More and more Americans are deciding to move to Canada, drawn by its high quality of life, cultural and economic influence, low crime rates, and stunning landscapes. Although the process of moving to Canada can be complex, it can be made relatively easy with the right planning and preparation. Currently, there are around 275,000 Americans living in Canada, making it one of the most popular destinations for expats.
The many attractive features of Canada, including its reputation as one of the best countries to live in, friendly and respectful people, low crime rates, and diverse landscapes, are just some of the factors driving this trend. Additionally, a lower cost of living in Canada makes it an attractive destination for those seeking a better quality of life.
To make your move to Canada as smooth and stress-free as possible, it’s important to do your homework, make the decision to move, and work with an experienced and reputable international shipping company like SDC. An experienced international mover can guide you through every step of the process, ensuring that your transition to life in Canada is as straightforward as possible.
What to Look for in a Top-Tier Door-to-Door International Moving Company to Canada
Expertise and Experience
Yes, it is important to work with an experienced and knowledgeable international shipping company when moving from the USA to Canada. A company that has a long history of successful moves to Canada, like SDC, will have the expertise necessary to ensure a smooth and trouble-free shipment.
By choosing an experienced and professional international mover like SDC, you can rest assured that your household goods and personal effects will be handled with the utmost care and attention to detail. SDC can handle every aspect of your move, from door to door, including customs clearance at the US-Canada border, to ensure a seamless transition to your new home.
Working with a knowledgeable and experienced international shipping company is key to a successful move from the USA to Canada. SDC, with over 20 years of experience in moving household goods and personal effects to Canada, can provide you with the peace of mind and expertise you need for a successful move.
A Dedicated Support Team Working with You from Booking through Delivery (door to door)
Shipping household goods and personal effects to Canada from the USA can seem simple, but it is important to take into consideration all the factors involved. Working with an experienced shipping company like SDC International Shipping is key to ensure a smooth and stress-free shipment.
SDC International Shipping offers door-to-door services, including customs clearance at the port of entry in Canada. They will guide you through the entire process, keeping you informed and advising you on the necessary paperwork and documents required to clear customs. Additionally, they will deliver your goods directly to your new residence or delivery location.
By choosing SDC International Shipping, you can trust that your household goods and personal effects will be in good hands and will arrive at your new home in Canada in the same condition as when they left the USA. With SDC’s expertise and commitment to providing quality services, you can have peace of mind during your move to Canada.
Online reviews are a valuable tool when considering different companies. They can give you a good idea of the level of service and quality provided by a company. It is advisable to look for companies with a high rating, such as 4 stars or higher, on reputable review sites such as Yelp and Google. These sites often provide detailed reviews from real customers, allowing you to gain a better understanding of the company’s strengths and weaknesses.
Reading online reviews can also help you avoid companies with a negative reputation and poor customer service. You can also see how the company handles negative feedback and any issues that arise. This can be a good indicator of the company’s level of commitment to customer satisfaction.
Visual Survey / Question and Answer Meeting (meet your shipper)
It is essential for an international moving company to have a clear understanding of the volume of items being shipped, as well as any specific requirements or considerations, in order to provide an accurate quote to their clients. Different items require different levels of care and protection during transit, and it is important for the company to understand this in order to ensure safe and secure delivery.
At SDC International Shipping, they recommend either a virtual or in-person survey to accurately assess the volume of items being shipped, as well as any specific requirements or considerations. This is a valuable opportunity for the company to understand the client’s needs and provide an accurate and detailed quote.
Failing to accurately assess the volume of items being shipped and any specific requirements can result in additional charges or, even worse, damage to the items during transit. That’s why SDC International Shipping places a strong emphasis on conducting a thorough survey and understanding the client’s needs. By doing so, they can provide a reliable and accurate quote, and ensure the safe and secure delivery of the client’s household goods and personal effects.
