International Shipping From the UK to Canada: What You Need to Know

STEPHEN RUHLAND Mar 07, 2024 • 4 Min read
How to Ship from UK to Canada
How to Ship from UK to Canada | eShiper

Canada and the UK have a long history of robust economic relations. With trade valued at $46.5 billion in 2022, the UK was Canada’s third largest single-country trading partner. Canadian consumers continue to value and trust British brands, further bolstering the two countries’ commercial relationship. 

For business owners, there are real opportunities for growth when importing products from the UK to Canada. But businesses looking to ship goods from the United Kingdom need to engage in strategic planning to overcome the challenges of cross-border logistics, including rising shipping rates, customs compliance and clearance, and operational bottlenecks.

To help you get started, we’ve put together a simple guide to the ins and outs of international shipping from the UK to Canada.

International Parcel Delivery 

As with shipping to any destination, the cost of sending packages from the UK to Canada depends on multiple variables, including size, weight, delivery location, and courier service.

Your main options are:

  • Royal Mail: If affordability is your main consideration and your customers are not concerned about longer transit times, the UK’s national postal service is the preferred option. 
  • UPS, DHL, and FedEx: Major courier companies offer a variety of shipping speeds for your parcels. Whether you choose express or economy services from these carriers, expect to pay higher rates compared to the postal service— with the advantage of faster delivery and tracking on all services. 

International Freight Services

If you’re shipping cargo from the UK to Canada, your costs will depend on location, size, and shipping mode. Whether you’re shipping by ocean and air, there are variables in each category.

International Freight Services
  • Ocean Freight (LCL): When you ship less than a container load (LCL), your goods do not fill an entire container and are therefore shipped along with other boxes or pallets. LCL shipping can be slower than FCL shipping from port to port because your cargo must be consolidated at the origin port and then deconsolidated at the destination port.
  • Ocean Freight (FCL): Shipping a full container load (FCL) means that you’re not sharing container space with another consignment. Your goods would fill an entire container, which could be 20’ or 40’ long, at flat rate pricing regardless of whether or not the container is completely full. Compared to LCL, FCL freight saves time and money for businesses shipping high volumes. Transit times for door-to-door FCL international shipping from the UK to Canada range from 22-26 days. 
  • Air Freight: As a general rule, shipping by air is faster but more expensive than shipping by sea or ocean. But if you’re shipping a smaller load of around 100 kg, air freight will often be the more affordable choice, with a transit time of 8-13 days. The larger your shipment’s weight, the lower your rate will be per kilogram. Ultimately, whether you choose ocean or air freight will depend on the size and weight of your shipment, as well as how quickly you need your goods to arrive in Canada.
  • Express Freight: International courier is your most expensive option but can be cost-effective for small shipments that need to be delivered as quickly as possible. Generally, large shipments will be less expensive to ship by air freight, and larger cargo is cheaper to transport by ocean. But for smaller shipments, express freight is your most streamlined mode of shipping, partly because your shipment will be handled from pick up all the way to drop-off by a single company. International courier companies include UPS, FedEx, and DHL, and each will have their own weight and size restrictions for express freight. 

Import Fees

When importing goods from the UK into Canada, businesses must take into account considerations such as duty, federal and provincial sales tax, and entry and carrier disbursement fees.

Where Canadian customs compliance is concerned, here are some additional factors to keep in mind, including possibilities for duty free shipping:

  • Low value shipment threshold: Most goods valued under CAD 20 can be imported into Canada free of duties and taxes. 
  • Courier Low Value Shipment (CLVS) program: The CLVS program prevents small parcel backlogs by allowing participating courier companies to deliver unrestricted goods valued at CAD 3,300 or less to recipients in Canada even before submission of the customs declaration. Customs clearance would then be acquired after delivery.
  • Canada-United Kingdom Continuity Trade Agreement (CUKCTA): This free trade agreement allows the duty free import of goods made in the UK into Canada. However, keep in mind that just because a product is sent from the UK does not mean it’s automatically covered by the CUKCTA agreement; the goods must be manufactured in the UK to be granted duty free shipping.


If you’re seeking seamless customs clearance and cross border eCommerce logistics for international shipping from the UK to Canada, eShipper can help.

Whether you need international freight services for larger loads or international parcel delivery for smaller shipments, eShipper’s partnerships with the world’s most reliable carriers bring you competitive rates and a range of shipping options to suit your needs. Contact us to learn more about eShipper’s services and receive expert advice and tailored solutions for your business.

eShipper Solutions for International Shipping from the UK to Canada

eShipper’s logistics solutions include a variety of services designed to meet your unique needs. 

  • International shipping: Go borderless without worrying about navigating customs or managing cross-border and international logistics, returns, and tracking. Whether you need courier or freight services, we have you covered.
  • Freight services: Simplify your freight shipping with multimodal shipping services, including air freight and LCL and FCL ocean freight.
  • Customs Clearance: Get expert advice on customs compliance and help with customs clearance for the seamless import of goods into Canada.
  • Temperature-controlled shipping: Ship all of your temperature-sensitive goods safely and efficiently with the appropriate packaging, insulation, and shipping services for your perishable products.
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