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Shipping Container Costs From United Kingdom to Canada

Nicola Ryan

Written by Reviewed by Dave Sayce

24th Aug 2022 (Last updated on 20th Mar 2024) 5 minute read

On average, it costs £2,972 to ship a 40 ft container to Canada from the UK. A 40 ft shipping container is suited for 3-bed house moves. The air freight cost average is £404 per 100kg.

In this guide, we’ll be taking you through everything you need to know about shipping container costs for the UK to Canada, so your removals to Canada goes as smoothly as possible.

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

Sea Freight

The average cost of a 20 ft shipping container is £2,221 while a 40 ft container costs an average of £2,972. Sea freight is the most popular option for shipping goods from the UK to Canada.


  • It is the cheapest option
  • You can move any amount of goods
  • Cost is calculated by the container rather than the weight


  • It is the slower option and can take a few days to weeks
  • Delays are more frequent

Main Canadian Ports and Routes

There are 550 ports across Canada. Here are the busiest ports in Canada:

  • Port of Vancouver
  • Port of Montreal
  • Port of Prince Rupert
  • Port of Halifax
  • Port of St. John

The main ports in the UK that provide shipping to Canada are Felixstowe, London, and Southhampton.

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Air Freight

The average cost of air freight from the UK to Canada is £404 per 100kg. Air freight is the second option to consider. This allows your goods to be flown directly from a UK airport into Canada. There are 40 airports in the UK and 518 airports in Canada. This means you can choose locations that are convenient for you.


  • Air freight is more convenient as it takes less time
  • There are fewer delays
  • Ideal for those who want their goods to arrive quickly


  • It is very expensive to ship goods via air freight to Canada
  • Cost is calculated by weight not space used

Main Canadian Airports and Routes

There are over 500 airports in Canada. Here are the busiest airports to keep in mind:

  • Toronto-Pearson International Airport
  • Vancouver International Airport
  • Calgary International Airport
  • Montreal-Trudeau International Airport
  • Edmonton International Airport

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Other Costs to Consider

There are lots of stages to consider when moving to Canada from the UK, so you need to be prepared for additional costs. Once you have paid for your shipment, you may want to consider the following:

Packing service

You may want to hire a local removal company to assist with your packing. They will provide all materials needed and ensure that your goods are packaged professionally and securely. The average cost for packing services in the UK is £250. Bear in mind that this cost may increase if you are transporting a lot of goods.

Pick-up and delivery

You can hire a removals company to pick up your goods and take them to the port or airport or deliver them from to your new property. This is a good option if your property is a long distance from the port or airport.


For international moves, it’s highly recommended that you take out international removals insurance. International removals insurance ensures that your goods are covered in case of an emergency. While international shipping has become more secure and reliable, taking out insurance is still advised.

At Compare My Move, all our international removal partners offer Goods in Transit and Public Liability insurance, so you can have peace of mind. The total cost of your insurance will be dependent on where you are moving specifically, how much you are shipping, and the value of your goods.

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FCL vs LCL Shipping

Once you have selected your mode of transport, you will need to decide if you want Full Container Load (FCL) or Less than Container Load (LCL). This should be determined by how much you are shipping over to Canada.

Here are the main differences between FCL and LCL:

Full Container Load (FCL)

The first option you have is Full Container Load, known as FCL. FCL means that you have paid for a whole shipping container. This ensures that your belongings are kept together when shipping furniture overseas. It is ideal for those with a lot of belongings to transport. Logistically, FCL is the more straightforward option. This is because all the contents belong to the same person.

Less Container Load (LCL)

The second option you have is Less Container Load, known as LCL. This is the best option for those who don’t have as many belongings to transport. Your belongings will be stored in a container alongside other people’s belongings. This means LCL can take longer to arrive, especially if the container has to go to other locations first.

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How Long Does it Take to Ship Belongings to Canada?

The total time it takes for belongings to arrive in Canada depends on the final destination port or airport. For example, goods shipping to Toronto via sea freight can take between 2 and 5 weeks to arrive, while goods shipping to Vancouver via sea freight can take between 3 and 6 weeks to arrive. This can be even longer if you decide to ship via LCL.

On the other hand, air freight takes approximately 8 to 13 days to arrive. This is because air freight is more efficient and direct.

Prohibited Items to Canada

When your goods arrive in Canada, they will be checked by customs. There are Customs Duty and GST costs that you will need to pay before your goods are released in Canada. Make sure you research how much this will be in advance so you can budget accordingly.

The Customs Process

The customs officials in Canada will check over your paperwork and documentation. They will calculate how much is owed in Customs Duty and GST and once the payment is made, your goods will be released.

You can hire a broker to deal with the customs payments. Most container shipping companies will have recommendations.

Prohibited and Restricted Items

According to the Canadian government, there are items that are prohibited or restricted. Any prohibited items will need to be declared on arrival and not doing so can incur hefty fines.

Here are some examples of prohibited and restricted items that will need to be declared:

  • Cannabis
  • Consumer products
  • Explosives, fireworks, and ammunition
  • Firearms and weapons
  • Food, plants, and animals
  • Vehicles

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Finding an International Removal Company to Canada

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

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.

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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