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What to Know about Shipping Food and Other Perishable Items Across Borders

Perhaps one of the greatest causes of anxiety for Canadians across the country during the pandemic was concerns about the supply chain – specifically, food items. Shipping food across borders is critical at any time, and shipping perishable items internationally can be a challenge giving the variety of rules and regulations governing things like meat. Before you fire up the factory to start shipping your food items, there are some things you should know when shipping from Canada to the USA.

Food for Thought – A Guide for Cross Border Shipping Companies

From packaging to ingredients, farming practices to production methods, there’s a lot more to food than a fancy label. Companies who aren’t in full compliance with local regulatory bodies governing food will most likely be turned away at the border or at least encounter a problem. For perishable items that could mean spoiled product. Shipping companies in Canada responsible for moving dairy products, meats, vegetables, and fruits – aka perishable food items that can spoil quickly if not handled and delivered in a timely manner – have to consider some of the realities of shipping such items across borders.

  1. Canada may be the #1 trading partner of the USA, but we do not accept eggs or poultry product unless they are commercially sterile and fully cooked. Other products may be subject to similar restrictions. The US Department of Agriculture and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency are the governing bodies that determine the rules. Shipping companies need to be fully aware of those rules before trying to ship foods.
  2. Improperly packaged food items may have a difficult time getting across even when carried by the best cross border shipping companies. In addition, using the proper shipping method is also vital, whether that means frozen gel packs, dry ice, cardboard or foam containers. Borders agents inspecting food travelling across the border into Canada will want to see that the food has been packaged properly so spoiled food is not being shipped into the country.
  3. Each country has different rules when it comes to labelling. Most labels on products being sold in Canada have to be in French and English. Labels that list product information have to be accurate and fully reflective of what the product is or what is actually made from.
  4. When shipping from Canada to the USA it’s important to consider the distances food will travel, traffic patterns, and most qualified carriers. Food requires special attention from shippers; it’s never good to cut corners when it comes to shipping food.

Ship Safely with NATS Canada

NATS Canada works with a vast network of carriers across Canada and the USA that can help meet your shipping needs. Our team of experts can offer a range of shipping and freight forward services to ensure your products make it to their destination on time, intact, and fully cleared by customs. Look for us online at our website!

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