US to Canada Bulk Shipping: A Step-by-Step Guide
Got some dry or liquid cargo? Here’s a guide for the US to Canada bulk shipping process.
Amid the Coronavirus pandemic, both the US and Canada have quickly moved to restrict entry and discourage non-essential travels. Despite these tough restrictions, the shipping department has persevered. Bulk shipping of dry and liquid products between the countries has remained in full flow. In this blog, we’ll take you through the steps you need to follow to make your US to Canada bulk shipping process a success.
1. Contract with a customs broker
Even before you select a freight broker or carrier for your US to Canada bulk shipment, you first need to with a customs broker. Essentially, the customs broker is a licensed individual who’ll represent you when it comes to any dealings with the Canadian customs authorities, including payment of fees and taxes. The broker will also prepare the necessary border-crossing documents on your behalf. There are plenty of customs brokers that specialize in the US to Canada bulk shipping, so feel free to scour online to find your match.
2. Organize the transportation with a freight broker
Next up, you need to make plans with a freight broker or carrier on how to ferry the cargo. Your transportation partner could be an organization or a person, but whichever option you settle for, ensure they are authorized to operate in Canada. Your preferred driver should also be qualified to ferry the shipment (i.e. has all the appropriate driver certifications, no criminal record, has an active passport, etc.). Also, don’t forget to hand over your custom brokers’ account number and contact details to your transportation partner.
3. Loading the truck
Truck freight loading might seem just a transition process in the transportation chain, but it’s an important part of the US to Canada bulk shipping process. That’s why you must carry out the process efficiently. Now during the actual loading process, the carrier’s PARS (Pre-Arrival Review System) sticker should be placed on the bill of lading. If you’ve been involved in this kind of shipping before, you very well know that you can’t get across the border if you don’t own a PARS account. The PARS number itself is usually included in a barcoded sticker to make it easier for scanning. Having the correct PARS number, along with all the necessary border-crossing documents, will make your entry to Canada a total breeze.
4. Completion of the electronic manifesto
Note that as the shipper, your load can’t be set in motion if an electronic manifest (aka “e-manifest”) is not completed online. For this to happen, all the necessary information—loaded truck weight, bill of lading information, and PARS number should be communicated back to you. You’ll then forward this information, along with the commercial invoice (absolutely important in the taxation process), to the customs broker, who’ll then complete an e-manifest online. The Canadian version of the e-manifest is called Advanced Commercial Information (ACI), while the US version is called the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE).
5. Your shipment is ready to cross the border
Once the e-manifesto is filled and submitted, the bulk cargo should already be in transit. While on the road, your driver will undergo a few other procedural check-ins before he or she is allowed to cross the US-Canada border. For instance, the freight broker or carrier will confirm with the customs broker to ensure that there are zero issues with the border-crossing documents.
Through our member companies, the ShipNorthAmerica Network provides a broad range of services in specialized freight movement. Visit our blog for more articles, news, and updates for the transportation industry or contact us today and we’ll be more than willing to assist.