How much does it cost to send a package to India?

How much does it cost to send a package to India?

Parcel shipping can be surprisingly expensive to the uninitiated. And particularly when sending items from Canada to faraway India – more than 10,000 kilometres from any Canadian city

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by Paul Bourque

Dec 26, 2023

Key Points

  • Shipping Options - Sea freight (1-3 months) or air freight (3-15 days) with carriers like Canada Post, Purolator, FedEx, and UPS.
  • Shipping Costs - Save over 50% using Secureship; a 500g parcel may cost $218-$257 CAD, but Secureship reduces it to $93-$108 CAD.
  • Additional Costs - Consider insurance, handling fees, and recipient-paid duties and taxes when shipping internationally. Secureship provides a cost-effective solution.
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How much does it cost to send a package to India?

Parcel shipping can be surprisingly expensive to the uninitiated. And particularly when sending items from Canada to faraway India – more than 10,000 kilometres from any Canadian city. As to the actual cost to ship a package anywhere, a quick answer is difficult, because so many factors play a role – delivery time, size, and weight of the parcel; not to mention lesser known charges like insurance, additional handling fees, and duties and taxes.

This blog will describe your options for overseas shipping in general; provide some examples of shipping costs from Canada to India; and explain some other potential shipping costs for internationally-bound packages.

Table of Contents

  • Options for Overseas Shipping
  • What it Could Cost to Ship to India
  • Other Potential International Shipping Costs
  • Conclusion

Options for Overseas Shipping

There are two main options when shipping parcels overseas: surface transport (sea freight) and air freight. A parcel heading to India from Canada on a boat using Canada Post could take anywhere from 1 - 3 months to arrive there, but at a reduced cost compared to air transport service. Canada Post also offers air freight services as do carriers such as Purolator, FedEx, or UPS that expedite parcel service to India, which can reduce travel time to a span of three to 15 business days.

Carriers offer different service levels, which are reflected in their prices; the sooner the parcel arrives, the more you or your business pay.

Some carriers commonly used by Canadians include:

  • Canada Post (6 - 15 business days)
  • Purolator – Express (7 business days)
  • FedEx – International Economy (6 business days)
  • FedEx – International Priority (3 business days)
  • UPS – Expedited (6 business days)
  • UPS – Express Saver (3 business days)

What it Could Cost to Ship to India

Suppose you are sending a small, 500 gram documents-only parcel to India. Walking into one of the carrier’s above with this parcel could cost in the range of $218 - $257 CAD. However, by using Secureship’s simple, easy-to-use online tool with its group buying power it reduces the cost of the same shipment by more than 50% – or $93 - $108 CAD.

For comparison, a small box of 5 kilograms could very well be three-times the cost of the documents parcel. With prices like those, everything you can do to reduce unnecessary expenses will benefit your wallet or your company’s bottom line.

Other Potential International Shipping Costs


Regardless of the package’s sturdiness, there is a risk that it will be damaged during transport, or even be lost. For those contingencies, you may wish to take out shipping insurance, which is available through the carrier. You may also be able to buy insurance from your broker or through a third party provider specifically for shipments, one example being Shipsurance.

However, certain goods are uninsurable, notably:

  • Artwork and jewellery
  • Luggage and personal items
  • Fragile items
  • Currency
  • Liquids and hazardous materials

And an important note regarding insurance eligibility concerns the packaging itself. Unless a new, double-corrugated shipping box is used and the contents are sufficiently protected in adequate wrapping as per the ISTA 3A standards, insurance coverage will be unavailable for your shipment.

Additional handling fees

Additional handling fees arise when the parcel is made from irregular materials such as plastic or wood. By using a traditional cardboard box, you can avoid this extra cost to your shipping bill.

Duties and taxes

Duties and taxes are imposed by the foreign country, and are paid by the recipient; however, it is important that you consider these costs when shipping goods from Canada to India. Indian customs duties range from 0%-10% on documents up to 150% on spirits and wines, but most other goods incur a 22% duty.

Like many countries, India has a value added tax (VAT), equivalent to Canada’s GST. When VAT and duties apply to incoming goods, they will be charged no matter the value of the shipment. This means even if the goods are of negligible value, VAT and duties will be owed.


As you may have known or suspected, shipping from Canada to India can be very expensive though sending parcels by sea freight is one way to cut costs. Remember, Secureship is ready to help you save money – up to 50%, and time with its online service that guides you through the steps of international shipping.

Other expenses that you may encounter when shipping internationally include insurance, which offers peace of mind but requires you to carefully wrap and package the shipped items. Also, if your parcel is other than a cardboard box, an additional handling fee will be tacked on, and then there are the obligatory Indian duties and taxes. And though it is the recipient who pays these charges, they nevertheless should be taken into consideration when preparing your shipment.

About Secureship

About Secureship

Secureship® offers an online service that helps businesses and organizations ship more efficiently and affordably.

Providing instant price shopping across multiple carriers, Secureship is the best choice for reduced rate shipping. In addition, Secureship offers benefits such as a consolidated shipping system regardless of the carrier you choose, built-in address book, convenient invoicing and shipment management.

Visit our shipping estimate tool to see how much you can reduce your shipping expenses.