Tips for Seamless Cross-Border Shipping

Cross-border shipping

We’re here to help our customers seamlessly ship their freight across the border. While shipping between the US and Canada is a complex process, it doesn’t need to be difficult.
Knowing what documentation is required, how to describe your commodities, and what each country’s security requirements are will help ensure your freight reaches its destination on time.
Learn more below and check out our shipping tips and guides for more information. 
Shipping from US to Canada?
Make sure you electronically submit the required shipment information in compliance with the Advanced Commercial Information (ACI) eManifest before you ship your freight. This allows Canadian customs officials to screen your shipment before it reaches the border. 
Another key requirement for shipments from the US to Canada is for shippers to provide detailed commodity descriptions on the Bill of Lading (BOL) and the Commercial Invoice. If you don’t, it might delay your shipments. 
Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) provides specific instructions on how to describe cross-border commodities. Make sure you answer the following questions: 
• What is it?
• What is it made of? 
• What is its intended use? 
• How many are there?
For example, if you’re shipping baseball caps, don’t just say “caps” – it’s too vague and doesn’t give CBSA enough information to clear your shipment for entry into Canada.
Shipping from Canada to US?
Don’t forget to submit your shipment details through the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE)To ensure your southbound shipment clears customs quickly, complete a BOL and a Proforma Invoice (preferred) or a Commercial Invoice.
There is no official certificate of origin for CUSMA, but they do require a “certification of origin”. Any format is acceptable, provided it contains the minimum data elements.
Make sure you provide a copy of the shipping documentation to the driver at the time of pickup. Inaccurate or incomplete information may result in delays.
Not sure where to start with your cross-border shipment? Get in touch with our Sales team today.