If you are looking to move at affordable rates, mixing things up a little bit is always a great way to approach the mammoth task. What we mean is that a moving container move could really serve you pretty well. It does give you all the benefits of a DIY move and costs less as compared to a full-service move too.

This begs the question – what companies should you consider for your moving container move? So always remember, the company that is right for you offers all the services you need at an affordable price. Good moving container companies make sure all your belongings reach you on time without getting damaged. To make your life easier, we have put together a list of 5 best moving container companies that you should definitely consider hiring.

Moving CompanyPods1-800-PACK-RATU-PackZippy ShellU-Haul
LogoPODS logo1-800-PACK-RAT logoU-Pack logoZippy Shell logoU-Haul logo
DOT Number1397252153453126320862574332N/A
MC Number530785648624914011935064N/A
ProsExcellent customer service

Stage-by-stage payment

Lower pricing
Sturdy steel containers

Containers can support 6000 lbs. of objects

Specializes in long-distance moves

Transparency in Pricing

Pay-per-use policy
Steel cage containers

Parking convenience

Staggered delivery options
Wide availability

Pay-per-use policy

Flexible cancellation
ConsNo online quotes available

Taxes are not included in the quote

Always sold out, have to make reservation 6 months prior to the move
Available only in 29 states

No deliveries on Sunday

Long-distance bookings to be made over the phone
Smaller containers

You get only three days to load your container

Cancellation charges apply within 7 days before the move
Website lacks adequate information

Availability is limited

Different locations offer different services
Containers are made of treated plywood

Smallest containers in the market

Final cost includes some hidden costs

5 Top-Rated Moving and Storage Container Companies

  1. PODS
  2. 1-800-PACK-RAT
  3. U-Pack
  4. Zippy Shell
  5. U-Haul


PODS logo

Portable On Demand Storage (PODS) is a company that does exactly what its name suggests. They’re all about delivering storage services. Of course, they also have some moving services too. A company that was incepted in 1998 PODS was the brainchild of Pete Warhurst, who had his eyes set on expanding the family business. By designing and building the first portable container prototypes, the moving and storage industry witnessed a seismic shift. They wanted to bring storage directly at the doorstep of the customer. Thus, they introduced the world to a brand new and flexible way to move and store.

Warhurst didn’t stop at PODS though. He went on to create a state-of-the-art hydraulic lift system which makes the lives of operators much easier in terms of transporting these units. This new invention was named ‘Podzilla’ (no points for guessing where he got the inspiration for this from). An industry leader in all its right, PODS today has a strong foothold in 47 U.S. states, Canada, Australia, and the UK, for both their residential and commercial services

How Much Does PODS Cost?

On an average, expect your bank account balance to be reduced by the range of $200 to $800 for a local move. On the other hand, you will have to make a payment ranging from $450 to $7,600 for a long-distance move. Your final cost is determined by accounting for various things like number of containers, size of your house, size of the container, transit distance, delivery costs, etc. Kindly remember that these are just the average costs. You must contact PODS in order to get an accurate estimate for your move.

Reasons To Choose PODS

Excellent Customer Service: They’re not just another company with a big name. PODS has a stellar reputation that is backed by best customer reviews for their services. Their customers tend to be very happy with their courteous, friendly and helpful staff, reliable and professional drivers and on time deliveries. It is very easy to get accurate answers and the appropriate help when you call them up. They are also very responsive when you post a negative review and then they ensure that your issue gets resolved.

Stage-by-stage Payment: It is obvious that making the payment for the entire move in one go gets heavier on the pocket. PODS, unlike other moving companies, lets you make the payment in three stages. The first payment is made five days before the container is delivered to your place, the second payment has to be made five days before the transit date and third is made when the containers are picked up at the end of the reservation. You won’t be asked to pay any security deposits and you can reserve the move with your credit card.

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Did you know? Pods offers a flat 10% discount for students who are enrolled at an accredited university. If you are a student, don’t forget to take advantage of this offer!

See also: Detailed Review on PODS Moving and Storage

2. 1-800-PACK-RAT

1-800-PACK-RAT logo

1-800-PACK-RAT is a portable storage and moving company that vies to deliver an unrivalled level of service, all while impressing people with their creative name. North Carolina happens to be the birthplace of this nation-wide venture, which was formed way back in 2001. Legends have it, the quirky name “Pack Rat” was used to describe the design for a portable and weather-proof storage, made completely out of steel by an entrepreneur back in the years.

An entrepreneur sketched out an all-steel, weatherproof, portable-storage design that was jokingly referred to as a “pack rat” because of its ability to store everything.