Things to Watch Out for When Choosing a Shipping Company
Are You Working with a Genuine International Moving Company? (Caution)
Yes, it is true that there are companies that pose as international moving companies, but in reality, they are brokers who do not actually perform the move themselves. These companies may gain a client’s trust and booking, but then hire a third-party moving company to perform the move at the lowest possible cost to them.
This practice can lead to a number of problems, including poor communication, subpar service, and even damage to the client’s items during transit. It is important to avoid these types of brokers and only work with an actual international moving company that has the experience, expertise, and resources to perform the move themselves.
At SDC International Shipping, we are a top-tier international moving company that has been moving household goods and personal effects to Canada for over 20 years. We handle everything from door to door, including customs clearance at the US-Canada border, and have the experience and knowledge necessary to ensure a smooth and trouble-free move for their clients. By working directly with a reputable and experienced international moving company like SDC, clients can have peace of mind knowing that their items are in good hands and will be delivered safely and securely.
Bait and Switch (low-ball) (Caution)
When it comes to shipping household goods and personal effects, it’s important to be wary of low quotes as they may not be an accurate representation of the true cost. The company that provides the quote should take the time to understand the volume and details of the items being shipped, as well as the client’s needs and expectations. This helps to avoid any hidden costs or surprises down the line.
At SDC International Shipping, we take the time to fully understand your needs and provide a clear, professional quote that takes into account our experience, shipping relationships, and efficiencies. This ensures that you are getting a fair and accurate quote for the services you need.
Up-Front $ Deposits (Caution)
Beware of any company that requires an up-front deposit. A credit card authorization (as security) is fine, but an actual deposit could be a red flag. SDC Intl. Shipping does not require up-front deposits, nor do we charge a credit card up-front, for 99+% of our jobs.
Consistently Poor Online Reviews (Caution)
Just as you should look for an international moving and shipping company that has outstanding online reviews, the opposite is obviously just as important. Look to yelp and Google to understand what others have to say about the international shipping company that you are considering.
o See SDC Intl Shipping Reviews on Yelp
o See SDC Intl. Shipping Google Reviews
Lack of a Professional, Comprehensive Quote (Caution)
It is important to be clear about the terms and conditions of the shipment, and a professional proposal will help to avoid any misunderstandings or surprises down the line. This proposal should also outline the estimated delivery time, the mode of transportation, and the insurance coverage offered for the shipment. SDC International Shipping prides itself on transparency and clarity, and we are committed to making sure our clients are fully informed about the entire shipping process.
Top Relocation Destinations in Canada
Every country has cities with a large expat population. When it comes to Canada, major destinations include:
- Quebec City
- Red Dear
- St. John
- Thunder Bay
The SDC Shipping Process to Canada
SDC International Shipping is your best choice when it comes to selecting international movers to Canada. We take extra time to first fully understand our client’s needs. This helps to reduce or even eliminate “surprise” charges and/or other potential troubles. From there, the process, depending on the desired level of service (e.g., door to door, door to port, port to door, port to port, air freight, etc.) is handled by SDC Intl. Shipping. That is from your point of origin all the way to your desired destination. As an example, let’s consider a full household move, using ocean shipping, from door to door, including full professional packing, wrapping, and protecting of all household goods.
- First, it is a great idea to conduct the Visual Survey to get to know each other better, and for SDC to understand the client’s needs and inventory. This is also an opportunity to answer any questions the client may have. ß Very important Sometimes a visual survey isn’t possible. In that case, it is still important for SDC to understand your needs. Sometimes we use pictures; or in certain cases, we agree on an amount and service. That said, for most shipments of household goods from door to door, a visual survey is an important part of the process.
- After the survey is complete and analyzed professionally, SDC Intl. Shipping will then provide a Professional Quotation. This quote will clearly explain all elements of the move that are included as well as those which are not or may not be.
