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Shipping Container Costs to Portugal from the UK

Nicola Ryan

Written by

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

It costs an average of £1,870 to ship a 40 ft container to Portugal from the UK. 40 ft containers are best for 3+ bed house moves. The average cost of air freight is £208 per 100kg.

Portugal boasts plenty of idyllic locations such as the Algarve and Madeira. Currently, over 661,000 British ex-pats live in Portugal thanks to the warm climate and beautiful landscapes. You will need to arrange the shipment of your goods to Portugal if you decide that you want to live there. With plenty of international shipping options available, you can choose to send your goods over via land, sea, or air.

In this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about shipping to Portugal. By the end of this article, you’ll feel confident in your removal to Portugal.

This article will cover the following:
  1. Sea Freight
  2. Main Portuguese Ports and Routes
  3. Air Freight
  4. Main Portuguese Airports and Routes
  5. FCL vs LCL Shipping
  6. Other Costs to Consider
  7. How Long Does it Take to Ship Belongings to Portugal?
  8. Prohibited Items to Portugal
  9. Finding an International Removal Company to Portugal

Sea Freight

The average cost of shipping a container is £1,339 to ship a 20 ft container and £1,870 to ship a 40 ft container from the UK to Portugal.

Sea freight is when you send a shipping container to Portugal. This option boasts a flat rate pricing structure which makes it cost effective. Ocean shipping is charged on the containers used rather than the weight of the goods. This makes it ideal for those shipping larger and heavier goods.

The downside to sea freight is that it is more time-consuming and takes an average of 10-14 days for goods to arrive. Bear in mind that if you are moving to the Southern regions of Portugal, you may be waiting longer.

Main Portuguese Ports and Routes

Portugal is home to 40 major ports. They are spread across the country so you can choose a location that is convenient for you. Here are the busiest ports in Portugal:

  • Port of Lisbon
  • Port of Aveiro
  • Port of Leixoes
  • Port of Setubal
  • Port of Sines

The main UK ports that ship goods to Portugal are Felixstowe, London Thames and Southampton.

Air Freight

The average air freight cost from the UK to Portugal is £208 per 100kg.

For those who want the fastest shipping services to Portugal, air freight is your best option. It takes approximately 1-2 days for goods to arrive. Moving to Portugal will be seamless and stress-free thanks to the convenience of air freight.

The shipping rates for air freight are extremely high. This is because air freight shipping costs are calculated by weight rather than an allocated amount of space. For those with larger moves or heavier objects such as furniture or automobiles, this can be extremely costly.

Main Portuguese Airports and Routes

Portugal has three airports that cover the whole country thanks to the wide array of international routes available. Here are the 3 major airports in Portugal:

  • Lisbon
  • Faro
  • Porto

FCL vs LCL Shipping

Another important decision you will need to consider is whether you want to ship your goods as a Full Container Load (FCL) or a Less than Container Load (LCL). Thanks to the various shipping services in Portugal, you are able to choose from either.

Full Container Load (FCL)

Full Container Load refers to the full use of a container. This is the best choice for people who plan on moving a lot of goods and will need a full container. FCL tends to arrive faster because it is only your belongings that are in the container. A general rule of thumb is that 20ft containers are best for 1-2 bed moves while 40ft containers are more suited for 3+ bed moves.

Less Container Load (LCL)

Less Container Loads are best for temporary moves and smaller moves. It’s the ideal choice for student movers who may be studying abroad. LCL means that you won’t pay for full container use. Instead, you will be assigned a portion of the container and the rest is filled with other people’s belongings. There is a chance of delays if the container has to stop at various destinations along the way.

Other Costs to Consider

You need to make sure that you set aside some money in your budget for further additional costs that may crop up. You may find that your shipping company has additional services that you want to take advantage of for convenience. Here are some popular additional costs to consider:

Packing Services

Packing services are a regular offering for many removal companies. The movers will provide the supplies. They ensure your goods are packaged securely regardless of your mode of transportation. On average, packing services cost around £250 for 30 boxes’ worth of packaged goods.

Pick-up and Delivery

Pick-up and delivery services are great for those who want a door-to-door experience. This means that your goods are picked up from your current property before being dropped off at the port or airport. The movers will then pick-up your goods from the destination port or airport and deliver them to your new property.


International removal insurance is essential when you arrange your goods’ shipment. This will ensure that your goods are financially covered in case of any delay or loss during transportation.

How Long Does it Take to Ship Belongings to Portugal?

The amount of time it takes to ship to Portugal is dependent on what method of transport you choose. Here is the average delivery time each shipping option takes:

Shipping OptionLength of Time
Air Freight1 to 2 Days
Sea Freight
10 to 14 Days
Road Freight
1 to 3 Days
Part Load
Up to 2 Weeks

Prohibited Items to Portugal

Due to the UK’s exit from the European Union, there are certain products that you are prohibited from bringing into Portugal. You may be faced with delays or fines if you are found with the following:

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

Finding an International Removal Company to Portugal

At Compare My Move, we have a network of international removal partners who can help you with your move to Portugal. You can save up to 70% off your removal costs, while also having peace of mind due to our partners’ excellent service.

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.