The Complete Guide to All Shipping Costs to New Zealand From the UK – Including How to Get a Good Quote or Shipping Estimate When Moving to New Zealand
If you have come to this page, you are probably wondering how much it costs to ship household goods or containers from the UK to New Zealand.
Whether dispatching a handful of boxes or relocating an entire household’s worth of items, obtaining a quote for shipping to New Zealand is crucial.
This guide outlines all the costs of shipping everything from parcels, packages, boxes, household goods, furniture, shipping containers and even cars to New Zealand so you can plan accordingly and reduce them where possible.
The main costs associated with shipping are the removal costs and container shipping rates. Using a reputable BAR (Overseas) or FIDI Faim accredited company will ensure that the majority of costs are all included. However, there are some additional costs that you are responsible for that removal companies cannot include in their shipping quote.
The additional charges and exclusions outlined below are industry standard and typical to whichever shipping company you use, not just PSS International Removals. It is essential that you discuss these with your Account Manager to clearly understand which of these apply to your shipment.
Update For 2024
The good news is that shipping costs to New Zealand have been falling in 2023 from the very high levels seen during the coronavirus pandemic. However, the shipping industry still faces many challenges, including increased costs and delays. The costs in this article are guideline prices only and are subject to change at short notice. We, therefore, recommend you use our free online cost calculators to get a more accurate quote.
Cost of Sending Boxes / Luggage to New Zealand From the UK
Excess Baggage and box shipping services are ideal for shipping smaller quantities of items and when no large items, such as furniture, are being shipped.
Costs per box decline as the quantity of volume shipped increases. These shipping prices assume self-packing.
Sea Freight Shipping Prices 2024
|2 kg Parcel / Package
|2-3 Large Boxes
|£155 – £185
|5 Large Boxes
|£250 – £325
|10 Large Boxes
*Postal service via Royal Mail
These prices differ depending on which region of New Zealand you are shipping to. The main ports are cheaper compared to outlying areas.
Large boxes are based on standard shipping tea cartons, measuring 46 x 46 x 51 cm (3.4 cubic feet) and weighing no more than 25 kg each.
Free Cost Calculator For Shipping Boxes
Get the latest rates for 2024 – this cost calculator can give you an immediate personal estimate for your shipment of packages, boxes and other items:
The pricing guide below is based on the average contents of a UK property, with delivery within a 30-mile radius from all major ports of entry in New Zealand (North and South Islands).
International Removal Costs and Prices to New Zealand for 2024
| 1 Bed House/Flat
| 2 Bed House/Flat
| 3 Bed House
| 4+ Bed House
NB: The shipping prices and rates listed here are all approximate shipping costs to New Zealand for 2024. Contact us for a shipping quote.
These prices include a full door-to-door removal service appropriate for most customers. Other websites misleadingly quote port-to-port container shipping costs, which are much lower but not useful for people shipping personal effects to New Zealand.
New Zealand Destination Ports / Container Terminals
The following are the leading container shipping ports in New Zealand. The delivery cost may increase if your final destination is more than 30 miles from the port. Costs can vary between ports.
- Wellington WLG
- Auckland AKL
- Tauranga TRG
- Napier NAP
- Lyttelton LYT (Christchurch)
- Nelson NSN
- Port Chalmers POE (Dunedin)
- Bluff BLU (Invercargill)
Costs for Shipping Household Goods and Personal Effects
These approximate prices are for shipping used household goods and personal effects, including furniture, clothes, bicycles, golf clubs, and other personal items.
Other conditions, duties, and costs may apply for new items and commercial goods.
How to Get an Accurate Shipping Quote or Estimate
Your shipping quote will be based on the volume (cubic feet) you ship. It is essential, therefore, to get a clear assessment of what you want to send.
Most international removal companies will provide a surveyor free of charge to visit your home and calculate the volume of what you wish to ship. These days, video surveys and online calculators are also available, but you must ensure you include everything you want to send.
NB: Additional Volume
Your shipping estimate will only include what was initially assessed – if you decide to take additional items, this will increase your volume and the amount you will need to pay for shipping.
