Moving Container Abroad

It has never been easier to move your entire household to your new home. But moving containers abroad can be expensive, especially if you have a larger household. Our list of 10 top UK Internation Removals Companies can also be very handy. On this page we provide you with all the relevant information when shipping containers abroad:

Shipping containers abroad

What size container do you need?

The size of container is dependant one what you are planning to move. The most common are 20 ft and 40 ft container. The dimensions for container sizes are as followed:

Container sizeDimensions
0.8 ft2.44 × 2.20 × 2.26 m
10 ft2.97 × 2.44 × 2.59 m
20 ft6.06 × 2.44 × 2.59 m
30 ft9.06 × 2.44 × 2.59 m
40 ft12.20 × 2.44 × 2.59 m
45 ft13.72 × 2.44 × 2.89 m

As previously mentioned the most common container sizes are 20 and 40 ft. But what can you fit in these containers? Well on average you can fit a 1 or 2 bed house or a car in a 20 ft container and a 4 bed house in a 40 ft container.

What can you fit in a 20 ft container?

What you are wanting to move will be completely different from other individuals. A 20 ft container can fit in 48,000 bananas or 400 flat screen TV’s but to give a  more accurate estimate using more common house hold objects, use the tables below:

What can you fit in a 20 ft container

What can you fit in a 40 ft container

What can you fit in a 40 ft container

How much will it cost to move containers abroad?

Shipping containers is simply from port a to port b and doesn’t include a door to door service. As previously mentioned it is dependant on what belongings you are moving from your household to what container size you should have. Below are rough estimates of shipping costs from England to a variety of popular destinations.

Country20 ft container cost40 ft container cost
Australia£3,700 GBP – £4,200 GBP£6,700 GBP – £6,900 GBP
New Zealand£3,700 GBP – £3,500 GBP£5,000 GBP – £5,600 GBP
Canada£4,200 GBP – £4,000 GBP£6,700 GBP – £5,500 GBP
USA£4,800 GBP – £4,800 GBP£6,400 GBP – £6,500 GBP
South Africa£3,400 GBP – £3,000 GBP£7,300 GBP – £7,000 GBP
Hong Kong£3,600 GBP£5,000 GBP
Greece£4,200 GBP£5,800 GBP
Cyprus£3,300 GBP£4,300 GBP

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Factors that determine the costs

The number one factor that affects the cost of shipping is the volume you are transporting and the distance. The other main features that will affect the cost include:

  • Type of transport
  • Time of your move (summer is usually more expensive)
  • Departure port
  • Size and weight of belongings from household
  • Packaging method
  • Additional service – Storage, assembling / disassembling help, insurance
  • Type of goods/ special goods

Moving containers abroad

Additional costs when moving

Moving containers abroad from port a to port b unfortunately isn’t the only cost that needs to be considered when moving containers. There is always the aspect of transporting your goods from the closest port to your new home. The other main aspects include:


In the few weeks of your belongings being shipped to your new home a lot can go wrong. Insurance is always an import factor that should be considered. It helps make your move as stress free as possible in case any accidents were to occur. Having protection against lost and broken items can save you a lot of time and money.

Additional services

Everyone wants their move to be as convenient as possible, but of course this comes at a cost. Moving containers abroad isn’t always that easy and features that can assist include. (1) Packaging is an important factor of your move, not just in the sense of protecting your belongings but also organising them. If removal companies are to complete this step it can help make your move a lot easier. (2) Assembling / disassembling can be a lot of hard work. Paying this additional cost can prevent damage to your belongings but of course comes at a price.


Finding a home to live isn’t always that easy, and a lot of people prefer to visit places before buying/ renting. This means storage will be required and like everything convenient in life, comes at a price!

What type of transport is best?


When moving across neighbouring countries, road it usually the best type of transport. The speed of the transport can vary as road conditions will not be consistent. But usually the most common method when moving amongst the EU countries.


Air is the fastest method of transport but also the most expensive. On average it will cost around 4 times the amount in comparison to a move by boat. Usually a plane cannot hold more than a 1 bed apartment so for larger houses several trips will have to be made which can end up costing an arm and a leg!


Moving containers abroad by boat is usually by a fair amount the cheapest option. It is also the slower option and similarly to road transported is dependent of the weather conditions. The vast amount of ports that are available world wide make shipping usually the most common transportation

moving container internationally

How to move a container abroad: Loading and delivery options

There are a number of delivery option that will affect the cost of your move

  • Port to Port – This is the most basic option and probably the cheapest. Trasnportatin is only provided from port a too port b, meaning you must provide your own transport to and from the ports. This option is doable for individuals with their own large vans etc but is a lot more effort and stressful.
  • Drop and Fill – You are in charge of packing and unpacking the container for your new home
  • Door to Door – This is the most common options, especially for international moves. The entire process is taken care of and the easiest method, although the most costly. Individuals who haven’t moved containers previously are advised to choose this option. Visit our page to find out a variety of the removal companies you could use.

Where can you get a container from?

If you’re thinking about shipping a container abroad but you’re not sure where to start then you can follow this advice. Often international removal companies will estimate the volume of your belongings and decide if you need a whole container to yourself or if they pool you with other people.

If you would like to go down the route of buying your own container the best place to start looking is online. Your options are to buy brand new or second hand. If you would like to buy second hand your best bet is to look on well known websites such as eBay or Gumtree. Additionally you can search online on specialist websites such as Shipping Containers UK.

Request free quotes

Thinking about moving containers abroad? We compare the best services for your move. All you have to do is  fill in the quote formThis will only take a few minutes and you can receive up to 5 quotes from moving companies that specialise in removals abroad. You can save up to 40% extra on your move. Read more information about this subject on our page International Removals Costs.