Container Shipping Costs, Information & Quotes

Everything you need to know about shipping containers overseas including types of container shipments, container sizes, container shipping costs, container shipping ports, sailing schedules, transit times and more.

If you are moving overseas or looking for container shipping services for the shipment of household goods, furniture and other personal effects, don't forget to check out our international removals services.

Or simply get a quote to find out more.

Container Shipping Explained

Container shipping is the most popular and efficient way of transporting large quantities of goods internationally. Container shipping can be used to ship all manner of goods overseas, from large items such as cars and other vehicles, to smaller items such as electronics and even perishible goods such as foodstuff.

You may think that this method of transport is only suitable for shipping in bulk, however, container shipping can also be utilised for those who are moving overseas and looking to ship their household goods, furniture and personal effects to another country using an international removals service.

Containers are shipped onboard specialised container shipping vessels, also known as boxships or cargo ships. A typical container ship can hold anywhere between 10,000 Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) and 23,000 TEUs.

These shipping vessels run on regular schedules and along fixed routes, similar to a bus service, and provide an efficient way of moving goods, either commercial or private, across vast distances from country to country.

As a Freight Forwarder, 1st Move International has access to these regular weekly container shipments from the UK and, in combination with our unique export standard packing, can offer these weekly international container shipping services to our customers for their international removals, furniture and household goods shipping needs.

Types of Container Shipments

FCL (Full Container Load) / Sole Use

As the name suggests, this allows for full access to either a 20ft or 40ft container. FCL is ideal for larger, full house moves and/or moves that include the shipment of cars or other vehicles.

LCL (Less than Container Load) / Shared

This service is ideal for smaller shipments that don’t require the use of a full container, as it allows you to only pay for the space required by sharing a 20ft or 40ft container.

Shipping Container Sizes & Dimensions

As a rough guide, the contents of a 3 bed house would normally fit inside a 20ft container. The contents of a 4 or 5 bed house may require a 40ft container. This, of course, depends on the exact items being shipped and therefore should only be used as a guide. It may be that you don’t require a full 40ft container if you are moving the contents of a 4/5 bed house so please ask us for a quote using the form on this page for more information. Or simply contact us for advice on the size of container you need to ship your personal effects overseas.

You can call us free on 0800 389 0784.

Container sizes can vary slightly depending on which shipping line is used. The following sizes should be used as a guideline only:

Standard 20ft Container Sizes

Inside Length Inside Width Inside Height Door Width Door Height Volume Capacity Tare Weight Max Cargo
19'4" 7'8" 7'10" 7'8" 7'6" 1,172CuFt 4,916lbs 47,900lbs
5.900m 2.350m 2.393m 2.342m 2.280m 33.2CBM 2,230Kg 21,770Kg

Standard 40ft Container Sizes

Inside Length Inside Width Inside Height Door Width Door Height Volume Capacity Tare Weight Max Cargo
39'5" 7'8" 7'10" 7'8" 7'6" 2,390CuFt 8,160lbs 59,040lbs
12.036m 2.350m 2.392m 2.340m 2.280m 67.7CBM 3,700Kg 26,780Kg

Container Shipping Ports in the UK

From the bustling Port of Felixstowe to the dynamic Port of Southampton and the state of the art and strategically placed London Gateway Port. At 1st Move International we offer full and shared container services through all these main UK ports.

DP World London Gateway Port

Port Website

This well-positioned deep-sea port and logistics park, bolstered by its dedicated international rail terminal, is strategically located a mere 10 miles from the M25 and 28 miles from London, making it a prime gateway for both imports and exports.The facility boasts expansive and up-to-date warehousing provisions, featuring a logistics park spanning an area equivalent to 400 football fields - the largest of its nature in Europe. It offers unparalleled flexibility, accommodating a broad range of requirements, from building size and design to lease duration. Equipped with state-of-the-art machinery, the port hosts some of the world's largest quay cranes. Additionally, it boasts automated processes in numerous sectors, including truck handling and stacking yard operations, all contributing to enhanced efficiency and productivity.

Port of Felixstowe

Port Website

Standing as the UK's largest most active container port, and ranking among Europe's substantial ports, the Port of Felixstowe commands a significant position in global maritime trade. Annually, the port processes over four million TEUs (Twenty-foot Equivalent Units) and greets roughly 2,000 vessels, encompassing the most colossal container ships currently navigating the seas. Notably, it offers some of the most easily accessible waters near the open sea of any European port, a key factor in its operational efficiency. A diverse array of about 17 shipping lines utilise Felixstowe as their operational base, providing 33 distinct services connecting with over 700 ports globally. The vast connectivity amplifies its strategic importance in the international shipping arena.

