International Container Shipping for Household Goods

Door-to-door shipping for your furniture and personal belongings from the UK to anywhere in the world. 

Get a FREE Removals quote

Simply tell us where you are moving to.

We help over

1200 families

move overseas each year

We've supported moves to

48 countries

this year

Our staff average

9.5 Years

of experience

We score on average

4.8 / 5 stars

on Trustpilot


We specialise in shipping household goods internationally in secure containers. We handle everything door-to-door. From packing and transport to customs clearance and delivery making your international move smooth and stress-free.

Your own, exclusive use full container shipment is typically the best option for large or whole household international moves.

Get a quote

Moving a smaller shipment? Our shared container shipping service might be a better option for you.



Our door-to-door service with full support from your dedicated move manager makes moving your whole household overseas simple. Here's how it works: 


Step 1 - Home Survey & Quote

An in-home or video consultation helps us understand your move, the items you're moving and what's important to you so we can give an accurate quote and plan your move so it runs smoothly.
We'll also provide guidance on anything specific you need to know about moving to your destination country, such as customs requirements and what you can and can't take with you.

Step 2 - Prepare to Move

Your dedicated move manager will help you plan and prepare for move day.
We'll provide all the documents you need to import your household goods to your new country, and give you guidance on how to complete them. 

Step 3 - Packing & Loading

Professionally trained packing crews will pack, export wrap and load your belongings into your container using materials and methods specially designed for the risks of damage during international transit.

We also offer crating service if you have valuable or fragile items.

Once the packing and loading is complete we will close and secure your container with a security seal.


Step 4 - Shipping

Your container will be transported to the port of departure and loaded onto your pre-booked vessel.

We'll provide you with the shipping details so you can track your shipment and we'll provide updates on its journey and estimated date of arrival. 

customs forms-01

Step 5 - Customs Clearance

On arrival in your destination country, we will work with local customs agents to clear your items through customs.


Step 6 - Delivery

Once your container has cleared customs we'll contact you to arrange delivery.

We'll deliver your container to your new home, unload all the boxes and unwrap and place your furniture in the rooms of your choice. We'll unpack any boxes of smaller items onto flat surfaces and take away any used packing material (unless you prefer to unpack at your leisure). 

what our customers say

Household Shipping Container Sizes

We offer a range of container sizes to suit your individual move requirements. 

Not sure what container size you need? Book a pre-move survey and one of our expert move consultants will evaluate your requirements and recommend the right container for you.


shipping container-01

20 foot container

This is the most common size of shipping container used for household goods moves. A 20' container is around the size of a single garage. 

Dimensions: 20' x 8'6" x 8'

Capacity: Typically holds around 1050 cubic feet of packed household items and furniture.

Typical house size: 2-3 bedroom house (average furnishing).


40 foot container

This container is typically used for larger homes or shipments that include a vehicle. 

Dimensions: 40' x 8'6" x 8' 

Capacity: Typically holds 2100 cubic feet of packed household items and furniture.

Typical house size: 4+ bedroom house (average furnishing). 

The 40' container also comes in a high cube version (1ft additional height) providing a little extra space for shipments that are slightly over volume. 

Why choose Bournes to ship your Household Goods Container?


Award winning customer service

A reputation built on award-winning personal service, quality and outstanding customer feedback.


Dedicated move manager

To guide you through your move, assist with documentation and customs processes and to keep you up to date with progress.

removals quote

Fixed quote with no hidden surprises

With a choice of in home, phone or video survey to ensure we have all the information we need to give you an accurate quote up front.

range of international removals services

A range of moving services

Flexible International Removals services provide what’s most important to you, whether that’s low cost, extra help with packing or a schedule that works best for your family.

independently certified removals

Independently certified

Pre-vetted and approved by the British Association of Removers, Which? Trusted Traders and FIDI FAIM.

Insurance certificates

Fully insured

Offering comprehensive protection for your belongings whilst they are in our care.


Security vetted staff

Uniformed, DBS checked, experienced and professionally trained removals crews.

Bournes APG Logo - Worldwide Cover 150px

Financial Protection

An advanced payment guarantee provided by the British Association of Removers.

Get a Full Container Shipping Quote

Our  quotes are free and there is no obligation so why not get in touch with us right away to find out how little it could cost you to enjoy an easy, simple, enjoyable move with Bournes. 

Call us on 01797 228000 or click below to enquire online.

Get a Quote



We move families to and from over 180 different countries and as part of the Harmony Relocation Network have services centres across the world, so wherever you need to ship a container to or from, we can help.

Our UK service centres based across the South East mean we are ideally placed to provide coverage throughout London, Kent, Surrey, Sussex, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Northamptonshire.