Other factors that can affect the cost are the access to the property on either end (including flats in buildings where parking may be an issue). Also, extra-large or large quantities of small/fragile items will require more time and materials to pack.
International Removals – What’s Included in the Price?
The price estimates quoted here are based on a full international removals service to New Zealand. This service is designed for people moving overseas or shipping personal effects and is much more comprehensive than using a freight forwarder or shipping port to port.
- Door-to-door service
- Professional export packing at your residence of the items detailed on the enclosed list, utilising export packing materials and cartons.
- Packing, export wrapping and shipping of furniture.
- Use of reliable, regulated shipping lines such as Maersk and Hapag Lloyd.
- Storage – a limited amount may be included in the UK or destination.
- Help with completing forms & other paperwork.
- Numbering and listing of all packages for customs requirements.
- UK & destination Port/Terminal handling charges.
- Charges due to the new container weighing regulation (VGM).
- Ocean freight to arrival vessel destination port/terminal.
- Customs Clearance, haulage of the container, and unloading.
- Delivery of household effects to the residence, unwrapping, and removal of packing materials at delivery (assumes good access and not above the first floor).
Cost of Shipping Cars and Other Vehicles to New Zealand
Cars, bikes, motorhomes, caravans, motorbikes, and boats can all be shipped to New Zealand.
If they fit in a container, they can be shipped cost-effectively with your other household goods.
Alternatively, they can be shipped using a RORO (Roll-On-Roll-Off) service. This is especially true for caravans and motorhomes, which can be too wide and tall to fit in a shipping container.
The good news for shipping cars to New Zealand is that Concessionary Entry is applicable for many imports, meaning you don’t have to pay tax or import duties if you are a new migrant and have owned the vehicle for over 12 months. New Zealanders need to have lived abroad for over 21 months before arrival. However, if you don’t meet the conditions, GST applies at 15% of the vehicle’s CIF value (total purchase price, freight, and marine insurance).
For a quote, please visit our car shipping page or call our advisers on 020 8686 7733.
Cost of Air Freight Shipping To New Zealand
If you need to send items urgently, you can use express delivery by air freight. Costs are higher and depend both on weight and volume.
There are also further restrictions on what you can send by air.
For more details and a quote, visit our online cost calculator here.
Why New Zealand Shipping Costs Vary – Estimates For Shipping
You will notice that your shipping quotation is an estimate, and your final invoice may differ for several reasons.
This is the case with all shipping companies; much can change between receiving your quote and your actual moving or shipping day.
Final shipping costs can change due to:
- Additional items being added that were not included in the original quotation
- Exchange rate fluctuations
- Time of year (seasonal variations)
- Increases in port/shipping fees and other charges between receiving your estimate and your actual departure
- Varying costs and charges for different ports and shipping lines.
Discount On Your Shipping to New Zealand
Understanding how shipping costs vary can help you get a lower price on your shipment. During peak season, costs are likely to be higher, and in quieter periods, shipping companies may offer discounts and promotions to help fill containers. If you can be flexible on your move date or plan accordingly, you may be able to get deals and a cheaper shipping quote.
Quantity discounts are also available, so it could be cheaper for you to ship more of your belongings rather than buy everything new in New Zealand, where they may be expensive to replace.
What’s Not Included – Possible Additional Charges and Fees
Several additional charges and fees are the responsibility of the shipper rather than the removal company, which are not included in standard quotes. Some fees and charges will need to be paid separately at your destination.
- Customs fees, duties, quarantine fees, and other charges payable to Government Bodies (see below)
- Specialist packing materials, e.g. wooden crates and antique wrapping for delicate items.
- Additional charges for difficult access, e.g. above the first floor or if a shuttle service is needed to transport belongings from your house to the container
- Additional storage time in the UK or at the destination before delivery
- Shipping protection cover/insurance
- Parking permits, charges, or associated fees for suspension /dispensation to facilitate removal in the UK or delivery at the destination
Customs Duties and Other Fees
Customs duties and import taxes are the responsibility of the person shipping and must be paid separately to New Zealand Customs.
