International Shipping to South Africa
Everything you need to know for shipping to South Africa from the UK, including how to get instant shipping cost quotes online.
If you are planning to ship personal effects or household goods to South Africa, you’re in the right place.
If you are a UK migrant shipping your entire house contents, or a South African expat returning home with a few boxes, PSS will take care of the whole process for you.
PSS has been shipping to South Africa from the UK for over 40 years, and after all this time of coordinating and performing worldwide shipments, our priorities never waiver; provide customers with outstanding service and affordable shipping costs from the UK to South Africa.
Our overseas shipping to South Africa service is intended to make your transition to life in South Africa as stress-free as possible. No matter if you are shipping a few boxes or your whole household and a car, our teams fully organise your UK to South Africa shipment, including customs clearance and help with documents.
Get a quick quote in 60 seconds
Shipping your belongings to South Africa is easy with PSS
Home Survey or Quote
Get an online quote in 60 seconds or book a FREE home survey.
Help and Advice
Your dedicated Account Manager can help answer your questions and tailor your shipping requirements.
Quick and easy collection and shipping
Whether you are shipping boxes or furniture, choose either our self-packing or professional packing service.
Customs clearance & delivery to your new home
On arrival our agents will take care of customs clearance and deliver to your door.
“Why choose PSS International in 2023?”
- Free home or video survey
- Independent, family run business with 40 years of experience
- We only handle overseas removals & international shipping
- Members of BAR Overseas Group
- Protection by the BAR Advance Payment Guarantee Scheme
- FIDI Global Alliance (Worldwide Moving Association)
- FAIM Accredited (Removal Quality Assurance Standard)
Shipping to South Africa from the UK
From the moment you alert us of your interest, we assign you a move coordinator to manage your UK to South Africa shipping from pre-home survey through to unloading of your moving boxes.
Our long time as the UK’s leading personal shipping service means we know what it takes to move the belongings of families, expats, travellers and students to South Africa while keeping the process as smooth and stress-free as possible.
We have an international shipping service for every South African city and region, so no matter where you’re heading in South Africa, your belongings will arrive safely.
Some of the most popular towns and cities for our South Africa shipping service include:
Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth), Durban, Bloemfontein, Soweto, Pietermaritz, Rustenburg and Kimberley.
What does our international shipping service to South Africa include?
- Door-to-door shipping service
- Free home/video survey
- Part or full-load container removal service
- Dedicated Move Manager
- Help with documentation
- Export quality packing materials
- Choice of self-pack or professional packing service
- Advice on customs requirements
- Use of recognised accredited shipping lines
- Customs clearance
- Storage in UK or South Africa if required
International Shipping to South Africa Reviews
Shipping to South Africa cost calculator
Want to know how it will cost to move house to South Africa? Our free online shipping to South Africa cost calculator will help you calculate the volume of household goods you want to ship and provide you with an estimate of the cost of sending items.
The Ultimate Guide to Shipping to South Africa
Below are answers to the most Frequently Asked Questions about shipping to South Africa.
What size Shipping Container do I need for South Africa?
Whether your load needs full or shared container shipping to South Africa depends on the quantity or combined dimensions of your items.
Shared Shipping Containers to South Africa (Groupage)
For small moves, we load items into a shared shipping container from the UK to South Africa alongside the boxes of other PSS clients, also known as groupage service.
Part-load container shipping (sometimes called LCL – Less than Container Load) is a quick and accessible way to send a single box of clothing, personal goods or sports equipment, smaller furniture items, or household contents from a single room up to a one-bed flat. You only pay for the space you use.
Full-Load Container Shipping from the UK to South Africa
If you have a more significant load to send to South Africa, our Full Container Load (FCL) shipping option is worthwhile, also known as sole-use container shipping to South Africa.
If you are sending goods to South Africa – a large family home of personal items and furniture, PSS can provide a 20ft or 40ft shipping container assigned for your sole use.
The cost of container shipping to South Africa from the UK depends on the preferred size of the shipping container. Our 20ft and 40ft shipping containers have plenty of space and it is up to you how you fill that container.
How Much Does Shipping to South Africa Cost from the UK in 2023?
Considering the distances involved, you may be pleasantly surprised at how cheap shipping is to South Africa from the UK.
