Container Shipping Rates | What Are The Costs in 2022? | MoveHub (2023)

Cargo weight, transport type, distance, destination, and time all affect cost

Sharing shipping containers helps reduce what you spend

Shipping costs continue to fall as of October 2022

The cost of shipping a container internationally can range widely and it depends on a number of factors. As a rough estimate, it should cost somewhere between and to ship a 20ft container from one country to another. We’ll give you an idea of shipping rates from around the world and explain how these costs are calculated.

Looking to make your move your belongings overseas? Just pop your details into this quick form, and our trusted suppliers will get back to you with their best prices.

If you need some general guidance for your big move, here’s everything you need to do, in one handy checklist.

What's on this page?

01 | Cost of shipping a container overseas
02 | How are container shipping costs calculated?
03 | Which size shipping container do I need?
04 | FCL vs LCL
05 | Sea freight or air freight?
06 | Comparing sea freight and air freight rates
07 | Other shipping costs to consider
08 | Do I need container shipping insurance?
09 | How much does a shipping container cost?
10 | FAQs

Wish there was an easier way to sort out a shipping container for your move? Well, good news – there is! Instead of scrolling through the internet, hunting for the best deals and figuring out the logistics, you can just pop your details in our easy-to-use comparison tool.

Once we’ve received your details, we’ll pass your details onto our professional suppliers, who will be in touch with quotes for you to compare. Let us take the reins, whilst you put your feet up.

Before you go on and read, allow us to explain the basics of international container shipping costs:


Global declines in the cost of freight, brought on by ongoing shortages, bottlenecks, and falling demand caused by inflation, have reversed the price hikes caused by the pandemic.

The average cost of shipping fell by roughly $2,000 (£1,783) in September (The Economist), and the Drewry World Container Index, which measures the price of a range of 40-foot containers across major shipping routes, has declined by 61% year on year.

That’s good news for people looking to save money on moving home, so if you’re planning on relocating then now is the time to do it.

Cost of shipping a container overseas

We’ve calculated the average international shipping rates for some of our most popular journeys from the UK (London), the US (New York), Australia (Sydney) and Canada (Montreal). The rates are based on the port-to-port transportation of a 20ft / 40ft container of used furniture, and they were last updated in November 2021.

Take a look at the tables below to get an idea of how much your international move is going to cost.

Please note: these container shipping costs exclude typical add-ons such as door-to-door delivery, professional packing/unpacking and basic insurance cover. Our shipping suppliers normally incorporate these services into their prices, so expect some discrepancy between the rates given here and the quotes you receive. These estimates should be used as an indication only.

The Ever Alot vessel has a carrying capacity of 24,004 TEU (Twenty-foot equivalent unit) and measures 400 metres long by 61.5 metres wide, with a draft of 17 metres.

Container shipping rates from the UK

Container Shipping Rates | What Are The Costs in 2022? | MoveHub (1)

Destination Port20ft Container Cost40ft Container Cost
New York, USA

7,114 ()

14,176 ()

Los Angeles, USA

9,390 ()

12,719 ()

Sydney, AUS

6,134 ()

10,206 ()

Melbourne, AUS

6,134 ()

10,206 ()

Auckland, NZ

6,134 ()

10,206 ()

Montreal, CAN

10,016 ()

14,738 ()

Vancouver, CAN

9,125 ()

12,677 ()

Le Havre, FRA

3,794 ()

6,944 ()

Barcelona, ESP

5,846 ()

8,462 ()

Amsterdam, NLD

3,794 ()

6,944 ()

Hamburg, GER

3,788 ()

5,042 ()

Dublin, IRE

4,143 ()

6,104 ()

Jebel Ali, UAE

6.966 ()

10,261 ()

Genoa, ITA

5,555 ()

8,120 ()

Lisbon, POR

5,846 ()

14,082 ()

Stockholm, SWE

2,956 ()

13,126 ()

Mumbai, IND

8,863 ()

13,126 ()

Singapore, SIN

10,260 ()


Limassol, CYP

5,846 ()

8,465 ()

Copenhagen, DEN

3,922 ()

5772 ()

Thessaloniki, GRE

5,846 ()

8,465 ()

Manila, PHL

10,260 ()

15,113 ()

Hong Kong, HKG

9,381 ()

13,856 ()

Cape Town, SAF

6,535 ()

11,162 ()

Shanghai, CHI

8,456 ()

12,454 ()

Container shipping rates from the US

Destination Port20ft Container Cost40ft Container Cost
London, UK

2,083 ()

2,627 ()

Sydney, AUS

2,894 ()

3,910 ()

Melbourne, AUS

2,894 ()

3,910 ()

Auckland, NZ

2,894 ()

3,910 ()

Montreal, CAN

2,133 ()

2,829 ()

Vancouver, CAN

4,494 ()

5,960 ()

Hamburg, GER

1,693 ()

2,152 ()

Le Havre, FRA

1,695 ()

2,150 ()

