When you go for a moving container move, you generally have things like affordability, flexibility, and convenience in your mind. But when it comes to choosing a company for your move, your mind just goes blank and you start doubting your decisions. This is because you are overwhelmed with all the information and after a point, there is a lot of confusion about what each company is offering.
To put you out of your misery, we have compared two of the best container companies in the business: PODS and U-Haul. Both companies have gained popularity due to their innovative business ideas. On one hand, PODS introduced the industry to containers. Meanwhile, on the other hand, U-Haul is one of the oldest companies that started off by providing moving solutions to military members. Confused about which company to go for? Let’s find out which one suits you the best!
How does it Work: PODS vs U-Box
PODS and U-Haul’s U-Box don’t differ much when it comes to what they have to offer. However, let us just walk you through the process of renting out a container from both companies.
Once you finalize the schedule of your move, you can reserve your containers with PODS or U-Haul. These containers will be dropped off at your doorstep on the scheduled delivery date. You can keep the PODS container and the U-Box on your property for 30 days. This means that you can take your own sweet time to load them up.
Once you have loaded your stuff into the containers, you have to inform the company about it. The company will then pick up the containers from your place and drive them to your new place. You can also opt to send these containers to the company storage facility as well in case your new house isn’t ready. Once the containers reach your new place, unload them at your own pace. Then the company will pick up the empty containers and that’s the end of your move.
To be honest, if you are looking at going through your container move with ease, PODS and U-Haul are both doing quite a commendable job. You can customize your moves according to your needs by availing of add-on services with PODS and U-Box.
But you should know that apart from the U-Box, U-Haul has a more diversified set of moving services such as rental trucks and trailers to offer for your move. To add to that, U-Haul allows you to save costs by loading and unloading your container at their location. This is a major price-saving factor.
Also See: U-Pack VS PODS
Availability of Locations: PODS vs U-Box
PODS has locations that are spread out in about 44 states of the USA. They are known to have gained popularity in Canada and Australia as well. Here are the states that do not have PODS locations.
- North Dakota
Apart from these states, one can say that PODS is generally well connected with the residents of the other states. Before you move with PODS, make sure that they have a location near your house.
Also Read: PODS Review
U-Haul isn’t the household name for the American citizens for nothing. U-Haul locations are spread in every corner of the nation in all 50 states. In fact, you might even have more than two U-Haul locations near your house. U-Haul also has several locations in Canada. To top it off, U-Haul lets you ship your stuff to any international port in the world. Please ask about all this in more detail at a U-Haul location if you want to use U-Haul for international moves.
U-Haul is a clear winner when it comes to availability. It has more than 20,000 locations and that’s several times more than the number of locations that are maintained by PODS. You will find a PODS container for your move, but it is easier to find a U-Box than a PODS container in the USA.
Related: U-Haul’s U-Box Review
Sizes and the Quality of Containers Offered
Whether your move is successful depends on what container you rented out. If the container you are using is weather-resistant and is made of good-quality materials, you can rest assured that your stuff will be safe and secure inside it during your move.
However, if the material used to make the container is bad or if it isn’t weatherproof, no one can stop your stuff from sustaining damages during the move. Which company offers better containers? Read on, and find out for yourself!
PODS has 3 sizes of moving containers available for their customers. This gives their customers the flexibility to choose the size of container that is appropriate for their move. Their customers don’t have to break their heads over trying to calculate the number of containers they would need. That is because there is a variety of container sizes available, and you are just supposed to choose the one that will fit all your stuff into it.
To add to that, PODS containers are actually sturdy metal containers that are made using steel frames. This makes the container not only weather-resistant but also impact-resistant. The reason behind that is because the walls of the container use weather and impact-resistant paneling. Let us now have a look at the specifications of the three containers that are offered by PODS.
|7-Foot Container||12-Foot Container||16-Foot Container|
|Dimensions||6 ft. 6 in. x 6 ft. x 7 ft. 6 in.||11 ft. 6 in. x 7 ft. x 7 ft. 6 in.||15 ft. 6 in. x 7 ft. x 7 ft. 6 in.|
|Storage Capacity||390 cu. ft.||749 cu. ft.||1,008 cu. ft.|
|Weight Capacity||5,200 lbs.||4,700 lbs.||4,200 lbs.|
Please note that their 12-foot container can be used for only local moves.
U-Box comes in one standard size which is enough to take in about a room full of stuff. This means that you have to order several U-Box containers when you are moving a large house. If you are not sure about the number of containers you need, just throw in a rough guess and order. U-Haul follows a pay-per-use policy according to which you will be provided with a full refund for the containers that you didn’t end up using. The following are the specifications of a U-Box.