Port of Southampton

Port Website

Ranked among the UK's busiest and most prosperous deep-water ports, Southampton is an optimal selection for a diverse clientele and variety of trades, owing to its capacity to manage virtually all cargo types. The port has one of the largest facilities for shipping cars by RoRo and naturally deep harbour and unique double tide facilitate unrestricted access for the world's largest vessels, underscoring its strategic advantage. The port's operator, ABP Southampton, delivers Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) and pilotage services throughout Southampton Water and a significant portion of the Central and Eastern Solent.

Other UK Container Shipping Ports

  • Port of Liverpool: Located on the North West coast, Liverpool handles a large number of containers and is known for its global connections.
  • Port of Bristol: Bristol has a strategic location with excellent links to the Midlands, London, and the South West and is a growing player in container handling.
  • Port of Teesport: Situated in the North East of England, Teesport is a significant player in container handling, particularly for the North of England and Scotland.
  • Port of Grangemouth: Located in Scotland, the Port of Grangemouth is the country's largest container port and handles a significant volume of the nation's container traffic.
  • Port of Hull: The Port of Hull on the Humber Estuary is a key player for container shipping, particularly for connections to Northern Europe.
  • Port of Harwich: Although smaller than others, Harwich in Essex is an important port for container shipping, with good links to the Midlands and London.

International Container Shipping Schedules & Transit Times

We provide up to date shipping schedules on our relevant shipping schedule pages. Please check the links below to find up to date information on the next available shipment to your destination country, including the name of the vessel, sailing date, port-to-port transit time and last moving date.

International Container Shipping Schedules UK to:

Container Shipping Costs

How Much Does it Cost to Ship a Container From the UK?

Below are indicative international container shipping rates for 20ft and 40ft containers. A three-bed house would typically require a 20ft container, whereas a 4-5 bed house would normally require a 40ft container.

Short Answer: Depending on your exact destination, container shipping costs range from £1,350 to £7,150 or more.

Disclaimer: The container shipping costs below are based on port to port rates, and do not include UK collection or packing costs, nor destination clearance and delivery costs. These prices will vary depending on collection and delivery points. Prices are current at the time of writing but are subject to change. To receive the most accurate prices for your destination that are specific to your move requirements, please ask for a free quote.

Container Shipping Costs

Country Port 20ft Container Costs 40ft Container Costs
Australia Melbourne £2,897 £4,998
Sydney £2,897 £4,998
Adelaide £2,897 £4,998
Brisbane £2,897 £4,998
New Zealand Auckland £4,900 £8,350
Wellington £4,750 £8,050
Canada Montreal £3,900 £5,850
Toronto £4,600 £6,550
Vancouver £5,300 £8,100
USA Charleston £4,605 £5,232
Chicago £4,950 £7,150
Houston £4,643 £5,232
Los Angeles £5,468 £6,420
Miami £3,900 £5,850
New York £4,758 £5,309
Norfolk £4,605 £5,232
San Francisco £5,818 £6,770
South Africa Cape Town £1,550 £2,450
Durban £1,550 £2,450
Cyprus Limassol £1,350 £2,100

See below for more information on container shipping costs for your destination

Container Shipping Services For Moving Overseas

Send a Container Overseas with 1st Move International

Use 1st Move International to ship your household goods, furniture and other personal effects by container. Get a free quote now.

We provide weekly container shipping services to all major countries across the globe. Whether you are shipping just a few items of personal effects or moving the full contents of your family home, we have container shipping services to suit your needs and budget.

We are the only moving company who can provide weekly sailings for our customers thanks to our unique, export standard packing and palletisation methods.

Container ship sailing fast

Weekly Shipping

Avoid the delays and get there faster! Our unique packing systems allow us to ship weekly by sharing containers with commercial exporting companies.

Covid Safe Packing Badge
Packed pallets lined up

Unbeatable Packing

Our shrinkwrap packing stops the handling of individual items to ensure a Zero Touch delivery. This also reduces the risks of damage and improves the security of your goods.

Pallets being measured

Accurate Billing

Each pallet is measured exactly after packing to ensure clear and accurate billing for your move abroad.

Popular Destinations for our International Removals Services:

You can also find out more about furniture shipping, personal effects shipping & car shipping by clicking their respective links.

Check the video below to see how we load a 20ft container with furniture and personal effects!

Container Tracking

Track your shipping container 24/7. Whether sharing a container or shipping your own overseas, you can track your move 24/7 with our container tracking tool.

Your Pallets Packed - Posted Live on Facebook

Your life, carefully wrapped, beautifully packed, and protected for the journey ahead.

We are extremely proud of our unique packing process. We are one of the only international movers in the UK that uses this tried and tested method to ship your treasured personal possessions overseas.

This is our craft - lives packed with care and attention for their journey overseas. Visit our Facebook page to find a snapshot of each shipment captured as the final pallet is wrapped.

We're proud to post these images, showcasing our removals team's passion and skill. Your personal effects are in the very best hands and are now destined for new adventures abroad.

Come and have a look.

Looking for a quote? Use our quote form to receive an estimate for your move.