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Shipping Container from to the US to the UK

A Complete Guide | 2024

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Will the next chapter of your life story begin in jolly old England or in the Scottish Highlands? In our complete guide, we cover shipping costs and times, and show you how to prepare for moving day. Read on!

Cost of Shipping a Container from USA to UK

On average, the cost of shipping a 20ft container is around $6,500 and $12,500 for a 40ft container.

However, if you’re wondering how much on average is to ship a container to the UK, we’ve compiled the below price ranges from major American cities:

Origin20-foot container40-foot container
New York$ 4,500 – $ 5,000$ 8,750 – $ 10,000
Chicago$ 3,600 – $ 5,250$ 9,000 – $ 10,000
Los Angeles$ 5,750 – $ 6,500$ 11,000 – $ 12,000
Houston$ 7,000 – $ 7,500$ 13,000 – $ 15,000
Seattle$ 7,500 – $ 8,500$ 15,000 – $ 16,000
Miami$ 6,000 – $ 7,000$ 11,000 – $ 12,500

*Disclaimer: Please be aware that these ranges are merely estimates. Container shipping rates to the UK regularly fluctuate per season and carrier.

In truth, there is no clear answer to how to determine the container shipping rates, as they will change according to the distance, size or even availability.

Shipping costs from to
20ft Container
40ft Container

Cheapest Way to Shipping Container From the USA to the UK

Do you find yourself with too much to ship via air freight, but too little to fill a 20ft container? This is a common conundrum faced by many in need of a small move. A shared container shipping is a commonly offered solution.

In short, with a shared container (sometimes called an LCL or ‘less than container load‘ shipment) you split a container and the price with another person. Besides being convenient, it can save you a few bucks!

🤔 Figuring out the volume of your move can be key as well. As you’ll get more accurate quotes from different companies, you’ll be able to compare prices and find the best deal. Estimate it with our moving space calculator:

Calculate My Volume Now

Container Shipping Companies to the UK

Request Quotes for Shipping from the USA to the UK

You will never know the cost of your shipping container to the UK until you request a quote from an international moving company. Until then, it is all just speculation.

To make this easy, by completing the form below you will receive up to five no-strings-attached quotes from reliable, trustworthy movers:

Get a Quick Quote for your Move!
Receive personalized quotes by choosing the size of your move!

Shipping Household Goods to the UK

How Much Is to Ship Household Goods to the UK?

Depending on how many items and furniture you are shipping, the costs will vary:

Bedroom SizeAverage Price
1 bedroom$2,500-$3,700
2 bedrooms$4,500-$6,500
3 bedrooms$8,000-$10,000
4 bedrooms$11,000-$15,000

*Disclaimer: Please be aware that these ranges are merely estimates. Container shipping rates to the UK regularly fluctuate per season and carrier.

20ft vs 40ft Shipping Container to the UK

In essence, shipping containers to the UK (and the world) come in two standard sizes. This can make things easy or tough, depending on how you look at it!

A 20ft container has a volume of 33 m3 or 1,179 ft3. 40ft containers range from 66 m3 to 76 m3 (2,330 ft3 – 2684 ft3), depending on if it is extra tall (extra large?).

With two-ish options to choose from, there is not much thinking to it. We run into trouble, however, when we’re just over or under the recommended volumes. Need help downsizing? We got you!

Door-to-door vs. Port-to-Port Delivery

Shipping your personal effects from the USA to the UK can receive the red carpet service with a door-to-door move. The name says it all: the mover collects from your door and delivers to your new, British door.

Why would anyone choose otherwise? Well, budget concerns mostly. Door-to-door is the premium service, whereas port-to-port is a way to slim down your costs.

Port-to-port is as it sounds, where the freight carrier only handles the shipment at the departure and arrival ports. The rest is up to you to either deliver yourself or arrange separately.

You can also combine this with a Door-to-port or (rarely) a Port-to-door move.

Shipping a Car from the USA to the UK

If you plan on bringing your vehicle with you, it pays to be wise on the costs. However, remember that the UK traffic laws may render shipping a car to the UK a moot point. Driving on the opposite side, left-side steering might be awkward! If you’re keen to tough it out, we have listed the price ranges below:

City of OriginShipping Cost
New York$ 7,250 – $ 12,000
Chicago$ 6,000 – $ 12,000
Los Angeles$ 8,500 – $ 13,500
Houston$ 10,000 – $ 15,000
Seattle$ 10,000 – $ 15,000
Miami$ 8,500 – $ 14,000

*Disclaimer: Please be aware that these ranges are merely estimates. Container shipping rates to the UK regularly fluctuate per season and carrier.

How to Prepare for Shipping Household Goods from the USA to the UK

Shipping furniture to the UK is an undertaking, so there are a few things to keep in mind as you prepare for moving day. While there is much to keep in mind, we have listed the most crucial points:

✅ Create a crystal-clear packing list

If you have ever moved locally before, you know that labelling your moving boxes is the smart move. Creating an inventory as you pack ensures you have all the necessary paperwork for your moving company, customs inspectors, insurance company, and yourself!

✅ Carefully pack & wrap everything

Shipping might mean different stages. Your furniture might need to be trucked, loaded into a container, and then unloaded onto yet another truck… Having firm padding, packaging, and sturdy wrapping will help ensure everything arrives in one piece.

✅ Don’t leave before you ship

While this may be tricky to arrange, you will thank yourself later. The last thing you want is to sit at high tea in England only to hear a problem with your container back home.

To prevent this, make sure your shipping container to the UK has set sail before boarding a plane. On the flip side, be ready across the pond for when it arrives!

Get Your Move to the UK Ready

We hope that by now you feel like an expert on shipping by sea from the USA to the UK. As you prepare yourself and your possessions for your long journey abroad, having a firm understanding of freight from the USA to the UK will help ensure you have a smooth move. Need further assistance? Then check out the useful article linked below and FAQs for further reading. Good luck!

Frequently asked questions

How long does shipping by sea from the USA to the UK take?

Will I have to pay import taxes?

What Items are prohibited to import?

Will my electronics and appliances work in the UK?