Are you thinking of shipping your whole household to Australia?

Today’s Mailbox Monday post is from someone thinking of shipping their 3 bedroom household (2 bedrooms plus home office) to Australia from London. They haven’t said if they are considering shipping their car or not, as that would make a difference in the size of the container needed, but we’ll get into that in the post.

Alright, let’s get to it.

Today’s Email

We have started the process of looking for international removalists for our move to Australia. During our research online, we’ve come across many different companies and a wide range of prices. I was wondering if you could give us a better estimate for how much we are looking at.

We are moving from London to Sydney and have a 2 bedroom house plus office.

Also interested in any other bits of advice you have for preparing for our move and dealing with the international removalists.

Lauren’s Reply

First off, I doubt I can give you a better estimate than the removalists.

What I suspect that you are referring to are online estimates instead of in-house estimates.

Many international moving quote sites will have a pop-up inventory list that you fill out and send in. Though those are helpful to give you a ballpark they are usually way off.

The best option is to have the removalists come to your house and walk through with you, taking an inventory of everything you are shipping. They will then work out a more realistic estimate.

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This is also a good idea because you want to ask them questions about your move. I have a list of 31 questions to ask the international movers when they are at your house that you should look at to give you an idea of things to be aware of and what to ask specifically about when getting your in-house quote.

That’s my first piece of advice, get in-house moving quotes and do not rely on online quotes or over the phone quotes.

My second piece of advice is to get a minimum of three quotes.

I know it seems like a pain to set up three different appointments but being able to compare and contrast how each company handles their in-house quotes plus the information they give you about shipping to Australia, will give you a glimpse into how the company operates and their experience.

Australia has a very strict quarantine regulations that you need to be aware of. Choosing a removalist that is not experienced with shipping to Australia could be a disaster.

When you start talking to the international removalists, it’s a good idea to know some of the terms they will be using.

Full Container Load (FCL) = This is when you are the sole user of a 20ft or 40ft container.

Less than Container Load (LCL) = This is when you share the use of a 20ft or 40ft container with someone else also shipping things to Australia.

One thing to note with an LCL is that you may have to wait until the shipping company or the company that owns the container has someone else to fill the rest of the container. Shipping companies want to only ship fully packed containers.

Door-to-Door = Means they either pack the container at your house or at the port of departure and then handle the unpacking of the container in Australia and deliver the contents to your new home in Sydney.

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There are two sizes of shipping containers: 20ft and 40ft. For general guidelines, a 20ft container will ship a 3 bedroom house and a 40ft container will ship either a 5 bedroom house or a 3 bedroom house plus a car.

Now, I know I said that I’m not your best resource for an estimate but since I’m posting this on the site I thought it might be nice to give a general idea of what the cost of shipping a 20ft container to Sydney is from other parts of the world.

Most people usually go with a 20ft or less, as the LCL option mentioned above.

The Cost of Shipping a 20ft Container to Australia

FromEstimated Cost
London£2,600 – £2,700Click Here for Moving Quote
Singapore$2400(SGD) – $2600(SGD)Click Here for Moving Quote
Delhi₹340000(INR) – ₹360000(INR)Click Here for Moving Quote
Dubai22000(AED) – 24000(AED)Click Here for Moving Quote
Hong Kong$10000(HKD) – $10500(HKD)Click Here for Moving Quote
New York City$7612(USD) – $8136(USD)Click Here for Moving Quote
Mumbai₹160000(INR) – ₹170000(INR)Click Here for Moving Quote
Dublin€4000(EUR) – €4300(EUR)Click Here for Moving Quote
Cape TownR47000(ZAR) – R51000(ZAR)Click Here for Moving Quote
Toronto$7000(CAD) – $7500(CAD)Click Here for Moving Quote
San Francisco$3500(USD) – $3800(USD)Click Here for Moving Quote
Chicago$8000(USD) – $8300(USD)Click Here for Moving Quote
Los Angeles$3500(USD) – $3800(USD)Click Here for Moving Quote
Paris€4300(EUR) – €4600(EUR)Click Here for Moving Quote
Vancouver$5000(CAD) – $5300(CAD)Click Here for Moving Quote
Amsterdam€3600(EUR) – €3900(EUR)Click Here for Moving Quote
Seattle$3500(USD) – $3800(USD)Click Here for Moving Quote

Where the heck did I get these estimates from?

I used the shipping calculator on then I did a quick currency exchange calculation in my OFX account for the estimates from around the world.

Again, these are very general estimates. Your shipment could be more or it could be less.

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Hope this helps.

What Are Mailbox Mondays?

Every Monday I pick a question from an SMG subscriber along with my reply straight out of my inbox to share with everyone here on the site.

I don’t promise to have all the answers, but I will do my best to point you in the right direction or help you with your research as I know there is a lot of noise out there on the interwebs and good resources are hard to find.