1. Overview of Courier Services Companies in Canada
For an ecommerce company, being able to ship orders to customers is of the utmost importance. You may start to receive orders only a couple of months after you open your online store, but handling those orders efficiently is just as important as the number of orders you get. Courier services companies come to the rescue of ecommerce businesses in Canada to help them manage orders so that customers receive their orders within time.
Courier service companies in Canada can provide end-to-end logistics solutions to online stores like warehouse management, inventory management, picking, packing, and delivery of items. In addition, they can also provide more specialized services like route optimization, scheduled delivery, curbside pickup, hyperlocal delivery, etc. But choosing the right courier service company for your business is not child's play. In this article, we will discuss the 10 best courier service companies in Canada for ecommerce shipping. We will also deep dive into how to choose the best courier company for your business by looking at several key factors in ecommerce shipping.
2. List of Top 10 Best eCommerce Courier Services Provider Companies in Canada [Cheapest and Fastest]
We know shipping can be costly, and hiring a courier service provider to manage the shipping can dig into your business profits. For that reason, we have chosen the cheapest courier service providers in Canada that provide the fastest delivery and many other shipping services to satisfy your business needs.
2.1) Canada Post
Canada Post is the premier courier service delivery company in Canada. It provides personal, business as well as ecommerce shipping solutions to its customers. With Canada Post, ecommerce businesses can ship to 190+ countries in the world and everywhere in the U.S. Through integrations with popular ecommerce platforms like Shopify and payment partners like PayPal, it helps ecommerce businesses ease the process of setting up a business and manage to ship.
UPS is a global courier service company with large-scale operations in Canada and many other countries worldwide. UPS is well-known worldwide for its ability to deliver precious, high-value goods like designer watches, precious stones, etc. It can safely transport orders weighing up to 150 pounds. It offers shipping through various mail classes and provides tracking information to all its customers.
FedEx is probably the most popular courier service company in the world. It has extensive operations in Canada and 220+ countries worldwide. FedEx is the top choice for transporting dangerous goods like batteries, other flammable items. It also specializes in temperature-controlled transit and shipping of heavy and bulky items.
Purolator is a Canadian courier service company with vast operations in the U.S. and several other countries. With Purolator Express and Ground, ecommerce businesses can provide expedited shipping within Canada. It offers flexible delivery times, guaranteed next-day delivery, and pickup and delivery services on weekends.
Canpar is an end-to-end shipping solutions provider for ecommerce businesses in Canada and 219 other countries in the world. It allows ecommerce customers to schedule pickups, manage orders and track shipments. This courier service company also has the provision of sending delivery exception reports to sellers. It also displays discounted shipping rates offered by carriers to ecommerce businesses.
DHL is another major courier service company with an extensive network in Canada. DHL has a massive network of fulfillment centers and warehouses scattered across the world through which it makes faster order delivery. DHL delivers to 220+ countries around the globe. It offers express, priority, and air/road/ocean freight services for international deliveries. It also provides additional services, like packaging, label printing, kitting, etc.
2.7) Blue Dart
Blue Dart is a global courier service company with a significant presence in Canada and neighboring countries. It is used for personal deliverables like mail, documents, etc., and bulk shipping enterprises. Its shipping repertoire includes door-to-door delivery, freight forwarding, packaging, etc. In addition, blue Dart makes tracking information available for sellers and customers directly on their website.
2.8) TFI International
TFI International is a Canadian courier service company with primary operations in Canada, the U.S., and Mexico. TFI International is renowned in the North-American region for providing LTL (less than truckload), courier delivery, and logistics services. It is popular within Canada for fast and cost-effective delivery. It also offers real-time tracking services to ecommerce clients.
USPS is the official postal delivery service of the United States. Along with the U.S., it also delivers to 190 countries worldwide. USPS is the best choice for smaller packages. It is cost-effective and can deliver orders to P.O. boxes near your home. USPS is one of the fewer carriers to provide shipping even on holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving.
DTDC is a multinational courier delivery company providing comprehensive delivery services in Canada. DTDC specializes in the timely delivery of bulk shipments. It delivers to over 220 countries worldwide and can safely carry goods of high value and dangerous goods. For urgent shipping, DTDC has the option to send your orders post-haste through its Priority and Express services.
