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How Much do International Removals Cost?

Nicola Ryan

Written by

15th Feb 2018 (Last updated on 8th Feb 2024) 6 minute read

The average international removals cost is £2,997 for a 40ft shipping container, £260 for air freight per 100kg, and £265 for road freight per pallet. This is based on shipping the contents of a 3-bedroom house. Prices for shipping furniture overseas will change on distance and size of move.

There are many factors that contribute to the total international moving costs. These factors can include your chosen removals company, transport costs as well as potential additional costs such as packing and unpacking.

In this guide, Compare My Move has gathered everything to ensure that you know what to expect when it comes to the international removal costs. You’ll also be able to decide what mode of transport your goods should be shipped and choose the right moving company for you.

  1. Cost of European Removals
  2. Cost of Long Distance Removals
  3. Additional Costs
  4. International Shipping Options
  5. Finding an International Removal Company
International Removals Cost

Here are the international removals prices that you need to keep in mind. These figures are based on the average cost of a 40 ft shipping container:

CountryCost EstimateMethods of Transport
Australia£5,258Sea freight, air freight
£4,552Sea freight, air freight, road freight
£3,079Sea freight, air freight, road freight
£2,972Sea freight, air freight
£1,066Sea freight, air freight, road freight
£1,415Sea freight, air freight, road freight
£953Sea freight, air freight, road freight
£1,588Sea freight, air freight, road freight
£1,950Sea freight, air freight, road freight
£1,248Sea freight, air freight, road freight
New Zealand
£5,750Sea freight, air freight
£1,870Sea freight, air freight, road freight
£2,025Sea freight, air freight
South Africa
£9,290Sea freight, air freight
£3,015Sea freight, air freight, road freight
£1,464Sea freight, air freight, road freight
£967Sea freight, air freight, road freight
£2,460Sea freight, air freight
£6,080Sea freight, air freight

Cost of European Removals

The average European removals cost is £1,167 for a 20ft container, £1,926 for a 40ft container, £202 for air freight per 100kg, and £265 for road freight per pallet.

Moves to Europe are accessible by land, sea, and air. This means you can choose the option that is best for you. The cost can be affected by factors including distance, the weight of your household goods, and how fast you want the goods to arrive.

Here are the average costs for European removals:

Country20ft Container40ft ContainerAir Freight (per 100kg)Road Freight (per pallet)

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Cost of Long Distance Removals

The average long-distance removals cost is £2,831 for a 20ft container, £4,834 for a 40ft container, and £359 for air freight per 100kg

If you are embarking on a long-distance move, you need to make sure that you are even more organised. Due to the distance involved, road freight is not an option for countries outside Europe. The cost to move house abroad can be extremely high, especially for those who need to ship a lot of belongings.

Here are the costs for long-distance removals:

Country20ft Container40ft ContainerAir Freight (per 100kg)
New Zealand£3,200£5,750£437
South Africa£4,895£9,290£388

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Additional Costs

Once you have chosen your international removal company, there are some additional costs that you may have to account for. While this may increase the total costs of moving, it will ensure that your goods are being transported as safely as possible. Here are just a few things to consider:

Packing Service

If you have a lot of goods to pack, you may want to consider hiring your removal company to utilise their packing service if they offer one. The company will have all the packing materials needed to pack your goods securely and ensure that they are not damaged during transit. On average, packing services cost around £250 for 30 boxes worth of goods packed.


You should consider taking out international removals insurance. This will ensure your goods are secured and protected in case of any loss during transit. The more your goods are worth, the higher your insurance quote will be. However, this is sure to give you peace of mind if you are transporting valuable items.


You may want to store your belongings in storage for some time while you settle into your new home. It's best to do extensive research when choosing long-term storage because you want to make sure that there aren't any hidden additional costs that are piled on when you get there. Try to read the company's terms and conditions beforehand if possible to ensure that you are confident in your choice.

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International Shipping Options

No matter where you are moving, you will need to decide how your goods are shipped. Depending on your final destination, here are the three shipping options you can choose from:

  • Sea Freight
  • Air Freight
  • Road Freight

The number of goods you have and how fast you want them to arrive will determine which option is best for you. A lot of shipping companies will offer more than one mode of transport with the most popular combination being sea and road freight.

You must also make sure that your belongings will pass customs duties as this can incur heavy fines if not. You may find that there are long delays if you do not receive customs clearance.

Sea Freight

The most popular transport method with access to all locations is sea freight. Sea freight is one of the most affordable options and there are many shipping container sizes to choose from. The most popular container sizes are 20ft and 40ft with the former being suited for 1 and 2-bedroom homes and 40ft being suited for a 3+ bedroom house.

The downside to sea freight is that it can take a longer amount of time for your goods to arrive. This can be due to distance or delays if there is bad weather.

Air Freight

The second option that is accessible to all locations is air freight. Air freight is the best option for those who want their goods to arrive fast and efficiently. If you are travelling a long distance, you may want to consider air freight as this can reduce your goods' arrival time significantly.

The total cost of air freight is calculated by weight rather than providing you with a container with a specific amount of space.

The downside to air freight is that it is the most expensive shipping option. For those who are on a stricter budget, it may not be an available option. However, the higher shipping costs are due to the speed and efficiency of the service.

Road Freight

The final option is road freight which is more restricted than sea or air freight. This is because road freight is only available in European countries.

Although the truck will travel on land for most of the journey, it will most likely be stored on a ferry to cross the sea. Your goods will be stored in pallets, so you are assigned a specific amount of space like a shipping container.

The downside to road freight is that it can take a while for goods to arrive if you are moving to a country that is further away such as Switzerland or Sweden.


If you are moving abroad for a limited amount of time or do not own many belongings, you may want to consider part load. Part load means that you take up a small portion of a shipping container or pallet for a fraction of the price. The rest of the container or pallet is taken up by other people's belongings.

Part load is great for those on a stricter budget or those who don't want to pay for a full container or pallet that they won't fill. However, it takes the longest amount of time for goods to arrive as the mode of transport may take multiple stops beforehand.

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Finding an International Removal Company

At Compare My Move, we have a network of international partners who are ready to assist you with your move overseas. Whether you're moving to Portugal from the UK, or you're moving to Italy, we can help.

You can save money and compare removal companies that have been approved via our strict verification process.

Nicola Ryan

Written by Nicola Ryan

Nicola focusses on all things moving house at Compare My Move where she writes articles for the advice centre, guiding users through everything they need to know about moving house.

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