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What Do I Need to Know to Ship Materials by Truck from Canada to USA?

With the lingering state of emergency driven by the Covid-19 pandemic and the concern over security growing in the wake of the Russian invasion of the Ukraine, the challenges of crossing borders have increased around the world. That’s unfortunate news for many businesses that rely on cross-border activity, but it’s particularly challenging for transportation organizations like trucking companies in Ontario.

The trade relationship between Canada and the U.S. has never been greater, and the recent update to the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement means imports and exports continue to make up a huge amount of cross-border freight, most of which moves by truck. Dealing with two governments and clearing customs means extra work for trucking companies in Mississauga and those trucking companies in Canada that rely on quick access to the US. Here are some of the primary details that all 3PL providers and trucking companies need to know to ensure freight makes it to its destination:

  • Using a customs broker can help. A great 3PL like NATS Canada can definitely help with the proper paperwork required to move freight through customs, but working with an experienced customs broker and establishing that relationship can also be greatly beneficial. Whether you’re shipping to or from Canada, the process can be aided by a broker who’s fully up-to-date on the latest government red tape. Avoiding penalties is always a good objective for using a customs broker.
  • Choose a cross-border transportation provider with help from a 3PL. Experienced 3PL services like NATS Canada work with a network of trucking companies in Ontario and across the continent. Using a 3PL allows you to reap the savings that come when a company can take advantage of large networks of providers. They can ensure your carrier has authority to operate in both the US and Canada and can guarantee the safety of your shipment and the delivery times you want.
  • Having proper paperwork in order. Shipping freight requires meticulous attention to detail given the immense documentation that is required for agents on both sides of the border. Imagine trying to get across the border without a proper passport; the same is true for quick and easy customs clearance. Amongst the documents required are: the Bill of Lading that includes all the details to process and invoice the shipment; a commercial invoice with information that must be identical to the information in the BOL, including detailed descriptions of each item being shipped: a Certification of Origin, which indicates that imported goods qualify for preferential tariff treatment – this is vitally important in times when new tariffs are quickly added (picture Russian goods coming into Canada).

If any one of these documents is improperly prepared, the shipment could likely be stuck at the border. Working with your customs brokers and any 3PL you have contracted will certainly make the process much easier. Whenever and wherever you’re shipping, connect with NATS Canada first.

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