3. List of Top 15 Essential Criteria to Choose the Best Courier Services Provider Company in Canada for Online Store
A lot of any online company's success depends on the courier service provider it partners with. This is because shipping dictates the post-purchase journey of your customer. A bad shipping experience where customers face delays or shipping exceptions will turn them off from your store forever. Therefore it's important to put careful thought into the process of choosing your courier service provider. We have listed down the 15 essential things every courier company in Canada must-have.
3.1) Service Areas or Serviceability
Serviceability refers to the number of locations a courier service provider can deliver orders to. Naturally, the more locations it delivers to, the better it is for your online store. However, it's wise to check with your courier service provider in Canada to ascertain that it delivers to all the locations you want to reach. If your ecommerce business mainly spans domestically within Canada, you can look for local courier service companies in Canada.
3.2) Limitations on Cargo Weight and Size
Before selecting your courier service company, it's essential to determine their cargo weight and size limitations. Whether in Canada or elsewhere, every courier company has specific size and dimension limitations on shipping depending on the type of shipping service, mail class, domestic or international delivery, etc.
You need to find out if your chosen courier company can accommodate you when your business scales up and starts receiving more and more orders. You may require shipping services like bulk shipping, bundling, etc., for your deliveries within Canada and worldwide.
3.3) Shipping Rates
You may be tempted to opt for the courier service company in Canada with the lowest shipping rates. But that would be a mistake. The best way to find out which shipping costs work for you is by looking at your business directly and asking yourself some key questions. What kind of shipping service is most essential for my business? Do I want to ship internationally? How much am I willing to pay for shipping? By answering these questions, you should be able to pick the best shipping services at the best shipping rates for your business in Canada.
3.4) Speed of Delivery
Today's customers indeed want the fastest delivery date they can get, and some ecommerce businesses like food and medicines have to invest in ultrafast delivery options because of the nature of their business. However, not every business needs to offer such delivery timings to their customers.
Research says, on average, customers begin to turn away from a store if the estimated delivery dates go beyond 3 - 5 days. That said, it never hurts to offer faster delivery to customers. Suppose you think same-day, next-day, or hyperlocal delivery is something your business needs to provide to its customers. In that case, you must look for courier service providers that offer those specialised shipping services.
3.5) Hidden Costs and SLA Terms
Some courier service companies offer cash-on-delivery services, scheduled pickups, delivery, etc., at an added cost, while others don't. The problem with such extra-shipping services is that they can significantly add up your shipping costs and result in a huge surprise for you in the end. To avoid any such pitfalls, talk to your courier service provider about any hidden costs, and don't forget to read the fine print.
Hidden costs, extra charges, shipping exception management response, delivery time should all be included in your SLA terms. Your SLA will help you regularly check how your courier service provider is holding up the end of their deal and save you in the case of any shipping accident.
3.6) Specialized Shipping
With ecommerce penetrating almost every aspect of retail, the demand for courier service companies in Canada offering special shipping services has increased. Depending on the industry you operate in, courier service operators can provide varied shipping services for the safe and effective transport of goods. For example, shipping companies in Canada can offer temperature-controlled shipping, transportation of dangerous or flammable products, and bulk shipments.
3.7) Security and Insurance
It is a well-known fact that goods can sometimes get damaged or lost in transit. In the case of high-value cargo, a single lost/damaged item can cost you your reputation and a ton of money. Tying up with a trusted courier service company in Canada with trained staff to handle items can make your life much easier. Insurance is another crucial thing every ecommerce business in Canada should ask their courier service companies about. Insurance saves both parties in case an accident happens where one or all of the products of the fleet are damaged/lost.
3.8) Delivery Methods
Simply put, the delivery mechanism is the entire process of shipping in a nutshell. Miscommunications are common in any business, and it's doubly so when you hire a 3PL or courier service company to manage your shipping. Because now you, the business owner, have to maintain a transparent line of communication with the customers and the courier service company. To avoid confusion or miscommunication when the shipping process has already started, talk out the nitty-gritty details of the day-to-day shipping process with your courier service provider.