Get a quote


Our Most Popular Destinations

We offer full container shipping services from the UK all over the world, but our most popular destinations are:



What is a dedicated shipping container?

A dedicated shipping container (also known as 'sole use' or 'exclusive use' is a container that is exclusively for your own use, typically used for customers who have enough furniture to fill their own container, or who prefer to have their own container for speed or security purposes. 

A dedicated container is the alternative to a  'shared load', or a 'groupage' container service for customers with smaller shipments to share space in a container therefore minimising their costs. 

How much does it cost to ship a container of household goods internationally?

The cost of shipping a full (or dedicated) container depends on a number of factors including:

  • The volume of goods you are moving
  • Your origin and destination country
  • Location of and access to the properties you are moving from and to
  • The dates you want to move
  • The services you require (e.g. packing, crating of fragile items, handyman services etc.)

The best way to get a fixed quote for your move is to book a pre-move survey where  an expert move consultant can assess your requirements and recommend the right solutions and pricing for you. 

How do I work out if I need a full or shared container?

You can book a pre-move survey and one of our expert move consultants will assess your volume of goods for you so they can advise on the best method of transport based on volume and schedule requirements. 

Or, if you just want to have a rough idea of volume you can try our shipping volume calculator. As a guide, a sole use 20ft container holds around 1050cubic feet of personal belongings. 

Why should I use a FIDI Removal Company or a BAR Member for International Removals?

Accreditations and certifications are a good way to determine the professionalism and credibility of a company. With a little money and a web expert any moving company can get a good position in your search engine listings, but how do you know they are reputable?

Organisations like FIDI (who certify international removal companies to the FAIM standard) and the BAR (British Association of Removers) pre-vet moving companies for you, and only let those who meet their standards become a member and display the badge. BAR companies also offer an advance payment guarantee so if anything happens to the removal company whilst your move is in progress you are financially protected. So, if you want to be sure you’ve chosen a reputable Removal Company, look for the badges. Find out more about International Shipping company accreditations here.

How do I get a quote for Overseas Removals services?

Fill in the quote form to submit a web enquiry and we’ll get in touch to find out more about your move, alternatively, you can call us on 01797 228000

For larger overseas shipping moves we usually like to arrange a Move Consultation (sometimes known as a ‘survey’). This allows us to talk through your personal requirements further, explain your options and how your move might work, highlight anything you might find useful to know (like what you can and can’t take to specific countries based on their customs regulations) and to assess the technical aspects like the volume of items you’d like to move, the access to your property, any special packing or handling requirements that might be involved. We will send your quote over as soon as possible afterwards.

Typically we will visit you at home for the move consultation, but if you don’t have time, need an out of hours appointment or would just prefer us not to visit we can offer a range of other options like a Live Video Survey (available 24/7) using your smartphone, a telephone survey or our online self survey form.

How long does international container shipping take?

The timescale for your shipment includes:

  • Transport from origin to port of origin
  • Loading onto the vessel
  • Sailing time (including any stops if the ship is not travelling direct. Sometimes cheaper rates are available for slower sailings if you are not in a hurry)
  • Unloading from the vessel
  • Customs clearance
  • Delivery

Timescale can vary depending on your circumstances but we will advise you a typical timescale for your destination when we provide your quote and move plan. 

As an example the average door to door transit time for an FCL move to Australia is around 8-12 weeks. 


Do you offer a packing service?


Smaller items will be packed and protected in cardboard moving cartons, with larger items being export packed and wrapped before loading.

Our professional packers are fully trained in the art of packing for an international move and use specially designed packing materials to ensure the risk of damage is minimised. 


Budget for household goods shipping is a key consideration for your international move. Whilst it’s impossible to give a figure for container shipping without knowing your specific requirements here are a few things to consider.

If you'd like a ball park figure for your move please call us on 01797 228000.

What determines Container Shipping Costs?



Quantity of belongings you would like to move.



The vessel your shipment is booked on can affect cost. Often a slower sailing (for example one that calls at multiple ports en-route to destination) can be cheaper than a more direct sailing. 


Items moving

Types of items you are moving and any special requirements (e.g. items that require dismantling or extra people to lift).



International Packing services selected including any items to be crated or given extra protection.



Your origin and destination address including any access issues at both properties including stairs, parking and distance to your front door.



The dates you are moving and your required schedule for delivery. For Groupage shipments you may be able to reduce your costs if you can be as flexible as possible. 

Ultimate Guide to Moving your Belongings Overseas

From understanding your transport options and shortlisting movers to getting quotes and booking your move this guide is full of tips and tricks to help you choose a reputable overseas mover and get the best out of your shipping budget.

Download Now