With already a couple of good names in the industry and new ones constantly joining in, choosing a moving company could be as tricky as choosing between your favorite sitcoms. But one way of going about it is narrowing down your choices as per your needs. For instance, if you’re planning a budget move or a DIY move, looking at some moving container companies could be a good start.
To help you with your research, we have here a comparison of the two best container companies in the industry – PODS and 1-800-PACK-RAT. Both the companies have gained a lot of popularity in the industry, for their unique services. Our aim is to give you a fair idea of both these companies based on the services, prices and experience that they offer. Read along to figure out which company will suit you the best!
PODS vs 1-800-PACK-RAT: How Does It Work?
Before we get to details of all the services that PODS and 1-800-PACK-RAT have to offer, let us walk you through how the process looks like with each of them.
Booking a container with PODS is an easy process. All you need to do is be ready with all the necessary details like which size container you need, how many you need, when and where do they need to be delivered. Once you’ve planned for all these details, you can reach out to a PODS representative to book your order. You can also fill out these details on their quote request form, to get an online quote.
After your booking is confirmed, PODS will drop off the container at your preferred location where you may load it as per your own schedule and convenience. You could decide to keep the container with you after you’ve finished loading, or you may hand over the responsibility to PODS who can take care of your storage needs. As per your required date, your PODS container will be shifted to your new location.
Tip: PODS as a company is always in demand by its customers. So, we suggest that you schedule and book your container at least a few weeks in advance, especially during busier months. Also, don’t forget to check out some promotional codes that PODS offers from time to time. They can really help you save some bucks on your budget.
Scheduling a local move with 1-800-PACK-RAT is not a difficult process. You can fill out all the relevant details like the size of the container and when and where you need them, along with your zip codes. If 1-800-PACK-RAT is available in your area, then it will let you reserve your order, otherwise it may direct you to the U-Pack website. However, if you need a small sized container or need two or more differently sized containers, you may have to make your reservation over call.
For a long distance move as well, 1-800-PACK-RAT expects you to confirm your reservation over call. If you go through the website, it will generate a reference number for you and you would have to call on that number to proceed with your reservation. Once your reservation with 1-800-PACK-RAT is confirmed, the process ahead is similar to that of PODS. They will drop off the container at your desired location, you can load them as per your convenience and after that, they can get the container delivered to your new location or provide storage facilities, as per your requirements.
Which One’s Better?
Once your reservation is confirmed, the process with both PODS as well as 1-800-PACK-RAT will be similar. The only difference could be in the initial reservation process as 1-800-PACK-RAT may require you to make a call for certain moves, while PODS may want you to book in advance.
PODS vs 1-800-PACK-RAT: Availability Of Locations
Whether the company you want to approach, offers services at your preferred location or not is the first step to make or break your deal further. Let us have a look at how widely spread are the service locations of both PODS and 1-800-PACK-RAT.
You can find PODS in about 44 states of the US. They have around 184 locations spread across all these states. Additionally, PODS is also known to provide services in parts of Canada as well as Australia. The only states where you may not find a PODS location are:
- North Dakota
Overall, PODS is said to have good availability in the US. Leaving the above mentioned states, it may not be so difficult to reach out to a PODS service location. However, it is best you check the nearest location in your zip code, before moving with PODS.
Finding a 1-800-PACK-RAT location as per your preference, could be a little tough. That’s because they have only around 62 locations spread across 30 states in the US. If you’re moving to a state which does not have a 1-800-PACK-RAT location, chances are that your order may not be accommodated by the company. But if insisted, they might allow you to book a move but may charge a much higher price for the same.
Which One’s Better?
In the location aspect, PODS seems to be a clear winner over 1-800-PACK-RAT. Their locations are widely spread and more easily accessible, not just in the US but also in countries of Canada and Australia.
PODS vs 1-800-PACK-RAT: Services Offered
Here’s a comparison of the different services offered by both PODS and 1-800-PACK-RAT.
PODS offers a variety of services for catering to both your moving and storage needs. When it comes to moving, PODS caters to all local and long distance moves. It can also help you with job relocation and corporate relocation. If you’re planning a military move, PODS can help you out there as well (Bonus – They also have special discounts for all members of the military). Lastly, PODS can also provide you packing and loading assistance, if that’s what you need.
For your storage needs, PODS offers both short term and long term storage solutions. You can either choose to store your container at your location (on-site storage), or you could use the storage facilities provided by PODS.
