If you’re a regular online shopper, you may have come across the phrase “Cross Border Courier Services”.
Perhaps you often drive across the border between Canada and the U.S., and you’ve seen businesses offering cross border courier services. While this practice isn’t widely heard of, it is one of the most innovative services a transporter or customs broker can provide, and as online shopping trends increase, so too does the use of Cross Border Courier Services.
But what, exactly, are Cross Border Courier Services?
Say you’re searching for an item online. It may be a difficult to find machine part, or a collector’s item from a niche hobby circle. You might find a seller through eBay, Amazon, or even an individual’s privately owned website, and are relieved to have the opportunity to obtain this item—only to discover that they don’t ship across the border. U.S. sellers may exclusively ship within the continental U.S. due to excessive shipping costs outside of the country, especially for large items. Or, they may increase the shipping cost exponentially due to the difficulty of getting the item across the border, or high shipping costs themselves. They may even only offer shipping for large, commercial purchases. Either way, you are promptly dismayed to find that, while you could purchase the item you’re looking for online, you have no way of getting it delivered to you.
Cross Border Courier Services exist to bridge the gap between buyers and sellers who cannot ship their items across the border. Companies who provide these services will often have a warehouse, depot, or office on one side of the border to which goods can be shipped. Then, a driver will cross the border, pick up the goods, and then cross the border again, often getting them cleared through customs in the process. The driver then delivers these goods to a location inside a city, or, in some cases, directly to their clients! This practice can expedite the shipping process, reduce shipping costs, and simplify the online shopping system for both buyers and sellers.
Border Brokers is one of Canada and the U.S.’s few customs brokers who provide Cross Border Courier Services to clients in Winnipeg, Manitoba. How do we get this done? Well, the process is simple!
Clients will make a purchase at any of their favourite online retailers. Instead of inputting their own address in the “Shipping Address” section, they will input the address of our warehouse in Pembina, North Dakota. This allows sellers to still ship their goods within the continental U.S., but brings it as close to Canada as possible—as Pembina is less than five minutes away from the U.S./Canadian border! Then, clients can send all the necessary information straight to us. This includes: Commercial Invoice, Bill of Sale, NAFTA Certificates, and Low Value Statement of Origin, if applicable. Typically, the sellers will provide these documents for clients to send to us. The cost of this service is remarkably low, increasing only by weight/volume. Duty is only paid if there is no NAFTA Certificate or Low Value Statement of Origin provided.
This means that sometimes, Cross Border Courier Services can be cheaper than getting a product shipped straight across the border! This doesn’t just apply to personal purchases, either—commercial purchases can also benefit from the low cost and ease of Cross Border Courier Services.
Details on the process, if you are interested in using Border Broker’s Cross Border Courier Services, can be found on this page.
Those worried about extra wait times to receive their products can rest assured that we deliver as quickly and as often as possible. Our truck heads out to the border three times a week: every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday to pick up, clear, and transport goods back to our clients in Winnipeg. Border Broker’s Cross Border Courier Services truck recently received a makeover, ensuring it to be highly recognizable while cruising down the highway—you can see it in the image at the top of this post.
On the statistical end of things, our Cross Border Courier Service usually transports the heaviest loads on Wednesdays, right in the middle of the week. This is often to ensure our clients have enough time to receive their items before the weekend!
The most common type of item we clear across the border and deliver into Winnipeg are mechanical parts. Vehicle and bike parts are a common product purchased in the U.S., as well as entire bikes—the size of our truck makes it more convenient to have bikes delivered through our courier service rather than shipped, as bikes tend to be large and heavy objects that can steeply increase shipping costs. We work with retailers from many industry sectors including the largest online retailer ever—you guessed it, Amazon!
The number of clients using our Cross Border Courier Services is increasing every month, as seen in the graph below:
Cross Border Courier Services are a quick, easy, and streamlined way to get your goods delivered across the border without all the hassle and extra costs of standard shipping. We act as the middleman to get your goods from the U.S. and into Canada, which means that there’s no struggling to get in contact with a real person when you have questions about the status of your goods—Border Brokers is always available to answer questions, with personal, real time updates. As customs brokers, we are experts in not only arranging the delivery of your goods, but getting them cleared across the border as well.
If you’re curious about getting started with our Cross Border Courier Service, we encourage you to check out the Cross Border Courier Services page on our website here, or give us an email or a phone call. Border Brokers is always happy to assist, and looks forward to helping you get your goods across the border!