Canada is the United States’ top trading partner, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, with $597.4 billion in total trade in 2011. That is 16.2 percent of the U.S. total trade. China follows Canada at 13.6 percent.
All that volume, however, does not mean that shipping across the Canadian border happens seamlessly.
A recent article in Inbound Logistics offered tips for “hassle-free trade experiences with Canada,” and included a warning that not all Canadian provinces are the same.
Some U.S. shippers find the complexities of moving goods across the Canadian border frustrating.
Increased security and shifting compliance requirements has many shippers looking for the right logistics solutions.
Odyssey Logistics & Technology’s Logistics Manager, John Coombes, emphasizes the importance of getting the process right for navigating the Canadian border issues.
“Many processes tend to fall down when it comes to the accuracy of Canada’s Customs documentation,” he explained, “particularly the Canadian Customs Invoice (CCI) and the eManifest.”
The eManifest is a by-product of Canada’s implementation of the Advance Commercial Information (ACI) program. The goal of eManifest is the creation of a paperless process requiring carriers, freight forwarders and importers in all transportation modes to electronically transmit shipment information in advance of the freight’s arrival at the border.
Getting it Right
Coombes stresses the merit of precision in the description of cargo, such as the number of pieces, weight and value of the shipment. Any discrepancy opens the door to contents being held and delayed, which becomes quite costly for U.S. businesses.
A logistics partner with local presence and knowledge of Canadian customs helps guide shippers through the appropriate documentation and attending logistics hurdles. Understanding the country’s requirements expands market opportunities for businesses looking for access to this important U.S. trading partner.