How to Ship Equipment to Canada

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Francisca Olive / May 2023

Canada is one of the largest countries by land with a healthy economy. Its location to the north of the USA creates a perfect opportunity for businesses to ship their products and extend their market. One of the most popular methods is container shipping to Canada and heavy equipment export to Canada.

An export business for equipment can be very lucrative, but moving such products across countries come with added taxes, permits, and other restrictions. Shipping machinery to Canada should not be complex, especially if you know what to expect. Let’s look at the requirements, logistics, and considerations you should make as you prepare your freight for cross-border shipping.

Canada Shipping Regulation

Oversize load transported on a trailer.

All equipment you intend to ship to Canada must meet energy efficiency. You will need to do energy efficiency reporting, especially when dealing with equipment not listed in the NRCan’s database. It’s good to note that shipping items to Canada may also take some time, based on the weight of the equipment. Trucks carrying heavy loads move slowly, so ensure you set the shipping schedule appropriately to avoid delays.

You might need pilot cars when shipping heavy equipment to Canada. Escort vehicles should be at the front or back of a heavy haul to ensure your shipment gets to the destination without breaking the law and keep the public safe. You will also need to declare the value of the equipment when crossing borders.

Proper Documentation

Before transporting equipment to Canada, head to Canada’s Control list to see if your shipment requires a special permit. As the shipper, you are responsible for ensuring that all documents and receipts are in order. Not having proper documents will cause delays and add to your shipping costs.

You will need to present a bill of landing that lists all the equipment in your shipment. This document also provides information like the load size, weight, and shipper’s address. If you are dealing with high-value equipment, you will need a certificate of origin to prove that the goods qualify for preferential tariff treatment.

truck on lowboy trailer

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Shipping Costs

Get an estimate of the total shipping fee to help you budget appropriately. Shipping costs will vary based on several factors. To determine the accurate shipping cost, you must provide precise equipment dimensions. It will cost much more to ship oversized equipment, especially if they need special handling. Remember that whenever freight exceeds the permitted load dimensions, it attracts additional licenses, restricted routes, and escorts, thus the high price. Heavier equipment also costs more.

The distance covered will affect the shipping cost. Keep in mind international shipping has a high season. Shipping equipment during the peak season costs more, especially in the summer. Prepare also for custom duties and fees. Once your load gets to the border, the officers will evaluate it and assign a price based on the regulations.

Goods sold in Canada will also accrue good and service tax, provincial sales tax, or harmonized tax. Your shipment may incur other costs, like ancillary fees that cover storage costs during customs clearance.

Shipping Insurance

Insurance is paramount if you want to ship equipment to Canada. This is the only way to protect the goods from loss or damage during transit. The insurance premiums will cost more when shipping high-value equipment. The size of the equipment also matters.

Finding the Right Carrier

The ease of shipping equipment to Canada will depend on the shipping company you choose to work with. You need to work with carriers with experience in moving such goods. Remember to provide the right equipment dimension to help the shipping company choose the right truck for your shipment. You will have an exact shipping cost estimate if you deliver accurate information.

Before hiring a shipping company, do a background check to know their ratings and reputation. Go through the testimonials to determine the quality of their services. Only work with a licensed and insured company to ensure the goods’ safety. Confirm that the company ships to Canada and discuss transportation capabilities and dimensional limitations.

Key Takeaway

Shipping equipment can be a costly and time-consuming process that demands careful planning. For a smooth transportation process, it’s important to consider numerous factors. Hiring transport specialists is wise as they can provide valuable advice on the most effective shipping solutions and handle your logistics.

William Thomas

William Thomas

Heavy Transport Specialist

Being able to lead a team of such talented logistics agents has been a wonderful experience over the past ten years. If you would like to know anything more about the heavy equipment transport services we offer, don't hesitate to give us a call!