Barcelona, ESP

2,612 ()

3,407 ()

Dublin, IRE

2,196 ()

2,744 ()

Amsterdam, NLD

1,695 ()

2,150 ()

Lisbon, POR

2,612 ()

3,407 ()

Stockholm, SWE

2,079 ()

2,625 ()

Genoa, ITA

2,481 ()

3,206 ()

Copenhagen, DEN

2,087 ()

2,633 ()

Mumbai, IND

2,885 ()

3,205 ()

Singapore, SIN

2,876 ()

3,194 ()

Hong Kong, HKG

4,211 ()

5,586 ()

Cape Town, SAF

3,316 ()

4,636 ()

Jebel Ali, UAE

2,234 ()

2,744 ()

Tokyo, JAP

4,353 ()

5,122 ()

Manila, PHL

4,519 ()

5,317 ()

Shanghai, CHI

4,393 ()

5,170 ()

Thessaloniki, GRE

2,682 ()

3,604 ()

Oslo, NOR

2,080 ()

2,626 ()

Container shipping rates from Australia

Destination Port20ft Container Cost40ft Container Cost
London, UK

5,933 ()

8,215 ()

New York, USA

6,941 ()

7,934 ()

Los Angeles, USA

5,407 ()

6,141 ()

Montreal, CAN

8,157 ()

9,472 ()

Vancouver, CAN

7,181 ()

8,436 ()

Auckland, NZ

2,991 ()

3,968 ()

Wellington, NZ

2,991 ()

3,968 ()

Mumbai, IND

2,706 ()

3,253 ()

Le Havre, FRA

4,197 ()

4,607 ()

Singapore, SIN

2,694 ()

3,238 ()

Port Kelang, MYS

2,660 ()

3,194 ()

Manila, PHL

2,666 ()

3,201 ()

Bangkok, THA

2,695 ()

3,239 ()

Hamburg, GER

4,289 ()

6,329 ()

Amsterdam, NLD

5,928 ()

8,213 ()

Thessaloniki, GRE

4,865 ()

6,712 ()

Barcelona, ESP

4,865 ()

6,712 ()

Copenhagen, DEN

5,767 ()

7,988 ()

Oslo, NOR

5,876 ()

8,140 ()

Dublin, IRE

6,094 ()

8,444 ()

Stockholm, SWE

3,632 ()

5,364 ()

Cape Town, SAF

6,707 ()

9,286 ()

Limassol, CYP

4,865 ()

6,712 ()

Hong Kong, HKG

2,500 ()

3,073 ()

Tokyo, JAP

2,275 ()

3,338 ()

(Video) 2022 outlook for container prices in ocean freight and port congestion (NT webinar)

Container shipping rates from Canada

Destination Port20ft Container Cost40ft Container Cost
London, UK

2,957 ()

3,480 ()

Sydney, AUS

9,047 ()

10,645 ()

Melbourne, AUS

8,875 ()

10,441 ()

New York, USA

2,621 ()

3,106 ()

Los Angeles, USA

5,961 ()

6,372 ()

Le Havre, FRA

2,818 ()

3,316 ()

Marseille, FRA

3,209 ()

3,776 ()

Dublin, IRE

3,039 ()

3,574 ()

Auckland, NZ

9,559 ()

11,248 ()

Mumbai, IND

7,029 ()

8,270 ()

Jebel Ali, UAE

7,560 ()

8,896 ()

Hamburg, GER

2,846 ()

3,350 ()

Barcelona, ESP

3,272 ()

3,849 ()

Bangkok, THA

7,694 ()

9,053 ()

Amsterdam, NLD

2,957 ()

3,480 ()

Genoa, ITA

3,431 ()

4,036 ()

Cape Town, SAF

11,899 ()

13,997 ()

Singapore, SIN

7,411 ()

8,719 ()

Hong Kong, HKG

5,643 ()

6,640 ()

Thessaloniki, GRE

4,137 ()

4,868 ()

Stockholm, SWE

3,291 ()

3,872 ()

Oslo, NOR

2,930 ()

3,446 ()

Manila, PHL

6,151 ()

7,239 ()

Shanghai, CHI

5,981 ()

7,039 ()

Limassol, CYP

4,139 ()

4,870 ()

Wondering which size container you’ll need? You’ll find our detailed guide to 20ft and 40ft containers further down the page. We bet you can barely contain your excitement.

1 Bedroom 2 Bedroom 3+ Bedroom

How are container shipping costs calculated?

Shipping companies use five factors to calculate their costs. These are as follows:

Container Shipping Rates | What Are The Costs in 2022? | MoveHub (2)

The volume or weight of the goods

It’s not officially one or the other because it depends on what type of shipping you’re using. When it comes to sea freight, the dimensions of your goods are the most important, while air freight cares more about the weight of your goods. The more goods you have, the more it will cost to ship them to your new home.

