The trade relationship between Canada and the United States is the largest in the world. In 2020, Canada exported $383 billion CAD worth of goods to the U.S. This trade relationship spans all industries, including consumer goods, Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts and industrial parts. Industrial distribution, which totals over $130 billion CAD annually, includes a range of industrial parts and equipment, including machinery, plumbing supplies, HVAC supplies and automotive parts.
When it comes to cross-border industrial parts such as OEM parts shipping, there are several logistical and regulatory considerations to keep in mind, including documentation, penalties and timelines. Some industrial businesses may be worried about the regulatory process to which they must adhere.
But the process doesn’t have to be complicated. Here, we answer your top questions about shipping industrial equipment across the Canada-U.S. border.
What information is needed about the industrial parts for cross-border shipping?
To prepare for shipping to the border into the U.S., you need to have the following information:
- number of packages
- description of goods
- country of origin
- value for duty
- the Harmonized System (HS) code, required for your customs paperwork.
Pro tip: Find the model information of your equipment to ensure you’re providing an accurate description and the correct dimensions. Doing so will help your delivery provider to give you an accurate quote and to find the best shipping method for you.
Your trusted shipper can help you review your products, control packaging, reduce damage and lower shipping costs.
What documents are required for cross-border shipping?
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency has a number of requirements that must be fulfilled before your goods are legally permitted to cross into the U.S. Depending on the shipment, documents can vary. However, these are the most common documents required:
Commercial Invoice – This document is required for customs clearance. It contains specific details about the item you are shipping, including the shipper’s name, a description of the goods, the country of manufacture, the unit price and the total price. It also includes information about insurance, commissions or royalty payments.
CUSMA Certificate of Origin – The Certificate of Origin replaced the North American Free Trade Agreement and is required for some U.S.-bound shipments. This document doesn’t have a specific format but requires at minimum the importer, exporter, certifier, producer and description of the goods contained in the shipment.
Despite your best efforts, customs may not accept your shipment if it finds an issue with your documentation. Work with a courier who has expertise in shipping industrial equipment across the border so they can answer all your questions before you ship.
What is the fastest option when shipping industrial parts from Canada to the U.S.?
Many industrial shipments require just-in-time shipping (J.I.T). Automotive and electrical parts often need J.I.T shipping to help reduce overproduction or end-consumer wait times. Even the most optimized supply chain is prone to errors and unforeseen events that may impact supply chain distribution, so finding a shipping provider who offers J.I.T delivery can help minimize the impact of these disruptions.
J.I.T also helps avoid underproduction, as the parts are produced, packaged and delivered according to demand. Look for a shipping provider who can work with you to understand precisely when you’ll need your OEM and industrial parts delivered and has the network to support this.
As a best practice, your delivery provider should offer a variety of options that can cater to urgent shipping and provide ground shipping for a more cost-effective solution when J.I.T. delivery isn’t required.
How should industrial parts be packaged to ensure it remains secure throughout the journey?
Machinery, supplies and parts must be packaged well and handled with care to ensure their safety in transport and handling; it is up to the shipper to ensure shipments are packaged correctly before your shipping partner picks them up.
There are a number of packaging materials available for industrial parts, each with its strengths. Exterior packaging can be made from plastic, steel or wood and should be sturdy, durable and protect its contents from transportation and environmental damage.
Plastic packaging systems are especially popular within the automotive industry. Plastic containers are best for medium or heavy goods, as they’re sturdy even at large weights. These materials are easy to clean, lightweight, customizable and protect the contents from environmental elements.
Steel racks and containers are durable and long-lasting. They protect the contents from rough handling and impacts. Steel containers are customizable and durable against vibration and other hazards during transport.
Wooden crates and frames are sturdy and relatively weather-resistant. They can withstand pressure and are stable and durable. Moreover, wooden crates and frames can be custom-built. This minimizes space requirements during shipping and storing and ensures items remain secure and stable within the container.
Improper packing and storage are among the most common causes of cargo damage. You should always insure your machinery to protect your business from a costly loss in the event of damage.
When it comes to industrial parts shipping, you’ll want to consider:
- environmental elements
- temperature and more.
If you’re unsure of the best approach, the right shipping partner will be able to guide you on using the best materials for packaging your industrial equipment to help you ensure it’s protected against damage.
What solutions should a delivery provider offer to ship to the border?
It’s essential to work with a trusted delivery provider that understands how to ship parts and equipment and has experience with cross-border shipments. Look for a delivery provider that can offer:
- A variety of timeframes, including next flight out, next day and ground transportation
- Expertise as a dangerous goods carrier with an exemplary safety and compliance record
- Cross-border expertise and support to expedite freight shipments and reduce the risk of costly border delays
- An extensive network for increased speed and reliability
- Deliveries to a variety of destinations, including remote locations, job sites and locker boxes
- Flatbed services for shipments that don’t require the enclosure of a transportation vehicle or do not fit within the standard dimensions of truck trailers
When you need a shipping solution for your industrial parts and supplies, the Purolator Trade Assistant can help you access your HS code, U.S. customs documentation and government agency-specific forms at your fingertips.
There is a lot to consider when shipping industrial parts to the U.S., but with the right support, it can be a beneficial move for your business. Work with a delivery provider who understands cross-border shipments and safety in handling machinery and dangerous goods and who offers J.I.T service with an extensive network for municipal and remote delivery. The right delivery provider should assist you with documentation, specific handling, customs compliance and getting your parts and supplies to their destination on time.