Also See: PODS Review
Similar to PODS, 1-800-PACK-RAT also offers a variety of moving and storage services. They cater to local, long distance as well as military moves. Businesses or employees could also approach 1-800-PACK-RAT for assistance with their corporate relocation. Packing assistance may be available as an add-on service at some 1-800-PACK-RAT facilities. Moving supplies like boxes, blankets and tape, are also offered by them. In terms of storage as well, they are similar to PODS, catering to both short term and long term storage solutions.
See Also: 1-800-PACK-RAT Review
Which One’s Better?
Choosing a clear winner in this scenario is difficult, as both PODS and 1-800-PACK-RAT cater to similar moving and storage services. So, it is safe to say that both these companies are head to head when it comes to providing a range of services to their customers.
PODS vs 1-800-PACK-RAT: Container Sizes And Quality
Both the size, as well as the quality of your moving container, are important factors in determining the success of your move. Specializing as a moving containers company, let us see which company has a superior hand in this aspect.
You have a choice of renting 3 different container sizes offered by PODS. This gives you enough flexibility to decide the ideal size for your move. And if you are still in doubt, you can always choose the bigger size or order an extra PODS container.
When it comes to quality, PODS containers are actually sturdy metal containers that are made using steel frames. All their containers are not only weather-resistant, but also impact-resistant. That’s because the walls of the containers are specially designed with high-tech polymer wall panels and have an exterior aluminium covering for extra protection. Let us now have a look at the specifications and utility of the three containers that are offered by PODS.
|7-Foot Container||12-Foot Container||16-Foot Container|
|Dimensions||7’ x 7’ x 8”||12’ x 8’ x 8”||16’ x 8’ x 8”|
|Storage Capacity||385 cu. ft.||689 cu. ft.||835 cu. ft.|
|Weight Capacity||5,200 lbs.||4,700 lbs.||4,200 lbs.|
|Best Utility||Small moves. Ideal for college students and apartment movers, looking to downsize.||Small moves and local apartment moves.||Ideal for moving or storing a 2 – 3 bedrooms home.|
|Availability||Local and long distance moves.||In-town moving and storage only.||Local and long distance moves.|
When talking about container sizes, 1-800-PACK-RAT is again similar to PODS. They also offer 3 different container sizes to all their customers. All containers offered by 1-800-PACK-RAT are made up of all steel and are completely weather resistant. They have ground level designs, convenient for loading and unloading, and also have barn-style doors, offering extra interior space. Here are the specifications of all the 3 containers offered by 1-800-PACK-RAT.
|8-Foot Container||12-Foot Container||16-Foot Container|
|Dimensions||7.2’ x 7.8’ x 8.5’||7.75’ x 7.5’ x 12’||7.75’ x 7.5’ x 16’|
|Storage Capacity||404 cu. ft.||620 cu. ft.||830 cu. ft.|
|Weight Capacity||4,000 lbs.||6,000 lbs.||6,000 lbs.|
|Best Utility||Moving or storing 1 – 2 bedrooms home.||Moving or storing 2 – 3 bedrooms home.||Moving or storing 3 – 4 bedrooms home.|
|Availability||Local and long distance moves.||Local moves. Will need to confirm for long distance moves.||Local and long distance moves.|
Which One’s Better?
Looking at the specifications, you may have realized that both PODS and 1-800-PACK-RAT are very similar to the sizes as well as the quality of containers that they offer. The only thing to note is that the 12-foot container with PODS is only available for local moves.
PODS vs 1-800-PACK-RAT: Cost And Pricing
No matter the type of move you’re planning, budgeting is always going to be an integral part of it. Because at the end of the day, what matters is how much do we need to spend and where all can we save, right? While it is difficult to compare the prices offered by two companies, as every move is unique, you can expect an estimated price range to get an idea about their costs and pricing. Have a look at how PODS and 1-800-PACK-RAT compare in this aspect.
PODS is known to be one of the most affordable container moving companies for short distances and smaller homes. If you’re planning a local move, you can expect to pay between $200 – $1,100, depending on the size of your house (1 to 5 bedrooms). For a cross country or a long distance move, you could be paying between $2,400 – $7,500, as per the total distance of your move and the size of your house.
To elaborate further, moving a midsize home (2 – 3 bedrooms) for a distance of 300 miles or less, would cost between $650 – $2,400 on average with PODS. For storage services, PODS has an initial starting price of $149 per month for each unit. Do keep in mind that taxes and delivery charges are not included in these costs.
You may find the initial quote prices provided by 1-800-PACK-RAT to be higher than the industry average. But one interesting thing about the company is that it provides a ton of discounts as well as price matching policies that significantly lower your final costs. Bigger home moves or long distance move prices will comparatively be cheaper with 1-800-PACK-RAT.
