Shipping to Canada: Everything You Need to Know


Sending LTL or truckload shipments to Canada from the U.S. doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, when you work with the right partner, it can be relatively easy.

Here’s everything you need to know about shipping to Canada:


Shipping freight to Canada requires a lot of paperwork. Three pieces of paperwork you will always need are a bill of lading (BOL), a Canada Customs Invoice and a NAFTA certificate of origin. It is important to ensure all of your documentation is done correctly to avoid delays in transit. Working with a customs broker or logistics provider on this paperwork is common – some carriers even require it before they will accept your freight.


Since 2013, Canada customs has required all shipment information prior to freight arriving at the border. This way, at the point of crossing, the driver doesn’t have to wait and can simply present an Advanced Commercial Information (ACI) eManifest card to cross the border. For a shipper, this means shipments must be scheduled in advance and collaboration with the carrier is required to ensure all paperwork is done and completed properly.

Freight Quotes

Cross border freight quotes can be tricky – there are numerous cost factors to take into account. It’s quickest and easiest to request several quotes through an online platform, preferably with companies who offer simple rate structures like uniform pallet pricing. This works especially well with small and light freight and can save you a lot of hassle in the shipping process.


If your freight is palletized, which it should be whenever possible, there are a few requirements for the pallets. The wood must be either heat treated or chemically treated with methyl bromide and it must be marked with an ISPM 15 stamp. This may seem unimportant, but the regulation is designed to keep out wood-boring pests or seeds that could harm a new environment. Freight shipped on improper pallets will be denied or could even be destroyed.


Shipping freight to Canada is expensive – it’s worth it to pay a little extra to ensure your freight and protect yourself from fines and damage. Many carriers include basic insurance in their base rates, but if not, extra insurance is easily available from an independent provider. In addition to insurance, most carriers or logistics companies provide online tracking services so you can monitor your freight in transit. This way, should something happen to your freight, you can notify your customer, make alternative shipping arrangements and assure them they will still get their freight in a timely manner.

These are the main things you need to know to easily ship your freight to Canada and avoid delays, fines or damaged freight. However, even an experienced shipper is still at risk when cross border shipping. Working with a customs broker or a logistics provider can make the process even easier.

Contact PLS Logistics today for assistance shipping to Canada.

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