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How to Avoid Cross-Border Shipping Mistakes

Are you prepared to ship your products in and out of the country?

Shipping into Canada or the U.S. is very simple, as long as you have all that paperwork completed! Often times, information can be missed or forgotten, which could end up causing delays in your shipment.

In order to avoid any cross-border shipment mistakes, try following the tips below to ease your shipment experience.

As a Shipper, check off these items before sending the information to your Carrier:

1. Always list the customs broker, Name, Phone and Fax on the bill of lading or the invoice

  • If the customs broker is not labeled on either documents this will add extra work for the carrier causing delays with your shipment. The carrier has to go digging for the information until the customs broker is confirmed.

2. List the currency of sale and the value of goods on your invoice

  • It is required by Canada Customs Trade Compliance that all items that are being shipped MUST have a proper value and the currency of sale indicated on the invoice, regardless of if you’re shipping FTL, LTL or any other type of freight transport. Failure to do so will cause a delay in your shipment until your customs broker confirms the information.

3. Include the Consignee information, description of goods, weights and pieces

  • Make sure that you have all of the information about your shipment including; the consignee name and address, description of goods, weight, number of pieces, tariff number and IRS number. This information is required from both your carrier and the customs broker.

4. Work with a certified, government-cleared carrier

  • We recommend working with a carrier that is C-TPAT, FAST, PIP and CSA certified to ensure better shipment security. JBT Transport is a certified carrier in these programs allowing secure shipments for all cross border shipping. For more information about these certifications click here.

When shipping cross border, always make sure that you are including all of the above information in order to simplify the shipping process. This will help prevent any delays with your shipment and keep your customers happy!

As a Driver or Carrier:

1.Know what you’re hauling!

  • It is important to review all of your paperwork and know what you are hauling before leaving shipper. This will prevent any delays and ease your cross border experience. Be sure to ask your dispatcher if you have any questions.

2. Always check for an entry number before you leave

  • It is best to make sure that you have an entry number before leaving on your next trip. This will ensure you are prepared for the border and prevent any delays. Resolving any issues before you leave is much easier to fix than while you are out on the road!

3. Keep your paperwork neat and handy when approaching the border

  • Nobody likes to wait around while you scramble for all of your paperwork. Have it ready to go and stored neatly. Try carrying a binder or portfolio to stack all of your paperwork in – it keeps it neat, in order and in one place.

4. Make sure that you have an ACE/ACI manifest submitted and accepted into the system prior to your arrival when entering both Canada and the U.S.

5. Take note of any special instructions given by the shipper or your dispatcher

  • Read through the paperwork clearly to see if there are any special instructions from the shipper or listen to any instructions from your dispatcher. Communicate with your dispatcher if you have any questions in order to avoid any confusion.

6. As a carrier, make sure you send all the proper documents to the customs broker.

Sending the documents right away is a great way to make sure that the information has been sent. Set a timer or have a designated person verifying that the information went through to the customs broker and if there is an entry number provided.  

>> At JBT Transport, we are a fully-equipped transportation company throughout North America. If you have questions about your next cross-border shipment, please contact us today!

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