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

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

The cheapest way to ship goods from Canada to Australia is by sea transport though that could take several months

Author profile

by Paul Bourque

Apr 12, 2024

Key Points

  • Sea freight is the cheapest option for shipping from Canada to Australia but may take up to three months.
  • Various factors like handling charges, oversized packages, insurance, and residential delivery can add to shipping costs.
  • Secureship simplifies shipping processes and offers cost-effective solutions for shipments to Australia.
An iPad showing different shipping carriers with pricing estimation.

Discount Shipping

It's like Groupon for shipping...but the deal is always on!

Get Estimate

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

Any parcel shipped from Canada to Australia will be expensive with distance being a significant component of the total cost. So, the cheapest way to ship a package is by sea freight, but the transit time could be as long as three months. Therefore, many people select air freight and its extra expense as that substantially reduces the arrival time to the range of 3 - 10 business days. However, distance is not the sole determiner of shipping fees. Parcel size and weight, handling costs, insurance, duties and taxes can all contribute to the overall costs.

In this blog, we will examine those factors and others and describe their impacts to costs and how they can be mitigated. In addition, we introduce Secureship, whose many years of experience can help you reduce costs but also guide you through the maze of international shipping.

Table of Contents

  • Courier Services to Australia
  • Other Shipping Fees
  • Duties and Taxes
  • Conclusion

Courier Services to Australia

While Canadians might automatically select Canada Post for their shipments, they have several other choices when sending parcels to Australia.

Consider a 5 kg parcel bound from Ottawa, Canada to Sydney, Australia; the following couriers could arrange delivery as shown below:

  • Canada Post Xpresspost (10 business days)
  • UPS Express (3 business days)
  • UPS Express Saver (4 business days)
  • Purolator Express (3 business days)
  • FedEx International Economy (8 business days)
  • FedEx International Priority (6 business days)

And for that parcel, the prices of the couriers above range from $475 (cheapest) - $527 (fastest) CAD; however, Secureship could reduce those for you so you would pay from $175 - $244 CAD.

Other Shipping Fees

While time to destination, weight, and size of a parcel largely determine its shipping costs to Australia or anywhere, other factors or services may add to the original estimate.

Handling charges

If you ship your goods in something other than a cardboard box, say a metal, plastic, or wood container, your shipment could incur handling fees.

Oversized packages

Should your package exceed certain dimensions or weight, an oversize surcharge will be applied.

For example, if you were to ship with UPS (see page 139) and the package is either heavier than 68 kg or longer than 2.74 m, a $1,100 CAD surcharge would apply. And if that shipment occurs during the peak season, i.e. at Christmastime, that charge could rocket to $1,550 CAD (as of 2024).


For parcels with valuable cargo, insurance is often an option for many people; however, shipments of perishable goods, breakables, antiques, luggage, or hazardous materials will not be insurable. Also, insured goods must be wrapped and boxes sealed as per the packaging standards of the International Safe Transit Association otherwise the insurance would be invalid in the event of damaged goods.

Residential delivery

Residential delivery can incur a fee. Though a convenient service, a cost saving may be had by shipping the parcel to the recipient’s office or having them pick it up at the courier’s local office.

Saturday services

While having the parcel picked up or delivered on a Saturday could be expedient for both parties, couriers may charge for this. And unless it is necessary, avoiding Saturdays may be one way to lower shipping fees.

Fuel surcharge

The fuel surcharge is included in the price of a shipment, and is available to see if you look for it. But there is nothing anyone can do about avoiding it as it depends on the cost of global oil supplies.

Duties and Taxes

Typically, duties and taxes are paid by the recipient though there are circumstances in which they are incurred by the sender. Regardless of the situation, they are part of the shipment process, and have an effect on costs.

For goods valued at less than $1,000 AUD (about $900 CAD – as of April 2024), no duties will be charged except on alcoholic beverages and tobacco products. Australia’s value added tax (VAT), however, applies at a rate of 10% no matter the value of the goods even if they are negligible.

Secureship’s platform provides shipping information for Australia, and 140-plus other countries, which includes applicable duty and VAT rates.

Below is a selection of Australian duty rates on incoming goods from Canada:

  • Books, tablets, cameras – 0%
  • Toys, sports equipment, clothing, and accessories for electronics – 0% - 5%
  • Candy, chocolate, furniture – 5%
  • Alcohol and tobacco – based on the volume or weight of the product


The cheapest way to ship goods from Canada to Australia is by sea transport though that could take several months. Air transport substantially speeds up the delivery but understandably demands higher fees. Be advised that other factors could increase the costs of a shipment beyond its weight, size, and distance shipped. There may be handling fees, an oversize surcharge, insurance, residential delivery, Saturday services, and most certainly a fuel surcharge.

In addition, when shipping from Canada to Australia, goods will incur duties and be liable to VAT (value added tax). However, Secureship, with its many years of arranging parcel shipments worldwide on behalf of its clients, can help you find economical options for shipments to Australia, and save you time in the process.

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.