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Canada Container Shipping
Canada Container Shipping

Ocean Or Air Freight Shipping To Or From Canada

Moving to Canada and need to bring your car or household goods? Working for a multinational business, or as an importer-exporter? Whatever your reasons may be, you may need to work with a reputable logistics provider for ocean or air freight container shipping to Canada – which means that you need A-1 Auto Transport.

With our years of experience, we’ve helped thousands of customers ship their goods to Canada. We work with the best transportation companies and customs brokers to streamline the shipping process, and ensure your items arrive at their destination on time and on budget. Get more details about our services below, or contact us to get a free quote now.

FCL Container Shipping (Full Container Load) To Canada

FCL (Full Container Load) shipping consists of loading an entire 20-foot or 40-foot shipping container with your items, and shipping it directly to Canada via an ocean-going container ship.

This is, by far, the most common type of shipping for most importers/exporters and other businesses that operate in Canada. Shipping via FCL is affordable, simplifies logistics, and ensures timely delivery of your goods.

LCL Container Shipping (Less than Container Load) To Canada

LCL container shipping is a good alternative to FCL container shipping if your freight will not take up an entire 20-foot shipping container. In this type of shipping, multiple companies or individuals can share the space in a single container, and will be charged accordingly.

For example, if you take up 60% of the capacity of a container, other individuals can pay to have their goods shipped in the remaining 40% of the container – and you’ll pay proportionally, based on the amount of space you use. If you often ship multiple, small shipments, LCL shipping is right for you.

Ocean Freight Transport To Canada

80% of the world’s freight is transported by ocean-based container ships. Ocean freight is ideal for non-perishable goods or items with a long shelf life. It’s the most cost-effective way to ship goods, particularly extremely heavy items that may not be ideal to ship using air freight.

You’ll send your items to your home port using a truck, and the cargo container will be lifted off of the truck and put onto the cargo ship. Then, the shipments will be sent to the destination. It usually takes somewhere between 20-45 days for ocean freight to be delivered, but this can vary quite a bit depending on your home port and destination port.

Air Freight Transport To Canada

Air freight is a good option for goods that are relatively lightweight and time-sensitive – such as perishable foods, or a delivery that must make it to a customer within a few days. Most air freight shipping takes about 3-5 days to deliver your goods, but some express shipping services offer turnaround times of 1-3 days for an additional fee.

Ocean Or Air Freight Shipping To Or From Canada

Wondering how much it costs to ship your goods to Canada? Here are a few of the factors that may influence the overall cost of shipping your items.

  • Total distance of shipment – Shipping goods to Canada from the U.S., for example, would be cheaper than shipping goods to Canada from South Africa or Australia. The farther your shipment has to travel, the more you’ll pay. 
  • Last-mile trucking – Canada is a big place. If you’re importing items to an ocean port like Vancouver or Montreal and they’re being delivered somewhere inland – like Winnipeg – you’ll also need to pay for last-mile trucking to their destination.
  • LCL vs. FCL ocean shipping – FCL shipping is always cheaper if you have enough items to fill up an entire shipping container. If you split a load that could fit into a single FCL shipment into multiple LCL shipments, you’ll usually pay more overall.

However, LCL is definitely a better option if you don’t ship enough items for LCL loads. It’s a cheaper overall option if you can’t fill up an entire shipping container. 

  • Air vs. ocean freight – Air freight usually costs at least 4x more than ocean shipping, and can cost even more if you opt for rush delivery of your items. By planning ahead and shipping goods via ocean freight, you can save a lot of money – but air shipping is worth it if you’re shipping time-sensitive items. 
  • Cargo volume or weight – The price of goods sent by ship is determined by volume. The more cargo containers or the more space you use in a container, the more you’ll pay.

The same is true of air freight, but the costs are based on weight, not volume. The heavier your items are, the more they’ll cost to ship. Shipping very heavy items – liquids or metals, for example – by air is often not cost-effective.