Not too soon later, the same founder found himself teaming up with one of the heavyweights of heavy equipment manufacturers at that time. Then, their combined forces were used to create an innovative system that can adeptly lift a completely loaded moving container. All of this while ensuring that the container or lift stays put without swaying or shifting.

How much does 1-800-PACK-RAT Cost?

You know how they say that you can’t cheap out when it comes to good things? Pack Rat embodies that statement by pricing themselves 10% more than what’s witnessed in the market. Then again, there isn’t much to complain about considering how Pack Rat does offer enough of discounts to keep the prices grounded.

If you are planning a local move, you would be wise to account for about $150 to $790 in your moving budget. If the distance of your move exceeds 250 miles, be prepared for the price to justifiably so soar higher, somewhere in the range of $400 to $3,500. Lastly, if you are planning a big cross country move, you most definitely will be charged in the range of $1,200 to $7,000. The total amount you are charged is mainly dependent on how big your house is. If you are looking for storage services, you might have to pay a monthly rent of around $300 once your 30 days free storage time is up.

Reasons to Choose 1-800-PACK-RAT

High Quality Containers: There’s a widely held belief that Pack Rat’s containers are one of the best in the business. They have a reputation of being able to hold their head up high as compared to most other moving company’s containers. What gives these containers an added edge is the fact that they are backed by a steel frame, making them sturdier than most. Same goes for the doors and walls of these containers.

The floors of the container are made up of a material which allows you to slide your furniture easily over it. Pack Rat is wise enough to not put their reputation at stake, which is highlighted by the obvious fact that their containers are weather resistant in nature. If anything, it’s almost as secure as Fort Knox itself.

Huge Discount Offers: Pack Rat is not one to shy away from expressing generosity. Don’t take our word for it though. The tons of discounts they offer their customers should give you a gist of it. It will generally offer a flat 10% on every move. This means that if you are going for a long-distance move, the discount amount could be several hundreds of dollars. The different types of discounts offered by Pack Rat are as follows:

  • Local movers
  • First responders
  • Medical professionals
  • Military members
  • Senior citizens
  • Teachers

Excellent Storage Services: Pack Rat offers its customers short-term and long-term storage services that are near to perfect. Your mind can rest easy knowing your belongings are secure in their climate controlled warehouses. The company has appointed engineers who understand the optimal temperature at which your belongings should be ideally stored. The temperature of many warehouses ranges between 55ºF to 80ºF with humidity below 65%. Your belongings are very safe inside the warehouse as it is under surveillance 24/7 and has a built-in sprinkler system.

If you ever need to access your belongings when they are in storage, you can notify them 24 hours prior and they will move your container to a well-lit and car accessible part of their warehouse. You can also make the company deliver the container to your house for a nominal fee if you ever need to take out or add something to that container.

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Good to know: Pack Rat offers the best and the most flexible coverage options. Its Contents Protection Plan can protect up to $75,000 worth of your belongings when they are in the container!

See also: 1-800-PACK-RAT Review

3. U-Pack

U-Pack logo

U-Pack has been around since 1997 and it offers its customers with a plethora of services. Rewind to the early 2000s and America started witnessing Moving container moves shoot to fame. U-Pack saw this as an opportunity and started offering moving containers called ReloCubes and moving trailers to its customers in 2004.

They drop off the container to your house, and pick it up after 3 days to deliver it to your new location. Doesn’t matter which of the 50 states you live in, U-Pack is accessible in each of them. Just a caveat though, the company only provides long-distance moves. Be it your need for a long term or short-term storage options for your belongings, U-Pack has got it covered!

How much does U-Pack Cost?

If you want to find out how much you will spend if you hire U-Pack, the best way to get accurate details is to visit their website and get an instant quote. You will notice that U-Pack charges 15% lesser than the ongoing average market rates. Here is the average cost of hiring U-Pack ReloCubes or moving trailers.

If the distance of your move exceeds 250 miles, be prepared to set aside roughly $900 to $2,000. Lastly, if you are planning a big cross country move, the fee is bound to shoot up. To be a tad bit more specific, it will be somewhere in the range of $1,500 to $6,600. The total amount you are charged is mainly dependent on the number of rooms in your house.

Reasons to choose U-Pack

Transparent Pricing: It’s there for everyone to see on UPack’s website. Their Space Estimator is pretty convenient, especially if you want to decide between a ReloCube and a trailer. Best part is that irrespective of how many ReloCubes you need, you can reserve it all without any hassle. Just keep in mind that you will only be charged for the ones you end up using. Think you will use more of the storage space? Or less so? Fret not, you get to adjust the pricing in this regard.

