Shipping to Canada

You must have residence status in Canada for your overseas shipment to clear customs. In Toronto our agents will clear customs on your behalf provided all relevant documents are completed and returned to us in good time. However in West Canada (Vancouver) you may need to visit a local customs office, you can also advise customs officials at the airport of arrival that you have “goods to follow” and provide them with a copy of the inventory or packing list. The following information is given as a general guide, however we would encourage you to contact us with the specific circumstances of your own requirements for international removals to ensure all aspects of your moving needs can be addressed. In addition there are various services available in handling your goods and we are pleased to provide a guide to these.


Full Container Load (FCL) – Sole use container shipping to Canada - freight

This category ensures that the container carries only your goods and under normal circumstances these can be loaded directly into the container, and the container sealed, at your residence. This leaves the container ready for delivery direct to the departure wharf without the need for any further handling of your goods in the origin country. As a rule, because the entire container is utilised, this is the most economical method of shipment. It also generally provides the fastest transit times as there are no delays in waiting for other freight to fill the container.

Less than Container Load (LCL) Consignments  shipping to Canada - Container

This method is used when there is insufficient cargo to justify the use of an entire container. Shipping companies and freight consolidators provide this service by consolidating freight from different shippers, to a common destination, into container loads. When shipping via LCL, the goods are required to be crated to ensure their protection during transit. This is necessary, as there is no guarantee as to what other cargo may be consolidated with your household effects in the container. Unfortunately, due to the necessity of crating the goods, and the higher freight cost involved, this can be an expensive means of forwarding goods overseas.

Canada Shipping Transit Times  – Toronto (East): 15 days  – Vancouver (West): 20 days

The times stated above are for time at sea, please also allow for customs clearance and delivery upon arrival at port. Customs clearance takes in region of approximately 5-7 days with delivery usually scheduled within 7-21 days of your consignment being cleared from Port subject to the area being delivered to.

Container sizes

6 metre (20 foot) Length 5.96m (19’4″) Width 2.34m (7’8″) Height 2.40m (7’10”)

12 metre (40 foot) Length 12.03m (39’6″) Width 2.34m (7’8″) Height 2.40m (7’10”)

Groupage Service – Shared use container

This is an alternate service provided by Central Moves, whereby we consolidate several household and personal effects shipments into containers destined to common destinations. This allows us to pass the freight savings on to you and because only household and personal effects are loaded into our groupage containers there is not the necessity to crate the goods prior to shipment. This of course alleviates the additional cost involved in crating the consignment. Whilst this is an economical alternative to LCL, longer transit times may be experienced whilst awaiting the receipt of other consignments needed to complete the loading of the container prior to despatch. However normally savings exist by the use of this service.

BY AIR – Air Shipments Shipping to Canada - aeroplane

The option of moving some or all of your goods via air is worth considering. Many people elect to take a “survival” shipment of their personal belongings via airfreight as it generally allows quick arrival of the basic items required to commence life in your new country. shipping to Canada - airfrieght

Whilst as a general rule airfreight is more expensive than surface freight there are situations where even entire households may prove to be more economical to be forwarded via air . As with the services offered by surface carriers, there are similar options available with air carriers, with consolidated and transhipment services being widely available.

Every individual household will have it’s own requirements and we would be happy to discuss the most suitable options available to you in regards to your own specific needs.

PARCEL SERVICE / EXCESS BAGGAGE Excess baggage to Canada



Further Information

If you would like any further information regarding moving to Canada please feel free to contact us.


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