To give you a price perspective, a big cross country move for 3 – 5 bedrooms will cost between $2,000 – $7,000, whereas a local move with 1-800-PACK-RAT may cost between $250 – $1,400, depending on the size of your home. Another noteworthy thing about 1-800-PACK-RAT is the fact that their charges are already inclusive of the cost of delivery and transportation, as well as cost of containers with 30 days free storage. For additional storage services, you may have to pay a monthly rent of around $250 for each unit.
Which One’s Better?
Both PODS and 1-800-PACK-RAT offer competitive prices in the industry. While PODS offers great deals on short, local moves and has lower initial prices, 1-800-PACK-RAT can be great for all long distance or big home moves. To add to that, 1-800-PACK-RAT also offers a whole lot of discounts and if you still find the prices high, they offer price matching policies to help you budget plan your move. Overall, you might find affordable rates with both companies, but we suggest that you get your quotes from both to get an accurate idea of the costs and prices.
Read Also: Top-rated Long Distance Moving Companies
PODS vs 1-800-PACK-RAT: Insurance Coverage Options
Having insurance for your belongings gives you the added assurance that your valuables are safe. Of course, all container companies do their best to safeguard your belongings, but again there are a few things which are beyond anyone’s control. Insurance is the only back-up you would have to fall back on, in those times. Here are the coverage options offered by both PODS and 1-800-PACK-RAT.
One of the best qualities about PODS is that it offers quality insurance at affordable rates. You could be paying between $34.95 to $469.95 for availing the different coverage plans offered by PODS. There are 2 main insurance coverage plans that PODS offers – Container-only Protection Insurance and Content Protection Insurance. But before we get to the details of these plans, we suggest that you also check if your move is covered by homeowners’ or renters’ insurance.
The damages sustained by a PODS container when they are placed on your property, are covered by the Container-only Protection Plan. This plan is available at a very reasonable cost of $10 per month. But do keep in mind that this plan only protects the container and not your belongings that are loaded inside the container. If you need protection for your belongings as well, you can avail their Content Protection Plan that protects the container as well as all the stuff that’s placed inside it. Starting from $5,000, you can stretch this plan to up to $300,000. Do keep in mind that the damage caused by water will not be covered in the Content Protection Plan.
Similar to PODS in this aspect, 1-800-PACK-RAT also offers a Content Protection Plan with different value ranges. The basic plan will cover the damage to the container only, and can go up to their silver plan that covers protection for your belongings as well. The company recommends all its customers to first evaluate and deduce the collective worth of their belongings, after which they can choose the insurance plan that is the most beneficial for them.
Which One’s Better?
Although the insurance prices are similar for both PODS and 1-800-PACK-RAT, (for identical declared value), you will have more coverage options available with PODS. To add to that, 1-800-PACK-RAT offers a maximum coverage value of up to $75,000 while PODS can stretch it up to $300,000.
PODS vs 1-800-PACK-RAT: Cancellation Policies
Planning a DIY move is all about convenience and flexibility (and budget, of course). Not all your moves may happen as per your decided schedule, so it’s always better if the company that you choose offers a little flexibility around your move. Let us see how the cancellation policies compare for both PODS and 1-800-PACK-RAT.
You can cancel your moves with PODS right up till the day before your scheduled move, without being charged any cancellation fee. However, do keep in mind that you have only up till 4 pm the day before, to cancel your move. If you happen to cancel your move after that, you will be charged a cancellation fee. You can get in touch with a PODS representative to cancel your order.
You need to cancel your reservation at least 48 hours prior to the scheduled delivery of the container, if you do not want to be charged a cancellation fee from 1-800-PACK-RAT. You will also be refunded any money that you may have paid, when you cancel within that window. But, if you have last minute changes or are cancelling your reservation in the 48 hours window, you will most probably be charged cancellation fees as well as mileage for your move. All these fees when added up, could be on the higher end. You can get in touch with a 1-800-PACK-RAT representative, if you need to cancel your reservation.
Which One’s Better?
You may get a little more flexibility with PODS, when it comes to cancelling or accommodating any last minute changes in your plan. However, you will be charged a cancellation fee by both companies if you fail to cancel your order within the designated time frame.
PODS: Pros And Cons
Reasons To Choose PODS
- Variety Of Portable Containers: As mentioned before, PODS has 3 different container sizes, giving you the flexibility to choose the one as per your convenience.
- Affordable: Moving with PODS is usually cheaper than hiring full service movers. And they also offer some special discounts and promotional codes that could lower your moving costs. Plus, PODS also offers reasonable insurance options with pretty good coverage values.
- Availability: Along with a wide presence in the US, PODS is also accessible in some international areas.
