Compare & save on International Removals

Save 70% off the cost of your house move today!

Compare My Move Fact-Checking Standards

The Compare My Move team follows strict guidelines to ensure that every piece of content is accurate, trust-worthy and adheres to the highest standard of quality. Each article is expertly reviewed by members of our author panel before being published to promote accurate and quality content.

All Compare My Move articles adhere to the following standards:

  • Expertly reviewed - Our articles are reviewed by an industry expert with in-depth knowledge and experience of the article topic.
  • Data supported - All statistics, research and data must link or reference to the original source.
  • Accuracy - All research and data are taken from high-quality, trustworthy and authoritative sources.
  • Quality checked - Our content writers ensure every Compare My Move article is written to the highest of standard.

Shipping Furniture Overseas

Ashleigh Williams

Written by Reviewed by Dave Sayce

16th Feb 2023 (Last updated on 24th Mar 2023) 8 minute read

When moving abroad, it’s important to consider how you’re going to ship your furniture overseas. Depending on the country you’re relocating to, there are many options to consider from road freight to shipping freight.

The option you choose will depend on aspects such as the amount of furniture you have, your budget, and the distance of the move.

When shipping goods overseas, it’s important to hire the help of a removals company that specialises in international moves. The more experience a company has, the better. This will help ensure your goods arrive safely and promptly.

In this article, we have provided the ultimate guide to shipping furniture overseas.

This article will cover the following:
  1. How Do International Shipping Services Work?
  2. Choosing the Right Furniture Shipping Options
  3. European Furniture Removals
  4. Long-Distance Furniture Removals
  5. Cost of Shipping Furniture Overseas from the UK
  6. Should I Do My Own Packing?
  7. Preparing Furniture For An Overseas Move
  8. Importing Furniture Regulations

How Do International Shipping Services Work?

International removal companies understand the extra steps needed when moving abroad. This includes shipping options and customs charges. They will handle the paperwork and everything else involved.

You can discuss your individual needs, including your moving date, location and the number of goods you have. They will then provide you with a removal cost quote along with their availability.

Using a reputable removals company is important because they will be fully insured and your goods will be protected. This includes Goods in Transit, Public Liability, and Marine insurance.

It doesn’t have to be difficult to choose a removals company when you use Compare My Move. We can connect you with up to 6 international removals companies.

You simply need to fill out our easy and simple form to be placed in contact with the best international removal companies in the UK.

Compare International Removals

Save up to 70% on Removal Costs

Choosing the Right Furniture Shipping Options

When moving internationally, there are many ways in which you can ship your items to another country. There are four main furniture shipping options to consider:

1. Shipping Freight

Shipping via sea freight is one of the best shipping options to consider, especially if you’re looking to move to a town or city near a shipping port. For the most part, shipping freight is the cheapest option as you pay for the size of the container you use, rather than the weight of the items.

The two main sizes when shipping furniture overseas are 20ft or 40ft shipping containers. This is commonly called Full Container Load (FCL) shipping.

The contents of a 3-bedroom house can easily be transported via shipping freight. You can then use the entire container to hold your personal effects. Sea freight can also be used to transport motor vehicles.

The only downside to shipping freight is that it typically takes longer to transport your goods in comparison to air freight. This is why it’s important to arrange your shipping options well in advance.

2. Road Freight

    If roads can be used from your current location to your new home, road freight is a cost-effective and efficient way to ship your furniture overseas. It’s a particularly popular option when moving across Europe, New Zealand or the United States.

    Road freight provides door-to-door services. There are many removal van sizes to choose from based on the amount of furniture you have and its size.

    Delivery times with road freight will vary depending on the distance that’s being travelled.

    If you’re looking to potentially save money, you can rent a removals van to use yourself. This is the only shipping option you can hire to use yourself.

    3. Part-Load

    Part-Load shipping is often referred to as Less Container Load (LCL). It’s a useful option to consider if you don’t have a lot of large items to ship. It allows you to share a shipping container with other people, keeping shipping costs to a minimum.

    While you are limited in the amount of space you have with a shared container, it’s cost-effective. You only pay for the space your household goods will take up.

    As you’re sharing your container with others, shipping overseas with part-load will take longer than shipping a full load.

    4. Air Freight

      Air freight is by far the quickest option, especially for long-distance moves, and therefore the most expensive. When shipping goods via air freight, there is limited space available given the smaller size of an aeroplane. This will affect the number of goods you can transport.

      Goods are charged by weight rather than by size, which can be quite costly for larger furniture removals. If an item is too large, you may be unable to ship it via air. For example, you cannot ship motor vehicles by air freight. It’s important to speak to the international removals company about this well in advance of your move.

      Compare International Removals

      Save up to 70% on Removal Costs

      European Furniture Removals

      If you’re looking to ship to a European country, the four shipping options mentioned above can be used for moving furniture. The most suitable option will depend on the number of goods you have and the location of your move.

