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Shipping Container Costs From United Kingdom to Australia

Ashleigh Williams

Written by Reviewed by Dave Sayce

24th Aug 2022 (Last updated on 9th Feb 2024) 5 minute read

On average, it costs £5,258 to ship a container to Australia from the United Kingdom. This is based on a 40ft shipping container which is equivalent to a 3-bedroom house. The average air freight cost is £400 per 100kg. This is based on our international removals cost research.

If you need to ship goods to Australia, there are two different types to choose from - sea and air freight. The option you select will depend on aspects such as when you need your items and your budget.

  1. Sea Freight
  2. Air Freight
  3. FCL VS LCL Shipping
  4. Other Costs to Consider
  5. How Long Does Shipping Take?
  6. Prohibited Items to Australia
  7. Finding an International Removal Company to Australia

Sea Freight

Sea freight is the most popular shipping option when moving to Australia from the UK. This is due to the lower total cost and it being better for the environment. Goods do take longer to arrive in comparison to air freight, which can be an issue if you need specific items quicker than others.


  • You pay for the size of the shipping container rather than by weight
  • Can transport motor vehicles with ease
  • Options to use part-load services to lower the costs
  • More eco-friendly option
  • Lower costs


  • Sea freight takes longer to arrive
  • Delays are more likely
  • Sea freight is less frequent than air freight

Main Australian Ports and Routes

There are 8 major ports in Australia. Port Hedland is the main port and is based on the West Coast of Australia. Other ports include:

  • Sydney
  • Darwin
  • Melbourne
  • Adelaide
  • Brisbane

The main ports in the UK that provide shipping and removals to Australia are Southampton and Felixstowe.

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Air Freight

If you need your goods to arrive quickly, air freight is the better option to consider. However, as it’s the quicker option, it’s more expensive. With air freight, your goods will be shipped from a UK airport to the most convenient airport in Australia.


  • Quickest option for shipping furniture overseas
  • 13 international airports in Australia to ship to
  • Good security for your goods
  • Regular and convenient flight times


  • More expensive than sea freight
  • Items are charged based on weight rather than size
  • Not as eco-friendly
  • More limited with what you can transport (e.g motor vehicles)

Main Australian Airports and Routes

There are 13 main airports to consider when shipping goods to Australia. This is why air freight is such a convenient option. Some of the most popular airports include:

  • Adelaide
  • Perth
  • Sydney
  • Melbourne
  • Brisbane
  • Darwin

The main airports that ship to Australia from the UK include Heathrow and Manchester. The routes and stopovers will vary depending on the airline you travel with. These locations include Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

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FCL VS LCL Shipping

Whether you decide to ship via air freight or sea freight you need to decide if you need full or part load. This will depend on the items you’re shipping and the space you need. Several different aspects will affect the cost and type of shipping, such as:

  • The number of items being shipped
  • The weight of the items
  • The size of the items
  • Tracking
  • Insurance
  • Distance travelled
  • Customs and duties charges

Here are the main differences between FCL and LCL:

Full Container Load (FCL)

Full container load is the most popular shipping choice, especially for those who are shipping a lot of goods. A full container load is a whole shipping container. You pay for this container and you are free to fill it with your items. Your belongings are all kept in one container, and it’s typically quicker than LCL.

Less Container Load (LCL)

If you have a smaller home and are shipping fewer items, less container load is a better option to consider. This allows you to share a shipping container with other people.

This cuts shipping costs, but it does limit the amount of space you’re able to use. As the shipping container is shared, goods will take longer to arrive.

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Other Costs to Consider

When it comes to shipping costs to Australia from the UK, you may need to consider:

Packing Services

On average it will cost around £250 to use this service, based on a 3-bedroom house. The costs will vary depending on the company, and the number of personal effects you have.

Packing services come at an extra charge and the packing specialists will pack all your belongings for you. They use high-quality materials and ensure your goods are safe and secure during transit.

Pick-up and Delivery

Pick-up and delivery is a useful service to consider if you want your goods to be picked up and delivered from the port or airport. It takes away the need for moving the goods yourself. The cost will be dependent on the country, the number of goods, and the distance the company will need to travel. It’s similar to door-to-door services.


On average, insurance costs will be up to 4% of the cost of your goods. This is why the specific amount can vary depending on the number of items you’re relocating.

The insurance policy costs will vary depending on the type of policy you choose and the insurance company offering this policy. The number of items you have, how it’s shipped and the distance travelled will all factor into the cost of the insurance.

All our international removal partners are covered by Goods in Transit and Public Liability insurance. This means that your belongings will be completely protected during transit, providing you with peace of mind.

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How Long Does Shipping Take?

On average, it takes up to 8 weeks for your items to arrive via sea freight due to Australia’s distance from the UK. If you’re using air freight, this will arrive within 3-10 days, providing a far quicker service.

The amount of time it takes to ship belongings to Australia will vary. The transit time depends on the mode of transport you’ve chosen and whether the shipping is FCL or LCL. LCL will take longer to arrive.

Prohibited Items to Australia

There are many items you’re prohibited from bringing through Australian customs. Some of these include:

  • Weapons
  • Fake designer goods
  • Firearms
  • Fireworks
  • Live plants
  • Pirated DVDs
  • Fresh fruit

    Check the Australian Border Force website for a full breakdown of prohibited items.

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    Finding an International Removal Company to Australia

    When moving to Australia use a reliable and trustworthy international removals company. Our international removals comparison service will place you in contact with up to 6 different companies. They are all verified partners. Our service can help you to save up 70% off your 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.

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