Moving Overseas from South Africa

Moving International from South Africa

Moving Overseas from South Africa

Moving Overseas from South Africa


Air Freight

Air freight shipping is the quickest and most expensive method for moving overseas from South Africa. Because air freight fees are based on weight and volume, most people use this method for just their valuables.

If you decide to ship small items via air freight, they must be packed carefully. The airline will place your parcels on a pallet, but this is still no guarantee that times couldn’t get damaged in flight if you haven’t packed them correctly.

Sea Freight

Sea freight is the most commonly used method for overseas moves. For wheeled vehicles, you could choose to ship on a RoRo ship. These Roll-On, Roll-Off vessels, such as ferries or car carriers, are ideal for moving vehicles quite inexpensively. The one drawback is that your vehicle will not be contained or wrapped in any way, leaving your vehicle vulnerable to scratches and scrapes.

For your household goods, you will want a container. When choosing a container for shipping your goods, you will have two main options – a full container load (FCL) and a less than container load (LCL). With an FCL, you get 40 feet of space to fill with your stuff. For many families, this is enough to ship a vehicle and the majority of their household goods.

For smaller loads, you could choose to save a bit of money with an LCL. While it does take a bit off the cost (from hundreds to even thousands depending on your route), an LCL does have its disadvantages. With an LCL, you will be sharing your container with other people. This increases the chances of damage from handling and can even increase the time it takes to arrive.

There are seven main shipping ports in South Africa. You can choose the one that best meets your needs, or work with a shipper who can make that decision for you based on their expertise.

  • Port of Cape Town
  • Port of Durban
  • Port of East London (not in London)
  • Port Elizabeth
  • Port of Mossel Bay
  • Port of Saldanha Bay

The Cost of Moving Overseas

Besides the expenses of moving your family, the cost of moving overseas can be considerable. There are many fees and expenses to manage, as well as potential customs duty and taxes when you arrive. The best way to handle your overseas move is to work with an experienced shipping company. With their insider knowledge, they will be able to give you a reliable shipping quote so you have some insights into what you need to budget.

Shipping costs can be the easiest to estimate, but even those are represented as a range rather than a specific number. The cost of moving a full container to New York City from South Africa can be anywhere from R97,500 – R161,100. From South Africa to Sydney, Australia could be anywhere from R95,500 – R157,100.

Help Moving Overseas

Whether you want to move by air or sea, Three Men and a Truck are here to provide you with all the assistance and guidance you could need. We aren’t afraid to get our hands dirty, either, so we can help with packing, carrying, and handling, anything you need to get moved. Contact us to learn more about how we can help make your overseas move a breeze.


Written by Chris Townsend

Chris Townsend

Chris Townsend is a moving professional and relocation expert that has more than 10 years of experience in the moving industry. With a background that includes working in virtually every aspect of the company, he has distinguished himself as an integral part of our operations with expertise in all things related to moving.

If you have any questions about moving, our services, or anything else you think he may be able to help with, you can contact Chris by emailing him at

Ready to Move?

Get A Quote To Move

Contact an agent by filling out the fast quote form and get your next move started today!

Get a quote to move