- If everything looks good, the next step would be for your SDC Intl. Shipping Relocation Specialist to provide you with an Order for Service. This is the actionable booking document that initiates the shipping process. The order for service will clearly spell out not only the price but also all details, including what is included, what is not, etc.
- Internal Support and Logistics Team gets involved- Once your job is booked, an internal Support Expert for Canada is assigned. This Specialist will provide constant communication, and guidance, request the proper documents /paperwork that might be required, and stay with you from start through finish.
- Packing, Wrapping & Protecting, and Pick-Up- Sometimes this (packing and pick-up) is done on the same day. Sometimes, for larger and more complex jobs, professional packing (if part of your requested service), wrapping, protecting, and prepping could be 1-3 days prior to the actual pick-up/loading.
- Shipping– The next step is to ship your household inventory.
- Customs– Unless otherwise requested, SDC Intl. Shipping will clear customs at the destination port of entry. Long before this point, your SDC International Shipping Specialist will have taken care of all of the necessary paperwork. This way, the customs clearing process in Canada will be trouble-free.
- Final Delivery– Unless otherwise requested, SDC Intl. Shipping then delivers your household goods to your destination residence or desired delivery location. All furniture is reassembled (if applicable), unwrapped, and placed where you would like it. All boxes are delivered to the room or area of your home that you wish. We then clean up all trash and depart.
SDC International Shipping’s Logistics and Support Team works with you and handles all the documents necessary to ship your household goods, clear US and Customs in Canada, and to your residence in Canada.
What Can’t I Ship from the US to Canada with My Household Goods?
Attempting to ship a prohibiting item into Canada can derail your plans, or worse. Keep in mind that some items are banned outright (e.g., illegal drugs), while others may only be “restricted” and require prior approval for import. Please consult SDC International Shipping for specific information regarding what can, may, and cannot be shipped as part of your household goods shipment to Canada.
When moving your household goods to Canada as part of your move, assuming everything is in order, they would be exempt from any duties or taxes. However, there are rules. Items that should not be imported as part of your household goods include-
Restricted or Prohibited Items
- Do not send firearms as part of your household shipment to Canada (special permits required)
- Some animal trophies
- Meat and meat by-products (we recommend not attempting to import any food item into Canada with your household goods shipment, including spices).
- Ivory or any part of an endangered species
- Baby walkers
- Balloon-blowing kits.
- Infant self-feeding devices
- Lawn darts with elongated tips
- Relight Candles
- Yo-Yo balls with long cords
- Obscene or pornographic material
- Coins and cash
- Counterfeit goods
- Used mattresses or cushioning from used mattresses.
- Items that misrepresent their place of origin
- White phosphorous matches
- Anything or goods that might include hate speech or sedition.
- Dirt, sand, and/or soil
Here is a helpful link for more information-
Packing and Protecting Your Household Goods
Standard Service (protecting your larger items/furniture)-
SDC International Shipping, by default will wrap and protect all of your furniture items. This would include items that would not normally be boxed. For example, desks, sofas, dining tables, credenzas, beds, etc. All furniture items will be protected in a manner necessary to ensure transit from door to door, with complete protection.
Special Enhanced Protection for Delicate and/or Specialty Items-
SDC International Shipping will always provide the appropriate level of protection for your different inventory items. Items such as glass and marble tops, statues, glass china cabinets, etc., will receive the appropriate level of enhanced protection for the shipment. At SDC, our mandate is to do everything in our power to ensure your items arrive in the exact same condition in which they left. We are experts at making this happen.
Packing of Boxes–
There are basically 3 options when it comes to packing your boxes.
- Full Professional Packing Service by SDC- When it comes to boxes, the client may elect to have SDC International Shipping professionally pack all boxes, or only some of them, and create a professional inventory list. This is often helpful with customs in Canada.
- Self-Pack- Alternatively, the client may elect to self-pack (or partially self-pack) boxes for the shipment. In this case, it is important for you to create an inventory list. SDC Intl. Shipping will help.
