While Canada is sometimes only a bridge or a tunnel away, it can seem light years further when it comes to shipping goods between the United States and our neighbor to the north. There are some additional hurdles that make shipping more challenging, but they are surmountable. Here are some issues you will face when shipping between the two countries.


According to Easyship, even if shipping a package is from distances as close as Detroit to Windsor, there are a variety of different things that can delay a package. Bear in mind that the package is crossing an international border, even if tens of thousands of people traverse the border every day. This means that the package may need to go through customs, making it possible that it would need to be inspected. Packages are routinely opened to make sure that the contents of the package match the description.

Shipping Costs

According to Need a US Address, an estimated 75 percent of Canadians live within 161 kilometers (100 miles) of the US border, but those 100 miles can cost Canadian customers hundreds of dollars. These costs also cause headaches for US businesses. The Canadian government collects taxes on packages that are mailed into the country. There is an exception for packages that are valued up to $20. After that, all packages are subject to customs levies. This will add to the cost of shipping to Canada as the carrier will tack these fees on, leaving many Canadians wary of making a U.S. order. Not only that, but the added delays of shipping your product through the border can also add to your business cost.

Unexpected Weather

When shipping to or from Canada, according to Parcel Industry, you always need to factor in the weather. This is especially true in the winter. Any means of shipping need clear weather to proceed. The harsh and stormy Canadian winters can cause added delays. For example, if shipping north to Canada is by airplane, the plane will not be able to take off or land in the severe winter weather. The further north in Canada that you are shipping to, the more pronounced this problem is. This would add both costs and time to ship to and from Canada, and it is something to consider depending on the time of year.

Simply knowing the challenges of shipping to Canada is one step to success, as being more informed makes you more prepared. It is not impossible to ship, but it can sometimes be more expensive and time-consuming. Still, exploring the possibilities may help open new markets to the north for your business.

Having shipping issues? Read these tips on how to make your shipping process smoother!