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Container Shipping Costs 2023

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Knowing what affects container shipping costs is important when organising your move. That way, you can budget efficiently and even save money on your move! That is why we have put together this page, which is our breakdown of international container shipping costs as well as information regarding factors that affect the overall cost. Sirelo is here to help you move with a smile. ☺

Shipping costs from to
20ft Container
40ft Container

International Container Shipping Costs

When it comes to sending all your precious belongings to your new home, the question “How much does it cost to ship a container overseas?” likely springs to mind. Fortunately, you’re on Sirelo and we aim to help get you some answers on that matter!

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that an international move is a huge step and doesn’t come cheap! Furthermore, it’s important to prepare for your move by understanding the international moving costs involved, especially when it comes to container shipping costs which will be a big factor.

To help you start planning and budgeting for your relocation and to answer your burning questions about the cost to ship a container overseas, we have put together the average cost of international container shipping to popular locations across the world.

20ft container shipping from Australia to:

Destination Cost
Canada$11280 – $13080
France$9260 – $10480
Ireland$5205 – $6215
New Zealand$1865 – $2095
Singapore$2220 – $2875
UK$8185 – $9195
USA$8730 – $11475

The best way to gauge the cost of shipping a container is to request quotes from removalists! Click below and receive up to 5 removalist quotes tailored to your needs.

40ft container shipping from Australia to:

Destination Cost
Canada$20865 – $23505
France$17160 – $19080
Ireland$9945 – $11030
New Zealand$3435 – $4100
Singapore$4040 – $4585
UK$15675 – $17495
USA$16405 – $19435

There’s a lot to plan when moving a 40ft shipping container overseas. Why not make it easier and hire a professional to provide and move a shipping container?

These are merely price estimates based on the port-to-port transportation of a full container load of household items worth $75,000. Furthermore, these amounts are based on the average value of the contents of a three-bedroom house in Australia, all being shipped from Sydney to major ports in each country listed.

Shipping a container overseas quote

When it comes to shipping container removals, it’s possible to go DIY. However, you’ll quickly find yourself running into difficulties with transport or worse damaged goods!

If you want a shipping container for moving house and easy transport, hiring a removalist is the best option to ensure that everything goes as smoothly as possible! Just click below to receive up to 5 container shipping quotes from removalists today.

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The Five Biggest Influences on Price

As we previously mentioned, several factors influence international container shipping costs. Below, we highlight and explain the main five influences so you can get the best container shipping costs for your move:

📦 Volume

As you can see from the beginning of this page, a big influence on price is the size of the shipping containers. If you’re going to bring a lot of furniture and personal items, then the cost will be much higher as you’ll need to take up more space in a container or a bigger sized container.

🌏 Distance

Unfortunately, there’s not much that you can do to change the distance between where you live and where you’re moving lest you happen to be on the cusp of grasping how to manipulate plate tectonics.

However, it’s still worth bearing in mind that distance will have an impact on the cost of shipping a container overseas. Thus, you’ll find that moving to New Zealand is cheaper than moving to the USA.

Destination port

You might be surprised that there is some nuance to the point about distance. This is due to the popularity of different routes. It doesn’t make the distance cheaper, but competition and frequency will drive down the cost of shipping a container overseas.

Furthermore, every port will have different customs duties and import taxes. So, make sure that you’re aware of how much you will be expected to pay once your belongings arrive.

📅 Time of the year

Moving in the summer is peak moving season due to school closure and thus it’s a lot more expensive as that’s when most people want to move! Choosing to ship your belongings will be cheaper in the winter but may take longer due to weather conditions.

🚛 Mode of transport

There are different ways that a container can be shipped overseas and, ultimately, this will influence the cost. If your belongings are being shipped door-to-door, then you can expect that they will end up in a truck or train at some point in your move. However, there are two main ways that your belongings can be shipped internationally:

✈️ Air

Shipping by air is the fastest option, however, with speed comes a higher price. If you’re prepared to pay a much higher price for your belongings to arrive quickly, then this may be a good option for you. Furthermore, it’s really only an option for a smaller removal.

🚢 Sea

This is the cheapest and most common way of shipping containers overseas. If you’re in no hurry for your belongings to arrive, then we recommend you take this option. You should be aware that it is much slower to ship containers and can take weeks if not months for your belongings to arrive. However, this is the best option for a big house move.

Container Shipping Costs

Additional Container Shipping Costs

There are ways that you can save money on your move and lower the amount of international container shipping costs that you’ll have to pay. The biggest way to save money is by making sure you have the right sized container! You may want to transport your entire household or only a few pieces of furniture. Either way, if you know what size container you actually need will save you from overspending on container space that you don’t need.

Size of shipping containers

When you hire an international removalist, the most common sized containers are 20ft and 40ft. Of course, we wouldn’t be surprised if that flew over your head, when have you ever encountered a container in your life? Below, we cover the sizes of shipping containers, so you are prepared for your move!

20ft shipping container

As you can see below, a 20ft container holds around 33 cubic metres, which is about a three-bedroom household:

Container Shipping Cost

Size: 6.1m x 2.4m x 2.6m

Total volume: 33.0 m³

Total shipping load: 24,850 kg

40ft shipping container

In comparison, a 40ft container fits almost twice the volume of belongings and holds a volume of 76 cubic metres. If you want to transport a house with four or more bedrooms and perhaps a car, then a 40ft container will be better value for you. Look at the image below for a better idea:

Container Shipping Cost

Size: 12.2m x 2.4m x 2.6m

Total volume: 76.0 m³

Total shipping load: 30,200 kg

Shared shipping container?

Most removalists offer LCL, short for less than a container load’, which is when you only pay for how much space you use up in a shared shipping container. This is a much more cost-effective way to use a container to transport a smaller volume of belongings overseas.

However, it is a little more expensive per cubic meter so it will only work out cheaper if transporting a few pieces of furniture, less than 15 cubic metres. Furthermore, it may take longer to arrive at your destination as the removalists will wait to fill the entire container before transporting it.

On the other hand, FCL, short for ‘full container load’, is when you pay for the entire container. There will be a flat rate for this, and you have access to the entirety of the container. However, you may not need an entire container all for yourself and you could waste money on space you don’t use.

Loading and delivery options

There’s one further caveat to shipping a container overseas, and that is the delivery option. Not to overwhelm you, but there are three possible options. Fortunately, if you avail of shared container shipping, this will not be a factor for you as your items will need to be collected and brought to the container for shipping.

⚠️ Be aware: the following options come with different costs, which will become evident as to why when we explain!

  • Port to port: Do you like hard work and taking on logistic challenges? Then port-to-port might be the option for you! You get the great responsibility of bringing all your items to the port and filling a container there and then also collecting your items from the destination port. You might break a sweat but at least you’ll save some coin.
  • Drop and fills: Maybe lugging all your belongings to a port isn’t your cup of tea. Thus, you might prefer to have the container dropped at a location of your choice where you can fill it! This costs a little bit more, but the convenience of having the shipping container closer to home may be worth it!
  • Door to door: If you’re like us, this last option will be the most realistic. Why fill the container on your own when you can have help? Removalists will bring the container to your home and help you load and unload the container. A pretty great option, although it is more expensive.

What’s Next?

That was a lot to take in. However, now you’re well versed in the costs of shipping a container overseas. In case you’re still in need of some advice, we recommend reading the articles that we have linked for you below.

We wish you great success with shipping a container overseas! 😊