Planning to bulk ship your cargo? Here’s what you need to know about bulk shipping companies before you start your planning.

What You Need to Know About Bulk Shipping Companies Before You Ship

What is bulk shipping?

Bulk shipping is the process of transporting large quantities of cargo from one place to another. Bulk shipments are usually loaded directly into a shipping vessel, and often involve three steps: unloading, storage, and loading. Prices for bulk shipping typically depend on four main factors: shipment size and weight, distance traveled, and type of cargo.

Customs broker

Finding a customs broker should be one of your first steps- even before you choose which freight broker or carrier to use for your cross-border bulk shipment. A customs broker is someone who has the proper licensure and will therefore represent you during any dealings with customs authorities. This includes taking care of fees, and taxes, and preparing any necessary border-crossing documents. Because there is such a large demand, plenty of customs brokers have taken up specializing in US-to-Canada bulk shipping.

Freight broker

After you have decided how you will transport the cargo, you need to make plans with a freight broker or carrier. Ensure they are authorized to operate in Canada and/or the USA and that your preferred driver is qualified to ferry the shipment (for example: has all appropriate driver certifications, no criminal record, and an active passport). Also, give your custom brokers’ account number and contact information to your transportation partner.

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. 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.

Complete e-Manifest

Completion of the electronic manifesto is required in order to set your load in motion. The following information must be communicated back to you: loaded truck weight, bill of lading information, and PARS number.

Next, you’ll send this information and the commercial invoice (which is very important for taxation purposes) to the customs broker. The customs broker will then fill out an e-manifest online. In Canada, this document is called Advanced Commercial Information (ACI), while in the US it’s referred to as Automated Commercial Environment (ACE).

Get ready to ship

After you submit your e-manifesto, your bulk cargo should already be en route. During the journey, your driver will have a few more procedural check-ins before crossing the US-Canada border. For example, the freight broker or carrier will confirm with the customs broker that all border documents are in order.

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.