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Shipping Furniture Overseas

Ashleigh Williams

Written by Reviewed by Dave Sayce

16th Feb 2023 (Last updated on 14th Mar 2024) 8 minute read

From living in a new home and starting a new job to a new way of living and culture, moving abroad is such an exciting prospect.

If you're moving permanently, you will likely want to take your personal belongings and furniture with you. While this is a fairly straightforward process, it requires careful planning and consideration.

Organisation and planning in advance are key, especially when it comes to booking an international removals company and packing your household goods.

Here at Compare My Move, we can connect you with up to 6 of our international removal partners, helping you to save up to 70% on your international removals costs.

In this article, we will be talking you through everything you need to consider when shipping furniture overseas, such as removal costs and packing tips.

  1. What is the Cost of Shipping Furniture Overseas from the UK?
  2. How Much Do Additional Services Cost?
  3. Should I Do My Own Packing or Should I Hire A Professional Packer?
  4. What Packing Materials Will I Need to Pack My Own Furniture?
  5. How Professional Packers Will Pack Your Items
  6. What Should I Take With Me?
  7. How Do I Organise Packing for My Overseas Move?

What is the Cost of Shipping Furniture Overseas from the UK?

The average cost of shipping furniture overseas is £2,997 according to our international removals cost data. This is based on the shipping costs of a 40ft container via sea freight. If you're looking to ship via air freight, this costs an average of £260 per 100kg. Road freight costs are estimated at £265 per pallet.

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

Country20ft Shipping Container40ft Shipping ContainerAir Freight (per 100 kg)









New Zealand
















The cost of shipping furniture internationally will vary based on the shipping options used and your individual moving needs.

A removal company will also complete all the necessary shipping paperwork for you. This can include calculating aspects such as customs duties and import taxes.

When you use Compare My Move's comparison service, you will be provided with up to 6 removal quotes based on your needs. This will provide you with a more accurate idea of what you can expect to pay for your international move.

How Much Do Additional Services Cost?

On average, removal companies charge around £250 for packing services. The removal costs include the time it takes to package your goods and the professional packing materials used. Professional packers take great care when packing your belongings, to ensure your valuables aren't damaged during transit.

Some international removal companies offer dismantling and reassembling services. This costs £125 on average but will vary based on the dismantled items. It's a helpful service to use if you have furniture that you will struggle to take apart yourself.

In some cases, removal companies may charge additionally for loading and unloading your furniture at ports and airports. Speaking to your removals company beforehand is important to determine whether this cost is included in your quote.

Loading and unloading cost an average of £806 for a 3-bedroom house moving 50 miles. For international services, this cost may increase.

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

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Should I Do My Own Packing or Should I Hire A Professional Packer?

Before booking your removals service you will want to determine whether or not it's worth hiring a professional packer or whether you would prefer to do this yourself.

Hiring A Professional Packer

The average packing service with dismantling and reassembling included can cost £375 and above.

While this is quite expensive, professional packers ensure your goods are safe and protected during transit.

If you're short on time, this can be a better option to consider, and your goods will also be protected by the company's insurance.

Professional packers have a lot of experience with packing boxes and utilising box space. This can help you to save space overall when shipping overseas.

Packing Your Own Furniture

If you're looking to save money on your removal costs, carrying out your own packing and dismantling can make a significant impact.

It can be a lengthy process so it's important to plan in advance to ensure you are prepared and have everything you need. To protect your valuables when moving house you will need to use high-quality packing materials and ensure you are packing boxes correctly.

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.

It's important to remember that if you package your goods yourself they won't be insured unless you pay for this additionally.

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What Packing Materials Will I Need to Pack My Own Furniture?

It's important you purchase high-quality and professional-grade packing materials, especially when moving abroad. Purchasing cheap materials can cause potential damage to your belongings if they become damaged over a long distance.

You can purchase packing materials from the majority of international removal companies at an additional cost. Alternatively, you can find them online from websites such as Big Yellow and Packing Boxes at a reasonable price.

It's useful to check Facebook and Gumtree as people sometimes give away free cardboard boxes for moving.

Here are some useful packing materials you should consider purchasing:

  • Heavy-duty cardboard boxes
  • Heavy-duty adhesive tape
  • Scissors
  • Fragile tape
  • Permanent markers
  • Bubble wrap
  • Cardboard sheets (corrugated)
  • Box labels

If you're looking to move furniture abroad, it's important you pack items correctly to help prevent damage. You will want to use plastic sheets and furniture blankets.

Tape and rope can be used to hold furniture in place and will protect items from dirt and potential water damage. You can use old blankets, duvets and sheets to help protect items and to pad out boxes.

How Professional Packers Will Pack Your Items

Professional packers will arrange to arrive at your home ahead of your move. The time and day will vary based on the company, but typically it will be a day or two before you move.

Typically you will arrange with them in advance what you would like to be packaged. This allows them to bring the correct amount of packing materials and boxes.

Once they arrive at your home they will package your goods quickly and efficiently, placing everything into the boxes as you've requested. It's best to provide the packers with a clear idea of your expectations and how you would like the boxes labelled or colour coded.

Depending on the type of shipping method you're using, the packers may place your goods in shipping palettes. These palettes can then be covered and sealed with bubble wrap and stretch wrap for the journey. This will help to prevent damage.

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What Should I Take With Me?

When it comes to shipping furniture overseas, you need to weigh up what's essential to pack and what isn't.

If you're planning to ship heavy pieces of furniture that were inexpensive to purchase, you may spend more money shipping the furniture in comparison to buying brand new furniture when you get to your new home. You can sell your old furniture or donate it to charity before moving, and save money on your removal costs.

As you're moving on a potentially permanent basis, it's likely you'll want to take the majority of your belongings, from sentimental items to practical things such as kitchen utensils. Even so, it's worth weighing up what you think are the most important things to take.

If there are items you can easily repurchase and replace then it can be worth leaving these behind to save on packing space. However, if you're moving somewhere that's quite remote you may need to pack more items.

Essential items such as travel documents, visas, medication, passports, and bank cards should be packed in a bag or box so you can easily have access to them.

Before packing each item, it's useful to ask yourself questions such as:

  1. Would it be less expensive to purchase this item after moving in comparison to shipping it?
  2. Will I need/use this item?
  3. Will the item be suitable for my new home?
  4. Do I have room for the item?
  5. Is the item important to keep?

These questions will help you to determine whether you're packing necessary items. Don't be afraid to leave items you don't need behind.

How Do I Organise Packing for My Overseas Move?

It's important to have a clear idea of what you want to pack for an international move. Here are some ways in which you can stay organised:

Detailed Lists

Having a list of items you need is essential. Breaking down the list into rooms and relevant items can help to speed up your packing process. This will provide you with a clear idea of the packing materials you need and how many items you need to pack.

Start with the most important items and work your way through everything in your home. As you begin to list items you can determine what you need to take and what you want to leave behind. After all, you won't want to pack unnecessary items. This will increase the cost of your shipping and will take up unnecessary space.

Pack Room-By-Room

If you pack room-by-room this will speed up the unpacking process when you get to your new home. It also helps the removals company to place the relevant boxes in each room. For example, placing everything in your kitchen or bathroom together will help you to stay organised.

Here are some useful guides for how to pack specific items for moving:

Note What's in Each Box

Keeping an inventory of what you have placed into each box. This makes it simpler when unpacking, and it helps you to keep track of your belongings if anything goes missing.

Label Boxes Correctly

If the items you have are fragile, ensure the box is clearly labelled with this. It can also be useful to colour code boxes with tape for specific rooms to make unloading the boxes in your new home easier.

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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.

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