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Moving Machinery And More: Heavy Haul Canada

If your business is looking to ship freight across the northern US border, then you need to concern yourself with heavy haul in Canada. There are various regulations in p


Canada Cross Border Freight
October 3, 2019
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If your business is looking to ship freight across the northern US border, then you need to concern yourself with heavy haul in Canada. There are various regulations in place regarding the movement of an oversize load between the two countries. To ensure that you abide by all the rules, you need to understand everything there is to know about heavy haul in North America. 

One of the key considerations is the difference in regulations between different Canadian provinces. There are specific rules in certain locations, meaning you must abide by the correct regulations based on where your shipment is traveling to. Secondly, you need to understand what documents/paper are required to cross the border with heavy haul Canada shipments. 

Heavy Haul Canada RegulationsHeavy Haul Regulations

Canada is split into various provinces, and each one has its own regulations regarding heavy haul transportation. Naturally, your business must be aware of any key differences between the provinces if it wants to ship oversize loads legally.

In total, there are 13 Canadian provinces/territories: 

  • Alberta
  • British Columbia
  • Manitoba
  • Newfoundland & Labrador
  • New Brunswick
  • Northwest Territories
  • Nova Scotia
  • Nunavut
  • Ontario
  • Prince Edward Island
  • Quebec
  • Saskatchewan
  • Yukon Territory

Some of the heavy haul regulations are the same – or at least very similar – in all provinces. However, the main discrepancies revolve around the permit validity, operating times, and restricted travel rules. The best way to show the critical differences between provinces is by looking at these three areas and explaining the rules for each location. 

With regards to permit validity, different provinces allow your permit to stay active for longer than others. As an example, a permit in British Columbia is valid for an entire trip. The duration of this is dependent on how long the journey is. So, if it only lasts one day, then the permit is valid for one day, if you’re there for four days, then the permit is valid for that long. By contrast, a permit in Alberta will only be valid for two consecutive days. Some provinces also demand that a permit is ordered before entering the area, while others can be bought on arrival. Oversize vehicles must have permits if they want to use the roads in Canada. These permits essentially let the trucks go about their business without running into any complications.

The operating time refers to how long a vehicle carrying an oversize load can travel for. Again, there are alterations between provinces. For example, Manitoba doesn’t allow any heavy haul vehicles to operate on Sundays or public holidays. In Alberta, most oversize vehicles can operate 24/7, but there are restrictions in place for trucks of a certain width. This is a common theme throughout the provinces; wide and taller vehicles are usually not allowed to operate all the time. Sometimes, they need an escort car to travel with them, other times they’re just not allowed to be on the roads after sundown. The reason for these rules is largely down to the risks posed by large vehicles in bad driving conditions. The darker it is, the more of a risk there is. As such, restrictions need to be put in place. 

Speaking of restrictions, most provinces have rules in place that stop certain vehicles from traveling at certain times. In Quebec, if a truck is over 12’ wide or 90’ long, then it won’t be allowed on the roads during ‘peak hours.’ In Nova Scotia, if a load is wider than 12’ or longer than 8’, then it can’t move after 3 pm on Friday until Monday morning. 

As you can imagine, these regulation differences play a significant role in how you transport goods across North America. You must find transport that abides by all the different regulations, or you run the risk of having your shipment stopped and incurring delays. 

Crossing the US – Canada Border With Heavy Haul Canada Freight

Moving across from the US to Canada – and vice versa – can be a tricky process. After all, you are moving between two different countries, so there will be border control enforced here. You will be presented with a series of rules and laws that need to be followed if you want to legally move goods between the two countries. 

Every single shipment that passes the border needs to have the correct customs documentation. As well as this, they all need to go through the same process to ensure that everything is legitimate and legal. Often, it’s recommended that you get a Customs Broker to help you with this process. They act as a supporting hand to guide you through the transportation of oversize loads into Canada – and back again, if necessary. A Customs Broker understands the intricacy of the laws in place, and they can help you gather all the correct documentation to make the journey across. 