The type of transport

Will your goods be flying or sailing? The mode of transport will determine both the price and the time it takes for your belongings to arrive. Air freight tends to be the quicker and more costly alternative to sea freight, so if you’ve got time to spare then you should definitely opt for the ocean. Sea freight is usually around five times cheaper than air freight.

The journey distance

This one is pretty self-explanatory. If you’re shipping your stuff halfway across the world then it’s going to cost more than a short trip across the Mediterranean. Whether your move is port-to-port or door-to-door will also affect costs; if your shipping company is going to transport your goods all the way from your old front door to your brand new one then this will bump up the price. Despite this, we thoroughly recommend door-to-door services as they can prevent logistical headaches.

The destination port

Customs duties and service charges are unavoidable but they will vary from country to country. Naturally, the arrival destination of your goods will determine how much you have to pay in the way of customs and taxes. Check out our breakdown of these various charges near the end of the page.

The time of year

International shipping has peak seasons, just like any other industry. These generally occur in the summer (between Augustand September) and just after the Chinese New Year (between January and February). During peak season, demand is greater, prices are higher and capacity is more limited. It’s best to avoid shipping at these times if you want the lowest prices.

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Which size shipping container do I need?

Container Shipping Rates | What Are The Costs in 2022? | MoveHub (3)

There are at least 16 different kinds of shipping container, but luckily there are only two that you need to know about: the 20-foot and the 40-foot. The rest are generally for business-related and industrial moves. Here are all the key dimensions of 20-foot and 40-foot containers (no prizes for guessing how long they are):

Measurements20ft Container40ft Container
Exterior Length6.06m / 20ft12.2m / 40ft
Exterior Width2.44m / 8ft2.44m / 8ft
Exterior Height2.6m / 8ft 6in2.6m / 8ft 6in
Interior Length5.9m / 19ft 4in12.03m / 39ft 5in
Interior Width2.35m / 7ft 9in2.35m / 7ft 9in
Interior Height2.39m / 7ft 10in2.39m / 7ft 10in
Cubic Capacity1170cf / 33.13cbm2387cf / 67.6cbm
Floor Space150ft²305ft²
Max Gross Weight30480kg30480kg

How big is a 20ft container?

A 20-foot container will typically hold the contents of a three-bedroom house. This means stuff like furniture, beds, fridges, TVs and storage boxes. The actual volume of a 20-foot container is 33 cubic metres (cbm), but in reality there is normally only about 25-28 cbm of usable space. If cbm doesn’t mean anything to you then here are some other ways to visualise the space inside a 20-foot container. It’s about the size of a single garage, and it can hold all this stuff (but not all at once):

(Video) 2022 Freight Rates explained

  • 100 washing machines
  • 400 flat-screen TVs
  • 200 full-sized mattresses
  • 50-60 fridges
  • 48,000 bananas
  • 10 standard pallets

We’ve also made a nice infographic to show you exactly what can fit inside a 20-foot shipping container. If you’re lucky enough to own five bikes then it turns out you can bring all of them.

Container Shipping Rates | What Are The Costs in 2022? | MoveHub (4)

How big is a 40ft container?

A 40-foot container will give you double the amount of space as a 20-foot container, but it doesn’t come at twice the price. 40-foot containers are definitely better value for money if you have a lot of stuff to bring. Houses with four (or more) bedrooms will most likely need a 40-foot container, unless you have one of those trendy minimalist homes that doesn't have much furniture.

Can’t leave your trusty four-wheels behind? When it comes to shipping a car, the 20-foot container is big enough but it won’t leave a lot of room for other cargo. Therefore, if you want to bring your car along with the contents of your household then you’ll most likely need a 40-foot container. Here’s our guide to shipping cars.

The 40-foot container technically contains 67 cbm of space, although only about 54-58 cbm ends up being usable. If you want another visual aid, just double the numbers we gave you for the 20-foot container. Here’s another funky purple infographic to show you how much can fit inside a 40-foot container:

Container Shipping Rates | What Are The Costs in 2022? | MoveHub (5)

Once you’ve chosen a container, you’ll need to pack all of your belongings. Check out our super handy guide to moving furniture abroad.

Select the size of your move to get free quotes

1 Bedroom 2 Bedroom 3+ Bedroom


Depending on the volume of goods you want to ship, you may not need to pay for the use of a whole container. Shipping companies have devised a system for people with smaller amounts of cargo where several customers can share the space of a single container. This is called a‘Less Than Container Load’ (LCL)or a part-load shipment.

Typically,people who are moving the contents of a one-bedroom flat can opt for LCL, but volumes greater than that will usually require a whole container. This is called a‘Full Container Load’ (FCL)or sole-use shipment. It’s a bit like the difference between a private taxi and a bus.

Container Shipping Rates | What Are The Costs in 2022? | MoveHub (6)

Shanghai, China, is home to the world's busiest container port, funnelling an astonishing 43.5 million TEU around the world every year.

Why choose Full Container Load?

