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How Much Do International Removals Cost?

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international removals cost

If you’re here, you’re likely wondering about the cost of moving abroad. While it’d be nice to have an average cost for international removals that you could expect to pay, the situation simply isn’t so simple. With many factors and externalities that affect the cost of moving overseas, exact figures are hard to pin down, but we can inform you about what influences the price.

So, strap yourself in as we delve into international removal costs!


The first major factor that we’d like to cover is volume. Simply put, the more you move, the more your international removal will cost, quite logical, right? Furthermore, volume doesn’t only affect the amount of labour needed to move your goods, but also whether you need a 20ft container or 40ft container. In case those sizes went a little over your head, just know that the larger container size can add £1,000- £2,000 to your total moving abroad shipping costs. It’s pretty dramatic, so be sure to only bring what you need!


Another logical conclusion that you probably have already considered is that distance is immutable. Unless plate tectonics happen to be on your side, your old and new home are unlikely to be getting any closer. Thus, it’s important to keep this factor in mind, just to be aware of what’s adding to your cost of moving abroad.


Similar to distance, routes are predefined and have an effect on the costs. Popular routes will usually be cheaper as there are more ships sailing and thus the shipping lane’s capacity is greater. The inverse is true for hardly travelled routes, where the capacity will be a lot lower. Therefore, you’ll find travelling metropole to metropole cheaper than somewhere less inhabited.

Mode of Transport

Depending on whether your furniture moves by lorry, plane, or ship, you’ll see some reflection of this in the costs. The most expensive and quickest mode of transporting your belongings is by plane. However, planes can only carry a small move. Moving your household by ship will take the longest, but silver lining is that this is the most affordable mode of transport for large volumes over long distances. Otherwise, your goods will just be moved by lorry. So, when calculating your international removal price, be sure to choose the right mode of transport for you.

Container Shipping Costs

We’ve already mentioned that there’ll be price differences between the size of the container that you’ll use, but that’s not all there is. There are additional services like LCL, FCL, and door-to-door that will affect the cost-don’t worry, we’ll explain a little better what these terms mean below.

Moreover, you’ll need to factor in the labour involved in moving a container and port fees. Container shipping costs can become complicated very quickly and, as you investigate international removal costs, you’ll come across industry specific terms that aren’t always self-explanatory. But don’t worry, we’ll bust down that door so you find yourself in the know:


This is the abbreviation of Low Container Load and is ultimately a cheaper way of shipping as your goods are sharing a container with someone else’s while being moved. This means you get to split the container shipping price and save some money, which is certainly better than having to pay for a full container that you’re only partially using!


On the other hand, FCL stands for Full Container Load. This is the ideal option if your move is particularly large, as you won’t have to share the container with anyone else under this alternative but will instead have all the container space for your precious belongings. Of course, that makes sense with a larger volume as you’ll likely be using the entirety of the container. Just ensure that your volume doesn’t require a container and a quarter!

Loading and Delivery

The savings, or the expenses, unsurprisingly don’t stop at volume. There are some additional options that you may need to consider for your move:


This is a rather barebones option and, therefore, the cheapest. It requires you to bring your goods to the port and fill the container there. This might sound like a bit of like a headache as you’re responsible for the logistics, and we’re not going to lie, it is. So, it’s definitely not for the faint-hearted.


Slightly more expensive than the previous option, this option will entail a removal company bringing a container to a location that you specify where you’ll then be able to fill the container as your heart desires. This is certainly more convenient than having to bring your belongings to the port.


If you like convenience, then this is probably the option for you. Door-to-door moving will really help take the stress out of moving as the removal company helps you with your journey from old house to new. With such a comprehensive service, it’s no wonder this is the most popular and, by no coincidence, the most expensive option. However, it’s totally worth it for peace of mind.

Customs and Taxes

When you’re trying to calculate the cost of moving furniture abroad, the last thing you might want to hear are the words “customs” and “taxes”. However, that’s what we’re going to talk about. But don’t worry, we’ll keep it brief!

Before moving, you should be aware that certain countries may impose custom duties and local VAT equivalent on the products that you’re importing. In some instances, this may be waived if you’ve been the owner of the goods for at least a year, such as in America, Spain, and Australia.

In the case of Australia where there are many restrictions to protect the environment, you could face additional expenses to either treat or dispose of furniture that is considered to pose a threat of spreading pestilence.

Packing materials

Unfortunately, even if you calculate the price of everything mentioned above, there are still more costs to come. You’ll need to allot a portion of your budget to purchasing packing materials such as boxes, packing peanuts, and tape. We don’t recommend going for cheaper boxes or tape, as they’ll be protecting your goods for a long journey. It might seem like the spending never ends, but don’t worry, these are likely the last things you’ll need to sort out before you move.


As you’ve probably grasped, there are multiple factors that contribute to international removal costs. But now that you have knowledge of all the factors that will affect the price, you can make some well-informed decisions to ensure that you have a move and price that work for you.

Finally, good luck with your move, we’re sure that it’ll going swimmingly. And one last thing before you go, here is a list of important government offices to inform when you’re moving abroad.


Kossi Adzo is the editor and author of He is software engineer. Innovation, Businesses and companies are his passion. He filled several patents in IT & Communication technologies. He manages the technical operations at

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