Speaking of which, there are various documents that you need before crossing the border. If just one of these is missing, then you will experience delays during the shipping process. So, it makes sense to get everything ready well in advance. 

What is Needed to Cross the US-Canada Border?

In total, there are five different things you need to have before your goods can be shipped across North America into Canada: 

  • #1: Bill of Lading (BOL) – The bill of lading is a legal document that provides a rundown of all the items that are carried in a single shipment. Effectively, it’s a long-form that provides all the key details of the contents of the shipment. This includes the address that it is being picked up from, where it will be delivered, the size/weight, and contact information for your business. It has to be signed by three different parties; the shipper (you), the driver of the heavy haul vehicle, and the receiver. A BOL is also used as a shipment receipt, so it comes in handy if there are any issues with the shipment. For example, it provides details of everything in the shipment, so the recipient can make sure that everything arrived in one piece and that nothing was lost. 
  • #2 Proof of Delivery (POD) – A proof of delivery is sometimes used as the shipment receipt of a BOL. Other times, it comes separately, but the purpose remains the same. You need a POD to prove that your goods have reached their final destination – and that everything arrived in good condition. It will be signed by the recipient, with a note of the date and time. These days, you can get a POD uploaded and sent to you as soon as it has been signed, letting you know the moment your goods have arrived. 
  • #3 Canada Customs Invoice – If you are shipping from the US to Canada, then you need a Canada Customs Invoice. You should have two copies, one that travels with the shipment, and one that is attached to your BOL. In essence, this invoice shows a more detailed description of the goods, but it also lists their value. 
  • #4 Commercial Invoice – For those of you that are shipping from Canada to the US, you will need to get a Commerical Invoice. This serves the same purpose as the Canada Customs Invoice, it’s just meant for shipments moving the other way. With that in mind, you have to make sure that you choose the correct invoice for each journey. If you accidentally have a Canada Customs Invoice for goods moving back into America, then your shipment will be held up. 
  • #5 Certificate of Origin – Lastly, when dealing with heavy haul Canada, you must have a certificate of origin. As you can imagine, this document details where your shipment originates from. This is required as it helps to provide an accurate collection of customs duties according to NAFTA regulations.

As previously mentioned, you can use a customs broker to assist you with all of the legal documents. It’s not an essential requirement, but it will prevent issues involving improper documentation, incorrectly filled in forms, etc. 

Heavy Haul CostsHeavy Haul Costs

The costs of heavy hauling in Canada must also be considered. As a business, you need to ensure that it doesn’t cost too much money to ship something across the border. The higher the operating costs, the harder it is for you to make a profit. So, it helps to understand how much it costs to haul heavy freight, and what can influence the pricing. 

Firstly, we have general hauling costs, which are usually determined by: 

  • Size of the shipment
  • The distance that needs to be covered
  • Fixed costs
  • Variable costs

Concerning the shipment size, this can really influence the overall costs. For example, if you have a full truckload of goods, then you’ll be paying the full price of sending this over to Canada. But, if you only take up a portion of the truck space, then it leaves room for other businesses to fill up the rest of the truck. As a result, you can share some of the costs, saving money. 

Naturally, the farther the truck has to go, the more expensive it will be. This is because the truck driver will have to be paid for longer hours, there will be more stops for fuel, and so on. Plus, most shipping companies work on a cost-per-mile basis. Speaking of fuel, this is one of the variable costs that you have to contend with. Variable expenses are things that can change depending on where the shipment is going. As well as fuel, you also have to account for toll payments, any maintenance or repairs, broker fees, the cost of putting a driver in a hotel overnight, etc. 

As for the fixed costs, these will be detailed by the shipping company. Usually, it involves the actual payment for the truck, but also insurance payments, license plate fees, permits, and so on and so forth. 

