Skip to main content
International Moving

Shipping Furniture to Europe from the US: How it works

By December 13, 2022December 12th, 2023One Comment
Shipping furniture to Europe

If you’re one of the thousand moving to Europe with household goods, you may wonder how it works and what you will end up paying. 

The good news is we’re experts in moving household goods overseas, so we will share the inside scoop. 

This article covers the international moving process along with the cost of shipping furniture to Europe and the best international movers that can do it.

Let’s begin – 

international shipping quote

Free Moving Quote

Is shipping furniture to Europe easy? 

Shipping furniture to Europe is relatively easy. You should start by deciding what you’re shipping and the type of service you want and then contacting international movers that ship to Europe

Shipping options will vary from a full-service door-to-door delivery to a port-to-port service. Your budget and requirements will be the most significant factors when choosing an overseas moving service. 

It’s best to discuss the details of your move with a company specializing in transporting furniture to Europe from the US. They will ask for an inventory list along with the shipping details. It takes minutes to get an international moving quote. 

How much does it cost to ship furniture to Europe? 

The amount of stuff you are moving, the service, and the final destination will determine the final price, but the cost averages are $2000 to $8500 via sea freight. 

Shipping furniture overseas doesn’t have to break the bank, and there are ways to reduce the cost, which we will get into later. 

The best thing to do is create an inventory list of what you’re moving. Then search for the best international moving companies that ship furniture overseas. Last, compare up to three moving quotes and choose the one that fits your needs and budget. 

Sea freight shipping to Europe

Sea Freight Shipping

What’s the cheapest way to ship furniture overseas? 

The cheapest way to ship furniture to Europe is by sea freight. Approximately 90% of international moves are transported by sea due to the cost. Below is a list of your shipping options from most to least expensive. 

  • Door-to-door:  Service includes pick up from your residence and delivery to your final destination. You can have a professional moving company pack for you or self-pack. 
  • Door to port: If you’re on a budget or live by a major port, you can arrange to pick up your furniture from the dock. However, you would be responsible for transportation and customs clearance. 
  • Port to door: If you live by a major port in the US, you can drop your furniture off at a nearby container freight station or warehouse. You would reduce the cost of origin services. 
  • Port to port: A port-to-port shipping service is the least expensive way to ship furniture overseas. However, there will be some legwork involved. 

It’s best to discuss your shipping options with the international mover of your choice. 

Who are the best international moving companies to Europe? 

According to Forbes, US News, and Newsweek, International Van Lines, JK Moving Services, Rainier Overseas Movers, and Allied Van Lines are the best European movers from the US. 

Best Overall

Corporate Relocation

Great Reputation

Ad-on Services



Each company listed comes with years of experience, excellent online reviews, and experience in moving furniture abroad. International Van Lines offers a full container load and consolidation service to any European destination. 

It’s best to research and find the mover that fits you well, but you can use this as a tool to compare international shipping quotes. 

Can I ship a small amount of furniture to Europe?

If you’re not sending much, you have an option called less-than-container load (LCL). An LCL shipment is when your furniture is grouped in a container with others shipping to the same destination country, and the costs are shared. 

LCL service has been around for ages and is a standard shipping option that most international moving companies offer. Additionally, you will have the opportunity to ship door-to-door delivery if needed. 

International moving costs for an LCL will range from $1500 to $3500. It’s best to get an accurate price from the moving company of your choice. They can also provide ways to save money. 

Should I self-pack my household goods? 

Self-packing is an option, and you will save money; however, consider the risk-reward ratio to make a sound decision. Here’s why most people prefer an international mover to pack their furniture: 



  • Save Money

  • Organization

  • Comfort

  • Labor-Intensive

  • Time-Consuming

  • Insurance Options

Time-consuming: If you’re in a time crunch, then self-packing may be off the table. Packing for an international move will take planning and time. You will also have to source packing supplies. 

Labor intensive: Packing for a move can be labor intensive. If you have an injury, it will be best to leave it to the pros. 

Insurance: Self-packing for an international relocation will affect your insurance options. 

The pros do it better: The best international movers are trained to pack household goods for overseas moves. 

If you’re still keen on self-packing, you can buy packing materials such as shrink wrap, bubble wrap, and boxes at any local Walmart or Home Depot. Consider posting a social media post to see if anyone has leftover packing materials from a recent move. 

International shipping services to Europe

Shipping furniture with a car

If you’re moving overseas with furniture and a car, you can consolidate them into a 20′ or 40′ container. The container size will depend on the amount of furniture you’re shipping and the vehicle make & model. 

It would be best if you allowed a professional moving company to load, block and brace your vehicle in the container. 

You must provide the vehicle’s original title with the shipping documents your mover sends you. You can insure your car for its total value, separate from your household items. 

Should I get insurance when moving overseas? 

