What is the cheapest way to ship a package from Canada to England?

What is the cheapest way to ship a package from Canada to England?

The cheapest way to ship a package from Canada to England is by surface transport, i.e sea freight; however, that could involve a journey of a month or so.

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by Paul Bourque

Feb 09, 2024

Key Points

  • Cheapest way- sea freight for lower cost, air freight for faster delivery.
  • Factors affect cost- size, destination, insurance, Saturday service.
  • Duties and taxes- England imposes charges based on item type and value.
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What is the cheapest way to ship a package from Canada to England?

The cheapest way to ship a package from Canada to England is by surface transport, i.e sea freight; however, that could involve a journey of a month or so. For more pressing shipments, air freight can deliver a package from 2 business days to a week in total time, but as expected, one pays more for that service.

Shipping fees are also dependent upon other factors: size of parcel, speed of delivery, parcel insurance. While you can control to a degree these expenditures, others are fixed into the costs – fuel surcharges, oversize fees, and duties and taxes.

This blog explains the factors that contribute to shipping costs and advises you how you may be able to minimise expenses, and a company that can help you do that – Secureship. Secureship’s easy-to-use online platform saves its clients time and money (up to 50%) when shipping goods domestically or anywhere on the globe.

Table of Contents

  • Courier Services to England
  • Factors Affecting Shipping Fees
  • Duties and Taxes on Goods to England
  • Conclusion

Courier Services to England

Canada Post is a natural choice for Canadians wishing to ship a parcel to England. But other well known courier companies offer parcel delivery services from Canada to England. Some of the more common ones include Purolator, UPS, and FedEx; and a list of their delivery services are shown below:

  • Canada Post Xpresspost (9 business days)
  • Purolator – Express (6 business days)
  • UPS – Express (1.5 business days)
  • UPS – Express Saver (2 business days)
  • FedEx – International First (1.5 business days)
  • FedEx – International Priority (1.5 business days)

Within these options you should be able to find the one that best suits the time and budget constraints of you or your business.

Factors Affecting Shipping Fees

While the parcel’s size and its destination are the main factors determining its shipping costs, you may encounter other fees depending on the requirements or choices you select concerning the shipment.


Though not mandatory, insurance may be an expense worth considering to cover against damaged or lost parcels. But be aware that certain items are uninsurable – artwork and antiques, glass and ceramic, and luggage and personal items. And be advised that insurance could be null and void if the parcel does not follow the packaging standards of the International Safe Transit Association (ISTA).

Saturday service

Couriers often charge a fee for Saturday pick-ups or deliveries. So, unless Saturday service is necessary for business or personal reasons, this is one way to save some money on shipping charges.

Residential delivery

Also a convenient service, residential delivery may also incur a fee. One way to get around this is to arrange for parcel pick-up at the courier’s local office or have the delivery made to the recipient’s place of work.

Fuel surcharge

There is no avoiding fuel surcharges. They are calculated as a percentage of the shipping fee and fluctuate with international oil prices.

Oversize charge

As discussed earlier, larger and heavier parcels cost more to ship. But if they are over specific values, then they will incur an oversize fee. As an example, UPS (see page 139) applies a fee of $1,100 CAD to parcels longer than 2.74 metres or weighing more than 68 kilograms. So, if at all possible, it may be worth your while to split an oversized parcel into two smaller ones to avoid this charge.

Duties and Taxes

Countries levy duties and taxes on incoming goods for several reasons – to protect their industries and as a source of government revenues, and England is no different. Often a country has a de minimis value, which means goods below a certain value do not incur a charge. England’s de minimis value on duties is £135 whereas it is 0% on its VAT (value added tax), which means that all imports will have VAT applied to them even if their value is negligible.

Duties apply to a range of imports at varying rates as shown below:

  • Toys, video games, and consoles: 0%
  • Shirts, pants, and coats: 12%
  • Watches: 11 - 23%
  • Spirits, wine, and tobacco products: 50%

A more comprehensive list of duties can be found using Secureship’s Learning Centre for Country Shipping Guides.


The most economical way to ship from Canada to England is by sea freight; however, for a shorter delivery time, many people opt for the more expensive air transport.

Shipping abroad can also incur other expenses, some avoidable and others not. Some examples include, insurance, Saturday service, fuel surcharge, and an oversize charge. Finally, many goods entering England will be liable to duties and taxes. While they are typically paid by the recipient, consulting Secureship’s International Shipping Guides will inform you how much those charges will be for your customer or the receiver of the parcel.

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.