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Thread: Good news for Canadians

  1. #1

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    Good news for Canadians

    I typically ship all international orders via USPS Priority Mail International, which has been the most cost-effective of the major carriers for our butcher block. But I've just negotiated better international rates through UPS, and it looks like Canadian shipping is super low now. Just got a quote for a 16 X 22 walnut block, shipping to Ottawa, for $41 via UPS Standard.

    So, if you are Canadian and interested in a board, feel free to email me and I can put run a quote for you.

    Out of curiosity, anyone have good/bad experiences with UPS on packages coming from the States to Canada?

    John Loftis
    theboardsmith1@gmail.com
    cell: 469-387-8581

    www.theboardsmith.com

  2. #2
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    In my experience, UPS is fast to deliver cross-border, but charges outrageous brokerage fees on anything coming into Canada. Worse still, those fees are not included in the shipping quote, but are charged on delivery, so the recipient (and sender) has no idea what those fees might be until (or after) their package arrives. So, while their shipping seems reasonable, the actual cost can be far, far higher than shipping via USPS. I've avoided UPS for international shipping for years after being burned multiple times with brokerage fees of $100 or more. I've always been very pleased with UPS for domestic shipping (except that their drivers around here don't even bother attempting delivery to an apartment), but I can't recommend it for cross-border shipping.


  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmccurtis View Post
    In my experience, UPS is fast to deliver cross-border, but charges outrageous brokerage fees on anything coming into Canada. Worse still, those fees are not included in the shipping quote, but are charged on delivery, so the recipient (and sender) has no idea what those fees might be until (or after) their package arrives. So, while their shipping seems reasonable, the actual cost can be far, far higher than shipping via USPS. I've avoided UPS for international shipping for years after being burned multiple times with brokerage fees of $100 or more. I've always been very pleased with UPS for domestic shipping (except that their drivers around here don't even bother attempting delivery to an apartment), but I can't recommend it for cross-border shipping.
    This is exactly right.

    On packages coming from the US to Canada, I only want USPS (which gets delivered by Canada Post) because of these ridiculous/outrageous "fees" UPS adds for cross-border deliveries. And FedEx also has these unknown fees, which can similarly run the package recipient quite a bit of unbudgeted extra money.

  4. #4
    Senior Member valgard's Avatar
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    I don’t know UPS but FedEx’s fees are $12CAD. DHL $15CAD. Every courier charges a fee for processing customs, the rest is the actual customs and import fees.

  5. #5
    Senior Member aboynamedsuita's Avatar
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    John, I am pleased to hear there are less expensive shipping options (I think my 16x22 was over $100 with USPS at the time). If I didn't have so many cutting boards right now, I'd order one just to prove my point about the shipping/brokerage...

    UPS and other couriers (FedEx, DHL, etc.) are licensed as customs brokers and play by CBSA rules.

    Anything over $20 CAD will get charged tax and duty if applicable (gift is $60), so it's not "anything coming into Canada". With USPS / Canada Post you are just getting lucky if you aren't charged (seems to happen more with lower value shipments). Our deminimus is pathetically low as I think USA is $800 USD for comparison, but that's a different battle.

    USPS / Canada Post charge a flat processing fee around $9.95. Most others charge a flat fee (amount depends on the courier... some are higher/lower, but some also add percentage of the value). After this you pay duty (if applicable) and provincial/federal tax (on duty too... like a tax on tax). A knife could have about 20% additional tax/duty (7% duty and then 13% tax), and brokerage fees come after. I once had FedEx try and charge me $155 CAD (about $95 duty/tax and $60 fees) for a $550 USD shipment. I politely told them to fk off.

    USPS / Canada Post aren't perfect because there are only 3 ports of entry and you have no control over it... they can hold your shipment for a long time and there's nothing you can do.

    The solution is to do your own customs clearance. Couriers will transport the shipment "in bond" to the port of entry (lucky me that YWG has all the players except USPS / Canada Post). You request your paperwork from the courier and go to the CBSA office with the papers and clear the shipment (declare according to HS tariff code, pay duty/tax, etc.). Then you take their form back to the courier and get your shipment. I can do this entire process on a lunch break. You only pay the fees you'd pay anyways, but save the brokerage.
    "A dull knife means you're a ******* loser" – Matty Matheson

  6. #6
    Senior Member Badgertooth's Avatar
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    Surely there’s scope for inventing some kind of knife cannon that can just shoot architects tubes filled with knives from New York to Toronto.

  7. #7

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    Thanks so much for all the feedback! Since thoughts are, at best, ambivalent, I'll leave my default as USPS Priority Mail International but give anyone who wants it the option of shipping by UPS. Shipping for me is a 'hope to break even' endeavor, so I'm fine with using whichever carrier the customer prefers.

    Since I was born in Canada, I'm seriously irked at how much it costs to get my stuff there.
    John Loftis
    theboardsmith1@gmail.com
    cell: 469-387-8581

    www.theboardsmith.com

  8. #8
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    Great news John. I just had interest in my board and quote from usa to UK for 10lbs was $84. I am glad you got a good contract so others, around the world, can enjoy your works of art


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