The revenue generated in the retail e-commerce segment is expected to touch $33 billion in 2024. The monthly sales value of e-commerce is pegged at 3.3 billion Canadian dollars. But the interesting fact of Canadian online shopping is that 45% of the online purchases are from cross-border U.S. websites the reason being lower prices and better product selection preferences.
The biggest players in the Canadian e-commerce industry are Amazon followed by Walmart and Costco of the USA. Electronics and media is the largest segment in the online shopping category followed by fashion and toys.
To fulfill all customer orders and ship products to their addresses, e-commerce stores take the help of shipping partners. E-commerce shipping in Canada has some established top players like the local Canada Post, CanPar, Purolator, and other international shippers like UPS, FedEx, and DHL.
Here is a chart with estimated shipping rates of various shipping partners for e-commerce businesses in Canada.
|Standard Shipping||01 Lbs||18.6||11.2||17.3||19.73||18.26|
E-commerce shipping in Canada is also aided by all-in-one solution providers such as Easyship and Shipvista. These multichannel order management and fulfillment solutions work with multiple shipping partners to provide the best shipping solutions for e-commerce businesses. But first, let us look at the top seven shipping partners for e-commerce businesses in Canada.
UPS, set up in the U.S., took its first step towards international expansion by entering the Canadian market in 1975. Its headquarters for Canada is in Mississauga, Ontario. It has 63 facilities with 88 daily flight segments and employs over 13000 people in Canada. Here are some of the services it offers for online store owners related to shipping and tracking of products:
For e-commerce businesses, UPS Canada offers UPS developer kit APIs to integrate UPS shipping, rating, tracking, and more capabilities into the website.
It provides printing return labels for e-commerce store owners to facilitate the easy return of the purchased products for customers.
It has a strong network of UPS Access Point locations from where store owners can send and receive packages.
Its advanced plan has interactive dashboards for store owners to manage all outbound shipments and receive estimated delivery windows and alerts.
It also offers customizable reporting and full data download in multiple file formats in the Quantum View Manage plan.
FedEx Express Canada is headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario, and has hub facilities in Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal with 69 stations, 285 dropboxes, 4,800+ vehicles, 330 intra-Canadian flights, and 116 international flights a week.
It offers excellent intra-Canada shipping facilities for e-commerce businesses as seen in this chart.
|Your Shipping Need||Our Solution|
|Within hours(depending on avability)||FedEx Next Flight*|
|10 a.m. next business day to most metropolitan areas||FedEx First Overnight*|
|Morning, next business to mosy metropolitan areas||FedEx priority Overnight*|
|5 p.m. next businesses and by 8 p.m. to residences in most petropolitan areas||FedEx Standard Overnight*|
|1 to 2 business day by 5p.m. to businesses and by 8 p.m. to residences in most metropolitan areas||FedEx 2Day*|
|1 to 3 business day by 5p.m. to businesses and by 8 p.m. to residences in most metropolitan areas||FedEx Economy*|
|5 p.m. next bussiness day to most locations||FedEx 1Day Freight*|
For international parcel export, FedEx offers many services based on the time preference and location of the parcel to be delivered.
|Your Shipping Need||Our Solution|
|Within hours(depending on avability)||FedEx International Next Flight*|
|8 a.m. next business day to many locations in the U.S. 9 a.m. Second business day to select cities in Europe 10 a.m. Second business day to select cities in Latin America 10 a.m. Third business day to select cities in Asia and Austalia||FedEx International First*|
|10:30 a.m. next business day to business and by midday to residences to many locations in the U.S. 1 to 3 bussiness day to midday to select countries and territories||FedEx International priority* Express|
|4:30 p.m. next business day to businesses and the U.S. or 5 p.m. in some rural areas 1 to 3 bussiness day by end of business day to rest of world||FedEx International Priority*|
|4:30 p.m. on the Second business day to businesses and by 8 p.m. to residences to many locations in the U.S. 2 to 5 bussiness days to most major world markets||FedEx* International Economy|
|1 to 3 business days to most locations||FedEx* International priority Freight|
|2 to 5 business days to most locations||FedEx* International Economy Freight|
FedEx offers both domestic and international (import & export) shipping services in Canada. It provides comprehensive guidelines for e-commerce store owners right from selecting the right e-commerce platform for their business to integrating the FedEx shipping software into their website. Its main shipping services can be categorized as-
FedEx Express Services (Intra-Canada services and International Services)
FedEx Ground Services (Intra-Canada and Canada-to-U.S. Services)
FedEx Express Freight Services (Intra- Canada and International Services)
FedEx Freight (LTL) Services (Intra-Canada and Cross-border Services across U.S. and Mexico)
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Canpar Express is a leading shipping company for small parcel deliveries in Canada. Founded in 1979 by John Cyopeck, the Canpar Express team has 1700 dedicated members, 55 terminals, and more than 900 smart spot locations across Canada. Its major sort facilities are in Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. Canpar Express was purchased by TFI International in 2002 and offers services in five segments:
Less than Truckload
Package & Courier
|Great for||Urgent shipments you require delivered next day, guaranteed.*||For your important documents, Canpar Express offers a sturdy legal-size envelope to ensure your customers receive their documents intact.||Our Canpar Express poly bag is the ideal solution to hold your larger documents, spare parts, and other smaller items you need expedited safely.||For your larger shipments you need guaranteed* on-time delivery at a great price, choose SelectParcel. We supply the label; you supply the box – it's as simple as that.||This trackable service is the ideal choice for reliable, economical deliveries across Canada.|
|Specialized Services||Collect||Collect||Pickup tag Collect|
For e-commerce businesses, it offers return tag services that include a preprinted return label in the shipment giving customers the flexibility to return items with ease. Store owners can select any of the delivery locations across Canada for parcel pick-up or drop-off.
