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Shipping Container Costs From the United Kingdom to Belgium

Adele MacGregor

Written by

31st Aug 2022 (Last updated on 1st Sep 2022) 4 minute read

On average, it costs £3,079 to ship a container from the UK to Belgium, based on a 40ft shipping container. This holds approximately the contents of a 3-bedroom house. Air freight to Belgium costs on average £183 per 100kg. This is based on our international removals cost research.

When shipping items to Belgium you can choose from sea, air or road. Your option will depend on your budget and how quickly you need the items shipped.

This article will cover the following:
  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 When Shipping to Belgium
  7. Finding an International Removal Company to Belgium

Sea Freight

Sea freight is a cheaper and more environmentally friendly option for shipping your items but be aware that this takes longer than air freight.

It costs £1,620 to ship a 20ft container from the United Kingdom to Belgium. A 40ft container will cost £3,079 on average.

Pros

  • Cost is for the size of the shipping container rather than the weight of the items
  • Lower costs than air freight
  • Motor vehicles can be transported
  • Available part-load services are a lower-cost option
  • Better for the environment

Cons

  • May take longer to arrive
  • Delays are more likely
  • Less frequent than air freight

Main Ports and Routes in Belgium

The main port in Belgium is Antwerp, which is also the second largest port in Europe. The second busiest port in Belgium is the Port of Ghent.

Other significant ports include:

  • Port of Liege
  • Port of Nieuwpoort
  • Port Oostende
  • Port of Brudges-Zeebrugge
  • Port of Namur
  • Port of Brussels

Air Freight

Air freight is usually the quickest option for shipping goods. However, due to the proximity of Belgium to the UK, sea freight is reasonably quick too. The advantage of air freight is the regular and convenient flight times, security and effectiveness of the service.

Pros

  • Quickest shipping option
  • Regular and convenient flight times

Cons

  • More expensive than sea freight
  • Items are charged based on weight rather than size
  • Less environmentally friendly
  • Limitations with what you can transport

Main Airports and Routes in Belgium

Belgium has five airports in use for international passenger flights. These include:

  • Brussels-Zeventem
  • Ostend
  • Charleroi
  • Luik-Bierset
  • Deurn

Shipping via air freight to Belgium can be done from major UK airports such as London Heathrow.

FCL VS LCL Shipping

Whether you are using 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, including:

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

Below we list the main differences between FCL and LCL:

Full Container Load (FCL)

Full container load is the most popular shipping choice, especially if a large number of items are being moved. In this instance, you pay for an entire container. This is typically quicker than LCL and your items are kept separately from other people's.

Less Container Load (LCL)

If you are shipping fewer items, less container load is a better option to consider. This option means sharing a shipping container with other people. You are given a portion of the container for your goods, with other people's items making up the rest of the space. This cuts the cost of shipping your items, but it does take longer than FCL.

Other Costs to Consider

When it comes to international removals to Belgium, you may need to consider:

Packing Services

On average it will cost £250 for a packing service, based on a 3-bedroom house. Keep in mind the cost will vary depending on the company you use and how much is being moved.

Packing services can be a huge help when it comes to shipping, especially as air freight items must be packed professionally. Packing professionals will use high-quality materials and ensure your goods are safe and secure during transit.

Pick-up and Delivery

Pick-up and delivery is a helpful service to consider if you want your goods to be picked up and delivered from the port or airport. The cost will be dependent on the country, the number of goods, and the distance the company will need to travel.

Insurance

On average, insurance will cost around 4% of the value or cost of your goods. As a result, the cost of insurance can vary depending on the number of items you’re relocating.

Costs will also depend on the type of policy you choose and the insurance company offering this policy. How your items are shipped and the distance travelled will also influence how much you pay for insurance.

Every one of our international removal partners has both Goods in Transit and Public Liability insurances in place. This means that your belongings will be completely protected during transit, providing you with peace of mind.

How Long Does Shipping Take?

On average, shipping items by airfreight from the UK to Belgium takes 2 to 4 business days. Shipping via sea is likely to take 3 to 5 depending on the service you opt for and the company you ship with.

Be aware that in the wake of Brexit, shipping to EU countries like Belgium is likely to take longer.

Prohibited Items When Shipping to Belgium

There are many items you’re prohibited from taking to Belgium. You cannot take meat, milk or any products containing these items into EU countries. There are some exceptions such as infant milk and food or pet food required for medical reasons.

Diamonds or diamond powder must be cleared at the Diamond Office in Antwerp. There are no exceptions to this.

  • Some other items you cannot take include:
  • Counterfeit goods
  • Weapons, explosives and firearms
  • Radioactive products
  • Furs of wildlife animals
  • Goods that don’t meet safety standards

For more information on local laws and customs see the section on Belgium on the UK Government site

Finding an International Removal Company to Belgium

Here at Compare My Move, we have a network of trusted partners ready to assist you with your move to Belgium. We will connect you with up to 6 local companies who will offer competitive quotes. You can save up to 70% off your international removal costs.

Adele MacGregor

Having written for PerformanceIN, WalesOnline, Grazia Magazine and The Olive Press, Adele now writes advice articles for home movers, first-time buyers and house sellers alike.