The Cheapest Ways to Ship to the US from Canada

Published on September 21, 2022
Written by
Filed under Carrier Rates
Read time 5 Minutes

The US is Canada’s largest trade partner by a wide margin. Canada exchanges over $500 billion in goods with the US each year. Because of this close relationship, shipping from Canada to the US is not particularly difficult. So, basically, if you properly document your contents, and don’t ship banned items, you should be fine.

Cheapest Shipping from Canada to the US

The US is almost always every Canadian merchant’s first international market. Luckily it can be an affordable international market to break into. These are the most affordable ways to get your orders to your American customers. And ShipStation offers discounts for merchants printing Canada Post labels!

Cheapest Way to Ship a Package Under 1 Kilogram to the US

Canada Post Small Packet Air is the most common and cost-effective shipping option to ship goods to the US from Canada under 1 kilogram in dimensional weight. Best of all, it can reach many American metro areas in 4 business days.

Cheapest Way to Ship a Package Under 2 Kilograms to the US

Canada Post Tracked Packet is a slightly more expedited shipping service than Canada Post Small Packet Air. It generally reaches its final destination in 4-7 business days.

For a list of surcharges, you can accrue when shipping with Canada Post to the US, read here.

Cheapest Way to Ship a Package Heavier Parcels to the US

Other shipping carriers, particularly for heavier parcels or oversized packages, that merchants commonly use to ship freight to the United States are Canada Post Expedited Parcel, FedEx Ground, FedEx Express, UPS Standard/Ground, and Purolator Ground. These services offer roughly the same services with varying shipping rates and a delivery timeframe of around 3-7 business days—depending on the distance.

How to Create Customs Forms for Shipments to the US

As with all international shipments, parcels shipped to the US require customs forms for customs clearance.

For most Canada Post services, the customs declarations appear on the postage label. So, there is no additional documentation you need to provide beyond the label.

FedEx, DHL, and UPS require commercial invoices for international shipments. While these forms are required, it is possible to submit these electronically via EDI and ETD.

Customs Costs When Shipping to the US

The US does have a few international shipping regulations for items purchased online. To get more of a breakdown on costs and regulations, the US Customs and Border Patrol has detailed resources around what to expect. (or payor if selected).  

Items Prohibited from Shipping to the US

Be aware that some items will not pass US customs, even with proper customs declaration. There’s a lot of cargo between Kinder eggs and Syrian petroleum that won’t reach their final delivery. Here are a few commonly rejected items:

  • All pipes related to the use of illicit drugs such as ‘smoking pipes’ used as drug paraphernalia
  • Even if you’re shipping somewhere like Denver, hemp products such as cosmetics, clothing, food, etc. that contain tetrahydrocannabinols (THC) will be trashed.
  • Alcohol beverages
  • Animals, such as birds, fish, reptiles, dead animals or animals that have been mounted
  • Articles of unusual value, such as priceless art, jewelry, collectibles and antiques
  • Fur
  • Tobacco, cigarettes, tobacco products
  • For a full list of prohibited items, read this

To start saving on international and domestic shipping, sign up for a free ShipStation trial!

Written by

James Messer

James Messer is a copywriter specializing in shipping, logistics, and ecommerce.

Want to learn more about ShipStation?