A Guide to International Shipping from Australia to the UK

Shipping from Australia to the UK

With trade between Australia and the UK reaching over $30 billion in 2019, Australia has become the UK’s 7th largest trading partner. Its South Pacific location makes it a significant country for international shipping, particularly for sea freight as 80% of the country’s imports and exports are transported via the sea.

If you’re interested in shipping from Australia to the UK, our international freight forwarding experts have put together the following guide that includes everything you need to know: the freight options available, how long shipping will take, how much it will cost, and the key shipping locations to be aware of.


Freight Transportation from Australia to the UK

With approximately 17,000 km between London and Canberra, the most suitable methods of freight transportation are sea and air freight. Let’s deep dive into both solutions.

Sea freight

When it comes to sea freight, you have two options – full container load (FCL) or less-than-a-container load (LCL):

  • FCL involves renting the entire container and all the space inside is dedicated to your shipment.
  • LCL is the renting of part of the container space and is appropriate when you do not have enough goods to fill an entire container. The rest of the space will be rented by other senders in the same situation.

Sea freight from Australia to the UK takes approximately 40 days, or 5 weeks and 5 days. It is the most cost-effective freight solution.

Air freight

Air freight from Australia to the UK takes between 3 and 8 days, depending on the freight option you take. An express delivery service will get the goods there quicker than a standard service. It is the fastest freight option but the fast delivery and long-distance mean that it is much more expensive than sea freight.


How does the Sea Freight from Australia work?

The sea freight process from Australia to the UK is made easy with freight forwarding companies such as KG Logistics. Your freight forwarder will arrange the transportation and documentation on your behalf, navigating the complex import and customs regulations that exist. Mistakes in this process can be costly, so working with a shipping agent will give you peace of mind that the process is as smooth as possible.

  1. The freight forwarder will organise the collection of your goods from the supplier.
  2. The goods are cleared through Australia’s customs clearance.
  3. The goods are loaded onto the container – whether this is LCL or FCL. The containers are loaded onto the ship and be transported to the UK.
  4. Once they arrive in the UK, they will be processed by UK customs.
  5. LCL goods will be unpacked from the container and transported to your desired location within the UK. If they are FCL, the container will remain sealed and transported to you on the back of a lorry.


How much does shipping from Australia to the UK cost?

The shipping cost for transporting your goods from Australia to the UK will depend on a variety of factors:

  • The mode of freight transport you use.
  • The amount you are shipping.
  • Which shipping port you are transporting from.
  • The demand and time of the year.
  • Fuels costs.
  • Whether the shipment is door-to-door or port-to-port.

You can get in touch with an expert from KG Logistics today to receive a free, no-obligation quote.

Australia Freight Forwarding to the UK


Shipping Locations in Australia

With hundreds of shipping ports across Australia, we have listed some of the key shipping locations that have well-established trade connections with the UK.

  • Melbourne: Situated at the mouth of the Yarra River, this shipping port was built in 1889 and is the country’s largest container and general cargo port. It manages almost 37% of the total container trade.
  • Sydney: Also known as the Port of Botany, it is the second biggest container port in the country.
  • Fremantle: This is the busiest port in Western Australia, as it handles more than 35 million tons of cargo a year, maritime cruises, and a navy.
  • Adelaide: The largest port in Southern Australia, founded in 1836. It witnesses over 100 million tons of cargo as well as maritime cruises for tourists.
  • Brisbane: The fastest growing port in Australia, responsible for more than 28 million tons of cargo each year. It is well known for its strict environmental regulations and focus on ecological balance.
  • Darwin: An up-and-coming port as it serves as the gateway to Asia. It has become a centre for ‘Australasian’ trade, handling up to 4 million tons of cargo every year.

For airfreight, some of the largest container terminals in Australia include:

  • Adelaide
  • Brisbane
  • Canberra
  • Cairns
  • Coolangatta
  • Darwin
  • Hobart
  • Melbourne
  • Perth
  • Sydney


What type of goods can be transported to the UK?

A vast range of goods can be transported by international freight forwarders such as KG Logistics, such as household goods like furniture, clothing, and appliances. Other goods such as vehicles can also be transported. The UK government website outlines the banned and restricted goods that you cannot bring into the UK. If you do, they will be seized by customs. These include:

  • controlled drugs or other prohibited substances
  • offensive weapons, firearms, or self-defence sprays
  • undeclared goods
  • endangered animals and plants
  • rough diamonds
  • indecent and obscene materials
  • personal imports of meat and dairy products from most non-EU countries


Speak to our experts today on 01634 540109 to find out how KG Logistics can help you with your freight forwarding needs.