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International Removal Costs

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Relocating overseas is a life-changing experience. It is very important to work out your move to another country down to the last detail for it to be as snag-free as possible.

If you are seeking to move overseas, whether for employment, retirement or for family reasons, one of the biggest questions is calculating your international shipping costs.

Our guide will explain how these costs are worked out and provide some approximate estimates of international removal costs to different countries from the UK.

How are International Removals Costs Calculated?

There are two main factors that dictate baseline international removal costs:
  1. The distance to your destination
  2. The volume of possessions you wish to move

Once you have taken these into consideration, several other factors, such as insuring your possessions appropriately and whether or not you require a ‘door-to-door’ removal and delivery service, will add up to the overall price.

The calculation for finding the volume of an object in cubic feet is: (L” x W” x H”) ÷ 1728 (there are 1728 inches in a cubic foot)

A standard freight container normally has a capacity of either 1,172 cubic feet (for a 20-foot container) or 2,390 cubic feet (for a 40-foot container).

The table below gives indicative costs for shipping each size of container to the most popular destinations around the world. Please make sure to confirm prices with your chosen removal company before committing to the move.

20ft VS 40ft Cost of Removals Comparison
Country Sea Port 20ft Container Cost 40ft Container Cost
Australia Brisbane
Perth
£3,700 GBP
£4,200 GBP
£6,700 GBP
£6,900 GBP
New Zealand Auckland
Christchurch
£3,700 GBP
£3,500 GBP
£5,000 GBP
£5,600 GBP
Canada Vancouver
Toronto
£4,200 GBP
£4,000 GBP
£6,700 GBP
£5,500 GBP
USA Los Angeles
New York
£4,800 GBP
£4,800 GBP
£6,400 GBP
£6,500 GBP
South Africa Cape Town £3,400 GBP £7,000 GBP
India Delhi £4,000 GBP £7,000 GBP
Hong Kong Port of Hong Kong £3,600 GBP £5,000 GBP
UAE Dubai £2,500 GBP £5,000 GBP
Norway Oslo £400 GBP £700 GBP
Greece Athens £4,200 GBP £5,800 GBP
Cyprus Limassol £3,300 GBP £4,300 GBP

These figures are based on estimates from our cost of shipping calculator. For a bespoke shipping quote from up to 6 companies use the quote form at the top of the page. You can also look at international freight rates.

Removals from UK to the Rest of the World

If you’re moving to a country outside of Europe, your possessions will travel by sea in metal freight containers, with the cost of transportation based upon the volume (i.e. how much container space they require) of the goods, measured in cubic feet.

Container ship

The calculation for finding the volume of an object in cubic feet is: (L” x W” x H”) ÷ 1728 (there are 1728 inches in a cubic foot)

Removals from UK to Europe

Established international removal companies often have a regular schedule – typically weekly or fortnightly – for removals into Europe, transporting possessions by lorry to their destination. A removal lorry can normally accommodate the contents of an average three-bedroom home.

Costs vary from firm to firm, but if think you will fill up a whole lorry (40 foot shipping container) when you move, you can expect to spend between £5,000 GBP and £7,000 GBP.

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Smaller loads that do not fill an entire lorry may incur significantly lower international removal costs, but may also take longer to arrive at their destination, depending upon the route and delivery schedule employed by the removals firm.

Other Factors to Consider

Besides the distance and volume of possessions to be relocated internationally, there are a number of other considerations which may increase overall international removal costs. These include:

Insurance

Although international removal companies will make every effort to protect and secure your belongings, transport by sea can take anything up to three months depending upon the destination, during which items are susceptible to damage or loss. Taking out insurance for your possessions is definitely an option you should consider.

Packing, Loading, Unloading and Unpacking

This seems like a simple enough job to do, but leaving it to people who are experts at packing and unpacking will free up a lot of time that you can use for other aspects of your move. The extra cost will be worth it as it also ensures that your items are appropriately protected prior to and after transportation.

Temporary Storage

If, for any reason, a delay arises which prevents you from transporting or taking delivery of your belongings on the date you had intended, you may need to arrange temporary storage at your removal firm’s premises.

Door-to-door

Door-to-Door Collection and Delivery

Depending upon the size of the consignment you are transporting overseas, you may be able to save money by arranging to collect your possessions from the destination port yourself rather than contracting the removals company to deliver them from the port to your door.

Other Costs

These can include cargo inspection fees, local import duties and other local taxes.

Whatever additional options you go for when you move your belongings to another country, make sure that they are covered by your budget. It’s very important to discuss your needs thoroughly with your removal company so that you’ll know how much you will spend, what to expect once your possessions have arrived and what paperwork you’ll need to complete to ensure that you collect all your items without any hassle. All this preparation is essential so that your move to another country can go as smoothly as possible.

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