PSS bases shipping estimates to South Africa from the UK upon the chosen shipping method for sending goods to SA.
As we have large numbers of customers shipping belongings to South Africa every year, we can offer very competitive shipping rates.
|Move Type||Container Size||Cost(GBP)|
|2– 3 Boxes||Groupage||£145 – £290|
|Part House||Shared Container||£570 – £2970|
|3 Bed House||20 ft Container||£3100 – £4700|
|4 Bed House + Car||40 ft Container||£5200 – £6670|
Although the cheapest way to ship to South Africa is using part-load container shipping, you should consider that many items are more expensive in South Africa. Therefore, when you add up the cost of replacing all your smaller pieces upon arrival, it is usually cheaper to ship a higher volume of goods.
We calculate part-load shipping quotes from the UK to South Africa using the combined dimensions of your consignment and the space they take up within the container.
For larger sole-use container shipping moves, your freight costs to South Africa are determined by which size shipping container you use – 20ft or 40ft.
Cost of air freight shipping to South Africa
When customers need their items sent to South Africa urgently, we can provide air freight services. Air freight is our fastest shipping option, and for smaller quantities, it can be surprisingly cost-effective. We estimate air freight quotes on the weight and volume of your goods, so for consignments of more than a couple of boxes, sea freight shipping is much cheaper.
Your start and end destinations will also contribute to the overall cost of shipping goods from the UK to South Africa. With available ports across South Africa, PSS always go the extra mile for convenient delivery. However, the further that your items have to travel, the higher your South Africa shipping quote will be.
Cheapest shipping quotes to South Africa
We always aim to provide the most affordable shipping cost to South Africa. We can offer the cheapest shipping to South Africa due to the volume we ship and the number of customers we help move to South Africa.
If you receive a much cheaper estimate, check carefully that they include a full door-to-door service or if they exclude any costs. Also, ensure that they are a fully accredited shipping company with FIDI or BAR Overseas to get the best price.
Get an accurate price for shipping to South Africa
The surest way to receive a precise shipping quote when sending goods to South Africa is through a free home survey. Our home surveys are intended to provide customers with a clear-cut and detailed shipping quote from the UK to South Africa before they agree to anything.
How Long Does Shipping From UK to South Africa Take?
Shipping times to South Africa can vary. Shipping groupage in a shared container takes longer than shipping a full container load as different customers shipments need to be consolidated to fill one container.
|Port in South Africa||Full Container Load (FCL)||Shared Container (Groupage)|
|Cape Town||3-5 weeks||6-10 weeks|
|Johannesburg||4-6 weeks||6-10 weeks|
|Durban||3-5 weeks||6-10 weeks|
NB: These are approximate sea freight shipping times to ports in South Africa only. You will need to allow additional time for customs clearance and final delivery to your destination.
How Long Does Air Freight Shipping to South Africa take from the UK?
For sending excess baggage or boxes to South Africa by air freight allow approximately 7 – 14 days.
Do I Need Maritime Shipping Insurance or Shipment Protection Cover to South Africa?
It is highly advisable to take out maritime shipping insurance or shipment protection cover before you ship your personal effects or household goods to South Africa.
Although it is doubtful to experience problems when shipping items from the UK to South Africa, it is still wise to have shipment protection cover when sending goods to South Africa, especially for belongings of significant financial value.
PSS International provides very flexible Shipment Protection Plans. You can cover your whole shipment or choose the individual items you wish to protect.
Your PSS Move Manager can explain the different options available and guide you through completing the Shipment Protection Valuation form.
Customs Guide for shipping household goods & personal effects to South Africa
If you meet the criteria below (e.g. Permanent Resident Visa or returning South African) you may be able to import your belongings without paying any duty or tax. However, other fees and charges from ZA Customs may still apply.
For more details, we recommend you read our FIDI Customs Guide for South Africa and speak to our team.
- Owner of the shipment must be in South Africa at least 10 days prior to the shipment arriving at port, in order for Customs clearance to take place.
- Customers will have to present the relevant South African Customs documents with his/her original passport (s) to a Customs office in South Africa. It is important not to pack old passports as this will be required by Customs if the exit dates are in that particular passport. We will also need the original documents that have been presented to Customs; this will be submitted for clearance and then release.
