Shipping to Australia

There are a number of companies out there that can ship out your personal belongings, and as you may expect, shipping to Australia is pretty damn slow.  Shipping your personal belongings by sea is the most cost effective way of getting everything to Australia, but it is the slowest.  Shipping companies can ship almost any amount from a small pallet upto a 40 foot container.  Prices should only vary slightly between companies, so probably the best advise we can give is to go with a company most local to your pickup point as this will be quickest and cheapest.  Some companies such as Seven Seas Worldwide are intermediaries and as such they will find you the cheapest price by using trade channels instead.  Others tempt you with free packaging materials and many other things.

Please be aware though that generally insurance is not included as standard and must be added on.  Get an idea of the replace cost of your shipment and give that figure to the shipping companies to include in your quote.

PACK THE SHIPMENT YOURSELF is probably the single best piece of advice anyone can give.  You and only you will give the due care and attention to your prized possessions and pack them safetly.  Itemise EVERYTHING in your shipment along with replacement costs!!!!  Not only will you need these for shipping inventory, but also for the insurance company.  When packing, mark clearly on the outside of the box a box identifier for your own records to make it easier for you when everything arrives.


As a guide, here is a sample quote:

Collection from Midlands, UK to Brisbane, Australia

1 cubic metre £220
2 cubic metre £340
3 cubic metre £440
Handling fees in Australia are approximately £35 per cubic metre.
Customs clearance approx £60 if the shipping company completes on your behalf, however, if you deal with Customs yourself, it is normally free of charge

If it is a container that you require, costs for this can easily be up to £5000 all in for a 40 foot container.


Please, please, please take out insurance.  Any number of different companies will come into contact with you possessions and they will not care one bit what happens to it, so insurance is a must and to be honest it is not an expensive add on to you shipment.  When you take out the insurance make sure you have a complete and accurate manifest for the shipment and the cost that you wish to insure it for


Now this is part of the process that is usually NOT included in your shipping costs.  The amount that you get charge will be based on a number of key factors namely how long your shipment stays in storage before AQIS comes to check over it and also what items they deem dangerous to Australia.  If AQIS are delayed for any reason, then this will obviously delay the quarantine process for you and the shipping company will charge you for the privilege.  When AQIS do finally find the time to look over your possessions, if they find anything that they won’t accept into Australia they give you 2 options

  • Fumigation
  • Destruction

Now the costs involved in either of these processes seem to be simple blanket costs.  In other words, the cost will be the same to fumigate of destroy a bed frame as it would to do the same to a wooden ornament for example.  We had a charge of either $340 for fumigation, or $110 for destruction of a bunch of cinnamon sticks that were a table ornament.  This is simply disgusting as all they would do would be to throw them into a furnace!  The thing to remember is to be careful with what you pack and BE CAREFUL or they will gladly charge you extortionate amounts of money


As mentioned earlier, the time to ship is very long (~2 months), but can easily blow out to double that if the shipment is held up at quarantine,