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

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

Australia’s long distance from Canada is the main factor that makes shipping packages there quite expensive.

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by Paul Bourque

June 06, 2024

Key Points

  • Shipping costs to Australia vary by travel time, parcel weight, size, and additional fees like insurance and duties.
  • Air freight is faster (3-8 days) but pricier than sea freight (2-3 months) for shipping from Canada to Australia.
  • Secureship offers up to 50% savings on shipping costs by leveraging bulk purchasing power with major carriers.
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How much does it cost to send a package to Australia?

As anyone can imagine, sending a package to Australia is a very long journey and could be an expensive undertaking. Aside from the distance between Canada and Australia, a number of other factors contribute to the cost – the parcel’s travel time; its weight and size; and other fees may be incurred such as insurance, duties and taxes, and handling.

The following blog explains these costs and presents some strategies to lessen them – one of which is to use Secureship, a Canadian online shipping broker that can reduce the basic shipping cost of a package by up to 50% as well save you time and effort in the process.

Table of Contents

  • Shipping Options to Australia
  • Parcel Weight and Size
  • Other Shipping Fees
  • Conclusion

Shipping Options to Australia

One way to lower shipping fees from Canada to Australia is to select surface transport (sea freight) over air transport. However, that would likely require two to three months for the parcel to arrive. Therefore, many people choose air freight for expediency, which reduces transit time to a range of three to eight business days when using couriers such as UPS or FedEx.

Parcel Weight and Size

No surprise that heavier parcels will cost you more to ship than lighter ones. And there is likely little that you can do to change that. But as is often the case, size can make a difference. In the shipping business, two parcels of the same weight but different sizes could result in a larger charge for the bigger one. And that can be explained by understanding billable weight.

Billable weight

A parcel’s billable weight (also called dimensional weight) is determined by multiplying the dimensions of the box; and then dividing the result by either 139 or 5,000 (Imperial or metric). This number is compared to the actual weight of the parcel, and the larger figure dictates the shipping levy. So in more concrete terms: weight being equal, shipping a pillow would cost more than shipping a hard-covered book.

Oversize charge

Very large or heavy shipments, which if you use UPS as your carrier means greater than 2.74 metres in length or heavier than 68 kilograms will sustain an oversize charge. As of 2024, the surcharge for an oversized parcel is $1,100 CAD. And if you were to send the same shipment during the Christmas peak period (mid-November till early January), that surcharge could be as high as $1,550 CAD.

Other Shipping Fees

Depending on what you are shipping and the type of container you use, there could be other shipping fees beyond the transportation charge. Other fees include: insurance, duties and taxes, and handling.


Certainly optional, insurance may be considered for valuable items against loss or damage. However, not all goods are insurable:

  • Breakables – glass, ceramic, televisions
  • Precious items – antiques, artwork, jewellery
  • Personal items – luggage
  • Currency, liquids, hazardous materials

But if you do take out insurance, the goods must be packed according to ISTA 3A standards, which in the main means using a new, unused box, and wrapping each item in bubble wrap and placing them a minimum of five centimetres from each other.

Duties and taxes

As Australia and Canada are members of the CPTPP, many goods shipped to Australia from Canada incur no or low duty rates in the range of 0 - 5%; however, as to be expected, alcohol and tobacco products are invariably levied at much higher duties.

And like Canada, Australia has a GST that it imposes on incoming goods (at a rate of 10%), and there are no exemptions, i.e. even if the value of a shipment is trivial, it will incur GST.


Little known by many, if you use something other than a cardboard box to ship your goods (say a wood, plastic, or steel container), a handling charge is applied to the shipment. So unless the goods cannot be packaged in a cardboard box, this fee can be avoided.


Australia’s long distance from Canada is the main factor that makes shipping packages there quite expensive. Which simply increases for heavier shipments. However, one way to lessen your costs is to send goods by sea freight; however, that substantially lengthens the delivery time (up to three months). Another strategy to reduce costs is to pack the goods in a smaller box, which lowers its billable weight. And shipping could also involve other fees – oversize charges, insurance, duties and taxes, and handling. Nevertheless, help is available with Secureship – whose bulk purchasing power with known carriers can save you and your business loads of money and a lot of time.

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.