Ecommerce Fulfilment Services

Shipping from UK to Canada: Your Complete Guide

shipping from uk to canada
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As an ambitious UK eCommerce business, you’ve likely dreamed of taking your products to new international markets. Well, dream no more – Canada beckons with open arms (and wallets). This vast northern nation presents an enticing opportunity to grow your business beyond British borders.

However, navigating the logistics of shipping across the Atlantic can feel like a daunting voyage into uncharted waters. From understanding customs procedures and duties to selecting reliable couriers and nailing those transit times, there’s a lot to prepare for when expanding into Canada. 

Pros of Shipping to Canada

  • Proximity: Compared to shipping across the Atlantic to the United States, the shorter distance between the UK and Canada can result in faster transit times and lower shipping costs.
  • Established Trade Relationship: The UK and Canada have a long history of trade facilitated by agreements like the UK-Canada Trade Continuity Agreement (TCA), which can streamline customs procedures.
  • Similar Business Cultures: The cultural similarities and shared language between the UK and Canada can make it easier for British businesses to understand and navigate the Canadian market.
  • Growing Consumer Market: With a population nearing 40 million and a strong economy, Canada represents an attractive consumer market for UK exporters to expand into.

Cons of Shipping to Canada 

  • Winter Weather Delays: Canada’s harsh winters, especially in central and western regions, can lead to transportation delays and disruptions that impact shipping timelines.
  • Remote Locations: Delivering to remote areas in Canada’s vast northern territories can increase shipping complexity and costs due to the need for more infrastructure.
  • Bilingual Requirements: To comply with Canada’s bilingual regulations, product labelling and marketing materials may need to be provided in both English and French.
  • Customs Documentation: Securing proper documentation, like commercial invoices and product classifications, can add administrative overhead when shipping internationally.

Shipping from UK to Canada: The Basics

The distance between the UK and Canada, spanning over 3,500 miles across the Atlantic Ocean, means transit times are longer than domestic shipping. Most ground couriers offer standard service averaging 7-10 business days, with expedited 3-5 day options available at a premium.

Both countries have customs agencies – Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) in the UK and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). International shipments undergo customs clearance procedures upon arrival to confirm regulatory compliance and calculate applicable duties and taxes. CBSA requires a commercial invoice detailing the consignment’s contents and value and other forms to avoid restricted and prohibited items and shipping delays.

This customs clearance process typically takes 1-2 working days once the shipment reaches Canada. It can be performed either by the courier (for a fee) or the recipient. Do-it-yourself clearance can save on middleman costs but requires navigating government reporting mandates.

Navigating Duties and Tax

International trade always involves taxes and duties as part of shipping estimates.

The main types are customs duties and sales tax:

  • Customs Duties: Tariffs applied by the destination nation on imported goods. Rates vary widely by good classifications called Harmonized System (HS) codes. The CETA agreement between the UK and Canada has reduced or eliminated many tariffs, facilitating trade.
  • Sales Tax: Canada applies a 5% federal Goods and Services Tax (GST) on most goods and services and an additional Provincial Sales Tax (PST) in some provinces.

Proper packaging and insurance are essential for shipping goods overseas to protect your products and provide safe delivery.

  • Packaging: Use sturdy boxes or crates sealed against water and impact. Clearly label each package with your contact information so customs and customers can easily identify it. This helps the package pass through different countries smoothly.
  • Insurance: Make sure your items are covered in case something goes wrong during transit. Carriers offer coverage, or you can get separate cargo insurance. Understand the types of losses covered and any payout limits.
  • Tracking: New tracking technologies allow you to monitor your shipment every step of the way. Request text or email updates at key points, such as arrival at an airport or border. This helps prevent delays or lost packages.

Plan ahead and have backups for unexpected delays. Following these best practices means your international shipments arrive safely and efficiently, leading to happy customers all around the world.

Choosing the Right Courier to Canada

Several international delivery companies offer UK-to-Canada shipping options, including FedEx, DHL, and UPS.

Each has its specialities, so it’s worth comparing factors like:

  • Price: Typically based on weight, dimensions, and service speed. Larger parcel services tend to be cheaper for small and mid-sized shipments.
  • Delivery Speed: From standard ground to time-guaranteed expedited options. Consider rush requirements and associated premiums.
  • Tracking: Visibility into progress benefits both exporters and recipients for peace of mind. All major firms provide online tracking.
  • Customs Assistance: Some couriers offer clearance support as part of their international services. Compare included and extra paperwork fees.
  • Surcharges: Watch for additional charges like residential or remote area deliveries. Calculate total costs.

For businesses that partner with Delta Fulfilment, this decision-making process is simplified. Thanks to our massive network, we take the guesswork out of selecting a courier service. We assess your needs and find the most cost-effective and efficient option, whether that’s the fastest delivery or the most budget-friendly service. You don’t need to spend time comparing couriers – we do it for you, ensuring your shipments are handled with the utmost care and efficiency.

Door-to-Door International Delivery with Delta Fulfilment 

With over 100 fulfilment centres globally, we can offer rapid order fulfilment to customers worldwide. For urgent shipments, we can get your products out the door and on their way within 24-48 hours. If speed isn’t an issue, you can distribute from our UK facilities using trusted carrier partners for reliable international 1-2 week delivery timelines.

We understand that managing the logistics of cross-border shipping can be a complex juggling act. Guaranteeing compliance with ever-changing regulations, coordinating transportation across borders, and maintaining shipment visibility is an administrative burden. By partnering with Delta Fulfilment, we’ll take that weight off your shoulders so you can focus on your core business operations and growth initiatives.

As an experienced 3PL provider moving thousands of shipments globally each year, we bring expertise in international fulfilment. Our extensive global network allows us to seamlessly move your products door-to-door to customers overseas, handling every step of the process. From customs documentation to carrier selection and more, we’ll simplify your international operations.

Get a quote from our team today, and we’ll tailor our services to your goals. We’ll provide the speed, visibility and compliance you need to deliver outstanding customer experiences worldwide.

Shipping to Canada FAQs

How long does it take to ship from the UK to Canada?

Transit times for shipping from the UK to Canada typically range from 5-10 business days via standard courier services. Express shipping options can deliver packages in 1-3 business days.

What is the fastest shipping method from UK to Canada?

The fastest shipping method from the UK to Canada is typically an express courier service like DHL Express or FedEx International Priority. These services can deliver packages from the UK to major cities in Canada in 1-3 business days.

Are there any customs requirements when sending to Canada?

Yes, there are customs requirements when shipping to Canada from the UK. All shipments must have a completed Canada Customs Invoice or similar documentation detailing the contents, value, and sender/receiver information. Duties and taxes may apply based on the type of goods and their value.

Can I send food to Canada?

Most commercially packaged and labelled food items can be shipped to Canada from the UK, but certain products, such as meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy, are restricted. Perishable foods generally require special handling. Please check Canadian import regulations before shipping food items.

How safe will my package be?

Reputable courier companies like the ones we use at Delta Fulfilment have robust tracking and security measures in place to ensure the safety of packages shipped from the UK to Canada. Packages are handled with care and insured against loss or damage.

Is there anything I can’t ship to Canada?

There are restrictions on shipping certain items to Canada, such as firearms, ammunition, explosives, drugs, obscene materials, and some plants/plant products. Check the prohibited items list before attempting to ship prohibited or restricted items to Canada.

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