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Within recent years, moving container companies have started to become more of a standard when it comes to relocation. Moving container companies often allow customers more flexibility and control, while also being more affordable than many traditional, full-service moving companies.
They can help with both local and long distance moves, and oftentimes offer storage services, as well as optional loading and unloading assistance. If you are looking to save some money on your upcoming move, investing some time to research portable storage unit companies is an excellent idea.
Researching which moving container company is right for your move can get taxing though. With so many options on the market now, it can be a difficult decision to make. Luckily, our Reviews Team has researched some of the best moving container companies on the market to help your research.
Keep reading this round-up to see how the top portable moving and storage unit companies compare on cost, extra services, state availability and drawbacks. We take this information and make recommendations on which company is right for what kind of customer.
3 Best Moving Container Companies
Here are the top moving container companies you can call today:
PODS: Best Overall
We pick PODS as our Best Overall choice in not only moving container services, but for moving in general. You are able to execute either a local or long distance move with PODS, and for an extra cost, you can obtain more traditional, full-service features like loading and unloading assistance. PODS can also utilize any of its storage facilities for up to 30 days to make sure you get your belongings delivered to your new residence exactly when you want them.
Various levels of insurance coverage available
Highly transparent about pricing
Available in all 50 states
Packing and unloading only available via third-party
Pricing can be a bit higher than competitors
Positive customer reviews vary according to location
Services and Cost
PODS functions in a similar manner to most moving container companies. The company offers to deliver your choice of moving containers to your residence, where you then have an unlimited amount of time to load up your moving pods. Once finished, you tell PODS when to pick up your containers and when they should be delivered to your new home. You can also receive packing and unpacking services through third-party providers that PODS refers you to. One standout feature is that if you have to use one of PODS' storage facilities, it is already included in your cost. Another great feature for PODS is that you can order as many moving containers as you need. PODS offers three different moving containers:
7-Foot Container: Ideal for studio apartment moves; packs areas under 500 sq. ft.; similar to a 10' moving truck
12-Foot Container: Small apartment or 2-3 room moves; packs a 500-800 sq. ft. space; similar to a 15' moving truck
16-Foot Container: Homes with 3-4 rooms; packs approximately 1,200 sq. ft,; similar to a 20' moving truck
PODS has some information on its website for what its cost might be for your move. For a long-distance move, the company's website estimates it would cost from $1,237 to $2,999 using only storage pods. For a full-service move, the company estimates it would cost $4,890. Some factors that PODS considers when pricing a move include:
Which container size you get
How many containers you order
Distance of your move
Location of your original residence
To get a better idea of what a PODS move might cost you, we suggest you get a free quote from the company's website.
PODS' website states it is able to assist in moving to any location in the United States. Not every state has a physical PODS location though. You can still receive its services in these states, there is just not a physical location to visit. The states that PODS does not have a physical location in are:
Our Take on PODS
PODS is an excellent option, and our Reviews Team suggests it for any move. You receive transparent pricing with PODS, which many companies do not provide upfront. You still have the option for some full-service features, and PODS provides customers with an incredible amount of flexibility.
We recommend that you visit PODS to get a free quote and see what kind of services they can provide for your move.
U-PACK: Best Flexibility
U-Pack offers many of the same services as PODS, while also maintaining a sense of flexibility. Similar to PODS, U-Pack also can refer you to third-party providers of moving services like packing and unpacking. U-Pack also provides excellent customer satisfaction, as evidenced in its A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
240 locations across all 50 states
Insures every move with liability coverage
Only pay for the space that you use
Does not utilize an app to track your moving containers
Packing and unpacking must be purchased through third-party provider
Does not assist with local moving
Services and Cost
You receive DIY, door-to-door moving services for long-distance moving when you use U-Pack. The company offers services similar to PODS in that it drops off a moving container or trailer at your residence, you then load it up with your belongings and after you are done, U-Pack's driver will transport your container for you. Once your container arrives, you will then unload the container at your new home. U-Pack offers two different types of equipment:
ReloCube: A small storage container that is ideal for smaller moves. It is small enough to fit in a regular parking space making it a great option for apartment moves.
Moving trailers: This option works better for larger moves, such as a house. It can easily be parked in a driveway.
With U-Pack, you pay for only what you use because your cost is based on either the linear footage you use in a moving trailer or the number of ReloCubes you use. The overall cost will also include additional expenses such as the driver's hours, amount of fuel used, the distance of our move, and taxes.
For a 2-bedroom home/apartment moving from Atlanta, Georgia to Austin, Texas in 1-2 months, U-Pack estimated a cost of $1,718 for the move, including fuel and taxes.
We suggest you get a free quote from U-Pack to get a better understanding of what your overall cost with the company might be.
U-Pack is available everywhere in the United States of America, including Puerto Rico.
Our Take on U-Pack
U-Pack is another great option for anyone looking to save money if you utilize their self-packing option. U-Pack features great flexibility for anyone concerned about fitting a move into their busy schedule. Given that U-Pack also allows you to control when and where your moving container goes, it is a wonderful company for anyone that requires that sense of flexibility and control.
We recommend that you learn more about U-Pack by visiting the company's website and getting a free quote.
1-800 PACK-RAT: Best Tools & Resources
1-800 PACK-RAT has made a name for itself in the moving container industry by featuring wonderful protection options. It's moving containers come in a variety of sizes and are made of weatherproof steel. Like other moving container companies, you can store your PACK-RAT container at one of the company's many storage facilities if you need more time to prepare your new home for your belongings.
$10,000 moving protection for long-distance moves
Sturdy and well-protected containers
Assists with both local and cross-country moving
Limited flexibility compared to other companies
Less locations than competitors
Services and Cost
1-800-PACK-RAT's services are similar to those of U-PACK and PODS. PACK-RAT will deliver its moving container to your residence, where you will load it up, then they will handle the delivery for you. The company offers storage solutions in the event that you need the company to hold onto your belongings a bit longer, and it can also price-match PODS. 1-800-PACK-RAT provides three different storage container sizes for its weatherproof steel containers:
For a 16 foot container moving locally in the Atlanta, GA area, the cost is $372.63.
1-800-PACK-RAT has locations in the following states:
Our Take on 1-800-PACK-RAT
If protection of your belongings, whether via insurance or physical protection, is a major concern for you, then you may want to get a quote from 1-800-PACK-RAT. U-PACK and PODS also provide coverage on items, but PACK-RAT emphasizes a main focus on protection throughout their website.
Keep in mind that the company has a limited availability though, with locations in only 30 states. PACK-RAT claims it can assist with moves outside of these locations, but you would have to call and check with a representative to confirm that.
Moving Container Companies FAQs
What is the cheapest moving container company?
U-Pack's ReloCubes are some of the cheapest among moving containers. PODS also offers some of the lowest costs.
What should you not pack in a POD?
Like other storage units, portable storage containers should not be filled with perishables, toxins, or flammables.
Do moving containers damage driveways?
Although it can potentially happen, it is rare for a moving container to cause damage to a driveway or parking spot. Most companies use certified professionals that can help place a moving container without any damage occurring.