How to get the Best Shipping Price - Everytime
Whether you are managing an online business or just sending out personal gifts, shipping costs will always be a factor. Canada has the benefit of having several major carriers that operate within this beautiful country. You can ship your packages through FedEx, UPS, CanadaPost, Purolator, Canpar, Loomis, DHL, Dicom, and many more.
Comparing shipping costs to find the cheapest shipping with all these couriers can quickly become extremely time-consuming. Fortunately, Secureship has made it easy to compare shipping prices with all these companies allowing you to find the cheapest way to ship your packages in Canada every time.
12 Factors affecting the price of shipping within Canada
There are several factors that affect the price of shipping within Canada. Some of these items are within your control to adjust and others are not.
Weight of your box
The heavier your box, the higher the cost of shipping. Not much you can do here.
Size or Dimensions of your package
The bigger the box, the higher the costs. This is somewhat within your control but a lot of times that extra size is needed to securely package your items being shipped.
How shipping distance affects shipping prices
A big factor in shipping is the travelling distance. The further the distance a package has to travel, the more it costs the courier company in fuel and other operating costs. Prices of shipping are therefore adjusted to compensate for this.
How remoteness of pickup or delivery address affects shipping costs
For addresses that are hard to get to - think cottages, small remote towns, or locations only accessible drivable during certain times of the year - the carrier will often charge an extended area surcharge or even a super-extended area surcharge for delivery of your package. There's not much that can be done here to avoid this cost unless you can convince the recipient to have the package picked up at another location such as the carrier's depot or perhaps their place of work.
Comparing Courier / Carriers
Every company will have different costs to ship the same package between the same two points. The operating costs for some is more than other due to the lack of presence or established network within certain areas of the country. For others, they prefer to service those areas less. Shopping around for price is a great way to get the cost of shipping down.
How delivery speed affects shipping costs
The more urgent or faster the package needs to arrive, the more expensive it will be to have the package delivered.
Shipping costs for delivery to a residential location
Just about every carrier charges a residential fee. The reason being that it takes longer for these types of deliveries to happen and often, packages have to be re-attempted several times or held at the depot because the person isn't home during the day. Having the package delivered to the individuals work address - not a home-business - can help you eliminate this extra fee. You can also request that the carrier hold the package for pickup - another excellent way to avoid this charge.
How additional handling affects shipping prices
Additional handling fees are partially avoidable. The carriers tend to charge this fee for any item that is not encased within a cardboard box. That could be luggage, wooden crates, duffel bags, plastic bins, etc. Transferring these items to a box not only eliminates this cost, it stands less chance of being lost or damaged in transit and can be insured - provided the contents can be insured.
If however, the package is over a certain weight or size, the carrier may charge this fee regardless.
Problems with the delivery address
If there is a problem with the address and an address correction needs to occur, your shipment will be charged an extra fee for the correction. Some charge by package, some charge by shipment so the cost can get really jump quickly. Worse, if you are shipping to a postal box or the address cannot be resolved, the carrier can return the shipment back to you at your own cost. However, the package is over a certain weight or size, the carrier may charge this fee regardless.
How Insurance affects the shipping price
Normally, your items are automatically insured $100 in the event of loss or damage. Anything more and you'll pay a premium for this coverage - sometimes as high as $5.00 per additional $100 of coverage. Of course, not everything is insurable so check our blog article on the fine print of carrier insurance.
Cost of Fuel
In addition to the cost of the shipment, packages are charged an additional fuel surcharge to cover the current cost of gas. Some companies adjust for the cost of fuel weekly, others monthly. There's not much you can do here other than look to see what the fuel price will be coming up and delay sending off your shipment. The savings are marginal on this so it's not a practical approach.
Your shipping volume affects price - we can help with that
Just like at Costco or Walmart, the bigger your buying power, the cheaper the cost to purchase the same item. The same applies to shipping - the more you ship with a certain carrier, the cheaper the cost of shipping becomes.
Of course, this is all good and well if you ship a lot - think +$100,000 - but if you don't have this volume, you won't get any good volume discounts. That's where we can help
Cheap Shipping for commonly items
We've compiled a list of commonly shipped goods as well as some tips and tricks on how to safely and efficiently ship these items.
What is the cheapest way to ship boxes?
Once you've taken into account the 12 factors above that affect the price of shipping, you're well on your way to getting the cost down to about as low as you can go.
There are two additional things you can do to really ensure you're getting the lowest price:
If your package is damaged in transit and you didn't provide sufficient packaging, the carrier will not pay out any insurance. Not only are you out of pocket on the cost of the transportation and the product, you now have to ship a new product a second time. Make sure you package your items well. We have put together a great guide to help you with your packaging requirements.