      If you’re moving to a land-locked country, then sea freight wouldn’t be the most suitable option. For example, there are no direct ports in Austria, Hungary, Luxembourg or Switzerland to use.

      You can choose to have the goods delivered to the nearest port and then transported via road freight to your new home.

      Countries such as the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Spain and France all have popular shipping ports, making shipping freight ideal. The majority of European countries have access to airports, which will allow you to ship your goods via air.

      If you’re moving to a European country from the UK or another European country, the best shipping option would be road freight. The road systems in Europe are useful and efficient. They connect each country well, and it’s easy to travel through countries to get to your destination

      Long-Distance Furniture Removals

      Sea freight and air freight are the best options when looking for a long-distance furniture removals service. If you’re looking to move to the USA or Australia, road freight isn’t a plausible option to use.

      Given the price and the ability to move larger items, sea freight is the best option to use. However, you can use air freight or a combination of the two options if needed.

      Cost of Shipping Furniture Overseas from the UK

      Here is a table of the estimated costs of furniture shipping services from the UK to Europe and popular destinations:

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


























      New Zealand

























      * Based on our international removals cost data.

      When it comes to the cost of shipping furniture overseas, this will change based on several factors. This includes:

      • The furniture shipping company
      • The distance travelled
      • The type of shipping service used
      • Any additional services used
      • The items of furniture
      • The size or weight of the furniture
      • The country you are shipping to
      • Any customs or duties charges
      • Tracking
      • Insurance

      Compare International Removals

      Save up to 70% on Removal Costs

      Should I Do My Own Packing?

      If you’re looking to save money during your international move you can choose to do your own packing. This can be a lengthy process and you can’t guarantee that you will protect your valuables when moving house.

      You’ll need to ensure you’re packing your household items safely and securely. Specialist packing materials such as corrugated cardboard, bubble wrap and craft paper should be used. This will stop fragile items from breaking or expensive surfaces from scratching during transit.

      Packing bulky furniture can be particularly difficult especially if you’re not used to doing this. This is why it can be useful to enlist the help of a movers and packers service when shipping furniture from the UK.

      Packing services are carried out by expert packers. They will use professional packaging materials and ensure items are wrapped and packed securely.

      This helps to protect your family heirlooms or anything of sentimental value. You can buy packing materials from removal companies that are of professional quality to use yourself.

      The majority of international removal companies offer packing services, but they do come at an extra charge. On average, removal companies charge around £250 for packing services and materials.

      The packers will arrive at your home ahead of your move and pack your items room by room. Many also offer dismantling and reassembling services. This costs £125 on average but will vary based on what needs to be dismantled.

      If you’re looking for moving companies offering removal services, read our UK’s 10 Best International Movers and Packers article.

      Compare International Removals

      Save up to 70% on Removal Costs

      Preparing Furniture For An Overseas Move

      There are some ways you can prepare your furniture for an overseas move. You need to carefully plan how you want to package these items well in advance. Here are some useful packing tips to use:

      Measure Furniture

        This ensures you have enough space to move all your belongings overseas. It will also ensure you are receiving an accurate quote from the removals company. You don’t want to fall short of space when moving.


          If you want to ship a table internationally, you will need to remove the legs and package them separately. This will help to prevent any damage and it will also save you space too.

          Keep all the parts and screws safely together. This makes reassembling the items at your end destination easier.

          Utilising Space

            If you’re transporting large furniture such as drawers and wardrobes, to save space you can place items inside them. While you don’t want to overfill these items, it’s a great way of transporting lighter goods

            Pack Boxes Carefully

              When packing boxes yourself, it can be tempting to overfill boxes to save on room. This can cause treasured possessions to potentially break. You must use the correct packing techniques or materials.

              Pack Fragile Items Correctly

                Always use high-quality packing materials when packing antique furniture or fragile goods. Even when carefully packaged, damaged items can break during transport. Extra care should always be taken.

                Importing Furniture Regulations

                It’s important to research the importing regulations for the furniture you want to take with you. While most furniture pieces can be imported into different countries, there may be some restrictions.

                For example, some countries won’t allow specific types of wood due to it being potentially dangerous to the ecosystem. You should always clean items and check for any potential wood infestations before shipping goods.

                You can find out regulations for each country on their government website.

                Compare International Removals

                Save up to 70% on Removal Costs

                Ashleigh Williams

                Having written book reviews and content for For The Love of Books for over five years, Ashleigh now creates advice articles for Compare My Move, focusing on all things home-related.

                Dave Sayce

                Reviewed by Dave Sayce

                Owner & Managing Director, Compare My Move

                Dave Sayce is the owner and managing director of Compare My Move and has over 10 years of experience in the house removals industry.

                Compare and Save on Your Move

                Save 70% off the Cost of Your House Move Today!