- Returning residents must have been out of South Africa for an unbroken period of at least 6 months. If the returning resident has not been out of the country for an unbroken period of at least 6 months, customs will apply duty and taxes and the returning resident will have to apply for an import permit for each commodity of household goods i.e. electrical appliances will be one permit, wooden furniture will be another permit, so you could have up to 6 different types of import permits. Then duties and taxes will be calculated.
- No duty free import will be allowed on a tourist / visitor visa even if there is a pending work/ resident permit application.
What Can/Can't I Ship to South Africa?
Regardless of how you travel into South Africa, you and your personal goods must pass through customs upon arrival. South Africa has an uncompromising list of items that are either prohibited or on restricted entry into the country, which you should observe before your consignment is shipped or risk facing refused entry or prosecution.
Also, you must ensure that you thoroughly clean any outdoor items before shipping to South Africa.
What Items are prohibited when shipping to South Africa?
Prohibited imports to South Africa include:
- Counterfeit goods of any description
- Unlicensed copies of any copyrighted goods
- Fireworks and explosives
- Firearms or any fully automatic weapons
- Poisonous or illicit substances
- Prison-made goods
- Habit forming drugs
- Cigarettes weighing more than 2kg per 1000
What Items are Restricted to Ship to South Africa?
Restricted imports to South Africa where pre-approval may be required are:
- Ivory in all forms, including carvings and jewellery
- All meat or food derived from dolphins, whales, cranes, pheasants and sea turtles
- Tortoise or sea turtle shell jewellery and ornaments
- Carvings and products made from or with whalebone or bones from marine animals
- Cat skins
- Medicine containing musk, or tiger or rhinoceros derivatives i.e. bone or horn
- Carnivorous plants
- Live species including hawks, owls, eagles, parrots, cacti, orchids, cycads and cyclamens
- Trophies of all big cats, rare reptiles, sea turtles, cranes, pheasants, bears, deer and antelope
Delivery to your address in South Africa?
- Once your goods have been released by South Africa customs we will contact you to arrange a suitable delivery day.
- Once we have received clearance of your goods we will either deliver your sea freight container directly to your new home or it will be delivered in a separate vehicle. This all depends on the type of shipment you are sending. Our unloading crew will place your items in the rooms of your choice and unwrap and remove the packing material from your furniture.
What type of shipping company should I use?
When exporting sentimental items or expensive furniture overseas, you need to have full confidence in the international shipping company you select. There are a few pointers to look for that can help determine the best global shipping companies to South Africa.
Accreditations and associations are the best indicators of how trusted a company is within the industry and how safe their solutions are. PSS’ continued efforts and dedication to shipping to South Africa from the UK are echoed in our memberships and achievements:
- FAIM Accredited – the only globally recognised independent quality assurance standard for the international moving industry.
- FIDI Global Alliance Members – offering customers with same superior standards in South Africa as in the UK.
- British Association of Removers Members – the leading British quality standard and ensures customers financial protection with the BAR Advance Payment Guarantee Scheme.
- Movers Trading Club (MTC) – Members of this organisation join together to negotiate the best service and shipping rates with leading international shipping companies. Members are therefore able to offer lower shipping rates to customers.
PSS International Shipping Services to South Africa
We offer a full menu of shipping options to South Africa, whether you are sending personal items, furniture, extra boxes, pets or vehicles, our South Africa movers have a solution ready and waiting for you:
Shipping Personal Effects to South Africa from the UK
Shipping personal effects from the UK to South Africa is easy with PSS. We send personal items to South Africa for hundreds of customers each year, from shoes and clothing, toiletries and makeup, to sports equipment, tech and musical instruments, your shipping options are limitless. We can offer the cheapest shipping to South Africa due to the volume of customers we help move each year.
Shipping Furniture and Household Goods to South Africa
Shipping household goods to South Africa is a PSS speciality. Using our freight services and industry knowledge, PSS can ship furniture of any weight, dimensions and any quantities from the UK to destinations across South Africa.
Our team of expert international movers and packers will ensure your items are carefully export wrapped and packed for safe delivery.
The best way to start your international furniture shipping service is to book a free home or video survey so we can provide an accurate quote.
Shipping Excess Baggage & Unaccompanied Luggage from the UK to South Africa
Using PSS to ship boxes, luggage, suitcases and excess baggage to South Africa cuts out the excessive fees charged by airline carriers, but it also makes your journey to South Africa more manageable by reducing the amount of luggage you have to haul.
