Are you planning on shipping a package internationally? Whether it’s a huge package full of goods you’re planning on selling commercially or a small gift for your great aunt, you’ll probably want to consider the shipping rate changes that have occurred in 2021. After all, you wouldn’t want to be caught off guard at the post office.
You might think of national couriers like USPS and Canada Post as being primarily for domestic shipping. On the contrary, many people choose to use either USPS or Canada Post for international shipping because of their reliability and affordable prices. Of course, international shipping rates tend to be higher than domestic rates.
For import export business owners, going with one of these companies is a great choice because of their tracking options and professionalism. Both USPS and Canada Post even offer a special discount for commercial packages. They have ways to help you with customs clearance as well.
Why did shipping rates change?
It’s easy to blame everything on the Pandemic, but that’s only one of the contributing factors to the shipping rate changes. In fact, COVID-19 is not even mentioned in either USPS’s or Canada Post’s explanation for the changes.
The main reason shipping rates have changed is due to the huge decline in mail volume that has occurred over the last decade. This trend is expected to continue, with an estimated 36% decline by the year 2030.
News of this decline probably doesn’t come as a surprise to you. After all, people are accustomed to using technology to send documents and information they previously had to send by mail. With more and more communication platforms available and almost universal internet access, the return to relying on mail is probably not going to happen any time soon.
Sadly, this is likely only the first of many price increases to come in the next several years. As an importer or exporter, you’ll want to keep a close eye on shipping rates so you don’t get blindsided by future changes.
USPS Shipping Rates 2021
When it comes to choosing which USPS service to use for your package, there is an almost overwhelming number of options. The fastest international shipping option with tracking is called Global Express Guaranteed. It starts at $67.80 for a 0.5 lb package going to Canada. This service takes only 1-3 business days, with overnight delivery often possible to Canada.
Many importers and exporters choose the Priority Mail International Flat Rate option with tracking, which takes 6-10 business days but tends to be much more affordable. You don’t have to pay more to ship heavier items, as long as they fit in the flat rate box and the total weight is under the specified amount. Small flat rate boxes (under 4 lbs) start at $29.55 for shipping to Canada, while large flat rate boxes (under 20 lbs) start at $71.05.
In case you’re wondering how these prices were affected by the rate change that happened at the beginning of 2021, they increased by about 3%. Keep in mind that you may qualify for a discount if you are a commercial retailer, particularly if you intend to regularly ship a high volume of packages. To get an estimate of how much you’ll pay to ship your package, use USPS’s postage price calculator.
Canada Post Shipping Rates 2021
The quickest way to send a package from Canada to the US is by using Canada Post’s Priority Worldwide option. This allows your package to reach its destination by 10:30 AM the following day in most cases. It also gives you the ability to track your package and automatically charges the recipient for taxes and duties.
A more economical way to send your package is by choosing the Expedited Parcel option. It should take about 4-7 business days for your package to arrive. This option also includes tracking and hassle-free customs clearance.
Prices vary depending on package weight and destination. It’s easy to price out different shipping options using Canada Post’s rate comparison tool. Remember that Canada Post offers various discounts and solutions for small and large businesses.
Customs clearance assistance
It’s important to note that whenever you send a package to another country, it’s considered exporting. That means relevant duties and taxes will apply. Fortunately, duties typically don’t apply to packages sent between the US and Canada due to the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
That being said, your packages will still be required to clear customs. This involves filling out customs forms and making tax payments. Taxes will typically be paid by the recipient of the package. If your package is detained by customs, you will usually be notified by your postal courier.
Wondering how much you’ll owe in duties and taxes for the package you’re importing? Get an estimate using our free customs fees calculator.
If you’re using USPS to send your package, you can access customs forms and other customs clearance information on their website. If you’re using Canada Post, the best option for commercial customs clearance is Priority Worldwide, which includes this service at no extra cost.
Even with the resources offered by these postal couriers, customs clearance can be a challenge. Knowing which forms you need to submit and which taxes you need to pay can be overwhelming, especially if you’re new to the import export world. That’s where we come in. At BorderBuddy, we have over 10 years of experience helping people like you with commercial and personal customs clearance. Give us a call today.