How much is shipping in Canada?

Find in this article an overview of the different aspects directly impacting shipping costs in Canada.

How much is shipping in Canada? Multiple factors affecting the total cost lie within your control as a business owner, while others depend on forces beyond your purview. Understanding the difference and how to mitigate issues may play the deciding role in your success.

The success of your small business hinges on multiple factors — one of which is how efficiently you can deliver your products to your customer’s doorsteps. Improvements in technology and infrastructure have created rising demands for speed, convenience, and transparency. If you ship internationally additional factors like trade law and tariff regulations can affect the cost of doing business with foreign customers. Canada and the United States enjoy friendly relationships and open trade agreements, but prices will still impact operating expenses for your business.

How Small Business Shipping Gets Done

Everyone from Etsy shop owners to manufacturers must figure out the most expedient way to get their goods into consumers’ hands. While budgets may vary, the problems are similar. How can you quickly get your product to your customers’ doorsteps? How can you keep shoppers up to date on their shipment location? How do you prevent damage during transit and how do you handle returns?

You need specifics to figure out how much shipping is in Canada. Small businesses use various tools and methodologies to handle their shipping needs. Here are some common options many businesses choose to get their goods shipped to customers in time:

  • National parcel delivery services like USPS and Canada Post
  • Shipping services that pickup goods from your location for delivery or transport them via third-party to customers’ doorsteps after you drop them off at a designated location (i.e. Chit Chats)
  • Regional carriers or affiliates that operate in a single region
  • Curbside and locker deliveries, where the customer picks up the goods from a store or other prescribed location, and transports it the final miles themselves
  • On-demand carriers like Postmates and DoorDash that pick up goods from retail locations for customer delivery
  • Retailer delivery that uses the business’ employees for delivery, such as Walmart Spark

Domestic Versus International Shipping

Business owners who ship internationally have additional rules to address. International shipping can generally cost more depending on the service used. Remember that when a shipment is being shipped overseas the product must be compliant to any customs regulations for the destination country in addition to any restrictions by the carrier shipping the package. 

Due to the multiple carriers involved and customs clearance there is a higher likelihood of delays. Many international businesses prefer to outsource their shipping needs. Dealing with one enterprise that takes goods from the point of manufacture to their eventual destination reduces issues, although using a combination of methods may improve speed, efficiency and sustainability.

Frequent Issues Small Business Shippers Face

Shipping delays can sometimes be inevitable but cost you customers, as more people put a premium on speed. For example, goods that require customs inspections can take longer to reach their destination — are your customers aware of this possibility? Having tracking available allows purchasers to check the status of their package and  inspires greater trust and transparency.

Address mistakes can also cause delays or orders that never appear, resulting in dissatisfied customers. Does your checkout process verify the purchaser’s address? If not, it’s a good idea to ask your customers as this can be a simple way to prevent a bad customer experience.

Some delays are beyond your control. For example, imagine a small manufacturer can’t control a shipping brand’s internal process, which leads to disgruntled employees and more mishandled, broken goods. However, they can choose their carriers with an eye to who has the best on-time delivery records and offers insurance to offset costs in case of loss or damage.

How Much Is Shipping in Canada: Factors That Influence the Cost

While pricing your shipping depends on multiple factors, knowing what they are helps you reduce costs while improving efficiency. The following factors can help you determine how much shipping is in Canada.

1. Parcel Size, Dimensions and Weight

The bigger and heavier a parcel is, the more it costs to deliver. However, this rule also hinges on a third factor — dimensions. Shipping something lightweight that takes up more truck space or features an unusual shape that makes it difficult to transport will increase costs.

Fragility also impacts the cost of shipping with some carriers — a rare acoustic guitar might cost more to move than a safe. Furthermore, goods that contain hazardous materials may incur additional fees.

2. Shipping Volume and Frequency

If you do a lot of shipping with one company, you might be able to negotiate lower prices. For example, Canada Post offers volume discounts to businesses that regularly send bulk mail. Some nationwide and regional brands also offer price breaks to those who schedule routine shipments.

Shipping services like Chit Chats, provide already discounted shipping rates as they pass on their discounts directly to their clients.

3. Technology and Tools

Although employing technology incurs costs, it also improves shipping efficiency. For example, using delivery drones can entail a significant upfront investment but get goods to rural areas more sustainably and quickly. Some big enterprises like Amazon and Walmart have already employed such gadgets to improve delivery times.

Third-party shipping services continue to grow in popularity, as these organizations are great alternatives for ecommerce businesses. As such, they’ll often negotiate the lowest prices with partner carriers. Many also provide tech solutions that help save time like integrations.

4. Regulations and Trade Agreements

Understanding any restrictions for shipping to the U.S. or internationally is important as a business so do your research. 

Nearly $1.6 billion worth of goods crosses the border between the U.S. and Canada each day. The North American Free Trade Agreement covers many products manufactured with parts from multiple foreign countries, but not all. Those who don’t meet the qualifications incur additional costs. Cross border services like Chit Chats offer a streamlined solution to ship your goods across international borders. 

5. Fuel Prices and Energy Costs

Until free green solar energy becomes the norm, fuel prices will continue to impact shipping costs. There’s little individual small business owners can do to influence oil prices, but they can seek the most eco-friendly methods to deliver their goods to buyers’ doorsteps. Doing so reduces how much they pay to operate and could increase sales — 68% of consumers indicate they will pay more for sustainability.

6. Transportation Modes and Infrastructure

Canada is a huge country, spanning over 3.85 million square miles. Getting your goods to a customer’s doorstep may require a combination of planes, trains and automobiles, depending on where they live.

Furthermore, delivery to some remote locations could prove problematic — and more expensive — at certain times of the year. For example, the harsh bitter cold and icy conditions make many highways hazardous during the Canadian winter, and getting goods to distant outposts could require the coordinated efforts of multiple experts in harsh-condition transportation.

Shipping and Substainability

Delivering goods to their eventual destinations creates considerable emissions. Shipping currently accounts for 3% of total greenhouse gas emissions, but that percentage could rise to as high as 10% by 2050 if companies fail to change their delivery methods.

Employing more eco-friendly technology — such as electric delivery trucks — can make the process cleaner and more sustainable, delighting customers and helping everyone breathe easier. Brands like Coca-Cola have already begun the transition to electric fleets and following their lead earns your organization high marks for environmental friendliness.

Reducing the Cost of Shipping in Canada

How much is shipping in Canada for small business owners? As you’ve seen, many factors influence your price. If you want to reduce your headaches, partnering with the right shipping service can help. Chit Chats is an all-in-one shipping solution that works closely with partner carriers to provide businesses with low-cost postage. 

You can drop off shipments, mail them in or arrange a third-party pickup. Plus with full tracking and insurance options, give both yourself and customers peace of mind. Relieve your shipping woes and give yourself more time to devote to your primary enterprise by contacting Chit Chats today.

Author Bio

Known for his expertise in industry dynamics, Jack Shaw serves as the editor of Modded. Through his insightful analysis and practical advice, Jack seeks to empower readers with the knowledge to thrive in the ever-evolving corporate landscape, guiding them toward success in their professional endeavors.