It’s better value.In terms of cost per cubic metre, you get more bang for your buck with an FCL. The shipping company will charge you a flat rate for the use of the container rather than making you pay for the specific volume of your goods.

It’s faster. When you’re sharing a container with other people’s cargo, there’s more waiting involved. Belongings have to be loaded and unloaded at each port and then placed on separate trucks. However, an FCL shipment doesn’t need to be opened until it’s at your new house. The extra time required by LCL can vary, ranging from 4-5 days to a couple of weeks. It all depends on where you’re going and the company you’re shipping with.

Your goods are safer. With all the extra handling, LCL comes with an increased risk. The loading and unloading that happens at each port means that LCL shipments are moved around more often than FCL shipments. Naturally, this puts your belongings at greater risk of being damaged. FCL is much more advisable if you have fragile goods to bring with you.

You can ship a car.If you’re sharing the use of a container with other people, transporting a car is too risky. Cars are very safely secured in shipping containers but they are big and heavy things, meaning there is always the potential for damaging other people’s cargo. FCL is the solution here.

Container Shipping Rates | What Are The Costs in 2022? | MoveHub (7)

Why choose Less Than Container Load?

It’s the cheapest way to ship small volumes.If you don’t actually have that much stuff to bring with you, it would be silly to hire a whole container. Everything will just rattle around once it starts moving.

LCL is the most cost-effective method for smaller moves and it’s quite common that someone will have only a couple of boxes to bring. Students who are travelling abroad just for a year or so regularly opt for LCL. However, there is a point where you should switch from LCL to FCL, even if you don’t have enough to fill a container. Shipping companies advise that any shipment over 15 cbm should be sent by FCL, as this is actually more economical.

Sea freight or air freight?

Choice of transport is another big factor when it comes to international shipping costs. It’s all about balancing your priorities.

What’s more important to you, getting your things shipped as quickly as possible or keeping costs down? Moving your belongings by sea and by air are the two most popular options for international moves.

Container Shipping Rates | What Are The Costs in 2022? | MoveHub (8)

Why choose sea freight?

Sea freight is low cost. On average, sea freight is 12-16 times cheaper than air freight, according to the World Bank. For instance, shipping the contents of a one-bedroom flat from the UK to Australia by sea costs around . Ship the same contents by air and you’re looking at a bill of around . See our price comparison table below for more details.

Container ships are the most eco-friendly option. In contrast to air or road transport, ships on the ocean release the lowest amount of carbon emissions.

Sending a container from Shanghai to Le Havre (France) emits fewer greenhouse gases than the truck that takes the container on to Lyon.

– Rose George,Ninety Percent of Everything

(Video) Shipping Container Shortage Push Supply Chains To A Breaking Point As Freight Rates Soar 150%

Why choose air freight?

Cargo planes are faster. If you’re in a hurry to ship your belongings, transporting them by air is the fastest method of shipping. Between any two global destinations, it will usually take about 1 to 3 days. Compare this with a container ship’s journey from the UK to Australia, which takes on average 32 days. The ocean is a big place and a ship full of thousands of steel containers can only go so fast (about 23 mph).

Comparing sea freight and air freight rates

We’ve made another table to give you a better idea of the difference between air freight and sea freight costs. These prices are calculated for some of our most popular routes from the UK (the Port of London / Gatwick Airport).

The rates are based on the port-to-port (or airport-to-airport) shipment of a 250kg load of household goods worth , and they were last updated in November 2021.

Destination Port / AirportSea Freight Rate (LCL)Air Freight Rate
New York, USA

659 ()

3,910 ()

Sydney, AUS

594 ()

3,910 ()

Vancouver, CAN

687 ()

3,965 ()

Mumbai, IND

611 ()

5,191 ()

Auckland, NZ

594 ()

3,948 ()

Marseille, FRA

594 ()

4,003 ()

Manila, PHL

704 ()

4712 ()

Hong Kong, HKG

645 ()

3,975 ()

Amsterdam, NLD

594 ()

3,944 ()

Select the size of your move to get free quotes

1 Bedroom 2 Bedroom 3+ Bedroom

Truck freight or train freight?

If your international move doesn’t involve crossing any oceans, then sea freight isn't an option. Of course, you can still transport your belongings by air, but your cheapest solution for a land move is by truck and train. Even a move from the UK to Europe will most likely not need a container ship, as trucks can take the ferry.

Container Shipping Rates | What Are The Costs in 2022? | MoveHub (9)

Why choose truck freight?

Trucks are more flexible. We’re not referring to those articulated lorries that can bend round tight corners. Transporting your belongings by road means that they can be delivered right to your door without loading and unloading along the way. Unless you’re moving to a house next to a train station, opting for rail means that your goods will have to be transferred to a truck before they can reach you. What’s more, a truck’s time schedule is much less restricted than that of a train.

Why choose train freight?

Rail is more economical and more ecological. Double whammy! Trains are the container ships of the land, offering a cheaper and greener alternative to trucks. They are also more reliable when it comes to reaching their destination on time, as they are not subjected to the traffic problems and bad weather that can blight road travel. Old, dependable locomotives!