  • Time of year – Shipping volume is typically the highest during two peak seasons – from August-September and from January-February. You’ll pay more during these times due to increased demand. 

There are a lot of other factors that can influence the cost of your shipping, too. To learn more and get a quote for your shipment, just contact A-1 Auto Transport now. We’d be happy to give you a free, no-commitment estimate for your shipping needs.

Shipping Ports In Canada

Canada has a number of large shipping ports. Here are a few common destinations to which those in the U.S. and other countries ship their goods.

  • Port Metro Vancouver – Located on the West Coast of North America, Port Metro Vancouver is the largest port in Canada, and the third-largest in North America, with a container throughput of more than 6.33 million TEUs (Twenty-foot equivalent units).
  • Port of Montreal – The port of Montreal is one of the largest bulk ports in Canada. Located on the Eastern Seaboard, it handles more than 2,000 ships and 40,500,000 metric tons of freight per year, with a volume of 1.74 million TEUs. 
  • Port of Prince Rupert – Prince Rupert is one of the newer ports in Canada, and it’s located just to the south of Alaska on a small island chain. It handles more than 1 million TEUs of goods per year, and is forecasted to handle more than 2-3 million in the coming years.
  • Port of Halifax – Port of Halifax is located on the eastern tip of North America, and handles 1,500 vessel arrivals per year, with nearly 550,000 TEU and 9 million tons of cargo processed. 
  • Port of Saint John – Port of Saint John is located in Nova Scotia, just to the northeast of the U.S. state of Maine. It handles about 930 vessel arrivals per year, with 30.5 million tons of cargo and 59,100 TEUs.

Depending on the destination of your items, any of these ports may be a good option for you.

Customs Clearance In Canada

During the process of clearing customs in Canada, it is usually a good idea to work with a customs broker to streamline the process of importing your goods. We can assist you in working with a reputable broker to import your goods.

To clear customs in Canada, you will need to begin by obtaining a Business Number (BN) from the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRN), which is a quick and simple process. Then, you will need to arrange documentation about your items. This documentation will be used to determine the tariff classification of your shipment.

Certain goods are not allowed in Canada at all, such as some second-hand mattresses, obscene materials, and most imported or second-hand used vehicles. Some items are importable but restricted, such as firearms, items made from animal materials, and agricultural products. You can learn more about these items from the relevant agency here.

Get a Free Price Rate Quote For Shipping To Canada

At A-1 Auto Transport, we have years of experience shipping goods to Canada by the ocean and by air. We can work with you to arrange the logistics of your shipment, and to ensure that you work with a reputable customs broker to get your items through customs when they arrive in Canada.

So whether you need FCL or LCL ocean freight transport to Canada, or you have a time-sensitive shipment that needs to be sent via air freight transport to Canada, you can trust A-1 Auto Transport to get it done.

A-1 Auto Transport ships worldwide. Click Here or call to get a free, no obligation to buy, price quote for your shipment.
Joe Webster
Written By:Joe Webster
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Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing. 

After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood. 

With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.

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A-1 Auto Transport is a disclosed agent for the following shipping companies:

Trans Global Auto Logistics, Inc.
3401 E Randol Mill Rd
Arlington, TX 76011
NO. 018191NF
CFR Rinkens
15501 Texaco Avenue
Paramount, CA 90723
NO. 013055NF
ABC Worldwide LLC
2840 NW 2nd Ave #105
Boca Raton, FL 33431
NO. 025472F
CSI Logistics
435 Division Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
FMC 22206
Intl Cargo
45 Campus drive
Edison, NJ 08837
NO. 17858N
ShipYourCarNow LLC
1160 South Rogers Circle Suite 1
Boca Raton, FL 33487
NO. 025646
Merco Air & Ocean Cargo, Inc.
6 Fir Way
Cooper City, FL 33026
NO. 021869F
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