Their pricing system is as transparent as it can get. When you enter the details about your move to get a quote, U-pack provides you with the option that will cost you less, whether that’s one big moving trailer or many small containers. The will be inclusive of taxes, fuel and a free ramp. The company guarantees that there are absolutely no hidden fees. The quote that you get is what you end up paying.

Hassle-free Long-Distance Moves: The company has locations almost everywhere. This includes the 50 states, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico as well. The company is known for covering a larger area than its competitors. Therefore, you can use its services whether you live in an urban or a rural setting.

It is also known for transporting its containers over water to Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. Water transports allow them to evade longer land routes and get the fastest transit times. Long distance moves will most probably make you worry about the safety of your stuff. However, the company offers you excellent tracking service in order to put your mind at ease.

No Deposit Required: Are you confused about how many containers you would be needing? You may be feeling apprehensive about spending extra on the security deposit for the container you might not end up using. There is no reason to worry! U-Pack lets you order any number of containers, all without having to put down any kind of security deposit. You can reserve the containers with your credit card and pay only after you load the containers.

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Did you know? U-Pack does not offer local moves. You can hire U-Pack only if your move exceeds a distance of 100 miles.

4. Zippy Shell

Zippy Shell logo

Zippy Shell was founded in the year 2007 in Australia and it was one of the first portable storage businesses to operate in that country. After being a huge hit in Australia, Zippy Shell USA, LLC launched in the United States in the year 2010. As they were one of the fastest growing companies of the USA, they merged with 1-800-PACK-RAT in 2018 and established themselves firmly in the market. Zippy shell is one of the best moving and storage company that combines the benefits of traditional moving services with the security and convenience of mobile container solutions. Their innovative portable storage unit design, and flexible service options aim towards making your move absolutely simple and stress free.

How much does Zippy Shell Cost?

The cost of renting a zippy shell container depends on several factors that include- the number of containers used, distance of the move, loading site of the container (home or facility), storage time, and the season (shipment rates take a hike in summer and spring). Zippy shell will offer you its services at the cheapest rates if you are moving a three-bedroom house. Their average price for your moving container moves will be at least $500 cheaper than the average prices offered by its competitors.

If you are planning a local move, you can be expected to be charged around $190-$750 for your move. If the distance of your move exceeds 250 miles, you can be charged in the range of $500-$3100. Lastly, if you a planning a big cross country move you most definitely be charged in the range of $1800-$7000. The total amount you are charged is mainly dependent on how big your house is. You can also choose to save hundreds of dollars if you are able to load and unload at their facility.

Reasons to choose Zippy Shell

Unique containers: Zippy shell offers its customers with a type of container that you might have never ever used or even seen before. Their containers are like steel cage like boxes which provides your belongings enhanced safety. Everyone knows that there is always a chance of your things moving inside the container when the truck is in transit. This never happens in zippy containers as there are steel bars spaced every 3-4 inches. You just have to tie a rope around your belongings and connect it to the caged bar. Moreover, their container doors never get jammed due to your belongings as they are barn style doors which open outwards.

Parking Convenience: Zippy Shell is the favourite container of the customers who live in major metro cities like Chicago or New York. This is so because their containers are the only containers that are street legal. The container is like small portable units which is as long as two cars. These containers can be parallel parked or even placed in spots around your house that might not be big enough to accommodate a full-sized moving container. There is no added stress of obtaining parking permits and you can load your container hassle free.

Staggering Delivery: You can always opt to save your money by staggering the delivery of your containers. What this means is that you can split your delivery of containers. Say that you think that you need two containers but your job gets done in one. You can ask them to drop off one container on one day and next on some other day. If your job gets done in one container, you can immediately cancel the delivery of the next one. In this way you end up saving a lot of money.

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Good to know: Zippy Shell coordinates with third party apps in order to provide you with loading and unloading services. However, unlike other companies, it lets you keep the container on your property for only three days.

See also: Zippy Shell Review

5. U-Haul’s U-Box

U-Haul logo

Let’s travel back in time a little. Just around 70 years ago, at the end of world war, there was a need to help veterans get back home. This need for relocation is what inspired U-Haul to come into picture. The timing couldn’t have been any better, because there was a surge in demand for moving containers right when U-Haul decided to launch their U-Box containers. The thing about U-Haul is that they seem to have a strong reputation of offering customers flexibility and other add-on services which allows one to plan a true DIY move at low costs.

How much does U-Haul’s U-Box Cost?

Think cheap alternatives, think U-Box containers. In case you didn’t know, prices tend to be about 5% below that of the market’s average. Their final quote includes the price of each container and delivery and transit charges.

