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What is the Cheapest Way to Ship Within Canada?

Freight significantly affects your business’s overall marketing costs. Ignoring shipping costs can make your goods less competitive, and expose your business to competitors. Therefore, use the cheapest and most reliable way to ship your goods to remain competitive.

But how do you know or get the cheapest way to ship items within Canada? Keep reading to learn how to ship your goods more affordably without compromising other quality elements. You will learn the twelve leading factors affecting freight costs and hacks to reduce these expenses. Remain on this page.

12 Factors Affecting Shipping Costs in Canada

A man carrying a package ready for shipping within Canada 

Establishing the cheapest shipping means in Canada isn’t a linear equation because different factors determine overall local shipping expenses. Additionally, the kind of goods you sell significantly determines their shipping modes, directly affecting the freight price. Here are the top factors that influence a shipping method’s cost-effectiveness.

  • Container weight

Your container’s weight directly affects overall shipping costs. You have nothing much you can do to change this factor except regulating your cargo’s weight. Shipping heavier cargo means paying more for it and vice versa.

  • Package size and dimensions 

Your package’s size and dimensions directly affect shipping costs. Bigger and heavier boxes will cost you more and vice versa. You might slightly control this factor as long as the control doesn’t compromise your shipment’s safety during shipping. So, don’t stop using a larger box if that extra size will protect your valuable cargo.

  • Shipping distance 

Where do you want to ship your goods within Canada? You will pay more for your shipment if its destination is farther and vice versa. You have nothing you can do about this factor.

  • Pickup address distance 

Your cargo’s pickup address distance also affects your shipment’s overall cost. If you send goods to remote cottages or towns, your carrier will most likely charge you more. You have little you can do to avoid these extra costs. The best you can do is convince your customers to pick up the goods at different locations like your courier’s depot.

  • Your chosen courier/carrier 

Your chosen carrier or courier greatly determines your local freight costs across Canada. Every shipping company has its own freight costs for similar packages between the same locations. Therefore, it would be beneficial to shop for the most reliable and cost-effective freight company.

  • Delivery speed 

Do you ship goods that require urgent delivery within 24 hours? If you do, you will pay more than a business shipping goods that take longer to arrive.

  • Residential delivery fees

Most carriers charge residential delivery fees because these deliveries take longer because sometimes, the carrier might deliver the cargo several times. Carriers also charge this fee because they may need to keep items at their depots when recipients aren’t at home.

If possible, it’s more economical to let recipients collect their packages at their work addresses instead of homes. Alternatively, you may request your carrier to hold the shipment until the recipient picks it up from them.

residential delivery fees

  • Additional handling 

Additional handling fees also influence how cheap or expensive a shipping mode within Canada is. It’s almost impossible to eliminate these costs, especially when you don’t ship your items in cardboard boxes. However, packages exceeding a given weight or size level still attract this fee.

  • Delivery address challenges

Failing to address your cargo well could attract extra costs for correcting the address after a failed delivery. Additionally, failing to fix delivery address challenges could force a shipper to return a parcel to you at your expense.

  • Insurance 

You may need to pay an extra charge for insurance if your shipment exceeds the maximum $100 ceiling per item. However, this extra surcharge isn’t mandatory because some items aren’t insurable.

  • Fuel cost

Fuel is the engine of all freight logistics. All trains, trucks, ships, and airplanes use fuel to transport goods. Any changes in this critical element directly affect your cargo’s overall shipping costs. So, you have nothing much you can do to deal with fluctuating oil prices. You can only prepare to pay more or less based on the current prevailing fuel prices at the international levels.

  • Shipping volume 

Lastly, your shipping volumes determine your freight prices. That means you will pay less for more volumes and more for smaller ones because economies of scale control this dynamic.

How to Save Money on Freight Costs in Canada

A Canadian flag with an airplane, the fastest shipping mode

We have seen the top driving factors driving shipping prices in Canada. Now, let’s shift our attention to examining some ways of saving on these costs. Below are the leading hacks and tricks to help you save more money on your shipping.

freight costs in canada

  • Know the shipper’s size and weight scale

Knowing your carrier’s weight and size scale is one way of minimizing freight costs. You need to weigh and measure your cargo to avoid stepping into another scale by a centimeter or gram. Otherwise, you could incur avoidable shipping costs when taking time to measure could have made a whole difference.

  • RRR (reduce, reuse, recycle)

Applying the RRR combination could save you some coins on your shipping budget. You can reduce your packing materials’ amount and use smaller boxes whenever possible. Reusing boxes and packing materials you received with your previous cargo can also help you save money. Don’t forget to recycle what you can’t reuse.

  • Reduce package weight 

Reducing your package weight is another way to save on freight expenses in Canada. Shipping heavier goods or using heavier packing materials directly affects your final freight costs. Here are practical ways of reducing package weight for improved profitability.

  • Pack using corrugated boxes

Using corrugated boxes can save you money because these e-commerce boxes are lighter but stronger than regular ones. The reason is that they have small rows of air-filled grooves between their inner and outer layers.

  • Utilize lightweight packing material

Don’t forget to use lightweight packing materials that reduce your load weight.

  • Use custom shipping packages

Matching your items’ size and shape with your shipping materials means you will need lesser packing materials. For instance, selling goods with high sales volumes may justify producing custom containers that offset freight costs.

  • Save on courier costs

Sometimes you might not have enough volumes to qualify for courier volume discounts and don’t want to use third parties. In such a situation, you may save money by:

  • Using the carrier’s packaging to avoid fees for non-standard sizes because its shipping materials are usually cheaper.
  • Buying prepaid shipping labels if you know each item’s freight cost.
  • Calling your carrier to negotiate rates as your shipment volumes increase.
  • Use shipping services

Using shipping services is another way of saving money on your freight expenses. Many small enterprises don’t qualify for volume discounts, especially startups. You can take advantage of the emerging shippers to deal with this challenge. Such firms usually charge monthly fees that cover the money you save on shipping.

  • Maximize flat-rate shipping 

Freight costs are dynamic, but not to the small business’s advantage. Sometimes, it might even be harder to keep up with these adjustments. Optimizing flat-rate shipping arrangements means you will enjoy the same cost irrespective of an item’s size, shape, or weight. This cost regime enables you to predict your shipping expenditure without fearing sudden price fluctuations.

  • If possible, ship it slower

Must all your orders arrive within 24 hours? If not, you are better placed to reduce your shipping budget by shipping slower when possible. If the items you want to deliver aren’t urgent, you can use cheaper ground carriers if the customer is comfortable receiving their orders after a few days.

However, it’s critical to inform your customers about your shipment period before ordering. Clarify these details on your website to manage your customers’ expectations.

  • Know when freight rates change

Lastly, stay on top of the price game by knowing when freight prices change. The reason is that shippers revise their prices annually and adjust their rates because of rising costs like fuel and labor. Therefore, stay abreast of all these changes to prepare accordingly. Otherwise, you might incur unexpected shipping costs.

Closing Remarks on Local Shipping Costs

Freight workers packing cargo onto a truck ready for shipping

Cost-effective shipping can positively and significantly affect your business’s overall profitability. Therefore, it’s beneficial to get the cheapest but most reliable shipping method to remain competitive. But getting one shipping method that’s universally cheapest is impossible because different factors affect shipping costs.

That’s why we shared with you the leading factors determining your overall shipping budget. We also showed you practical hacks to save on shipping expenses.

So, why would you allow exorbitant shipping prices to eat into your profits? Go ahead and check out our affordable shipping prices and offers across Canada. Call us today for a free consultation.

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