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International Removals to the UK

When you start planning your move to the UK or London, you should get in touch with a reputable shipping agent early on in the process. They will oversee all aspects of your move, from advising on the best cargo means for you to overseeing all transport logistics and removals.

International removals to the UK

Optional extras

Many movers opt for a door-to-door removals service when they pack up and move abroad, which can include a dedicated packing and unpacking service if requested. This sort of service is popular with families, those moving between large homes, and those making a permanent or long-term move.

A packing and unpacking service is also great for those who just know they’ll be pushed for time. Professional teams of packers will ensure that everything is packed carefully and logically, so it’s all together in the right place when you arrive.

Air cargo or sea container?

Options for moving your household goods abroad are air cargo or and sea freight, and one factor in deciding which option to go for is how close your new home in the UK is to a shipping port.

No home in the UK can be more than a day’s drive from a sea port, so sea cargo is often the most cost effective option. Moving your household goods by air freight is course quicker, but tends to be more expensive as this method charges by weight.

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Save some money

If your new home in the UK isn’t too far from the airport or shipping port that your belongings arrive into you could collect your goods in person rather than paying extra for a delivery company to complete the delivery.

Collecting your consignment yourself can also save potential warehousing fees that can be charged when containers or baggage has to be parked for a certain period of time before moving on to its final destination.

Customs check

Your relocations agent should give you plenty of advice on import and export restrictions for moving to the UK, and your final invoice from them should always include the costs of clearing customs. Unforeseen customs charges do occur occasionally though, and you’ll be invoiced with delivery for any unexpected fees attracted.

The list of products you can’t import to the UK is extensive, but the list below is an indication as to some of them. Check with your shipping agent for any export restrictions for where you’re living at the moment, too.

  • Certain radio transmitters
  • Realistic imitation firearms
  • Flick knives, other offensive weapons and CS sprays
  • Souvenirs made from endangered species such as orchids and mahogany

Cost and time guide

We’ve put together a general guide to timescales and costings for shipping your belongings to the UK from several different countries. London Heathrow (air) and Southampton (sea) have been used as the ports of destination for these estimates, so timescales and costs will vary depending on exact addresses of origin and destination.

All estimated sea freight costs are based on a full container load (FCL) with its contents valued at £6,000. Air freight tends to take up to a week, and estimated costs all use an indicative 250kg consignment, which is normally the maximum weight allowance for air cargo.

UK removals rates and shipping times


Sea Freight Cost (FCL)

Sea Freight Time

Air Freight Cost (up to 250kg)

Air Freight Time



9 days


< 1 week



22 days


< 1 week



11 days


< 1 week



41 days


< 1 week



16 days


< 1 week

Now that you have an idea of what the costs of shipping your belongings to the UK are, take a look at our guide to visas for the UK to make sure there are no surprises come moving day.