What is the cost of shipping a container to Singapore

Posted on February 22, 2019

We get asked this question a lot from folks with no relocation allowances from their employers, and from employers budgeting relocation expenses. So what is the cost of shipping a container to Singapore, or Hong Kong or Dubai?

There are various methods of shipping to places like Singapore, Hong Kong and Dubai, and generally speaking the faster you want to receive your household goods and personal effects, the more expensive it is. Here are the options:

A direct container just for you!

We park the container outside your house, load up all of the carefully packed furniture and personal effects, close the doors, and off it goes to the port, where it gets loaded on a vessel that heads direct to Singapore – port to port in 20 days. This is quick, but expensive – and bear in mind that if you don’t fill the container 100% then you’ll be paying for space that you’re not using. This is definitely your “Business Class” option, so that brings us to option 2.

A non-direct vessel

Now just like with airlines, we can get an expensive direct routing with no stops along the way, or we can get the slow boat that may stop at various ports along the way, dropping off and collecting container – this will have a big impact on the price, but can add an extra 2 weeks onto the journey, making the whole door to door process 5 to 6 weeks. Lets call this the “Premium Economy” option. So that leaves us with the “Coach Class” option, which we call “Groupage”.

Container Ship at Port


A lot of people ship stuff to Singapore, every month here at Clickmoves we get about 350 people enquiring about costs for shipping a container to Singapore – some have just a few boxes, some have an entire house full of stuff. With the groupage method we marry up clients who want to pack and ship to Singapore at roughly the same time of the year – they share the container and therefore share the cost of shipping, also we can make sure that the containers are 100% full so we maximise the cost effectiveness of the container, so its really a cheap way to ship, in fact it normally works out to be roughly half the cost of the direct container method. But there is a downside, your consignment might be the last to pack and go into a Singapore groupage container, so the doors will close and off it goes and you will get delivery in 5 weeks (just like the method above), however you might be the first into a new container and you’ll need to wait for everybody else to pack up and get loaded before the container leaves. So even though we can give you a great price, we cannot guarantee a delivery schedule and only estimate between 5 and 12 weeks.


At ClickMoves we conduct a “needs assessment” that helps us make a decision on what method of shipping to propose to a client. The assessment covers three key areas:

  • Necessity: are there some specific delivery dates that we need to work towards. For example, the start of school, holiday dates, start date for lease on a property. If we have a target delivery date then we can work backwards from that and propose the best & most cost effective option for shipping
  • Budget: Frankly if you have a budget of $2000 and you have a 2 bedroom apartment load of stuff to ship to Singapore, then Groupage is your only option and you’ll need to work around the dates.
  • Volume: At the end of the day, the more you ship the more it costs, so we strongly advise that if you’re on a tight budget carefully thing about what you really need to ship. A good example might be white goods because most apartment rentals in Singapore and Hong Kong do come with fitted fridges and cookers etc