Other shipping costs to consider

It doesn’t stop there. Once you know the volume and/or weight of your goods, the container size, whether it’s an FCL or LCL shipment and what kind of transport you’ll be using, there are still a few additional shipping costs that you need to think about.

These are: customs duties, container inspection fees, General Rate Increase (GRI), inland delivery charges, quarantine fees, and insurance cover.

Customs duties

You can’t do much about customs duties. Your destination country will tax your cargo whether you like it or not, along with fees such as port service charges and terminal handling charges. However, these will vary from port to port so you should speak to your shipping company beforehand about what to expect. Our key piece of advice is to declare everything you’re bringing into the country and don’t take anything that isn’t allowed.

Container inspection fees

With the technological advance of electronic scanning machines, it’s unlikely that your container will be physically inspected. In the USA, just 5% of inbound containers receive physical inspection, and it’s even less common in European ports. However, if the scans give customs staff any reason to be suspicious then your container will most likely be opened and investigated. In this scenario, shipping companies will usually ask you to cover all the charges incurred by this process.

General Rate Increase (GRI)

A General Rate Increase (GRI) is the average rise in base shipping rates implemented by shipping companies. They are designed to cover the continually increasing costs faced by freight carriers and they occur very regularly (sometimes once a month). A continual cycle occurs: shipping companies implement GRIs, demand falls, they lower their prices, demand rises and another GRI is implemented. This is what makes container shipping prices so volatile.

Consequently, once your Cargo Ready Date (CRD) has been agreed with your shipping company, be sure to check whether it falls before or after a new GRI as this can make a significant difference to the price.

Inland delivery charges

You need to make sure that your shipping company is clear with you about what service they are providing. They might only be offering you a port-to-port rate, which means they’ll deliver your container to its destination port and then you’ll have to deal with it after that. This can often be more costly than opting for a full door-to-door service and it’s a bunch of logistics that you probably don’t want to deal with. Be kind to yourself and make sure your container is being taken all the way to your new home.

Quarantine fees

Quarantine fees sound like a thing reserved solely for animals, but this is not the case in some countries. In Australia, for example, people there are worried about foreign pests (eg. insects or bacteria) disrupting their ecosystem. Officials will inspect all items coming into the country, looking for unclean pieces of furniture and outdoor equipment. This inspection comes with a fee, along with further charges if they find something that shouldn’t be coming in. It’s important that you know about any quarantine process before you start packing your belongings, so speak to your shipping company.

Do I need container shipping insurance?

In short: yes. International shipping isn’t always smooth sailing, so insuring your cargo is a no-brainer. And it won't cost you too much either. Shipping insurance is based on the monetary value of your belongings, rather than their weight or volume. So to insure cargo worth £40,000 ($55,000) travelling from the UK to Australia, it would only cost around £700 ($900).

International shipping has become increasingly safe, however, so you shouldn’t worry too much about your possessions getting lost or damaged. Here are just some of the ways the international shipping industry has made moving abroad that bit more secure.

(Video) The REAL reason freight rates are down. And will keep going down.

Intermodal transportation

This fancy term basically means the use of several different types of transport. By using steel containers with standardised, universal measurements, the global shipping industry has found a way to move cargo seamlessly between sea transport and land transport without having to unload each time. The same container can travel by ship, train and truck all the way to your new house. Handling of goods is less frequent which means damages are far less likely. There are 50,000 merchant ships in the world fleet and they have all embraced intermodal transportation.


Most international container ships can hold over 10,000 20ft containers with the world’s largest container ship carrying up to 18,000 – the mighty Maersk Triple-E. To put that into context, the biggest container ship in 1956 could hold only 800 containers. With all the steel boxes on board these modern vessels, it’s vital that they are all accounted for. Most shipping companies use ISO codes (a 4-character ID) to track every container electronically.


The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) regulates all global shipping. The sea can be a dangerous place so it is vital that the IMO hold all container ships to rigorous standards.

So, although international shipping is safe, it doesn’t mean that accidents don’t happen. Getting shipping insurance is a sensible option and shipping companies strongly advise it. You can check out our specific guide to international removals insurance.

How much does a shipping container cost?

It isn’t necessary to buy your own shipping container (our suppliers will provide one for you), however some people decide that they can get multiple uses out of one.

A shipping container is not just for shipping; once its career on the sea is over, a container can be anything it wants to be. Arty people have transformed these big steel boxes into mini homes, trendy offices, garden sheds, swimming pools and pop-up cafes. The only limit is your imagination.

The average cost of a new or barely used (i.e. one-trip) 20ft container is around £2000. Once you start looking at second-hand containers, the price will fall to around £1500 or below.

If you’re looking to go supersize and get a 40ft container, these cost around £3000 brand new or barely used, while second-hand containers are about £2000.