Use a 3rd party shipping provider
By using Secureship's group buying power, you can easily save yourself up to 50% on the cost of shipping. It's like getting prices reserved only for big volume shippers, without having any volume. And it's easy! See for yourself.
Can I ship Tires? What's the cheapest way to ship Tires?
Yes, definitely! Most shippers incur an additional handling fee for shipping tires and this is largely due to them being shipped as is. If you're able to place your tires in a cardboard box and have it safely travel in its container, you can save the additional handling fee associated with "item not encased in cardboard box".
If you're shipping the tires on their own, be aware there is a high risk of the shipping label peeling off so make sure to secure this to your tire.
See how much it costs to ship tires through all the major carriers.
Can I ship Electronics? If so, how do I ship electronics for cheap?
Electronics can be shipped via the courier network. You will want to ensure that your electronics are properly packaged. That means selecting the right box, using adequate packaging material, and double boxing any really sensitive or fragile. We have additional information on how to package your goods for transportation here.
It's always a good idea to purchase insurance for shipping any high value electronics with a carrier. Package do disappear or get damaged on occasion. The price of insurance varies from carrier to carrier so use our shipping comparison tool to find the most economical way to ship your electronics.
Some have argued that using the Express, next day shipping service is the safest way to ship electronics - or really, anything fragile. There's less risk of damage because these boxes don't have as many, or any, contact points - i.e. bumps and bruises - with heavier ground shipments. It is more expensive than economical or ground services so you'll have to weigh the tradeoffs.
What is the Cheapest way to ship Luggage within Canada
No doubt about it, the cheapest way to ship luggage, especially heavy luggage is by using ground service. There are a few things you should be aware of that can affect the price of shipping luggage as well as the safety of its contents. Here are just a few points:
Don't ship luggage in luggage containers
Instead, transfer the contents to cardboard boxes. You'll save the additional handling fee for "items not encased in a cardboard box" and you'll have less risk of losing your package.
Ship your items in manageable size boxes
Really big boxes can incur additional large package fees of up to $90 or even oversize/overweight fees of up to $1200. Plus, they're harder for a person to carry and manage so they tend to have more risk of damage.
Our shipping estimate tool can help determine if you will face large or oversize pricing. Make sure to be as accurate with your dimension prior to requesting an estimate.
Skip the insurance
Personal belongings are not insurable which means you will need to package your items really well. Avoid purchasing insurance through the carrier as your boxes won't be covered in the event of a claim and this can save you up to $5.00 per $100 of coverage requested.
Use a multi-carrier rate shopping tool
Use a platform like Secureship to help you find the cheapest way to ship luggage. Not only will you see what every carrier offers in price and delivery times, you can also save up to 50% off the regular shipping cost.
What are some Cheap shipping options for a Snowboard?
Snowboards can be shipped through the carrier network but each carrier has limits that what weight and size they can accept. When properly packaged, snowboards tend to often surpass the size restrictions of the carrier - limiting your choice of available carriers. Plus you can face extra face extra charges. For example, UPS has an extra fee of $900 if your package is over their size limit. The cheapest and safest way to ship a snowboard would be as extra luggage on your flight or bus.
What's the Cheapest Way to Ship Clothes?
Shipping clothes is easy but most make the mistake of incurring additional charges by shipping their clothes in plastic bins, suitcases, or duffel bags
Transfer contents to a cardboard box
Most carriers will charge you an additional handling fee for items not packaged in a cardboard box.
Box with hangers vs regular box
It's also worth mentioning that the size of the box does play a factor in the price of shipping. If you had planned on shipping your items in a box that was meant for hanging clothes, you'll end up paying more simply because of the size of the box. Fold up all your clothes and package them in a much smaller box. You could save yourself quite a lot. Not sure how much you would have saved? Visit our online shipping calculator and see for yourself.
Skip the insurance
Unless the clothes are new and you have proof of value, save yourself a few extra dollars by not adding any insurance. The carriers will not provide any insurance coverage for any personal belongings including clothing that has been previously worn.
Additional FAQ about cheap shipping
What is the cheapest way to ship?
Finding the cheapest way to ship depends on many factors such as the weight of the package, its size, the From and To location, and its speed. Canada has many different carriers giving you lots of potential shipping options. Get a shipping estimate with all the major carriers here and you can save yourself up to 50% off the regular price.
How can I lower my shipping costs?
There are several ways to lower your cost of shipping in Canada. Adjusting your shipping based on the 12 factors listed above will get you far. After that, use a 3rd party shipping provider like Secureship to get deep discounts.
How do I calculate shipping costs?
Most carriers have their own shipping calculator however, this can be a really time-consuming process considering how many providers there are in Canada - you have FedEx, UPS, CanadaPost, Purolator, Canpar, Loomis, ICS, etc.
Secureship provides a real time shipping comparison tool so you can see the cost of shipping through all the major carriers in just a few clicks.