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How long does sea freight take?

How long does sea freight take?
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19 Nov 2020

Sea freight is a popular choice for international moves – but how long will you have to wait for your goods?

Sea freight is the slower option when moving abroad, but it represents good value for money. When you move your household items by sea your goods will be picked up by your chosen removals firm and then expertly packed into a suitably-sized shipping container. Containers do need to be packed by experts to ensure the space is used efficiently and safely and to avoid problems like damp and mould, as described in our blogpost.

Depending on how much stuff you have to move, your move co-ordinator may decide to rent a full shipping container or part of a shipping container. Renting part of a shipping container – this is known as groupage – is much cheaper but the logistics mean that the journey is a bit slower. To work out how much space you are likely to need, use an international shipping volume calculator like this one from removal company Bournes.

In either case, your goods will be delivered to your new address, and they can be stored until you are ready for them.

The time it takes to transport goods by sea varies, and delays happen for all sorts of reasons, from bad weather to problems with customs. You should ask your removals company for a more accurate forecast – but this article will give you an idea of how long it will take for your household goods to travel by sea to some popular destinations.

How long does it take to make a domestic move to China by sea?

Full container to China: six to eight weeks.

Groupage to China: eight to twelve weeks.

How long does it take to move domestic goods to Australia by sea?

Whether you are moving to Sydney, Hobart or Brisbane, your household goods will take between six to nine weeks in a full container. Goods in a shared container will take eight to twelve weeks.

How long does it take to send household goods to Dubai by sea?

Full container to Dubai (UAE): five to seven weeks.

Part container by sea to Dubai (UAE): seven to ten weeks.

How long does it take to move house to Hong Kong by sea?

Full container to Hong Kong: six to eight weeks.

Groupage to Hong Kong: eight to twelve weeks.

How long does it take to make a domestic move to South Africa by sea?

Because of South Africa’s geography the time it takes to send your goods by sea varies depending on which port you are bringing them to.

Full container to Cape Town and Durban: three to five weeks.

Shared container to Cape Town and Durban: six to ten weeks.

Full container to Johannesburg: four to six weeks.

Shared container to Johannesburg: six to ten weeks.

How long does it take to make a domestic move to Malta by sea?

Sending a full container to Malta takes five to eight weeks. A shared container takes six to ten weeks.

How long does sea freight to New Zealand take?

Whether you need to send goods to North Island or South Island the times are the same for sea freight.

Full container by sea to New Zealand: seven to ten weeks.

Shared container by sea to New Zealand: eight to twelve weeks.

Do I need to insure my move when I use sea freight?

Whatever method you use to move abroad, you should get insurance. Although damage to goods at sea is not common, it would be a real blow to start your new life at a disadvantage because of loss or damage during your move. You may wonder if your usual home contents insurance will cover your move. You will have to check this with your usual insurer, but in most cases you will get better value from dedicated international removals insurance. It definitely pays to shop around when you insure your move as prices and terms vary between providers. Get a quote from Insure Your Move today.