Are You Thinking of Shipping Your Whole Household to Australia, but Only If It Doesn't Cost Too Much?

This post is from an email I got from someone thinking of shipping their three-bedroom household (two-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 I get into that in the post.

A better estimate for shipping a two-bedroom plus to Australia.

We have started the process of looking for 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 two-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.

In-House Shipping Quotes vs Online Estimate

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

I suspect you're referring to are online estimates instead of in-house shipping quotes.

Many international relocation 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.

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 don't rely on online quotes or over-the-phone quotes.

Get a Minimum of Three Shipping Quotes

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

I know it seems like a pain to schedule 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.

Terms to Know Before Getting Shipping Quote for Australia

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

Less than Container Load (LCL) = This is when you share the use of a 20 ft or 40 ft 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.

There are two sizes of shipping containers: 20 ft and 40 ft. For general guidelines, a 20 ft container will ship a three-bedroom house and a 40 ft container will ship either a five-bedroom house or a three-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 the cost of shipping a 20 ft container to Australia is from other parts of the world.

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

The Cost of Shipping a 20 ft Container to Australia

Estimated Cost
£2,600 – £2,700
$2400(SGD) – $2600(SGD)
₹340000(INR) – ₹360000(INR)
22000(AED) – 24000(AED)
Hong Kong
$10000(HKD) – $10500(HKD)
New York City
$7612(USD) – $8136(USD)
₹160000(INR) – ₹170000(INR)
€4000(EUR) – €4300(EUR)
Cape Town
R47000(ZAR) – R51000(ZAR)
$7000(CAD) – $7500(CAD)
San Francisco
$3500(USD) – $3800(USD)
$8000(USD) – $8300(USD)
Los Angeles
$3500(USD) – $3800(USD)
€4300(EUR) – €4600(EUR)
$5000(CAD) – $5300(CAD)
€3600(EUR) – €3900(EUR)
$3500(USD) – $3800(USD)

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.

What Are You Shipping to Sydney When You Move?

Do you know yet?

The truth is you don’t need to know right now, for sure, what’s going with you.

But you have to get your shipping quote ASAP, especially now.

Why? Because international shipping companies need to schedule your shipment to Australia far in advance, some ask for 6 months in advance. Yes, COVID has changed everything, including international shipping.

When filling out the contact form below…

  1. You don’t need a street address for where you’re moving to, only the city and country. What they really want to know is the major shipping port.
  2. You don’t need exact dates right now. Go with your best guess.
  3. Don’t bother with calculating your volume. Use one of the estimates below for your estimated volume.
    • Studio or 1 Bedroom —> 20 m3
    • 2 Bedroom —> 25 m3
    • 3 Bedroom —> 30 m3
    • 4 Bedroom or 3 Bedroom + Car —> 50 m3
  4. Use your “real” contact details for BOTH phone and email. Yes, the form is secure. If you don’t use your real contact details, then they can’t get in touch with you for your quote. Makes sense, right?

International Movers Contact Form

⏱️ Give the form a second to load.