- Hybrid- This is an option when the client would like to self-pack most of their boxes but leave some delicate items to be packed by the agent (SDC Intl. Shipping). For Example- the client will pack most boxes but would like SDC to pack the framed wall art, TVs, and fine china. This is a common arrangement.
SDC can pack framed wall art for our clients. Alternatively, the client may choose to pack themselves. SDC can provide everything from standard wrapping and boxing of art to acid-free wrapping and soft crating, all the way up to creating full, custom hard crates for your fine art.
White Glove Service-
If needed, SDC International Shipping’s teams of expert packers and un-packers are happy to provide full white-glove service.
Art, Pianos, Billiard Tables, Sculptures
When shipping your Piano, Billiard Table, Fine Art, and other specialty/collectible items, they must be handled properly by an experienced, knowledgeable, and capable shipping and relocation company. If you need to ship a musical instrument, oil painting, a pool table, collectible pinball machines, or any other high-value specialty item, our team has the knowledge, experience, skills, and equipment to handle any specialty shipment, door-to-door.
Shipping Your Car to Canada
Moving your car from the US to Canada is a breeze for International Shipping. We have a team of expert personnel who know the process well and can ship your vehicle as part of your household goods shipment to Canada. Please consult with an SDC Intl. Shipping Relocation Specialist for full detail.
Required Documentation Includes-
- Original title
- Bill of sale (if applicable)
- EIN or Passport
Importing Your Motorcycle to Canada
Can you ship your motorcycle to Canada as part of your household goods shipment? Yes, you can! The ownership documents required are similar to those for your automobile. Please consult with an SDC Intl. Shipping Relocation Specialist for full details.
Insuring Your Possessions in Transit to Canada
SDC International Shipping offers both Total Loss as well as Full Coverage insurance options which cover your possessions from door to door. The process is painless, and coverage is quite affordable. Premiums are usually based on the declared value of your items.
Please contact SDC International Shipping at 888-779-3962 for details.
Insuring Your Shipment to Canada
Healthcare in Canada for Expats
Canada’s healthcare sector is also top-notch and has many times been considered an inspiration for the healthcare system of its immediate neighbor, the United States. Among other things, expatriates living in Canada or moving to Canada must learn about the country’s healthcare system before making their big transfer.
They can choose an international health insurance plan that provides health cover in case of an unforeseen situation; an emergency that could inflate hospital expenses. The Government of Canada provides a great overview of Canada’s healthcare system.
Overview of the Healthcare System in Canada
Canada’s universal healthcare system is funded by provincial taxpayers, and it is very generous towards its citizens and permanent residents. The Healthcare System in Canada is funded through general taxation. It is very generous and is available to all citizens as well as permanent residents. The quality of care in Canada is universally ranked at first-rate, and some of the best in the world. Still, there can be delays. This creates a need for private healthcare options.
Canada’s healthcare system is not available to expats with temporary residency. They must instead purchase private health insurance. Such plans are often expensive but ensure a very high level of care and/or treatment.
Permanent residents, and those planning on such, should apply for Medicare, a medical card, immediately after arriving in the country. The processing time for a Medicare card is around 90 days. Once approved, expats may receive Medicare treatment in Canada.
Private Health Insurance in Canada
Canadian public healthcare is often the preferred plan for locals to seek medical care in Canada. However, due to long waiting times, many of them also opt for a supplementary private health insurance plan on an individual basis or through extended group health insurance plans. Private healthcare in Canada is generally considered better and comes with shorter wait times. Private health insurance is often the first choice for expats in Canada.
Medicines and Pharmacies
Expats can easily locate pharmacies across Canadian cities. These pharmacies stock all the same medications as in the USA. Expats will find that medication costs in Canada are still dramatically lower than in the USA.
Emergency Health Services in Canada
Just like in the USA, Canada utilizes the 9-1-1 number for all emergencies, including medical.