This should include everything from where the products are stored, how are orders picked up, who takes care of packaging, how are orders delivered, how are customers notified when the order ships, and what happens in the case of a failed/delayed delivery, etc.
3.9) Proof of Delivery
Ok, so your orders have shipped. But, how do you ascertain that it has reached your customer? Is your courier service provider's word good enough when you are running an online store?
The truth is, not all orders are delivered successfully. But the entrepreneurs themselves don't come to know about failed deliveries until much later through customer complaints, at a time when the situation has already gotten out of hand. So the best way to tackle such problems is by swift action.
Proof of Delivery (POD) lets you do that through a digital signature of your customer when they receive their order. This is a foolproof way of keeping a tab on which orders get delivered and when. It's also an excellent way to reduce paperwork.
3.10) RTO Percentage
RTO or Return to Origin refers to failed deliveries. Shipping exceptions can happen for many reasons, unavailability of customers, wrong delivery address, fake attempts by courier service providers, etc. Eliminating RTOs is impossible, but looking at your courier service company's RTO% can give you a deep insight into their quality of service.
A consistently high RTO% can be indicative of some faults on the courier service provider's part. For example, how many attempts does a courier service agent make to deliver an order to the customer? How do they reach out to the customer in case of a wrong address? How do they inform the customer about a delayed delivery? These are questions you need to ask your courier service provider in Canada.
3.11) Returns Management
Returns are an inevitable part of ecommerce shipping. The goal of returns management or reverse logistics is to safely transport the order from the customer to the warehouse or seller. Unfortunately, returns can quickly become a source of frustration and loss for ecommerce business owners. Still, the right returns management system will efficiently manage returns and turn it into a source of profit. In addition, with a good returns management program, customers will feel confident buying more products from your store because of the robust returns system.
3.12) Stuck Shipments
Every courier service company will have a few stuck shipments lying around in its basements or warehouses. A couple of stuck shipments are typical and mostly happen due to issues with customs clearance, customer denial, or logistical incompetencies. The problem arises when stuck shipments are more significant in volume or increase considerably over time. This indicates inefficiency in how the courier service provider handles shipping. The number of stuck shipments your chosen courier service company has at the moment will tell you about their shipping culture. Therefore, this is something you should most definitely look into when choosing the best courier service company in Canada for your business.
The fastest courier service companies today are the ones that use the latest technology to automate several shipping processes. With low manual intervention, the chances of human error are reduced, giving rise to a smooth shipping operation. Apart from automation, technology enables faster delivery with features like route optimization, scheduled delivery, etc. Therefore, to fulfill your orders within and outside Canada, you must hire a courier service company that uses the best technology available to make shipping a hassle-free process not only for your customers but also for you.
3.14) Additional Benefits
Courier service providers in Canada and worldwide come with a few perks of their own. Depending on your niche, you may require some or more of such additional benefits. Most courier service companies in Canada will be able to offer ecommerce businesses a bunch of varied services like packaging, kitting, loading, on-site assembly, on-site repair, ironing, tagging, etc. If your selected courier service company provides some or all of these services, it's a big plus!
3.15) Reviews and Track Record of Courier Company
Lastly, it boils down to how the overall service provided by the shipping company is like. Your courier service company in Canada is only as good as the services it offers its customers. Talking to a few of their former or existing clients or even looking at reviews should give you a clear idea about their nature of service. Another thing to look for is how they address grievances when something goes wrong, or a client requests a change in SLA terms. Since the nature of ecommerce is continuously evolving, you need a partner that is flexible and adaptable to change.
4. Final Words
Finding the right courier service for your business is as important as getting that first customer or figuring out your niche. It's a decision that should take a lot of thought. The kind of courier service company you choose for your business in Canada can literally make or break your reputation. A good courier service company can improve brand image and brand loyalty by providing excellent shipping service. At the same time, a courier company that's not the right fit can do the exact opposite. There's also the problem of coordinating work and communication between the seller and the courier company. Without a clear line of communication, the shipping service will lose in quality, and the business partnership will ruin. Therefore, always pay careful attention to the shipping company you hire for your business and take heed of the criteria mentioned above before finalizing one. We hope this article helps you in your search for the best courier service company in Canada.