Most LTL shipping guides primarily concern themselves with moving freight in and around the lower 48 states. This sort of coverage map is part of a “standard” LTL shipment (among other things). But we also ship freight to and from Canada. There are some different processes to follow for Canada shipping, and this Freight Paper will get you all the
information you’ll need for you Canadian LTL shipments.
At FreightPros, we offer both shipping to Canada from the United States, and shipping from Canada to the United
States. We do NOT offer Intra-Canadian shipping (where the freight’s pickup and delivery locations are both located in Canada). However, there are many LTL carriers in Canada available to service freight that is not entering or leaving the country.
We use a standard LTL carrier for the domestic portion of the shipment, and then a Canadian carrier, arranged through our domestic freight carrier, will interline the Canadian end of the shipment. All communication will go through the domestic carrier; therefore we will not make direct contact with the interlining Canadian carrier.
The first thing needed for a successful Canadian LTL shipment is a Customs Broker. This is an additional service not offered by FreightPros, so it’s the customer’s responsibility to find a customs broker before they set up their LTL shipment through our brokers. A quick Google search for “Canadian Customs Brokers,” should suffice. Keep in mind that some customs brokers service freight from Canada to the U.S. and others service U.S. to Canada. Make sure you’re using the correct customs broker both in and out of Canada. Once you have a customs broker, you’ll need to put their contact name and phone number somewhere on the BOL used at the time of pickup. The information must be clearly legible, as the domestic freight carrier will contact the customs broker when the shipment reaches the border. If the customs broker information is not included on the BOL, or is illegible or incorrect, this will result in significant delays for your shipment. Sometimes there can even be costly storage fees depending on the freight carrier and the length of the delay.
At FreightPros we instruct our customers to put the customs broker information in the “Special Instructions” portion of the BOL so that the information is always easy to find, but most carriers accept the information anywhere on the BOL, as long as it’s clear and correct.
The next things you’ll need are three (3) copies of the commercial invoice for whatever you’re shipping. The invoices will be included in the paperwork you give to the driver at the time of pickup. Failure to do so will result in the freight not being picked up, and further delays down the line.
Why three? One will be for the domestic carrier, one will be for the border/customs officials, and the final invoice will be for the Canadian carrier interlining the shipment.
There should be no additional charges through the freight broker for any shipment going to and from Canada. However, the customer will be responsible for finding a customs broker to handle the border crossing, and any charges that come from that service.
Shipments moving through customs can often be delayed, so it’s a good idea to add one to two additional days of transit for any shipments crossing the border. Though there is not always a delay, it’s better to plan for the additional transit time in the beginning than to be caught off-guard.
Finally, take extra special care to ensure that the consignee information is correct when shipping into Canada. Because a Canadian carrier will be interlining the freight, communication can be more difficult than a standard, domestic LTL Shipment. Incorrect delivery information will lead to delays and possible storage fees so make sure contact and address information is correct. If you’re using a freight broker, they should be able to track the shipment, and help avoid shipping delays.
Contact us at www.FreightPros.com or 888-297-6968. Visit our Freight Paper archive, and get a Freight Quote today!