Call us today: (800) 716-7608

Cargo Control Number

June 21, 2022 by Keith Jaco

Cargo Control Number

A cargo control number (CCN) is a bar code assigned by the carrier or freight forwarder, that uniquely identifies the transport document to the CBSA. It functions to organize shipments for the CBSA while also identifying the carrier transporting products. Cargo control numbers are mandatory for each shipment that is crossing the border to Canada by truck. CBSA scans the CCN barcode at the point of entry into Canada.

Cargo Control Number

Do I Need a Cargo Control Number?

The cargo control number is critical because it identifies both the carrier and shipment to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) at the time of reporting and when release documents are present. You will need to get a CCN from a customs broker to ship from the United States into Canada.

Identifying the Cargo Control Number

The CCN numbers design is in bar-code format. For example, the letter-based carrier code and the digit-based shipment number create the CCN. The carrier code comes along with a unique shipment number which the carrier chooses to create a cargo control number.

Stay Up To Date

While there are many abbreviations for documents similar to the CCN, it is hard to keep up. As always, it is best to not confuse them. Here are some examples of related documents and codes that can speed up your customs journey:

  • Proof Of Report Number (POR) | The Proof of Report Number is the summary reporting ID number. This ID is different for each exporter and will not change for each shipment.

  • Pre-arrival Review System (PARS) | The Pre Arrival Review System allows customs brokers to submit shipment release information to the CBSA for review and processing before the goods arrive in Canada.

  • Canadian Export Reporting System (CERS) | An online, self-service site that allows the exporting firm or customs brokers, on behalf of the shipment company, to submit export documents for customs travel.

The code can be between 4 and 21 characters. The most common users of cargo control numbers are highway carriers. While it is in their use of the PARS process, the cargo control numbers are usually a PARS number/code.

barcode scanner


PARS numbers are what you get for the early registration of your CCN and other documents before meeting the Canadian border. If a shipment’s CCN label the carrier shows at the border must be the same as what entry was your PARS number (your CCN that you pre-register before reaching the border). For example, a CCN (pre-registered PARS code): “1234PARS56789”. If you electronically send in the CCN before your arrival, must also match the PARS “1234PARS56789”. Although it is not a must to use the letters “PARS” in the code. Yet, if a carrier does embed letters into the code presented, they must match the characters in the document.

Submitting Information Through a Customs Broker

While going through customs can be a tricky process, which is why many businesses choose to work with customs brokers. Customs brokers help businesses to complete the required CCN forms, label their freight, and track the load throughout its process. As a result, working with a customs broker can save businesses time and money.

Crossing Canada’s Border

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)is in charge of checking the people and products across Canada’s border. Officers monitor all the freight they bring into the country and thoroughly check all nooks and crannies of what is passing through the country’s border. If you are a carrier, they will check the cargo, paperwork, and CCN barcodes on the freight to ensure nothing illegal enters the country.

Ship With FreightCenter

FreightCenter offers Canada-USA cross-border full and LTL shipping services between Canada and the US. Whether you’re importing from Canada to the US or US to Canada, we have you covered.

Have any questions? Let FreightCenter help! Our freight agents can ease you into the process to ensure it’s a smooth ride for you and your shipment. Use FreightCenter’s freight shipping quote tool to begin. For other locations, call our international shipping experts at 800.716.7608. Saving money doesn’t have to cost more in the long haul: Let FreightCenter be your “one-stop ship.”

Freight rate calculator
Shipping option
Pickup and delivery locations
Shipment information
Pickup and delivery locations
Shipment information

limit of 70 characters

trust pilot reviews
What our customers are saying

We provide competitive freight shipping prices and an all-inclusive, easy-to-use shipping experience for our customers. Exceeding our customers’ expectations results in thousands of satisfied customer reviews and repeat business. We believe in the power of our customer relationships. Check out FreightCenter reviews from real customers, and learn what they have to say about their freight shipping experience!

Let’s Get Started! Compare shipping rates in an instant!
Get a Freight Quote

Wait, before you go...

Here's $20

towards your first shipment

Use coupon code WELCOME20
when you check out.