So how long will a shipping container last? Well, a container that spends its whole life on the ocean will be useful for about 10-12 years, but let it rest and its lifespan will grow to 25-30 years. Containers are windproof and watertight, but sadly they are not immune to rust.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Here are the answers to some of our most popular shipping queries.

How are container shipping costs calculated?

There are five key factors that shipping companies use to calculate their costs: 1) the volume or weight of the goods, 2) the type of transport, 3) the journey distance, 4) the destination port, and 5) the time of year. Our suppliers can explain their calculations to you in more detail.

Should I use air freight or sea freight?

Your choice between air freight and sea freight largely depends on your budget and your time. Air freight is quick, with most journeys taking between 1-3 days, but it’s also very expensive. Meanwhile, sea freight is much slower, but it’s also around five times cheaper than air freight.

How much does a shipping container cost to ship?

Generally speaking, it will cost somewhere between £1,000 and £2,000 to ship a 20ft container overseas, although this figure can vary quite significantly. For example, it depends on how far you’re moving and how much you’re bringing, as well as insurance costs, professional packing fees and customs charges.

How much can a shipping container hold?

A 20ft container contains 33 cubic metres of space, and it can usually transport the contents of a three-bedroom house. A 40ft container has more than double the amount of space – 67 cubic metres – and it is useful for whole-house moves of four or more bedrooms.

How much does a shipping container cost?

If you’re buying a 20ft container that is new or has only been used once, it will cost about £2000, while second-hand containers should cost less than £1500. A 40ft container costs around £3000 if new and around £2000 if second-hand.

It travels the same distance as a journey to the moon – and halfway back!

Next steps

Hopefully we’ve made international shipping costs a little easier to navigate. There is a long list of factors and considerations but nothing that MoveHub or your shipping company can’t help you with. The next step is to find your best price.

Luckily, you can speed up the process by popping your details in our quick quote tool. Once we’ve got some information about your move, we’ll pass on your details to our expert suppliers, who’ll be in touch with their best prices. Thank us later!

(Video) Freight Cost Factors in 2022 and How to Best Handle Them


Will shipping costs come down in 2022? ›

It is estimated that freight rates will be corrected and will drop by 30-40% in 2022. The fact that freight rates drop is good news, especially for importers. However, it is highly unlikely that they will drop back to the 2019 level.

Are the container prices on the increasing? ›

The average price for a 40-foot container stands at US$10,374.64 as of September 16, an increase of 2.9% on the previous week and 323% higher than a year ago, according to the Drewry World Container Index, which tracks the cost of containers. It marks the 22nd consecutive week of increases.

Are shipping containers dropping in price? ›

Prices of shipping containers have fallen by two-thirds this year after reaching figures tenfold on major trade routes during 2021, according to Investors' Chronicle. Rates slowly began falling in the third quarter of 2022 and are expected to continue to drop, the outlet reports.

How much does it cost to ship a 20ft container? ›

The container can range from $1,300 to $6,700 for 20 ft. and $1500 to $7000 for a 40 ft. Distance, type of transport, and volume will affect the final shipping cost. Extra costs include door-to-door delivery, packing and unloading, and insurance.

Will freight rates go up in 2022? ›

Despite a significant appreciation in diesel prices in 2022, which has curtailed some of the trucking cost declines, we expect spot rates to continue to trend lower year-over-year,” says Krasov.

Are shipping rates going up in 2022? ›

9, 2022. The proposed prices, approved by the Postal Service Governors, would raise Shipping Services product prices approximately 3.1 percent for Priority Mail® service, and 3.1 percent for Priority Mail Express® service.

Is now a good time to buy a shipping container? ›

In our opinion, now is the time to buy. Covid-19's impact has been felt across all industries, especially storage containers. Storage container inventory is low, but the demand continues to rise. As of February 2021, the price of shipping containers rose 63 percent, according to Freightos Baltic Index.

Why are shipping costs so high 2022? ›

The primary reason for this increase is the world's nemesis: COVID-19. The pandemic has destroyed the global supply chain since 2020. And the recent rise in shipping prices is a direct reflection of that.

Will freight rates go up in 2023? ›

Most carriers are confident that in 2023 their schedule and rates will return to pre-pandemic levels. However, in the past two years, shippers have also learned that many companies are capable of paying thousands of dollars more than they were before 2020.

Will shipping prices go down in 2023? ›

Will shipping prices go down in 2023? As far as linehaul, the early consensus appears to be that contract shipping prices will not continue to go down in 2023, instead ticking back up - likely in the single digit percentile.

What are the current freight rates? ›

Flatbed Freight Rates – November 15, 2022

National average flatbed rates are currently $2.83 per mile, $.

How many years do shipping containers last? ›

Shipping containers have an average lifespan of 25 years thanks to a design that ensures their durability when traveling by sea. After manufacturers modify cargo containers and transform them into container-based structures, the container's longevity remains.

