No one wants to get pulled into Customs when trying to cross.

Not travelers. Not carriers. No one.

And you, as a shipper, don’t want your shipments pulled into Customs, either.

It’s not that Customs officers aren’t wonderful people that you’d like to spend more time with…

It’s a time delay that prevents you getting your products into your customers’ hands or, often worse, into their plants for their manufacturing processes.

It’s scary – scary enough, in fact, that the entire idea of getting pulled into Customs actually dissuades people from tapping into the vast U.S. market for their goods.

Don’t let it. Here’s why:

How to Not Get Pulled into Customs

The bottom line, having your shipments not be pulled into Customs is actually pretty easy, and the strategy is simple:

Do the right thing.

Shippers whose shipments are buttoned up and compliant are going to consistently have a more free flowing time at the U.S. border.

A lot is often said, conspiracy-level theories, about the priorities of U.S. Customs agents, and what their priorities are.

The truth is that their priority is to stop bad actors from entering the United States – whether those bad actors are using non-compliance, financial discrepancy or violence as their means of causing harm.

Do good, compliant shippers get pulled in sometimes? Sure. For any number of reasons.

But is that the goal of Customs agents? To put a target on people following the law? Nope.

So, how do you avoid being pulled into Customs the majority, if not all, of the time?

You do things right. Which includes:

Making sure your paperwork is detailed and filled out properly.

Ensuring that your clearances and any necessary Customs documents are compliant and ready.

Getting any required advance notice to the border before your stuff arrives.

When Customs agents find that you’ve given them what they’re expecting to see in a “normal” transaction… It will make your interaction with them so much easier.

Do the Right Thing AT CUSTOMS… Long-Term

One of the great things about becoming a cross-border shipper is that once you’ve done it, you can do it over and over again.

Opening the U.S. market, and learning how to do it, can be the same as opening the floodgates for your business.

And the more you ship – compliantly – the more familiar the U.S. Customs brokers will become with your company and your products.

That relationship is invaluable as a shipper.

It’s easily earned, by consistently doing things by-the-book over time.

Using the Right Carrier

customs, canam, cross border, way-bri expressThere are actually a few different relationships at play when your goods hit the U.S. border…

We’ve talked about the importance of your relationship, but there’s also the carrier you’re working with, as well as the driver.

All three of these relationships work together to tell U.S. Customs a story – that you’re a trusted shipper, and that your goods should be inducted into the commerce of the United States.

That’s important to consider when choosing a carrier to take your goods across, and one of the questions you should ask when recruiting one.

What’s their relationship with U.S. Customs?

How often do they get delayed, and why?

How long have they been doing Canada-U.S. shipping and vice versa?

For cross-border shipping, these aren’t just bullet points on a sales brochure – they’re real-life assets that you can, and should be using, for your own shipping.

Summing Up

The horror stories you hear about trucks and shipments getting pulled into U.S. Customs for further scrutiny, delay and even refusal are real – they can happen.

But they don’t happen to shippers who are doing things properly.

How do you become a shipper that Customs knows and trusts?

  • Do things right
  • Do things right… Consistently
  • Partner with a carrier who also does things right – and has been doing so for some time

You don’t need to be one of the horror stories.

And if you follow these three steps, the U.S. market is there to help you grow.


For more than 20 years, Way-Bri Express has been helping Canadian and U.S. companies optimize their import/export processes, and get their stuff reliably across the border. Want to talk (no strings attached) about your company’s cross-border frustrations? Set up a 15-minute Zoom call with us.


Way-Bri Express is proud to partner with the South Niagara Chambers of Commerce on our exciting and cost-saving shipping program, U.S. Drop and Ship.

Through this innovative program, South Niagara Chamber members have the opportunity to drop U.S.-bound packages off at the Niagara Falls Chamber of Commerce’s offices, to be picked up by Way-Bri Express Mondays, Wednesdays or Fridays, to be carried across the border and inducted into the U.S. postal system that same day.

Way-Bri has been providing this service for Ontario companies for more than twenty (20) years, making a route of companies up and down the QEW, picking up parcels and palettes three times a week.

The program was designed for chamber members who might not have the volume, themselves, to warrant a direct pick-up, but still allowing them to have access to the significant time and money savings that the Way-Bri service allows.

Save Money When Shipping

So, why is same day induction important?

When we were building the U.S. Drop and Ship Program with SNCC, we did a bunch of research on comparable costs.

Some of what we found was pretty astounding – simply going back and forth between Canada Post and the rates we’re able to get through our partner, Panda Postage.

Obviously, you know that no matter who you’re using, postage rates vary by distance, class, weight and a bunch of factors.

So, there’s no way to say, “We can save you X percent,” because it’s not the same across-the-board.

But, the savings we were finding were significant.

For one parcel we quoted, going from Niagara Falls, Ontario to California, the savings were more than $60 by using Way-Bri to carry the parcel across the bridge. That’s one parcel.

Regularly, we were finding savings in the $20-$30 per package range.

Could you imagine a year’s worth of shipping, and the savings it could provide, when you can save upwards of $20 per package?

That’s why we brought the service to the SNCC, and that’s why they brought U.S. Drop and Ship on as a member benefit.

Save Time When Shipping

But that’s not where it ends – and this is the real kicker on why you want your parcels and letters carried across the border…

You don’t have to search far into the Canada Post calculator to get estimates on how long it will take your package to get where it’s going.

But we’ll do it for you… Here are some comparisons that we found:

Yes, this chart shows some of the cost comparisons, but look at the time.

cross-border, canam, shipping, buffalo niagara, way-bri express

You want to get your stuff into your customers’ hands faster? You can halve (or better) the time spent in transit by having your parcels and letters directly inducted into the U.S. postal system.

That’s why Way-Bri’s customers have been using them for 20+ years.

Well, that and 20+ years of service, reliability and expertise.

What’s Next?

There’s actually not much to engaging with the U.S. Drop and Ship Program through the SNCC…

First, you have to be a member. Which we hope you are already anyway. It’s a great chamber of commerce, with many, many services and events that will help you grow your business.

Second, if you’re looking to use the program, you’re probably already shipping to the U.S., so you have at least some idea what you need to do it.

We are meticulous about compliance and paperwork, and want to make sure you’re doing things properly to ensure the smoothest process.

So, while it may not be very “2022,” we don’t want you to just fill out a form to contact us – we want to talk to you. Meet you. Get to know your company and what you’re looking to accomplish.

We feel that puts us in the best position to serve you, and make sure that your processes are optimal for getting your parcels from Point A to Point B.

After we get your paperwork set up, we’ll give you the entire process, start-to-finish, for each parcel you send… And you’re off-and-running.

It sounds cliché, but you’ll be able to watch the savings mount up.

For more than 20 years, Way-Bri Express has been helping Canadian and U.S. companies optimize their import/export processes, and get their stuff reliably across the border. Want to talk (no strings attached) about your company’s cross-border frustrations? Set up a 15-minute Zoom call with us.