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Here's How to Ship Across the U.S. and Canadian Border


Cross-Border Shipping Made Simple

Cross-border shipping between Canada and the US can be a complex process, as it is governed by laws and security requirements from both countries. The process is simply more detailed and lengthy – though not impossible by any means. By choosing FreightCenter – a credible, efficient, and dependable freight shipping partner – we can make border crossing seamless and timely for all parties involved.

How is freight shipped across the Canada US border?

Typically, shipments to or from Canada are transported by road except when they are urgent or time sensitive, in which case there is a possibility for them to be shipped by air as it is a much more efficient (yet expensive) option. Customs clearance is the most vital part of the cross-border shipping process as it determines if the shipment will be allowed to pass through or not. 

The Shipper – That’s You!

  • Place your order and book your shipment, allowing your carrier to start the shipping process as soon as possible.
  • Assemble all essential customs documents to give to your carrier when they pick up your shipment.
  • Ensure both your 3PL broker and your carrier have copies of all documents. FreightCenter partners with Wilsons International, a reliable Customs Broker, who is dedicated to clearing goods at the Canada USA border. Working with FreightCenter and our Customs Broker makes it easier and more cost-effective for you to have your goods reach their destination on time.

The Freight Shipping Company – That’s Us!

  • As a Third-Party Logistics (3PL) broker, FreightCenter ensures all documentation for your shipment is in order. We can also assist you in preparing the documents required to ship your goods across the border to their destination.
  • FreightCenter assists the Customs Broker in ensuring smooth transit of your goods across the border.
  • Partnering with the top freight shipping companies in the industry, FreightCenter ensures the carriers pick-up your and deliver your shipment within the scheduled time.

FreightCenter strives to eliminate the complexity often associated with cross-border shipping and we want to ensure your shipment goes through customs clearance quickly and smoothly. By working as efficiently as possible, we aim to get your freight to its destination with the shortest transit time possible. 

What documentation is necessary for cross-border shipping?

It’s easy to get overwhelmed and bogged down with the amount of required paperwork to ship cross country. We’ve kept things simple by outlining all the materials you’ll be needing and what purpose they serve in the process. 

Commercial Invoice – this document contains detailed information about the goods being shipped, the buyer and seller, volume of goods and other relevant details for purposes of assessing tax and duty, which is important at the border.

Bill of Lading (BOL) – bill of Lading bears detailed information about the owner of the shipment as well as the destination and exact pick-up point. The shipping company usually provides the lading bill to the recipient of the goods at the pick-up point.

NAFTA Certificate of Origin – may also be required in some cases. Freight Center can assist in determining whether this is required for your shipment.

Export License – this document is necessary only for regulated products such as alcohol, tobacco, firearms, and others.

Cargo Control Number – for easy identification of goods.

    Special Services for your Freight

    Whether your shipment is fresh, frozen, specialized or dry cargo, FreightCenter has you covered. We have the ability to offer special services to accommodate even the most high-maintenance freight. Our partnerships with Canadian based carriers, cross-border freight companies, and the leading Customs brokerage company offer you the following exclusive advantages:

    • Very competitive cross-border freight shipping rates
    • Assisted paperwork preparation for the customs clearance for your goods
    • Real-time tracking of your shipment from pick-up to delivery
    • Experienced freight agents on-call ready to answer any questions you may have

      Several additional shipping options include:

      Transparent brokerage fees, no hidden charges

    • You provide us the dimensions and weight, we provide you a quote! It’s as simple as that. As long as your measurements are accurate, so are the quotes we provide.
    • Let us know if your freight requires any additional services or accessorials and we’ll include that in the total quote cost we provide you. Not sure? Ask your agent! They’ll be able to help you determine if your freight will require a liftgate, dry van or refrigeration.