Compare International Removals

Get your free quotes and save up to 70% today!

Moving from?

Moving to?

Save up to 70% off your removal costs

Get up to 6 free, no obligation quotes

Compare verified removal companies

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 Container Costs From United Kingdom to France

Nicola Ryan

Written by Reviewed by Dave Sayce

24th Aug 2022 (Last updated on 2nd Sep 2022) 5 minute read

It costs an average of £1,415 to ship a 40 ft container to France from the UK. 40 ft containers are best for 3+ bed house moves. The average cost of air freight is £185 per 100kg.

France is a popular destination for British ex-pats thanks to the close distance which makes it easy for shipping. However, as with any international move, you will need to be prepared. You will likely have to transport your goods in a shipping container to France. This can be arranged for sea, road, or air freight, depending on your preference.

In this guide, we have gathered everything you need to know about shipping to France. This will ensure that your removal to France goes as smoothly as possible.

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 it Take to Ship Belongings to France?
  6. Prohibited Items to France
  7. Finding an International Removal Company to France

Sea Freight

The average cost of shipping a container is £880 to ship a 20 ft container and £1,415 to ship a 40 ft container from the UK to France.

Sea freight is the most popular option and the cheapest choice out of the two. What is great about sea freight is that there are no weight limits and you can ship as much or as little as you want. There are different size containers available. This means you can choose a shipping container that will fit your belongings.

The downside to sea freight is that it is the most time-consuming option of the two. Transporting a shipping container to France can be a timely process compared to air freight, especially if you live in the Southern regions.

You can expect your goods to take between one to two days to arrive. However, there are chances of delays, so you will need to keep this in mind when arranging your shipment.

Main French Ports and Routes

France is home to 10 major ports. This means you can choose a port that is convenient for you. Here are the busiest ports in France:

  • The Autonomous Port of Paris
  • The Port of Marseille
  • The Port of Lyon
  • The Port of Le Havre
  • The Port of Deauville

The main UK ports that ship goods to France are Felixstowe and Southampton.

Air Freight

The average air freight cost from the UK to France is £185 per 100kg.

For those who need their goods shipped urgently or want the most convenient option, air freight is the best choice. You can expect your goods to arrive the same day thanks to the short flight times.

Not only is it the quickest option, but the delays are not as frequent or as long when using air freight. This means you can be assured that your goods will be with you as soon as possible.

The downside to using air freight is that the cost can be quite high. Since air freight is calculated by weight, those with heavier belongings can expect to be charged more. Air freight is more convenient and efficient, but it is also the most expensive option.

Main French Airports and Routes

There are over 30 airports in France. Here are the busiest airports to bear in mind:

  • Charles de Gaulle International Airport
  • Nice-Côte d'Azur Airport
  • Lyon Saint-Exupéry Airport
  • Marseille Provence Airport
  • Toulouse-Blagnac Airport

FCL vs LCL Shipping

When moving to France from the UK, you will need to decide if you want to ship your goods as a Full Container Load (FCL) or Less than Container Load (LCL). How many goods you need to ship to France will determine which one you choose.

Full Container Load (FCL)

FCL is best for those who own a lot of belongings. You will have the whole container to fill with your goods. Whether you choose a 20 ft or 40 ft container, you’ll be able to store your goods safely. The average 3-bed house move will require an FCL when shipping to France due to the volume of goods that will be transported.

Less Container Load (LCL)

LCL is the best choice for those who are undergoing a smaller move such as students. What is great about LCL is it means that you don’t have to pay for a full container that you are not going to fill. However, LCL takes longer to arrive as it contains other people’s belongings, meaning that the container may have to go to other locations first.

Other Costs to Consider

You need to be aware of any potential additional costs that can occur. There may be extra checks and fees due to Brexit and COVID-19 regulations. Here are some other costs that you should consider:

Packing Services

Most removal companies offer additional services such as packing services. Your removal company will provide all packing supplies. The average cost for this is £250.

Pick-up and Delivery

Another service you may wish to consider is a pick-up and delivery service. If you choose this, your goods are picked up and delivered from the port or airport. This means you don’t have to worry about transporting your goods to your new home when they arrive.


Lastly, you should look into international insurance for your goods. While sea and air freight are reliable, there is still a risk involved. Therefore, insuring your goods means that you are covered if there is a delay or if any goods are lost. At Compare My Move, our removal partners all offer Goods in Transit and Public Liability insurance.

How Long Does it Take to Ship Belongings to France?

The length of time shipping to France takes depends on what mode of transport you choose. Here is the average time each shipping option takes:

Shipping OptionLength of Time
Air FreightSame Day
Sea Freight1-2 Days
Road Freight3-5 Days
Part LoadUp to 2 Weeks

Prohibited Items to France

There are prohibited items that you should be aware of when shipping to France. This will prevent any delays or fines if you are found with any of these items:

  • Meat and dairy products
  • Products containing animal-derived ingredients such as milk
  • Fresh flowers and plants

Finding an International Removal Company to France

At Compare My Move, we have a network of trusted partners who are ready to assist you with your shipping to France. Whether you are moving to France temporarily, or are planning to live there permanently, our partners can provide you with competitive quotes for shipping containers to France.

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.