If you're moving to South Africa and looking for a removals company to safely ship your belongings and household goods, you're in the right place.
1st Move International offer unbeatable packing services and fast weekly shipping direct from the UK to Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg.
Our packing is COVID-Safe and allows for easy zero touch delivery, ensuring your personal belongings arrive at your door protected and untouched.
We have over 20 years of experience in the overseas removals & furniture shipping industry and we offer services for both full house moves and shared container options for those smaller moves.
On this page you'll find all of the important information needed for international removals from the UK to South Africa including costs, packing procedures, transit times, South African customs information and more.
Moving to South Africa During The COVID-19 Pandemic
As per government and BAR guidelines, 1st Move International remain open and committed to offering the best overseas removals services during these unusual times. We have taken measures to ensure the safety of both our staff and customers and we're here to offer our help and advice for anyone moving to South Africa.
Our COVID-safe packing provides some of the best protection for your goods during your move to South Africa. We shrink-wrap and palletise the contents of your move to protect it from the outside world and to prevent anyone from handling individual items once it leaves our premises, ensuring for a zero touch delivery.
We offer a price guarantee for all our overseas moves. This ensures you only pay for what you ship. No more, no less and no guessing. Once packed, our shrinkfast palletised packing ensure that accurate measurements can easily be taken throughout the supply chain and you are charged for the exact final volume or your house move. Read more about our smarter pricing here.
We are one of the only removals companies who guarantee regular weekly shipments direct from the UK to South Africa. Once your personal effects are packed, we immediately schedule for the next available weekly sailing. You can then track your container and shipping vessel here.
Our insurance claims are some of the lowest on record thanks to the protection and reduced overall handling our packing process provides. Once packed, no one can handle your items individually meaning less risk and maximum safety for your move. Moving insurance is provided by Royal Sun Alliance.
Over 20 Years of Experience
1st Move International has been operating for over 20 years and our dedicated team have helped ship countless individuals to South Africa. Our move managers will be there to guide you through every step of the moving process, on hand to answer any questions and offer advice should you need it.
We are established members of:
the British Association of Removers (BAR)
the British International Freight Association (BIFA)
the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Association (FIATA)
Looking for a quote? Use our quote form to receive an estimate for your move.
Packing For Your International Move to South Africa
We are the only international removals company to employ this system of packing and we have been doing so for the last 20 years. Our palletised shrink-wrap packing is proven to:
Provide some of the best protection available for your goods
Drastically reduce handling of individual items
Speed up customs clearance
Offer a COVID-safe method of shipping your belongings overseas
See how it's done in this short video:
UK to South Africa Shipping Options
What service / container size do I need?
For large house moves we offer a Full Container Load (FCL) service which gives you sole use of your own 20ft or 40ft container. We can provide this service direct from your door or we can collect and pack your belongings at our own 20,000 sqft packing facilities.
For smaller moves we offer a shared container service we expertly pack your personal effects using our COVID safe packing procedures, then load it within the week on the next available vessel to South Africa. Our shared container service does not sacrifice speed as we are able to load your hand crafted pallets alongside commercial shipments from large exporters. No waiting around to fill our containers.
Get a free quote for your move to South Africa today.
Collection & Delivery (door to door)
A collection service is offered throughout the whole of the UK and onward delivery can be arranged with our overseas agents in South Africa, allowing for a full door to door service.
International Removals Costs from the UK to South Africa
How Much Does it Cost to Move to South Africa?
Are you moving to South Africa and want to find out just how much it might cost to ship your stuff? We've put together a very simple price guide for personal effects shipping via container from the UK to South Africa.
Short Answer: The UK to South Africa port-to-port transport shipping charge is between, roughly, £1,000 and £1,800 depending on your move size and specific destination. For a detailed shipping cost breakdown please check our table below.
Important information about these moving costs
The container prices below should be used as a guide only. For obvious reasons they do not include UK collection charges from your home (We don't know where you live) nor do they include onward delivery from the South Africa port to your new home, '(We don't know where you are going to live) and they do not include packing and loading costs. (We don't know how much you've got.)
The moving costs below are for a 3 bed house in a 20ft container or a 4 or 5 bed house in a 40ft container. They are the shipping costs from the UK port of Southampton and London to South Africa port only..
International Moving and Shipping Costs to South Africa
3 Bed House - 20ft Container Cost (GBP)
4-5 Bed House - 40ft Container Cost (GBP)
Cape Town, South Africa
Durban, South Africa
Shipping Dates and Transit Times to South Africa
How long does it take to ship furniture and personal belongings to South Africa?
We have sailings from the UK to South Africa at least once every 7 days.
The port to port transit time is around 26 days depending on your specific destination.
Customs and Quarantine Requirements in South Africa
COVID-19 & Entry Requirements
In order to travel to South Africa you are required to show a copy of a negative COVID-19 test no older than 72 hours from the time of departure. Proof of a negative test means that you will not have to self-isolate on arrival in South Africa. If you do not produce a copy of a negative COVID-19 test you will be required to go into quarantine at a government facility at your own cost.
Please read the full entry requirements on the UK Government website here.
Clearance & Declarations
Click here for detailed information on arriving in South Africa, provided by the South African Revenue Service (SARS). There you will also find relevant customs declaration forms.
For full information on South African customs clearance and declaration, please see this PDF provided by SARS.
Immigrants and returning residents who are importing household and personal effects into South Africa must complete forms DA304 and PI160 and present them to the Department of Customs. You will also need to present your passport, residence permit and a detailed inventory.
So, whether you are moving from the UK to Cape Town, Durban or Johannesburg you can be assured of a faster, safer and smarter move with 1st Move International. Simply fill in our quick quote form and start your international move to South Africa today.
We have the lowest claims record of any removals company in our sector and we take the utmost care when handling your goods, however, we always recommend that you take out marine shipping insurance to cover any occasional mishaps.
There are strict rules for what you can and cannot bring into South Africa.
Goods that are restricted for import into South Africa include animals, plants and their products (e.g. diary products, animal skin, herbal products etc), medicine that isn't accompanied by a letter or certified prescription from your doctor, excess currency and unprocessed minerals such as gold.
Prohibited (banned) items include:
Firewords and other explosives
Firearms and fully automatic weapons
Unlicensed copies of copyrighted goods
Illicit or poisonous substances
Prison made goods
For information on prohibited and restricted goods including a full list of items, please see the relevant SARS page.
The cost of you move is calculated based on the volume of your shipment. Thanks to our expert packing we can arrange your personal belongings in the most volume-efficient way possible. Once packed, we measure your shipment exactly, ensuring that you only pay for what you ship.
Our sister company Autoshippers provide container car shipping services from the UK to all main South Africa ports on a weekly basis. For more info on how to ship your car to South Africa, visit Autoshippers.