How much does a 40ft shipping container cost? ›

Used 40' containers start as low as $1,750, but can cost as much as $3,500 in markets where supply is scarce. One trip 40' containers, which are like new, can cost anywhere from $4,500 to $7,900, depending on availability.

How do I calculate freight costs? ›

Divide the weight (in pounds) of the shipment by the total cubic feet. The result is the density (in pounds per cubic foot). For multiple pallets, add the weight of each pallet together before dividing by the total cubic feet of the shipment. You'll need to round fractions to the nearest full cubic foot.

Will ocean freight rates go down in 2022? ›

Freight rates on the primary ocean trade channels are sinking during a time typically identified as the peak season in the industry after cargo owners reportedly shipped their holiday goods early and inflation dented consumer demands.

Why are container freight rates so high? ›

What triggered the spike in freight rates and costs? Demand for goods surged in the second half of 2020 and into 2021, as consumers spent their money on goods rather than services during pandemic lockdowns and restrictions, according to the report.

What is the average freight rate per mile? ›

To answer your question on what is the going rate per mile for trucking — current trucking rates per mile 2022 averages are: Van rates are at $2.76 per mile. Reefer rates are $3.19 per mile. Flatbed rates are at $3.14 per mile.

How much is shipping increasing? ›

Domestic Shipping:

Priority Mail Express will see a rate increase of 4.3% for Commercial Base (online postage) in 2022, with rates will starting at $23.50 (previously $22.75). Priority Mail will see a rate increase of 2.7% for Commercial Base (online postage) in 2022, with rates starting at $7.37 (previously $7.16).

Why is shipping so expensive right now? ›

A large part of it boils down to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its heavy impact on global supply chains. This is reflected in the spike in shipping prices, which are estimated to remain at a high until 2023.

Do shipping containers rust out? ›

Shipping containers are almost always constructed from steel, which is an alloy of iron, and are therefore susceptible to rust. Marine grade steel is used with anti-corrosive properties, but due to the harsh environments that containers encounter, rust will eventually, inevitably occur.

Is the shipping crisis getting better? ›

It took more than 110 days for goods to make their way from Asia to the US in October 2021; that has dramatically fallen to 95 days in the week ending July 10. While 15 days may not seem that dramatic, it makes a huge difference to American shoppers used to 2-day shipping — and it's a rate not seen since mid-2021.

Are freight costs decreasing? ›

Freight rates drop 50% as global trade slows | Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide.

What will rates do in 2023? ›

In a best-case scenario, we may see rates for 30-year mortgages somewhere between 5.5% to 6% by the end of 2023.” Zillow Senior Economist Jeff Tucker: “If inflation convincingly cools down, and the Fed subsequently stops tightening monetary policy, we could see rates begin to ease back down.

When the shipping crisis will end? ›

Global shipping mess, supply chain delays to last until 2023, freight industry insider predicts.

How long will container shortage last? ›

Some experts had predicted that the shortage could begin to wind down at some point in 2022, as an increase in container production would bring enough new ones into the global supply chain to ease imbalances.

Why the shipping container crisis will not end soon? ›

All facilities continue to grapple with labour shortages, slowing the entire chain of processes from unloading of containers, their movement to depots and warehouses and onward journey. Therefore, congestion continues at almost all large ports.

What is the highest paying freight right now? ›

9 Highest Paying Trucking Jobs
  • Ice Road Drivers. ...
  • Oversized Load. Salary: $71,442 per year. ...
  • Specialty Vehicle Haulers. Salary: $82,099. ...
  • Team Drivers. Salary: $96,573. ...
  • Private Fleet. Salary: $95,999 - $110,000 per year. ...
  • Mining Industry Drivers. Salary: $58,862. ...
  • Liquids / Tanker. Salary: $88,024. ...
  • Hazmat Drivers. Salary: $65,466.

Which freight company is cheapest? ›

Best and Cheapest Shipping Companies for Small Businesses
  • UPS.
  • DHL Express.
  • FedEx.
  • Spee-dee.
  • LSO.
  • LaserShip.
  • ShippingEasy.
  • ShipBob.
25 Oct 2022

Do shipping containers get moldy? ›

However, many materials in shipping containers, such as wood, fabrics & textile, and paper, may become a harbor for mold. Mildew in shipping containers can harm your cargo, rendering it unusable or, even worse, unsellable. But you can avoid the problem.

How do you keep a shipping container from sweating? ›

Ventilation. The most cost-effective and simplest way to prevent condensation is with ventilation. If you have air circulating through your shipping container, this will reduce or prevent condensation. It equalizes the air temperature in both the inside and the outside.

Can you walk on the roof of a shipping container? ›

While the roof of a shipping container is extremely durable, it's not fail-proof. Every shipping container has reinforced corner castings that are responsible for its structural integrity. This means that if you walk across the roof or place heavy items on top of the container, it can flex or dip.

How much is a brand new 40 container? ›

A new 40ft high cube container will cost you an average of US $5,318. If you're looking for a 20ft reefer container, you can get one at US $12,835. The 40ft alternative costs an average of US $18,819. A typical 20ft open top container costs US $4,013.

