Moving to Europe or Returning to the UK?

For expats migrating to Europe from the UK or returning from the EU back to the UK, there are various considerations when it comes to transporting their belongings. One crucial decision is choosing between shipping and overland/ferry crossing truck transport.

Fortunately for our customers, we can handle both of these options with ease. We are frequently called upon for our relocation services between continental Europe and the UK. These involve both shipping, and transportation in our own trucks from door to door.

There are factors that influence this choice and some popular European destinations where shipping may be preferred over truck transport. Some scenarios suit shipping, whereas for many other relocations overland and ferry truck transport might be a more suitable option.


Factors Influencing the Shipping vs. Truck Transport Decision:

  • Distance and Location: The distance and location of the destination play a significant role in determining the most suitable transport method. Longer distances or locations that are difficult to access via road may favour shipping.
  • Volume of Belongings: The volume of belongings to be transported is another crucial factor. Shipping is often preferred for larger loads, such as furniture, appliances, or vehicles, while truck transport may be more suitable for smaller loads or personal items. Depending on the volume and type of goods you are wanting to ship, we can also make use of our additional fleet and trailers that include being able to transport your car, or second car overland and ferry.
  • Time Constraints: The urgency of the move also affects the choice between shipping and truck transport. Shipping generally takes longer due to further customs clearance and logistics, while truck transport offers a more direct and quicker delivery option.


Typical European Destinations for Shipping Belongings:

Greek Islands: Shipping is often favoured for relocating to main Greek islands, such as Crete, Rhodes, or Corfu. These destinations typically require ferry transport for the final leg, and shipping allows for a smoother process, especially when dealing with larger volumes or bulkier items.

Southern Italy: Southern Italian regions, including Sicily, Calabria, or Puglia, are popular destinations for expats. Shipping can be a viable option due to the convenience of ferry connections, ensuring seamless transportation to these areas.

These are just two examples where shipping may be favoured by customers.


Scenarios Favouring Overland and Shires truck/ferry Transport

Smaller Volumes and Personal Items: If the volume of belongings is relatively small, or the items are primarily personal possessions, overland truck transport with a ferry connection can be a cost-effective and efficient option.

Time-Sensitive Moves: When time is of the essence, and expats require a quicker relocation, overland truck transport with a direct route and minimal transit time is preferable.

Proximity to Mainland Europe: For destinations in mainland Europe that are easily accessible via road, such as France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, or Belgium, overland truck transport is often a practical choice.


Most of our European/UK moves are carried out by the use of our own fleet of vehicles. However, shipping is always a great consideration when it best suits a customer’s own situation too.


Relocating to Another Country – Timing, Storage & Shipping

Are you one of the number of people looking to migrate to another country? We relocate people from the UK outbound, and back into the UK too.

A significant portion of our relocations and need for our moving services occur between Europe and the UK, but we also take care of customers who are undertaking long haul moves. This can be as far-flung as Australia and New Zealand too.

A big part of our international removals service includes worldwide shipping.


How many people are emigrating in a year, on average?

According to the Office of National Statistics, the provisional estimate of the number of people emigrating out of the UK long-term in the year ending June 2022 was approximately 560,000. This includes other nationalities as well as British nationals.


What about the need for storage as part of your move and shipping of your household goods to another country?

According to a survey conducted by a Moving and Storage Association, around 14% of people who move use storage facilities. This suggests that a significant number of people do choose to use storage facilities when they move home.

The use of storage facilities during a move can provide several benefits, such as providing a secure location to store belongings during the transition period, allowing for flexibility in moving timelines, and making it easier to organise and pack items before the move. The popularity of storage facilities for use during a move can vary depending on factors such as the size of the home being moved, the distance of the move, and personal preferences.

Making use of secure temporary storage facilities is even more essential when you are embarking on a long distance move.


Deciding between shipping and truck transport when relocating to or from Europe as an expat requires careful consideration of factors such as distance, volume of belongings, and time constraints.


You are not alone in your new move!

We guide and plan with you every step of the way when it comes to transporting your treasured items.

And while things certainly will be different and new, there are local expat groups, internet forums, friends and colleagues who can all be an excellent source of advice to help you get settled in your new life abroad.


Moving with us at Shires Removals means that you can literally move lock, stock, and barrel with one company, with one van and trailer (or more, if needed) between UK and Europe.

And the door to door service gives you peace of mind in a challenging time of relocating abroad.


International Moves. Home Moves. Office Moves. Business Moves.

Whether you are moving house or office, nationally or internationally, our friendly and helpful staff aim to make the move as easy and stress free as possible.

Our head office is located in Kinsley, near Pontefract and Wakefield, West Yorkshire, UK but we cater for moves all over the country whether you are moving a few miles or a few hundred miles. Our representatives can visit you at your home to discuss your moving requirements, with no charge and with no obligation to use us.


We provide Local, National and International Removals, Packing, and Storage services to Domestic and Commercial customers.

You find a place, and we’ll take you there!