With heavy haul in Canada, you also have some complications that alter the price. Think back to the different regulations in various provinces – they may mean that your truck full of goods has to change its route. Driving restrictions might mean that the truck can’t go through a particular area during a specific time. As a result, this can increase the journey duration, which ramps up the overall costs. 

Not only that, but some permit regulations mean that specific vehicles need to be accompanied by a pilot/escort vehicle. Therefore, additional costs are incurred as you have to arrange for this vehicle and pay for the service. 

Overall, it’s wise to try and work out a rough estimation of the costs before you choose to ship your heavy load. Most shipping companies provide you with a quote, so it’s a good idea to look around and compare as many as possible. 

Time ExpectationsTime Expectations

Businesses depend on relatively strict schedules to ensure everything runs smoothly. With that in mind, you need to think about the time expectations when shipping something across to Canada. 

Of course, there’s no telling precisely how long the process will take. But, you have to take into account everything that goes on beforehand, then the actual truck driving as well. This is why we suggest you get the legal documents and permits in order before your shipment is ready to set off. If you decide today that something needs to leave tomorrow, then you will instantly be behind schedule as you can’t get everything ready. 

Then, take into account how far the truck has to travel. If you’re shipping from Minnesota into Ontario, then the journey won’t be as long compared to someone shipping from South Dakota to Quebec. 

It’s essential to have realistic time expectations before you ship your machinery or other large items across the border. If you can get an idea of how long it will take, then you can plan things in advance to ensure that you send it off to arrive within your desired time. 

Choosing a Heavy Haul Canada Trucking CompanyChoosing a Canadian Heavy Haul Trucking Company

Arguably the most significant factor in moving heavy haulage to Canada is the trucking company you choose. Make the correct decision, and you will have a cost-effective rate that delivers your items in one piece, well within the time required. Make a bad choice, and you’ll overpay for a below-par service. 

Consequently, what do you need to look for when choosing a Canadian heavy haul trucking company? 

  • Check their rates
  • Make sure they have experience working between the border
  • Look for any additional services like expedited delivery for a faster shipping process
  • Check that they’re registered and can legally carry large loads
  • See if they offer different options – like paying for a truckload or just paying for space within a truck

There are plenty of things to consider, and then you have to go and compare the different companies against one another. It can be a lengthy process, which is why it’s helpful to work with a freight broker in this situation.

A freight broker is a company that can help you find the best heavy haul trucking company to move your shipment to Canada. They have experience doing this, and they know what to look for in a reliable company. By trusting a freight broker with this task, you can save a lot of time and money. Spend your time focused on other areas of your business while the broker works on getting you the best deal from a company you can trust. 

It’s well worth spending time trying to find the best trucking company as you can then rely on them for future shipments. As such, you don’t have to go through the effort of comparing trucking companies ever time you need to ship things over to Canada. 

Need Help With Canada Heavy Haul Shipments?

If your business is interested in shipping heavy loads across North America, then we can be of assistance. At R+L Global Logistics, we provide freight shipping services for businesses of all sizes. We have a wealth of experience in the logistics field, working with companies from all over the U.S. in states and cities like New York and Alexandria Bay. This means that we’re more than capable of handling your job, regardless of how big or small it may be. You can be safe in the knowledge that our team will take care of everything and get your goods across the border with no complications. 

We also provide customs brokerage services, which is extremely beneficial when trying to legally take goods across the border. Our team will help you with all the relevant documents needed to enter Canada – and vice versa. Again, this will lead to fewer delays, meaning your shipment can breeze through border control and stick to its schedule. 

Our service goes above and beyond what’s expected of us, and we even provide high-quality support for a multitude of specialized industries like furniture, vegetables and vehicles. Whether you work in engineering, medicine, technology, consumer goods, then we’ve got you covered with services that are tailored to your industry. Let us make heavy haul in Canada much more manageable and far less stressful. Trust us to handle the complicated side of things while you prepare your shipment. Feel free to get in touch with us today to learn more about what we do and how we can help your business save time and money.  

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