Cross-border shipping offers businesses several benefits. For example, it can reduce transportation costs and improve customer delivery times. Working with an experienced 3PL that maintains relationships with hundreds of cross-border freight carriers in the United States and Canada can open up flexible capacity and pricing. There are also transloading options and through-trailer hauls that can help expedite shipments.
Cross-border freight transport is more complex than domestic truckload and involves navigating different customs and regulatory systems in both countries. This can lead to delays if you are not careful. One of the most critical factors in ensuring a smooth border crossing is having a transportation company with a wide network and experience with cross-border logistics.
A premier 3PL can also offer various solutions for shipments, including over-the-road, intermodal and ocean. The right transportation partner can ensure that proper documentation is in place before and during the shipment cycle. Whether it is a bill of lading, packing list, or certificate of origin, preparing these documents will help prevent costly delays at the border.
A good third-party logistics (3PL) partner will have experience identifying and providing these documents and intimate knowledge of the complexities of inbound customs. This includes knowing what to expect at each port of entry, as well as the habits and processes of customs agents. This will prevent the need for last-minute scrambling and reduce overall stress levels. Having this experience and a deep network of partners also maximizes capacity in key gateways, such as the Canadian border, which can be challenging during peak season.
Getting your cargo to the border and across it efficiently is critical for your customers. If your transportation partner isn’t experienced in hauling cross-border freight, you could face delays and additional fees that slow your shipment. Top transportation companies in Chicago can help make the process smoother and more predictable.
Choosing an experienced transportation provider with strong attention to detail will also help ensure your documentation is complete and accurate. If you want your shipment to move quickly, consider using bonded carriers. These carriers have a lower security risk and are not required to pay duties.
Additionally, you should select a transportation partner that is C-TPAT (Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism) certified, as this designation also helps your shipment to move faster. A transportation company that offers a wide range of truckload, less-than-truckload, refrigerated, flatbed, and intermodal shipping solutions is a good choice for your cross-border needs. These companies typically have a large network of carriers and offer flexibility in capacity and pricing.
A 3PL with a comprehensive carrier portfolio that includes both the United States and Canada-based companies can give you access to backhaul lanes for competitive rates on your shipment. This may reduce the time your freight spends in transit and save you money.
Over $600 billion of freight travels over the U.S. border yearly. Most of that cross-border freight is truckload, with 83% of those trucks carrying cargo to Canada from the United States. While physically, those trucks navigate only one line; logistically, they maneuver through a complex network of routes and crossing points.
As the global economy grows, a logistics company with deep experience in cross-border shipping is more important than ever before. Whether your company specializes in air, land, or sea transport, the right partner can help you meet increasing demands for fast, seamless transit between countries. The best way to speed up your freight crossings is through intermodal service.
The process begins with a driver collecting a load in the U.S. and transporting it to a transload facility. Depending on the freight type and the location of your warehouses, you may also choose to ship cross-border directly from the U.S. This requires a special permit and a highly skilled driver, but it can be the fastest way to get your goods to market.
Every year, over $700 billion in goods travel via truck from Canada to the United States. The physical crossing of the border is relatively straightforward, but the logistical maneuvering over a network of routes is often more challenging. A good cross-border transportation company is familiar with the countries, routes, and customs procedures involved in the most efficient way to move freight from one point to another. They know how to utilize intermodal capacity and route optimization options to improve costs and speed, even as they handle the complexities of multiple border crossings.
Additionally, they can help ensure all the necessary paperwork is in place to speed up the process. This includes commercial invoices, packing lists, and bills of lading. The company can also assist with obtaining permits or exemptions to bypass delays. Suppose a company has warehouse space near the border.
In that case, it can speed up transportation time by consolidating and shipping goods as they are ready to go rather than waiting for all of the parts or materials that are needed for production at a location farther away. This can enable just-in-time logistics, boosting efficiency, reducing inventory and storage costs, and limiting supply chain risks.
Lastly, a good cross-border transportation company will have strong relationships with regional carriers that can help to lower costs and avoid capacity constraints. This can include partnering with bonded or C-TPAT (Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism) certified carriers, which can streamline the shipping process by not requiring duties to be paid and eliminating the need for U.S. customs clearance.