DHL Express, a part of Deutsche Post DHL, offers domestic and international courier and parcel services. Originally founded in the USA in 1969, they now connect more than 220 countries.
DHL is located in 95 major places in Canada. It has 12 service centers with 7 delivery zones. It maintains a vehicle fleet of 243 with gateways in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Hamilton, Montreal, and Mirabel.
|Service Level||Next possible business day||USA: 3 - 9 days Europe: 4 - 8 days Rest of the World: 6 - 14 days||4 - 8 days|
|Shipments for Business Customers||✔️||✔️||✔️|
|Shipments for Private Customers||✔️||❌||❌|
For e-commerce businesses, they have the DHL eCommerce solutions wherein owners can directly send parcels throughout the U.S., including services to Alaska, Hawaii, U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and all other U.S. territories. It offers direct shipping up to 6.8 kg into the U.S. for non-regulated items under 800 USD as a part of cross-border e-commerce.
This parcel delivery and logistics company was originally called Trans Canada Couriers. In 1967, it was acquired by Purolator, a US manufacturer of oil and air filters. It was returned to Canadian ownership in 1987 but has retained its Purolator name. It is now majorly owned by Canada Post. It partners with UPS for deliveries outside Canada. As of 2019, it has 172 operations facilities and 110 shipping centers.
For shipping in Canada, Purolator offers two services:
Purolator Express- It guarantees next-day delivery across Canada with detailed in-transit tracking.
Purolator Ground- For less urgent shipments, Purolator ground offers flexible delivery times to suit schedule and pick-up and delivery services on Saturdays too.
For courier services in the U.S. and other 210 countries, it offers detailed in-transit tracking and convenient package drop-off in 1700+ locations.
General Logistics Systems (GLS) is a parcel, freight, and logistics service provider started in 1968 as Dicom. It was acquired by GLS B.V in 2018 and since has been renamed as GLS.It serves customers across a range of industries, modes of transportation, and throughout all of North America and Canada. Its services are as follows:
Regional parcel- It transports 75,000+ parcels each day with 95% of intra-provincial deliveries completed in 24 hours or less.
LTL- It integrates with regional parcel services with more than 25 terminals in Quebec and Ontario focused on next-day deliveries and offers 100% coverage across Canada.
Full truckload- It transports truckload shipments within Canada and cross-border.
Logistics- It handles freight and provides network speed, elimination of supply chain waste, and efficient transportation investment. It also offers parcel and freight cross-dock and consolidation, line haul, and last-mile delivery.
Originally known as Royal Mail Canada, Canada Post is the primary postal and courier service provider in Canada. Its headquarters is in Ottawa, Ontario and it provides service to nearly 16 million addresses. It has more than 6,200 post offices across the country and a 13,000 vehicle fleet.
|Local(bussiness days)||Up to 2 days||Up to 2 days||2 days||Up to 3 days|
|Regional(bussiness days)||Up to 2 days||Up to 2 days||Up to 4 days||Up to 6 days|
|National(bussiness days)||Up to 2 days||3 days||Up to 8 days||Up to 10 days|
Canada Post offers a variety of shipping solutions for e-commerce businesses:
Shopify and PayPal have their shipping and pricing tools integrated into their platforms.
Its e-commerce software solutions provide displaying shipping rates and delivery dates as customers place items in their cart
It offers pre-printing of labels for parcel deliveries to create, manage, and process shipments.
It offers package pickup from the business retail location or any participating retail stores.
Customers can pick up the parcel at any of its 6000+ secure post offices. They can even request parcel delivery to a post office of their choice at checkout.
Its tracking services let customers track their parcels and receive emails at every step
Store owners can provide a convenient and flexible return process to their customers. Canada Post allows stores to integrate return label creation into the website and lets owners track their return inventory.
The e-commerce shipping rates in Canada depend on the location, weight of the parcel, and the time within which it has to be delivered to the customer.
For businesses that have orders in bulk, you can negotiate with shipping providers for discounted rates. Online businesses that do not have consistent sales can opt to go with third-party shipping software solutions that deal directly with shipping providers and offer you the best rates.
E-commerce shipping in Canada is all about finding the right shipping partner that suits your business need. After all, a good shipping service helps you improve your brand image and loyalty!