- Flexibility: Along with offering up to 30 days of free storage facility, PODS also gives you ample time to load and unload your container as per your schedule and convenience. To add to it, their cancellation policy is also very flexible.
- Industry Leaders: With their innovative ideas, PODS have come up with a hydraulic system called the Podzilla, that keeps your containers upright while they are being lifted. This ensures that your belongings inside are sturdy and not prone to a lot of shifting.
- Good Customer Service: PODS is known for its responsive customer service. A lot of their positive reviews have mentioned that the PODS team has been prompt and approachable for answering all queries.
Things to Consider Before Choosing PODS
- Reserving your moves online with PODS may not always be an available option. You may have to get in touch with a company representative to do so.
- Getting a PODS container may not be so easy as they are almost always fully booked. It is advisable that you plan and book your moves at least a few months in advance, if you want to move with PODS.
- Some of the bigger containers offered by PODS may not easily fit into your narrow driveway or small streets. In that case, you may have to look for a more accessible location.
- The company website has chunks of important information missing from it. You will probably have to contact a customer service representative to get clarity on many things.
1-800-PACK-RAT: Pros And Cons
Reasons To Choose 1-800-PACK-RAT
- Good Quality Containers: Offering 3 different sizes of moving containers, 1-800-PACK-RAT gives you enough variety to choose the container best suitable to your needs. That’s not all, their containers are made up of all steel and claim to provide the most weather resistance in the market.
- Secure Storage Facilities: When you are using the storage facilities provided by 1-800-PACK-RAT, you can be assured that all your belongings will be kept safe and secured. They are kept in climate controlled warehouses that are under surveillance 24/7.
- Discounts And Price Matching Policy: Local movers, first responders, military members and teachers, these are just some of the categories for which 1-800-PACK-RAT offers special discounts. Not just that, they also consistently offer a price matching policy to accommodate your moving needs as per your budget.
- Unique Containers: The quality of containers offered by 1-800-PACK-RAT are amongst the best in the industry. Offering a variety of 3 differently sized containers, their all steel containers provide that extra security to your belongings. The barn-style doors on their containers provide around 30 cubic feet of extra storage space for your items. You can select the container size that best suits your needs or you could also mix and match a combination of them as per your convenience.
- Great Customer Service: Most customers that have moved with 1-800-PACK-RAT have left positive reviews on known online portals. According to them, the company offers great customer service and to specially help you with your moving needs, may also assign a moving specialist for you. All in all, 1-800-PACK-RAT will be there to guide you along every step of your moving process, to ensure that you have a stress free experience.
Things to Consider Before Choosing 1-800-PACK-RAT
- The initial quotes given by 1-800-PACK-RAT may not match the final price. While in some cases, it may be significantly lower with some of their great deals and discounts, at other times, you may notice a few extra charges added to your final bill. It is best that you clarify about all pricing details and inquire about any hidden costs, so that you aren’t in for a surprise or rather shock, in the end.
- You may not be able to accommodate your last minute moves with 1-800-PACK-RAT as it expects you to book your container at least 10 days prior to your preferred delivery date. You may also be asked to make some payment five days before the container is dropped off.
- While you can easily book a local move online on their website, for a long distance move, you will have to get in touch with a 1-800-PACK-RAT representative on call.
- There are only 30 states in the US that have a 1-800-PACK-RAT outlet. This makes their availability a little limited in the US. They also do not offer any international services.
What Is The Best Pod Moving Company?
Along with PODS and 1-800-PACK-RAT, some other big names in the Pod moving industry include U-Pack, Zippy Shell and SMARTBOX. Each of these companies have something unique to offer, making them the best in their aspect. To get a better idea about these companies, you can also check out our article on the Best Container Moving Companies.
How Much Is A Pod Per Month?
The term Pods has become synonymous with moving containers in the industry. So, on an average, you might end up paying between $140 – $300 for using a pod per month. If you’re looking at the containers from the company PODS specifically, then the initial costs would be around $150 for a pod per month. Delivery and other charges like taxes, may be added to these expenses.
Read Also: How to Pack A Storage POD
Conclusion: Which Company Is Right For You?
Now that you’ve got some idea about the services offered by both PODS and 1-800-PACK-RAT, you may have realized that they are both leaders in the field and choosing one over the other may not be that easy. While both the companies offer a variety of different container sizes, you might get better quality containers with 1-800-PACK-RAT.
PODS on the other hand is known for its customer service and has better availability in the US as well as abroad. So, it all boils down to what your specific needs and expectations are. We suggest that you make an informed decision after weighing all the pros and cons and getting your quotes from both the companies.