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Shipping Container Costs From United Kingdom to Spain

Nicola Ryan

Written by Reviewed by Dave Sayce

30th Aug 2022 (Last updated on 1st Sep 2022) 5 minute read

It costs an average of £3,015 to ship a 40 ft container to Spain from the UK. 40 ft containers are best for 3+ bed house moves. The average cost of air freight is £288 per 100kg.

Spain is home to over 400,000 UK nationals and with plenty of places to choose from, these numbers are only increasing. If you have decided that you want to make the move to Spain, you will need to ensure that you are prepared for the international move. The great thing about moving to Spain is the transport options you have. You can choose to send a shipping container to Spain, fly your goods, or have them driven in a truck.

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

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

Sea Freight

The average cost of shipping a container is £1,468 to ship a 20 ft container and £3,015 to ship a 40 ft container from the UK to Spain.

Sea freight is the option that most people choose thanks to its cheap price and accessibility. You can ship any amount of goods thanks to the array of shipping container sizes available. This means you will be able to find a container size that is suitable for you. The shipping costs are determined by the container size you choose rather than the weight of your goods.

Ocean freight is more time-consuming compared to air freight, with goods taking up to 2 days to arrive. If you plan on moving to Southern Spain, make sure that you arrange your shipment well in advance to account for any delays.

On average, goods shipped via sea freight take between one and two days to arrive. However, there is the chance of delays if the weather is bad, so bear this in mind when you arrange your shipment.

Main Spanish Ports and Routes

Spain is home to 15 major ports. They are spread across different regions, so you can choose an option that is best for you. Here are the busiest ports in Spain:

  • Port of Algeciras
  • Port of Valencia
  • Port of Barcelona
  • Port of Bilbao
  • Port of Castellon

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

Air Freight

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

Air freight is the most convenient option as it is the fastest, arriving on the same day as departure. Thanks to Spain’s closeness to the UK, it only takes a few hours for goods to arrive, meaning you can have peace of mind.

The downside to air freight is that it is the most expensive option. The cost of air freight is calculated by weight, meaning that those embarking on larger moves are going to be charged more.

Main Spanish Airports and Routes

There are over 59 airports in Spain. Here are the busiest airports to bear in mind:

  • Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport
  • Barcelona–El Prat Airport
  • Palma De Mallorca Airport
  • Málaga Airport
  • Alicante International Airport

Most of Spain's airports are located in areas that are considered the best places to live in Spain.

FCL vs LCL Shipping

Once you have picked your method of transport, you will need to decide whether you want your goods shipped as a Full Container Load (FCL) or Less than Container Load (LCL). Before making your decision, think about how many goods you plan on shipping to make the appropriate choice.

Full Container Load (FCL)

Those embarking on a 3-bed house move or larger should consider an FCL shipment. This is because you will have a whole container for your goods. For those shipping their goods via sea freight, a 40ft container is best for 3+ bed houses while a 20ft container is suitable for 1 and 2-bed house moves.

Less Container Load (LCL)

Less Container Loads are suitable for smaller or temporary moves such as student movers. LCL means you don’t have to pay for a full container that isn’t filled. You pay for a portion of a container and the rest is filled with other people’s belongings. While this is a cheaper option, it may take longer for your goods to arrive if there are other stops beforehand.

Other Costs to Consider

As with any move, there are certain additional costs that you should consider. International removal companies will offer shipping services that can make your move smoother and more convenient. Here are some additional costs to think about:

Packing Services

Most removal companies offer packing services. The packing services include the supplies used to pack your goods securely. The average cost for packing 30 boxes of goods is £250.

Pick-up and Delivery

Pick-up and delivery are ideal for those who are shipping a lot of goods. This means that your move will turn into a door-to-door move, so you don’t have to worry about dropping your goods off or picking them up from the port or airport.


In order to protect your goods, you should take out international removals insurance. This is because there is always a risk when shipping goods. At Compare My Move, all our removal partners offer Goods in Transit and Public Liability insurance.

How Long Does it Take to Ship Belongings to Spain?

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

Shipping OptionLength of Time
Air FreightSame Day
Sea Freight1 to 2 Days
Road Freight3 to 4 Days
Part LoadUp to 2 Weeks

Prohibited Items to Spain

Since the UK left the European Union, there are prohibited items that you should be aware of when shipping to Spain. It's important to check all your goods to ensure that you receive customs clearance. 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

Finding an International Removal Company to Spain

At Compare My Move, we work closely with our network of international removal partners who are ready to assist you with your shipping to Spain. Whether you are embarking on a permanent or temporary move, you can rely on our partners' services whilst also saving 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.