Yes, you should consider getting insurance that covers the value of your furniture and personal effects. Most international moving companies offer insurance coverage through third parties. Below are your two insurance options: 

Packed by owner: If you choose to self-pack your furniture, you can get insurance, but it’s limited to total loss coverage. Your entire shipment would be a complete loss to settle. 

Professionally pack: If you have the international moving company of your choice pack your household goods, you can get all-risk insurance. It covers the value of each item, and it is the best insurance you can get. 

Insurance costs will range between 2% and 4% of your good’s declared value. You must create an inventory list of everything you ship overseas with values. 

Is customs clearance included? 

Customs clearance may or may not be included in your cost. It’s typical that customs clearance will be included on a door-to-door delivery but may not be on a port pick-up service. 

It would help if you spoke with the international relocation company you’re working with to ensure all charges and document process is part of your moving quote. 

The customs clearance process in Europe is easy. It’s a matter of filling out the proper documentation and paying the fees, which can average a couple of hundred dollars. 

Are there taxes and duties when importing furniture to Europe? 

Europe eliminated duties and restrictions on furniture imports. You will not pay taxes or customs duty when shipping furniture to Europe from the US. However, you may pay duties if you send new furniture or furniture to sell in Europe. 

If you’re unsure what you’re shipping or the commodity, you should speak with a professional relocation company that can walk you through the process. 

How long does shipping take to Europe? 

Shipping furniture to Europe from the US will take 3 to 6 weeks via sea freight and 2 to 4 weeks via air freight service. Factors affecting shipping times are port congestion, weather, customs delays, and the international moving company you choose.

Factors beyond anyone’s control can sometimes affect shipping times, but you can control the international moving company you choose. 

Finding an international relocation company that frequently ships to Europe and knows the process is best. A company with experience will have a better chance of promptly getting your stuff to your destination. 

What are the major seaports in Europe? 

There are over 1200 ports in Europe. Antwerp, Rotterdam, and Hamburg handle the world’s 12% of cargo goods. Below is a list of the top 10 ports in Europe: 




Port of Rotterdam



Port of Antwerp



Port of Hamburg



Port of Amsterdam



Port of Algeciras



Port of Izmit



Port of Marseille



Port of Valencia



Port of Bergan



Port of Trieste



Port of La Havre

La Havre



International Moving FAQ


Are there items I can’t ship to Europe? 

See the prohibited items list below:




Batteris with Acid


John Doe

Chemicals (Cleaning supplies)


Guns & Ammunition


Fire Extinguisher


Propane Tanks

Car batteries

What forms will I need to fill out? 

An international moving company will send you the shipping information, inventory, insurance, and terms & conditions form. You will also be asked for a copy of your passport. 

Will my furniture be assembled at the destination? 

If you choose door-to-door delivery, your furniture is assembled at the destination.

Can I ship a car with my household goods? 

You can ship a car in the same container as your household goods. 

How far out should I book my moving date? 

The sooner, the better, but eight weeks is an excellent place to start. Most international moving companies will ask for a deposit, but it’s refundable if you cancel your move. 

People also ask: 

Is shipping furniture overseas worth it? 

The value of your household goods is something to consider. Some items have a sentimental value that can’t be replaced, while others you may be able to get cheaper in your destination country. 

What’s the best time of year to move to Europe? 

You will find that shipping, airline, and accommodation will be less expensive over the winter months. The summertime is the peak season for international moving companies, so shipping costs go up by about 20%.

Is shipping furniture to the US from abroad the same? 

The process would be the same. However, US Customs has different regulations. You should discuss the details with your international moving company. 

How much does it cost to ship furniture to Rotterdam? 

The average cost to ship furniture to Rotterdam is $2500 to $7000. The size of your move and service will be the most significant cost factor. 

Who offers the best shipping service to England? 

International Van Lines offers the best shipping service to England with weekly full container load and consolidation services. You can choose from door-to-door delivery or port services. 

What are the top destination in Europe for expats? 

  1. Lisbon, Portugal 
  2. Malaga, Spain 
  3. Madrid, Spain 
  4. Graz, Austria 
  5. Nice France 


Moving to Europe from the US is an exciting time, and with everything to consider, it’s good to start planning early. Finding the right international shipping company can differentiate between a positive outcome and a potential disaster. 

Here at International Van Lines, we specialize in moving people worldwide. We offer an array of shipping and moving services to Europe from the US. 

Whether you’re shipping a small number of items or a four-bedroom home, we can help. Getting an international moving quote is easy. You can fill out an online form or contact one of our relocation experts. 

We thank you for stopping by and wish you the best of luck with your new venture!


Join the discussion One Comment


    This article contains very valuable information for beginners. This is a very informative blog for me, thank you for sharing this blog.

Leave a Reply