New to Cross Border Shipments? 3 Tips for an Efficient Experience.The Road
As strong, cooperative trading partners, the world’s largest trade relationship is between Canada and the United States . Shipments between the two countries are international transactions and subject to government entry and admissibility regulations, so as a driver, it’s important that you are prepared well before you reach the border. Here are three things you can do for a smoother border-crossing experience.
Have sufficient documentation, including completed documents. All drivers who cross the border must have the necessary paperwork, such as the carrier manifest and shipper documentation, as well as a valid passport and a record-in-good-standing with the customs authority. Examine everything before you arrive at the border, as insufficient documentation can cost you precious time, until your paperwork is completed, resubmitted, and reviewed by customs.
Establish a relationship with a customs broker. Working with a knowledgeable customs broker gives you the time-saving benefit of submitting paperwork before you arrive at the border. Pre-submitted paperwork helps expedite the process and reduces delays.
Plan ahead. With hours of service causing a time crunch already, you want to be able to be as efficient as possible in every aspect of moving cross-border shipments. Work with the shipper or third party logistics provider (3PL) to ensure there is plenty of lead time, and remember that cross-border shipments can be subject to long delays.
What has your experience with cross-border shipments been like, and what advice do you have for carriers and drivers who are new to it? Please share in the comment section.
 Government of Canada. “State Trade Fact Sheet: Canada and the United States.” Accessed October 22, 2014.