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 25 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.

Why Choose 1st Move International?

Unique COVID Safe Packing

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.

Price Guarantee

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.

Weekly Shipping

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.

Fully Insured

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. Find more details on our Moving insurance here.

Over 20 Years of Experience

1st Move International has been operating for over 25 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)

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 25 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?

Dedicated Container

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.

Shared Container

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 cost of international removals from the UK to South Africa starts from £992 for a shared container service, £1,550 for a 3 bed house and £2,450 for a 4 or 5 bed house. The UK to South Africa port-to-port shipping charge will ultimately depend on your move size and final location in South Africa.

International Moving and Shipping Costs to South Africa

Destination Port Shared Container Cost (GBP) 3 Bed House - 20ft Container Cost (GBP) 4-5 Bed House - 40ft Container Cost (GBP)
Cape Town, South Africa From £992 £1,550 £2,450
Durban, South Africa From £992 £1,550 £2,450

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..

FREE Quote

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.

For more detailed schedules with specific dates and vessel names, please see our South Africa shipping schedule page.

Sailing and Transit Times for UK to South Africa

Destination Next Sailing Transit Time
Cape town Under 1 Week 24 Days
Durban Under 1 Week 30 Days
Port Elizabeth Under 1 Week 26 Days

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.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

We ship to the ports of Cape Town, Durban and Port Elizabeth, however, onward delivery to anywhere in South Africa can be arranged.
The protection offered by our shrink-wrap COVID-safe packing and removals services makes it the safest way of shipping furniture and personal effects from the UK to South Africa.
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.
Yes, we provide nationwide collection in the UK and we can arrange for onward delivery in South Africa direct to your door.

Prohibited and Restricted Goods for South Africa

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:
  • Counterfeit goods
  • 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.

Shipping Your Car to South Africa

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.

Useful links

Real customer reviews

Simply the best! Highly recommend 1st Move International, outstanding service. I had a large shipment of all my worldly goods to SA of which many items were very fragile. The packaging was so amazing not a single item was broken. And the communication was excellent all the way. Thank you to all at the company.

We have used 1st Move International over the past five years and never had a concern. The service we have received has encouraged us to give 1st Move International's details to all our friends

From start to finish the process to move our goods from the UK to the USA was seamless. Wonderful communication from everyone involved, and our belongings arrived in flawless condition. Highly recommend!

Everything about 1st Move itself was excellent - they were efficient, courteous, very responsive to all my concerns and very straightforward to deal with.

These guys are the best, superb service and amazing packing skills, everything arrived safely and not a scratch or broken glass in sight.

In the midst of life's challenges, they made an international move an easy process.

Even with the inconveniences of COVID-19 shutting down the world, 1st Move International went above and beyond for our overseas move.

I would give more stars if I could! 1st Move shipped 4 large pallets from the UK to the US for me and what seemed like such a daunting task to me, they handled awesomely!

Absolutely fantastic service from start to finish. Highly recommend and would definitely use again. Super helpful friendly team with brilliant communication who helped us every step of the way guiding us through all paperwork rules and regs. Thanks so much.

Even with the inconveniences of COVID-19 shutting down the world, 1st Move International went above and beyond for our overseas move. It is amazing that there was no damage taking into consideration that there was an Atlantic crossing, countless warehouse moves, train shipments, and truck deliveries. The only moving company I recommend!

Your Pallets Packed - Live on Facebook

COVID Safe Packing and Zero Touch Delivery Label

We are the only UK international removals company who offer COVID safe packing solutions when shipping household goods from the UK.

Once packed, your pallets are photographed and pictures of your shipment will be posted immediately to our Facebook page.

You can see a gallery of our latest customer shipments here.