We will supply you with boxes in a variety of sizes, or you can use your own bags and suitcases.
Whether you have one box, two suitcases or ten loads of excess baggage, our baggage shipping to South Africa is the most convenient service!
Shipping Boxes to South Africa from the UK
If you are shipping small items to South Africa, we recommend our box shipping service. PSS will send your boxes in a shared container (groupage) alongside those from other customers, so you only pay for the space you use.
We can supply a variety of boxes and carton sizes, including packing and wrapping materials such as bubble wrap. We also have custom cartons for larger items such as bicycles.
Shipping Cars and Vehicles to South Africa
PSS provides a range of shipping options to make car shipping to South Africa possible – regardless of your vehicle. Whether you want to send a car to South Africa in a container of its own or with other personal and household items, our South Africa vehicle shipping services make it possible.
In addition to shipping cars, we can assist with shipping other types of vehicle to South Africa, such as motorcycles, bikes, caravans, motorhomes and boats.
Shipping Pets, Dogs and Cats to South Africa
Pet shipping to South Africa can be unnerving for any pet owners, and pet relocation is a very niche service. Therefore, we work with trusted partners who specialise in transporting animals from the UK to South Africa. Whether you want to take your cat or dog to South Africa, you can entrust PSS and our partners to relocate them safely.
Shipping Parcels and Small Packages to South Africa
For smaller packages, it may be best to use Royal Mail – especially for parcels weighing less than 2kg. For larger or multiple boxes, you can save money by using a personal shipping service like that from PSS.
Shipping Goods and Freight to South Africa
At PSS International we specialise in personal shipping services for individuals relocating to South Africa.
If you wish to ship commercial or non-personal items to South Africa, then it is best to contact a freight-forwarder.
Express Air Freight and Fast shipping from the UK to South Africa
If need to ship items to South Africa quickly, we advise using our priority Express Air Freight Service.
Express services take about 7 – 14 days and are ideal if you wish to send some boxes or bags of personal belongings to arrive ahead of your household contents.
Express Air Freight is often used by tradesmen wishing to ship tools to South Africa so they can begin work immediately.
Packing your Items for Shipping to South Africa
PSS provides two packing options, the first and most commonly chosen option being a full professional packing service. However, if you prefer, you can self-pack with our “You Pack We Ship” service.
Professional Packing Service for sending goods to South Africa
When you choose our professional overseas packing service, a specialist team will arrive at your home on the day of your move to pack the necessary items in robust packing materials and moving boxes ready for sending to South Africa. For furniture, we offer a full export wrapping service to guarantee items are well protected.
We can also provide custom-made wooden crates and antique wrapping for the more delicate items.
Our packing teams create an inventory to ensure our customer is aware of every item that is being shipped to South Africa.
Self-Pack Service for shipping to South Africa
If you are only sending a small number of items in boxes or suitcases, you can choose to self-pack your belongings in the comfort of your own home. “You Pack, We Ship” is an increasingly popular option among PSS customers.
We understand the importance of the safe handling and delivery of your goods to South Africa, so we still provide all moving boxes, tea cartons and packing materials such as bubble wrap when you self-pack
When you are ready, we collect your boxes and deliver them to your new home in South Africa.
Where in South Africa do you ship to?
We have regular shipments going to all the major ports in South Africa and provide door-to-door shipping service from anywhere in the UK to anywhere in South Africa.
As we endeavour to provide you with the fastest and cheapest shipping options to South Africa we might not always ship to the nearest port to your final destination. This especially applies if we can send it more quickly and cheaply via another port.
Examples of provinces and cities in South Africa we ship to include:
- Western Cape including Cape Town
- Gauteng including Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni, Tshwane & Pretoria
- Eastern Cape including Bhisho, Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth), Nelson Mandela Bay, East London
- Free State including Bloemfontein
- KwaZulu-Natal including Pietermaritzburg, Durban, Ethekwini
- Limpopo including Polokwane
- Mpumalanga including Mbombela
- North West including Mahikeng, Klerksdorp
- Northern Cape including Kimberley.
Wherever you are looking to ship items to in South Africa, PSS International will be able to help you and make the process easy.