations, Purolator Express International delivers in 2 days. They also have 9AM, 10:30AM, and 12PM services that deliver by these specified times. 
  • FedEx International Priority: Final delivery is made within 1–3 business days to non-US international addresses. 
  • FedEx International Priority® Express: Fedex’s 1–3 day international shipping service that arrives by noon. 
  • FedEx International First®: This is FedEx’s fastest day-definite service for international shipping. Final delivery is made in 2 days by 9:00 am to select cities in Europe, 10:00 am in Latin America. It takes 3 days to make final delivery by 10:00 am to select Asian and Australian metro areas. 
  • DHL Express Worldwide: Express Worldwide is DHL’s next-day deliver service that delivers by end-of-day the next available business day. Additionally, DHL offers Express 9:00, 10:30, and 12:00 services which make final delivery on the next business day by the selected time. 

How A Shipping Software Saves You Even More Time and Money

ShipStation is all about simplifying shipping. The less time you spend shipping, the more time you can spend building your brand and finding ways to grow your business into new markets. Or, you could also just relax more. Either way, with ShipStation, you have access to all the top carriers, selling channels, and automations you need to make shipping simpler. 

Automate Your Shipping Workflow

When your orders import into ShipStation from wherever you sell your products, ShipStation is already working to configure the best shipping options. Whether it’s a shipping service your customer chose, an option you found in this blog, or your preferred shipping method, there’s no need to manually apply the service with ShipStation. This can all be set up to run like clockwork. That way, when you log into ShipStation, your orders are ready to ship. 

International Shipping Simplified

International and crossborder shipping doesn’t have to be complicated! With ShipStation, you can create your required customs forms at the same time as the labels. 

Branded Shipping Options

ShipStation not only helps your internal shipping processes. We can also help elevate the shipping process for your customers. Beyond the fact that we help you get your orders to customers quicker and for less money, you also get access to high-quality shipping confirmation emails, delivery confirmation emails, return portals, and tracking pages. There are so many unknowns during the shipping process, and great correspondence conveys your commitment to customers. 

Find out how much time and money you can save by switching to ShipStation. Try it free for 30 days.

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