A single container will cost you around $50 to $100. Keep in mind that delivery of the container also comes at a price – $200 approximately in case you were wondering. The transit (within the US) will cost you $1,000 to $4,000, probably even more if the distance is longer. Lastly, you might have to pay around $100 to $150 per container for your final delivery. You must remember that all these prices are subjected to vary. So it would certainly be a wise move for you to get in touch with U-Haul to get a more accurate estimate for your move.

Reasons to Choose U-Box

Wide Availability: It’s hard to come across people who are unaware of U-Haul. Add to that the fact that they are present in more than 20,000 locations across all of America and Canada. Just goes to show how well-established they are, isn’t it? But of course, it goes without saying that some branches are more reputable than others.

Interestingly, U-Haul also happens to be one of the only companies that provides services for an international move. To maintain their standards, they even appointed a special international U-Box team. So essentially, from the moment the stuff leaves your current house till the time it reaches your house in the new country, the team is always on the ball!

Flexible Cancellation Policy: When you plan a move, you generally can’t have a rigid schedule. Many things go wrong or change at the last moment. You would then need to adapt and make changes in your moving schedule accordingly. When unforeseeable circumstances rain down on you, U-Box extends its friendly and flexible arm by letting you cancel or modify your reservations for free. And yes, this is also entertained on the day of the container delivery. They will ask you to notify them about any such changes 24 hours prior to the scheduled drop off. However, they will still refund your deposit if you cancel before a few hours.

Pay-Per-Container Policy: A trademark of U-Box containers is uniformity. Something that’s reflected in one common, standard size too. If you are not sure about the number of containers you will be needing, you can roughly guess and order a specific number of containers.

If you don’t use one of the containers, you won’t be charged for it. U-Haul will refund the money that you paid for those extra containers! This service is extremely useful for people who are not sure about how much space their belongings will need when they plan a move.

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Did you Know? There is an unhidden secret on U-Haul trucks and vans that go by the name ‘Mom’s Attic’? You can find that on top of the driver’s cab. Interestingly though, fragile items are given the special treatment of getting the area being reserved for them. All of this is in the interest of securing the items well enough to survive the trip.

See also: U-Haul’s U-Box Review

How long can you keep a moving container in your driveway?

This is one common question everyone asks themselves. The answer to this question varies from company to company. Most of the companies like PODS, U-Haul and 1-800-Pack-Rat include 30 days of free storage in the cost of their container. This means that you can choose to keep your container on your property or in the company storage facility. Some other companies like U-Pack and Zippy Shell let you keep the container in your driveway for only three days.

What is the cheapest way to move long distance?

There are numerous ways in which you could save a few bucks and make your long distance move cheap. Firstly, you must pack everything by yourself instead of going for a full-service deal. A moving container move will cost you less for sure. You can ask your friends and family members if they have any good quality packing supplies instead of buying new supplies. You can also avoid hiring help and coax your family members and friends to help you out with the packing and loading.

You might have accumulated a lot of items over the years which you no longer have a use for. Hold yard sales or garage sales and earn some extra money for your move. Try to move during an off season (avoid summers and springs). Lastly, you try and negotiate with your employer or your company in order to get them to pay for your move.

What is not allowed in a moving container?

You are not allowed to load hazardous substances in your moving container. Hazardous substances are made up of materials that are potentially explosive in nature. Therefore, items like toxic chemicals, gases, aerosols, motor oil etc. aren’t allowed to be loaded. Perishable items like food and plants are not allowed to be loaded as well. These things tend to decay and attract unwanted bugs and pests. Furthermore, the company recommends that you keep all the valuable and irreplaceable items like family heirlooms, jewelry, important documents etc, with you throughout the move.

Are moving containers worth it?

Yes, if you are looking for low-cost and temporary storage. Containers provide a quick solution that anyone can rent from anywhere in any size needed at very affordable rates- giving them access to more space than most traditional buildings offer! Moving with a container is an excellent way to save money on the price of hiring movers or renting trucks.

How much does a 40-foot container cost?

A one-time use can be rented for around $800, but buying would set you back about US$4500 or more depending on where it’s purchased from.

Can 2 cars fit in a 20ft container?

Two cars can fit in a 20-foot container, allowing for end-to-end parking. If you have more than two vehicles and want them all inside the same shipping unit, consider leasing or purchasing 40-foot containers so that they will be able to accommodate four standard-sized vehicles on one cargo hold.

Are shipping containers waterproof?

In most cases, the answer is yes. Rubber seals are put around doors to ensure that no moisture gets in and damages any of your items inside. However, not all new boxes come with these features, so you have to do a little research on what kind of container suits your needs best before making a purchase!

How many boxes fit in a 20ft container?

A 20ft container can hold approximately 1200-1400 hand-sized cartons.