International Moving Costs: Latest Rates for 2020

Here is an overview of the international moving costs when moving abroad from South Africa and how they are calculated.

International Moving Costs

Moving to20ft Container Cost40ft Container Cost
UKR80,200 – R89,000R114,000 – R126,000
USAR84,000 – R93,000R119,000 – R131,000
NetherlandsR80,000 – R89,000R114,000 – R126,000
UAER54,000 – R60,000R76,000 – R84,000
AustraliaR51,000 – R57,000R73,000 – R80,000
New ZealandR60,000 – R66,000R85,000 – R94,000

Please note: the container prices shown are only estimates of household goods valued at R700,000 from Cape Town. Not all factors of the move are being taken into consideration, such as import taxes as well as customs and duties.

International moving costs

How are International Moving Costs Calculated?

Shipping a container by sea is the most common method of transporting your furniture abroad. International movers will look at a number of factors before providing you with a quote. Here are some of the main factors that affect international removal costs:

Volume and Distance of the Move:

These are two factors that have a major impact on the cost of a move. Try and provide as much detail as you can to the movers to receive a precise quote. This includes your moving from address, moving to destination (and address if known) and a rough estimate of the volume of your furniture.

Type of transport:

Sea transport is the most common method as it gives you space to transport a large volume for a cheap price. The second and quickest method is air, however, it’s quite an expensive alternative. Make sure you check what your options are with this once you have selected a mover.

Shipping container size:

This all depends on the volume of your move; however, the most common sizes are 20ft and 40ft. There are also options to share a container if you’re only planning on transporting a few items. For more information, take a look at our container shipping prices page.


When you are travelling overseas, it is best to always have your personal belongings insured. Most international moving companies will have insurance included in their quote, but in some cases, they may not. Check what is included and if you need to take out extra insurance.

International Moving Costs calculating

Date of the move:

Another influence on the cost of an international move is the moving date. The most expensive days to move are the weekends and during the holidays. It won’t affect the price immensely; however, it is still something you should take into account.


You will find that removal costs will increase if it is difficult to gain access to your home, both at pick-up and delivery. For example, if you live on the sixth floor in an apartment block which has no elevator, it will be more difficult for movers to bring your belongings down to the removal van. You should also be aware that if you aren’t sure where you’re moving to yet, the final cost of your move may be higher or lower than the initial quote depending on the access to your new home.

Extra Services:

Companies will require an extra fee to provide extra services like packing/unpacking and storage, so make sure you ask the moving company if this is the case.

international moving costs include currency conversion

International movers have varying individual costs that need to be taken into account, which means you will undoubtedly receive different rates for your move abroad. Comparing quotes will therefore ultimately save you a considerable amount of money. This is also a great opportunity to discuss with the international movers about your individual requirements and ask any questions that you may have.

Cost of Additional Services

ServiceAverage Price
Packing and AssemblyR1,700
Temporary Storage (1 month)R2,220
Parking PermitR340
Transporting your pianoR5,130

The additional services can majorly affect the costs of your international move; however, these services can also make it a lot less stressful. Above is a list of the estimated prices of some additional services offered by international removal companies.

Next Steps:

We hope that this page has informed you a little more about the various costs to expect when moving abroad. Here are a few pages with some more information that you may be interested in:

  • Moving House Tips: Read up on packing tips and general advice to make the moving process easier.
  • Moving Quotes: Compare and save money on your international move.

Good luck with your move!