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Seattle, in the state of Washington, is a busy city in the heart of the Pacific Northwest, making it one of the most accessible hubs for shipping to Canada, Alaska, and Hawaii.

Shipments headed to Alaska and Hawaii can be a bit more complex than shipping to other states within the North American mainland due to their geographical location; Canada separates Alaska from the contiguous US, and Hawaii is the only state that’s not on the mainland, located over 2000 miles away from it.

Because Canada is not part of the United States, it also comes with challenges in the form of rules and regulations that differ from shipments sent throughout the USA.

Whether you’re shipping to Canada, Alaska, or Hawaii, working with a Seattle shipping company that understands the intricacies of these shipments is important to a good experience and a safe and timely arrival of your goods.

If you’re shipping either commercial or personal assets to any of these destinations, this post will give you more insight and tell you what to expect from the company you partner with.


Shipping Canada

When shipping items to Canada, you have many options. Because of the proximity between Seattle and the Canadian border, you can easily and cost-effectively ship your goods to Canada by air, sea, or land.

Your shipping company will go over your budget, assets, timeframe, and more to help you determine the best route to use. If you need a speedy turnaround, air shipments are typically the fastest way to do it, but if time is on your side, shipping by sea can help you save money, especially on your oversized assets.

Since Canada isn’t part of the USA, customs regulations must be adhered to. Declaring your goods accurately is essential to avoid delays and potential fines. Packing lists and commercial invoices will help you stay organized and ensure your documentation is correct.

Goods and Services Tax (GST) or Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) applies to most imported goods, so be prepared to collect and remit this tax to the Canadian government.

And don’t forget, even though Canada and the US are neighbors; you’ll still need to use ISPM-15 certified wood crates for your assets to gain entry.


Shipping to Alaska

Shipping items to Alaska often involves a multi-modal approach. Ground transportation may be combined with air transportation, depending on the final destination. Your shipping company can help define your terms so you know the quickest, safest, and most budget-friendly way to move forward.

You must also be mindful of Alaska’s extreme weather conditions. Custom packaging for your goods may be required in order to withstand potential temperature swings and rough handling throughout transit.

Certain items like firearms and hazardous materials require special permits for import into Alaska. If you’re shipping your items on your own, be sure to check with the Alaska Department of Revenue for the specifics on what can and cannot be shipped and how to ship more sensitive items.


Shipping to Hawaii

Shipping items to Hawaii can involve air or ocean freight shipping. Airfreight is faster but will cost you more, while ocean freight offers more budget-friendly options for larger shipments.

Hawaii takes protecting its delicate ecosystem seriously and enforces agricultural restrictions. Check the Hawaii Department of Agriculture’s website for a list of prohibited and restricted items, like plants and certain food products.

Once your goods arrive in Honolulu, consider inter-island shipping options for deliveries to other Hawaiian islands. Air cargo and barge services connect the diverse group of islands, making shipping within the archipelago easy and efficient.


Pro Tips When Shipping to Canada, Alaska, or Hawaii

Get a quote: Get quotes from multiple shipping providers to find the best balance of price, speed, and reliability. Comparing shipping rates and services will help you determine the optimal fit for your needs, and you should always ask for a free quote.

Pack smartly: Protect your goods with high-quality packaging and crating. And don’t forget to label when necessary.

Get insurance: Many shipping companies offer in-house cargo insurance, so be sure to consider this when choosing who to work with.

Document everything: Keep copies of invoices, bills of lading, and customs paperwork for your records. Working with a shipping company that can handle all logistics will be of benefit when it comes to this.


Working with a Professional Shipping Company for Your North American Shipments

When you partner with a professional shipping team, you should get abundant useful services to make the process streamlined and cost-effective. But that’s not the only benefit.

At Craters & Freighters Seattle, we also use the best materials, proper equipment, and effective technology to design the most advantageous approach and protection for your unique assets.

Common services used when shipping to Canada, Alaska, or Hawaii include:

Our national and global network has afforded us a premium reputation that can’t be matched by others in the industry. With so many shipping solutions, we can confidently help you navigate the complex waters of shipping from Seattle to Canada, Alaska, and Hawaii.

Contact us or fill out a form and get your free quote today.