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5 logistics essentials for vehicle importers

Posted by Vehicle Imports Dept. - Cole International on Jan 20, 2020 9:30:00 AM

Canadian importers frequently need to move American vehicles across the border. The most common scenarios for importing vehicles tend to fall into these categories:

  • Car_71330947_sPersonal or commercial purchases;
  • Online or on site at a dealership;
  • The importer drives the vehicle across the border themselves; or
  • Hires a transport company to deliver the vehicle(s).

What are the five most essential logistics considerations you need for a smooth vehicle import process?

1. Time is money

The first thing to consider is: do you have time to drive the vehicle(s) across the border yourself? Is it cost effective to do so?

If it’s a personal purchase and you are driving the vehicle yourself, you have the option to self-clear at Canada customs and potentially save money.

2. What logistics services do you need?

If you handle the transport yourself, you may opt for the support of a customs broker handling only the export portion of the process. If you need transportation support, a freight forwarder can help organize the transport.

A full service logistics company can support both customs and transportation, as well as both the export and import processes, so that your vehicles move seamlessly from door to door.

3. Is the vehicle admissible?

One of the most common errors vehicle importers make is neglecting to make sure the vehicle is admissible into Canada. Make sure to confirm that your imports are allowed across the border before you purchase.

4. Have the original title

In addition to other documentation that may be required, make sure to have the original vehicle title accessible and on hand when the vehicle reaches the border.

5. File your ITN in advance

Another common importing error is forgetting the 72 hour rule.

Vehicle importers must have their ITN (Internal Transaction Number) in place with U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) 72 hours before the vehicle crosses the border.

To learn more, read our step-by-step process for importing vehicles.

At Cole International, we are proud to be a full-service logistics provider integrating freight forwarding and customs brokerage to serve vehicle importers across North America. 


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