Looking online about brokerage fees that various shipping companies charge, I decided to call them about it. I asked them all the same question. Brokerage fees are charged on ground service, but if I choose air, or other service, will I still be charged a brokerage fee? This is the answer I got from them.
Fedex – All express shipments do not have an additional brokerage fee. All shipments sent by ground will have an additional brokerage fee.
UPS – All shipments sent by air do not have an additional brokerage fee. All shipments sent by ground greater than $19.99 in value will have an additional brokerage fee.
DHL – All additional costs tacked on are government fees such as taxes, duties, etc. We do not charge any additional non-government fees on any shipments. Therefore, I assume that DHL does not charge a brokerage fee.
Canada Post -It automatically charges the brokerage fee on all packages when one pays. Therefore, there is no additional costs when the package reaches the destination. This holds true for USPS also.
As for shipments overseas, I am assuming that ground shipping is not possible. Therefore, shipments sent overseas will always be air.
In the end, one will have to call each shipping company, and ask them if they charge brokerage fees on all shipments. A few may not, but it is quite possible that they do. Therefore, do not be shy. Call the company that one will use to ship the product and see what shipments charge a brokerage fee and what does not. Doing this will result in one being able to make an informed decision.
Tips on how to avoid paying brokerage fees on ground shipments altogether can be found at http://forums.beyond.ca/showthread/t-63215.html. They also have tips on other issues also.
Another option can be found at http://aprivatebeach.com/blog/2009/12/save-money-on-shipping-costs under the heading Aug 9, 2011. In a nutshell, one can drive down and pick up the package at the Canada/USA border on the USA side at a shipping/receiving depot and bring it back to Canada.
As for tracking packages, Canada Post responded to my question. If you chose the Priority Worldwide service, you will obtain tracking details from departure to arrival. For every other service, once the item has left the Canadian territory, you will only receive a delivery confirmation scan once the item is delivered. This is for items with a tracking number only. Registered mail is excluded from this.