How to Ship to the U.S. Border from Canada
If you live right near the Canada – U.S. border and do your cross border shopping online from a U.S. retailer, you should strongly consider having your order shipped to a pick-up location on the U.S. side of the border and driving to pick it up.
There are a number of U.S. shipping addresses located all along the Canada – U.S. border that offer package pick-up services specifically to help Canadians with their online cross border transactions.
If you don’t live within a short drive of the U.S. border, you should consider using a re-shipping service that ships your goods to a U.S. border shipping address, brings your goods into Canada, clears Canadian customs and delivers your purchases right to your front door.
Re-shipping services offer the convenience of customs clearance and door-to-door delivery, while also allowing you to save significantly on shipping and other costs.
How shipping to the U.S. border works
For a small fee (usually between $5 and $50, depending on the size of your package), you can have your U.S. online purchases shipped directly to one of their pick-up offices located just across the border. When your goods arrive, the package pick-up location will notify you and hold your package for a specific period, during which you can drive across the border to collect it and bring it back to Canada. Many services even allow you to manage and track the entire process online.
To have your goods shipped to a U.S. package pick-up location at a border crossing near you, simply do the following:
- Find a service provider that has a conveniently located package pick- up location
- Create an account with that service provider (your account should include the U.S. shipping address that your online purchases will be shipped to)
- When making on online purchase with a U.S. retailer, make sure the shipping address you provide them with is your U.S. shipping address. NOTE: Some U.S. retailers won’t let you make a purchase using a Canadian credit card unless it has a U.S. address associated with it. Learn how to add a U.S. address to your Canadian credit card.
- After completing your online purchase, log on to your U.S. shipping address account, provide them with the details of your shipment and pay your package receiving fee.
- Once your package arrives, you will be notified that it is ready for pickup.
Costs, services, procedures and policies vary among different package receiving companies, so make sure to contact your receiving company to answer any questions you may have before placing your order with a U.S. retailer.
Advantages to Shipping to the U.S. Border
Cross border shipping and pick-up services provide a number of benefits to Canadian consumers shipping goods to Canada from the United States:
- They allow you to order items from U.S. retailers who do not ship to Canada.
- They allow you to save on shipping costs, since most U.S. retailers offer low cost or free shipping within the United States; and
- By driving across the border to pick up your goods, you can avoid delays and damage to your goods that might have occurred if they had to clear Canadian customs.
If you ship your goods to the border and drive across to pick them up, keep in mind that you may still have to pay duty and sales tax (GST, PST, HST) on these items when you drive back across the border, so do your homework on the goods you are buying before making your order.