How much should I allow for shipping costs when sending furniture to the UAE?


We have had an enquiry from UAE for furniture items. I was thinking of quoting FOB prices but I don’t really know anything about this. I would like to be able to work out a small percentage that we can add to the price to cover us based on the average value of items in a 40′ container. In essence, what is the typical cost to the seller of sending a 40′ container FOB?


Hi there,

A large portion of the cost will depend on the distance between the point of loading and the point of delivery.

Under Incoterm FOB you as the seller would be responsible for the risks and costs of getting the container placed on board a vessel.

I am guessing here, but maybe around £500 give or take depending on the specifics. Happy to have a quick chat and get a quote together for you if this would help you on your way?

Kind regards,



Hi, your decision is OK in terms of pricing, but you might also want to think about wider issues. If you choose to sell on FOB terms, this means that your buyer will be paying the ocean freight charges; by convention this means that they will choose which carrier to use. This might have consequences because the carrier is employed by the buyer & might not be helpful to you, and you are not in a position to affect the choice of carrier. Also they might charge you higher FOB fees than other carriers might do, possibly higher than your estimate.

If you do decide to leave the choice of carrier to the buyer, you might want to consider
using Free Carrier (FCA) instead of FOB, as this is recommended by the Int’l Chamber of Commerce as a more suitable option for containerised shipments.


Thank you for your help.

Export Action Plan