Entrepreneurship & Small Business

Shipping small packages within Canada (Cheapest provider)

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Newbie
User avatar
May 8, 2012
36 posts
2 upvotes
CONCORD

Shipping small packages within Canada (Cheapest provider)

I'm looking to ship some small packages within Canada. The boxes are small (under 3" x 5" x 5") and less than 500g. What's the cheapest provider to use (Canada post, Fedex, UPS, Canpar, eshipper etc.), there is no urgency required on the packages. I'm also open to providers that provide bulk discounts.

Please let me know who you use and the costs.
66 replies
Deal Addict
May 26, 2011
1801 posts
467 upvotes
Vancouver
Is there any way you could make your package 2 cm thick? And maybe slightly wider? If so, you could send it by Lettermail which would by far be the cheapest.

If not, eShipper is going to give you the cheapest quotes. Since they charge more than they quote, it's hard to determine whether or not they are actually the cheapest.

We use a combination of Canada Post and Flagship. Flagship seems to have good UPS/Fedex/Purolator rates to major centres, and we use Canada Post Expedited Parcel for rural or otherwise remote areas. If you don't already have a VentureOne account, I recommend it. It's free and gets you access to Expedited Parcel. It's the same price as Regular Parcel but you can track it and it's faster.

If you have high volume, you may be able to get good prices by going directly to the carriers (UPS, Canpar, FedEx, etc.) We do about 300 parcels per year, which was not enough to get any significant deal last I checked. (I didn't check Canpar.)

Let us know what you end up choosing :)
Member
Jan 25, 2010
375 posts
26 upvotes
Montr
I'd also second Flagship. Their quotes are usually accurate and you rarely get charged over what they've quoted you. We used to use eShipper but we were constantly hit by "adjustment" charges.
Newbie
Jun 12, 2012
9 posts
2 upvotes
VANCOUVER
We use Canada Post direct. Works out to be between $7 - 9 for items around your size (5" * 5" * 5") but we've got a good rate due to volume.
Member
User avatar
Jun 26, 2012
456 posts
80 upvotes
canada
RPMAutomotive wrote:
Jun 15th, 2012 3:21 pm
I'm looking to ship some small packages within Canada. The boxes are small (under 3" x 5" x 5") and less than 500g. What's the cheapest provider to use (Canada post, Fedex, UPS, Canpar, eshipper etc.)
Living in Canada is a rip off for anyone in this situation, and many consider moving to Border towns so that they can drive to a US post office to send packages.

This is a wide open business opportunity: some smart guy is fed up with Canadian Communism so he opens up a business that ships small parcels for $3-$6 a package, competing with canadapost and putting the pathetic canadapost out of business once and for all.
Member
Jan 23, 2011
406 posts
288 upvotes
E-shipper is great. If you don't have the volume to negotiate rates with a carrier you will not find it cheaper. I would guess you would need 10+ packages a day to get the kind of rates eshipper gives you. Then you don't have the option of choosing between the cheapest carrier though. Been with them for 2 years and I'm very happy.
Deal Addict
May 26, 2011
1801 posts
467 upvotes
Vancouver
I signed up with Flagship under my own name and they declined to open my account. So I signed up with my employer's company name and they said that was ok. I have no idea what they do to verify a company is legitimate.

If Flagship can't help you, Canada Post is an excellent alternative (and is cheaper to rural areas). If you ship with Canada Post, you should use Expedited Parcel (which you will need VentureOne to access) instead of Regular. It's the same price as Regular Parcel, but you can track it, it's faster, and you can request additional features like signature.
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Apr 21, 2004
45937 posts
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RedFoxComp wrote:
Sep 30th, 2012 11:39 pm
E-shipper is great. If you don't have the volume to negotiate rates with a carrier you will not find it cheaper. I would guess you would need 10+ packages a day to get the kind of rates eshipper gives you. Then you don't have the option of choosing between the cheapest carrier though. Been with them for 2 years and I'm very happy.
Does this mean I'm out of luck with e-shipper if I only ship textbooks once in a while or can I take them on with sporadic small shipments?
Member
Jan 23, 2011
406 posts
288 upvotes
alanbrenton wrote:
Sep 30th, 2012 11:42 pm
Does this mean I'm out of luck with e-shipper if I only ship textbooks once in a while or can I take them on with sporadic small shipments?
You're misunderstanding me. I'm saying you would usually need high volume with any carrier to get decent rates. With eshipper there is no volume requirement at all.
Deal Expert
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Apr 21, 2004
45937 posts
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RedFoxComp wrote:
Oct 1st, 2012 12:05 am
You're misunderstanding me. I'm saying you would usually need high volume with any carrier to get decent rates. With eshipper there is no volume requirement at all.
Wanted to confirm and err on the side of caution. Thank you so much for your time and advice.
Newbie
Mar 14, 2014
1 posts
alanbrenton wrote:
Oct 1st, 2012 12:11 am
Wanted to confirm and err on the side of caution. Thank you so much for your time and advice.
Try contacting swiftcouriers.ca, I used to work with them and for many clients they have bulk/volume rates that are very competitive for a private courier than public post office. Ask them about their ground service and bulk order discounts. They have flat rate GTA deliveries, all with tracking #.
Sr. Member
Jul 10, 2005
754 posts
121 upvotes
Toronto
There is no single cheapest service. It changes for each postalcode/size/weight combination.

We developed an in-house application that gets quotes on all couriers we have accounts with (CdaPost,Fedex,UPS,USPS,local-same-day) based on particular parcel data and run it for each single shipment we send.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jan 9, 2002
2379 posts
342 upvotes
Burlington
check out chitchatsexpress.com. Cheaper shipping from Canada -->USA-->Canada than using canadapost
Free Nortel tips and tricks blog, as well as second opinion on a move to VoIP (for my RFD friends).

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