How many 40 ft containers can a ship carry? ›

They have 24 bays and carry between 18,000 and 21,000 TEUs or 9,000 to 10,500 forty-foot containers. The TEUs are a unit that indicates the number of containers the ships can carry.

How many pallets can you fit in a 40ft container? ›

How many pallets fit into a 20' or 40' container? A 20'ft container can hold eleven "Europallets" in one tier or nine to ten standard pallets in one tier while a 40' container can hold 23-24 "Europallets" in one tier or 20-21 standard pallets in one tier.

What is the cheapest way to ship freight? ›

One of the cheapest ways to send large packages is through freight shipping services. But it's also a good idea to check and compare prices with USPS, FedEx, and DHL. You may get a lower price depending on the weight and class of your products.

How do you negotiate freight charges? ›

How to Negotiate Freight Rates (8 Tips for Success)
  1. Know Your Operating Cost. ...
  2. Pay Attention to the Drop-off Location. ...
  3. Identify the Load-to-Truck Ratio. ...
  4. Look Up the Average Spot Rate. ...
  5. Mark the Load's Times. ...
  6. Ask about Fees. ...
  7. Get Everything in Writing. ...
  8. Verify the Broker and Shipper Information.
10 Mar 2021

Is freight cheaper than shipping? ›

The shipping of goods can be done for either commercial or personal purposes. Shipping is generally considered to be more expensive than freight since it is cheaper to transport goods in bulk than in smaller amounts.

Are shipping costs from China coming down? ›

Rates for shipping containers from Asia to the US are falling towards pre-pandemic levels and may still have further to drop, while long shipping delays are increasingly disappearing from the market, according to analysts.

Are freight rates from China coming down? ›

Freightos data shows that rates to ship a 40-ft container from Asia to the US West Coast have come down by more than 80% since the end of April, while prices to the East Coast have fallen by almost two-thirds.

Why are shipping costs going down? ›

THE COST OF shipping containers is in retreat around the world, as the shortages and bottlenecks that plagued maritime trade throughout much of the pandemic subside rapidly (see chart). The drop could help to reduce stubbornly high inflation, and offer a signal of slowing demand in the global economy.

Why are shipping rates so high 2022? ›

A large part of it boils down to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its heavy impact on global supply chains. This is reflected in the spike in shipping prices, which are estimated to remain at a high until 2023.

How long will the shipping crisis last? ›

Answer: The consensus is until 2023.

And to make matters worse, experts are predicting that things are about to get worse, and they may not get better until 2023. Surprising no one, it all started with COVID-19.

Why is shipping becoming more expensive? ›

Soaring demand for physical goods thanks to government stimulus, coronavirus travel restrictions, more time at home and a global shortage of cargo containers has increased congestion and delays at the world's ports and pushed up shipping costs.

What are current freight rates? ›

As of July 2021, trucking rates per mile remain steady. Here are the current rates for the most popular freight truck types: Overall average van rates vary from $2.30 – 2.86 per mile. Reefer rates are averaging $3.19 per mile, with the lowest rates being the Northeast at $2.47 per mile.

Is shipping expensive right now? ›

International shipping rates have peaked. So, many of you might be wondering why shipping has become so expensive recently. The primary reason for this increase is the world's nemesis: COVID-19. The pandemic has destroyed the global supply chain since 2020.

What is Biden doing about shipping? ›

President Joe Biden signed the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022 into law on Thursday, promising sweeping changes to the ocean shipping industry after more than two years of port congestion, delays and rising costs.

Why is there a shipping container shortage 2022? ›

Container shortages have been a problem since early 2020 and continue to cause challenges for global trade. The shortage is caused by a number of factors, including the global pandemic, the shift to online shopping, and increased demand from China.

What is causing the shipping container crisis? ›

The surge in freight rates and associated costs were largely the result of a mismatch between soaring demand and reduced supply capacity, plus labour shortages and continued on-and-off Covid-19 restrictions imposed in port regions.

Is there still a shipping container problem? ›

Trends in global supply chains continue to flip as container prices fall and container depots fill up, logistics data show. While there was a shortage of containers at the height of the Covid pandemic, the global economy is now facing the opposite problem: too many containers.

How can we overcome the container shortage? ›

How Can I Overcome the Current Container Shortage? Less-than-container-load shipping provides a viable solution to the problem. In effect, this method allows you to share a container with one or more other shippers, making it easier to secure capacity, albeit with smaller cargo volumes.


1. How to know you're getting the best shipping container price [2022]
(Container xChange)
2. July 2022 Freight Rate & Trucking Update
(TCI Business Capital, a division of Fidelity Bank)
3. What’s going on with shipping rates?
(McKinsey & Company)
4. Recession and Freight Rates | UPDATE
(ET Transport)
5. China's container shipping market weakens; shipping prices drop by up to 90%
(Spotlight on China)
(Kurt Sibila)
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