If you send household effects and meet the visa/residency requirements, you may not need to pay customs duty or GST (Goods and Services Tax).
Import duties are hard to predict or calculate as they depend on several factors, including the value of items, what country they are from, and applicable Customs concessions.
GST in 2022 is 15% based on the total price paid for the item, international shipping costs, and import duty.
Other fees include an import entry transaction fee (IETF) and a Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) biosecurity levy totalling $59.48 (GST inclusive) (2022).
These fees will often be handled for you by the shipping company’s agent in New Zealand and you will need to reimburse them before your shipment can be delivered.
New Zealand Quarantine Costs and Fees 2024
If you have done your research and taken advice on what you can and cannot import into New Zealand, you should not face charges but there are some you need to be aware of.
MPI (Ministry for Primary Industries) is the government body responsible for protecting New Zealand’s borders and keeping unwanted pests and diseases from entering the country.
You can get more details of these MPI fees and charges here.
They can include:
- Testing and sampling
- Laboratory analysis
- Cleaning and treating, including fumigation if ordered
- Travel costs for MPI inspectors
- Inspections of goods
- Destruction, transportation, re-shipment, or other disposal of goods
- Storage and quarantine of goods.
You can reduce your chances of paying by ensuring you don’t ship prohibited or restricted items and that all your goods are properly cleaned and prepared before shipping. Ask your shipping company for more advice.
Why The Cheapest Shipping to New Zealand May Not Be So Cheap
Whilst many people are surprised, considering the distance, at the low cost of moving to New Zealand compared to moving house within the UK, other people ask:
“Why is it so expensive to ship to New Zealand?”
Hopefully, this article explains the costs and expenses of shipping to New Zealand more clearly.
You may be able to find some cheap shipping quotes but beware – sections that look a lot cheaper often don’t provide a full-quality service.
Most reputable shipping and international removal companies will have fairly similar costs and estimates. Cheap shipping quotes may look attractive on the surface but often have hidden costs or shortcuts that could put your belongings at risk.
Reasons For Cheap Shipping Quotes For New Zealand Can Include:
- Incorrect calculation of volume on the original quotation
- Your quote is not for a full removal service, including packing, customs clearance, delivery, etc.
- The price only includes container shipping to New Zealand.
- The shipping company uses unaccredited shipping lines, which may be cheaper, but there is a higher risk of something going wrong.
- Unacceptable lower-grade packing materials or not professionally packed.
- Port-to-port rather than door-to-door delivery.
- Some charges & fees are added on as extra, so the headline quote looks cheap.
- The removal/shipping company is not BAR or FIDI-regulated.
- The quote is cheaper as it does not include customs clearance and handling.
- Unregulated or unreliable agents are used at the destination.
For more advice, read our article on cheap shipping to New Zealand.
Shipping Protection and Insurance
How Much Does Shipping Protection or Maritime Insurance Cost to New Zealand?
Shipping companies, like PSS, who are members of BAR, are covered by the Advance Payment Guarantee scheme. Although this guarantees the payment and cost of removal if your removal company cannot complete your move, you should also consider protecting your belongings.
Shipping protection and insurance costs vary between companies and depend on whether it is self-packed or packed by the shipping/removal company.
Self-packed tends to be higher as it is not packed by professional packers.
Expect to pay anything from 3% to 7% of the total value of your goods.
(Some removal companies will allow you to select which items you wish to cover, significantly saving your insurance costs).
Shipping Costs to Other Countries
Get a Quote For Shipping To New Zealand From the UK
PSS International Removals will be happy to help if you move to New Zealand. For over 40 years, we have helped thousands of people and families to move or ship belongings to New Zealand. Whether you are a first-time migrant or a Kiwi returning home, PSS can offer you the best prices on shipping for household removals, boxes of personal effects, and cars.
Due to our years of experience and the high volumes we ship, we can offer our customers the best service at the lowest prices.
Call the PSS team on 020 8686 7733 to get an estimate or quote.
For more information or to get an online quote: