Get Ready for Rail Shipping in Canada: 5 Steps

This post was last updated on March 6th, 2022

Canadian businesses are about to be hit with a new and exciting change: rail carrier shipping.

An increasingly popular it’s a more efficient and cost-effective way to ship goods than traditional methods. 

As the demand grows, you should make some important considerations before jumping into the growing market of rail service. In this blog post, we’ll outline five steps that will get you ready for rail shipping in Canada!

Table of contents

  1. Five Steps in Getting Ready for Rail Service

FAQS

  1. Can you ship by train in Canada?
  2. How much does it cost to ship by rail?
  3. How do I track my rail shipment?
  4. Is shipping by rail cheaper than truck?
  5. What kind of shipments can I book using your services?

Intermodal Transportation in Canada

With an increased focus on intermodal traffic, the Canadian railway industry has undergone massive changes in recent years.

And now that the industry is ready to recover its losses and welcome new players into the game, it’s essential to explore the steps required before executing this type of supply chain shipping for your company. 

Rail Shipping Canada Considerations

– How will your business capitalize on the growing demand? 

– What are you looking to ship via rail freight transportation, and what is feasible given your current supply and demand chains?  

– Where are you currently experiencing service issues, backlogs, delays?

– Are you experiencing an increase in rail shipping rates?

Canada offers several benefits for businesses looking to ship via rail service. Access and ease of service, environmentally friendly transportation, and potential cost savings of transportation services upfront.

railroad engineer looking over train before shipping

5 Essential Steps in Getting Ready for Freight Rail Service

Getting ready for rail shipping is as easy as following 5 simple steps.

1. Consider your product type

What type of goods do you want to transport via shipping containers? Are they fragile or heavy-duty? Are they packed or unpacked?

Know that trains are great transportation solutions for almost any type of cargo, from grain to vehicles and from common consumer goods to construction equipment.

But, it’s good to know that some products and hazardous materials are strictly regulated when using rail shipping. Stay informed about those regulations by consulting transportcanada.ca or registering for their dedicated Newsletter.

2. Check your network

Are you currently experiencing issues with the railroads or another intermodal service provider that may be solved by switching carriers?

The global marketplace is changing, and long haul North American services with it. Canadian railways are ready to provide better service, but it’s important to make sure that your partners can leap with you.

If a particular railroad provides poor performance or increased costs, consult RailGateway.ca for a list of available carriers and service routes.

Get your FREE quote to learn more about what opportunities await you in long-distance freight rail.

3. Know your rail shipping rates

Some products have a generalized transport cost of an intermodal transport solution. Check with RailGateway.ca to find out how much it will cost you to ship the cargo you want before making any commitments.

Rail rates are subject to change at different times of the year due to weather conditions and other factors that affect performance on Canada’s railways.

Plan ahead! It never hurts to get more than one quote for future planning purposes.   

4. Get your equipment

The process of rail shipping in Canada is straightforward, but there are certain requirements to follow.  

First and foremost, you need a suitable container for the trip. Shipping containers must be clean (not contaminated) with no hazardous contents or materials inside.

For more information about what containers are available with RailGateway, visit our dedicated page on our container details & specifications.

5. Get your documentation in order

For rail shipping, you’ll need to be able to provide a commercial invoice detailing the contents and value of items shipped.  

Be sure also to check that all necessary documents are readily available before we arrive at your location: permits, licenses, and insurance certificates that may be required by law.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you ship by train in Canada?

Absolutely, we can!

Canada benefits from a vast rail network that allows deliveries on long distances, from a point on one coast to another without much trouble.

Canadian railroads are equipped to handle a variety of freight traffic, including being renowned as the safest method to move dangerous goods and hazardous materials (even though this type of shipment is strictly regulated).

At RailGateway, we partner with two major and reliable Canadian Rail Companies, CP (Canadian Pacific Railway) and CN (Canadian National Railway Company).

How much does it cost to ship by rail?

Rail rates are subject to change based on weather conditions and other factors influencing railway efficiency throughout the year.

Did you know, though, that you can transport two to three truckloads in a single railcar? This equals cost savings in any light.

How do I track my rail shipment?

With RailGateway, you’ll get a comprehensive status update every day that will show you all of the information about your intermodal transportation shipment from pick up and delivery locations to appointments, container numbers, and drops to where your container is in transit. All of your railway freight shipping needs are in one place!

Is shipping by rail cheaper than truck?

It’s difficult to compare costs against one another because it depends on the type of equipment you are using and what kind of cargo you are transporting.

That said, train transport is generally more cost-effective than truck transport if you plan a shipment on long distances.

What kind of shipments can I book using your services?

RailGateway.ca offers full load 53′ and 40′ intermodal transportation services across Canada coast to coast.

We can pick up from any dock/port going to any dock for all railroad freight.

Freight shipping by rail is one of the biggest trends in freight transportation.

Rail transport has many advantages, including lower cost per kilometre than trucking and less congestion on highways. It also offers better fuel efficiency than trucks.

Rail shipments are also more secure than other forms of transportation because they require minimal loading or unloading at the destination terminal.

And most rail carriers offer door-to-door service with convenient pickup options.

Railways have been used as a means of transportation since the mid-1800s, and today they are still widely relied upon.

Rail shipments can be faster than by truck or air, but getting your company ready for rail shipping will take some time.

Get started on Intermodal Rail Shipping with our Rail Carrier!

Once you’ve addressed all these considerations, it’s time to move forward into getting quotes from carriers that specialize in rail freight service across Canada!

With RailGateway.ca, it’s never been easier to ship freight with rail. Contact our experts and check out our best rail freight rates, route, and transit time to move your shipment across the country!

And know that whether you’re shipping from Toronto to VancouverMontreal to Calgary, or Edmonton back to Toronto, we at RailGateway can deliver.

Request your FREE rail quote with the experts at RailGateway today!