Often, in small nations shipping is a very straightforward and basic process, usually provided by one or two companies. However, a vast country such as Canada requires a practical and efficient shipping system that can traverse various geographical landscapes and extreme weather conditions from the wet Maritimes, to the flat prairies, to the frozen north. Hundreds of options are available, and it can be difficult to know where to begin.
Shipping options depend on the speed that items need to be delivered and desired budget. They also depend on which region of Canada one lives in, as not all services are available in every area.
Whether you are shipping privately or for business reasons, or even moving across country, Canada offers a variety of options for all your shipping needs.
A quick Google search will reveal a wide range of companies from small, local business in a variety of towns, to national locations located in most major cities of all provinces and territories.
Slower-Speed Shipping Options
For those with time to spare and are looking to save some money, slower shipping options are available.
Bus Lines – Canada’s varied bus lines offer package delivery from station to station along their route.
Parcels are weighed and measured for their dimensions and then placed under the bus for travel. However, it may be several days before your parcel reaches its final stop, as buses often go through many towns, with many rest breaks before finally reaching their destination .
This option is currently best used primarily from Sudbury, Ontario to the east coast as businesses have recently liquidated all passenger and cargo services in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, and western Ontario.
Services continue to run with several reputable companies throughout the eastern provinces.
Ships–Shipping by boat is not just for international deliveries. Those living near the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway have the option of shipping within Canada.
Highway H20, is a 3, 700 km marine highway, consisting of the St. Lawrence River, St. Lawrence Seaway, and the Great Lakes. It runs between Canada and the United States.
For remote communities in the area, its more than 100 ports can be very beneficial. For example, Northern Quebec is serviced from Sept-Îleson the St. Lawrence River, with stops in various towns south to Hamilton on Lake Ontario. The highway continues further south to Lake Erie in the United States. In addition, the shores of Lake Huron have several ports including Sault. Ste. Marie, and further east to Lake Huron all the way to Thunder Bay.
Highway H20 offers a handy search option for planning your route.
Medium-Speed Shipping Options
Freight – For those with a bit more time, but still wanting to save money, shipping by freight is an option. Many trucking companies stepped in to offer their services to fill the gap in Western Canada.
Varied trucking companies are available at different speeds and different prices. Do not hesitate to shop around, there are a great deal to choose from.
Some even offer options of 2 drivers to deliver quickly without mandatory rest breaks or transferringyour product.
Medium-Faster Speed Shipping Options
Mail – Shipping by mail is another option. Parcels can be shipped by mail carrier truck or air with many options for speed of delivery. The national Canadian postal system costs slightly less than private courier companies. They offer services such as personal or business options, and ship letters and parcels as well. For example, a 20lb package from Vancouver to Toronto is approximately $50 CAD for basic delivery. Packages can be tracked with a tracking number.
In contrast, a glance through private courier companies reveals a slightly higher price range. Average is about $70 CAD, while 2-day shipping with guaranteed delivery by 9am skyrockets to $175 CAD. Private companies offer tracking systems for your package as well.
Fastest-Speed Shipping Options
Air – Shipping by air is also an option with parcels that can be delivered within hours. Various airline companies offer cargo services for various prices.
Searching for Shipping Options
A handy search option exists that allows you to input your location and destination postal codes and weight of your package. It then lists courier companies and offers an estimate for delivery time, cost, and rating of service.
Shipping Company Safety
Your parcel is precious; it is best to make an informed decision. Some companies offer insurance, while others are used at your own risk. The Better Business Bureau is the perfect website to weigh your options. Users can read reviews of Canadian and US shipping companies.
For example, searching for the term “shipping” in Toronto, Ontario lists 83 results of varied companies, while Vancouver reveals 85 results. These can be narrowed down by choosing the categories of logistics, freight forwarding, express shipping services, transportation, delivery services, and moving supplies.
Googling reviews is also a good place to begin. See what people are saying about the company to make a decision. There are so many options, do not feel pressured to choose one particular service.
Shipping company options in Canada are varied. Choosing one is now easier than ever and depends on your price range and desired speed.