- Dimensions: 7 ft. 11 in. x 4 ft. 8 in. x 6 ft. 11 in.
- Storage Space: 257 cu. ft.
- Weight Capacity: 2,000 lbs.
You can use U-Box for local and one-way moves. Now here is where U-Box gets a lot of criticism. A U-Box is made of treated plywood which obviously is less sturdy than a metal construction. As a result of this, a U-Box also does not protect your stuff from bad weather. Customers have reported that their containers broke or even had water leakages during their moves.
When it comes to carrying your stuff, both PODS and U-Haul containers work very well. However, what sets PODS apart from U-Box is the metal container that they use. A metal container is better than a wooden container in every way. To add to that, PODS also offers you a variety of sizes whereas U-Box comes in only one size. In terms of this category, we believe that we have a clear winner which is PODS.
Cost of Moving: PODS vs U-Box
When you are moving, all your decisions boil down to one single thing, i.e., how much does a particular thing cost. Most of us are always looking to save money and we don’t behave any differently when it comes to moving. Comparing the prices offered by two companies isn’t that easy because the prices vary according to each unique move. That’s why it is better to get personalized quotes from both companies before you move.
You will be surprised to know that the average cost of moving with both PODS and U-Haul’s U-Box is almost the same. These companies offer some of the cheapest deals in the moving container market. The average cost of moving with these companies is at least 5% lower than the average market price. Let us now look at how the moves are priced in each company.
Whenever you are going for a local move, you can expect to pay in the range of $200 to $800, depending on how big your house is (1 to 5 bedrooms). When it is a midsize move with a distance of 250 miles or less, you will be asked to pay anywhere in the range of $450 to $2,100. Lastly, if it is a big cross-country move, you will have to pay in the range of $2,000 to $7,600 according to the size of your house and the distance of your move.
For a local move, moving with U-Box costs anywhere between $150 to $800. This price mainly depends on the size of your house. For a midsized move of 250 miles or less, you can expect to pay in the range of $450 to $3,000. Finally, when it is a long-distance move, the cost of the move can range anywhere between $1,200 to $7,000. This price is calculated based on the size of your house and the distance of your move.
Although moving with PODS and U-Box is quite similar when it comes to their costs, you will notice that the starting price advertised by U-Haul is lower than those advertised by PODS. The prices offered by both the companies aren’t transparent and they don’t include tax estimates in their quotes. This means that there will be some additional fees charged to you when you ask them for a final bill.
Insurance Coverage Options: PODS vs U-Box
Never try to cut costs when it comes to purchasing insurance. When your stuff is out of your house, it is constantly in danger. No doubt that the container companies will do their best to keep your stuff safe, but there are things that you can’t control. For instance, storms, heavy rains, fires, vandalism, thefts, etc. Have a look at the coverage options that are offered by PODS and U-Box.
PODS understands that their customers need insurance and that too at low rates ($34.95 – $469.95). Because of this, it offers two insurance coverage plans to its customers. These plans are called Container-only Protection Insurance and Content Protection Insurance. Before you avail of any plan, it is advisable to check whether your move is covered by homeowners’ or renters’ insurance.
The container-only protection insurance covers the damages that are sustained by the PODS containers when they are placed on your property. This plan protects only the containers and not your belongings when they are loaded inside the container. You can avail of this plan at the very low cost of $10 per month.
On the other hand, their content protection insurance protects the container as well as your stuff that’s placed inside the container. You can stretch this coverage plan up to $300,000 but the damage caused by water is not covered within this.
It is advisable to first check whether your homeowners’ or renters’ insurance covers you. If it doesn’t, then you can always purchase the insurance plans that are offered by U-Haul. U-Haul offers two insurance plans namely, Safestor® and Safestor Mobile®.
Both these plans can be purchased at really negligible costs ($12 – $40 per month). Availing of these plans will ensure that your stuff is safe irrespective of whether your stuff is in storage or transit. You can get up to $20,000 of coverage for your stuff with these plans. Purchasing this insurance protects your stuff from all the harmful elements like vermin, natural disasters, fires, water leakages, etc.
When we compare the insurance plans offered by U-Haul and PODS, both their plans seem quite appealing. On one hand, the coverage amount offered by PODS is much higher than that offered by U-Haul. On the other hand, the cost of the insurance plans offered by U-Haul is much lower as compared to the costs offered by PODS. If you ask us, we recommend choosing a company whose insurance plans suit your move the best.
Cancellation Policies: PODS vs U-Box
It is extremely important for a company to offer you flexibility when it comes to your move. After all, it is absolutely unrealistic to expect that your move will go exactly according to your schedule. Let’s see which company offers you more flexibility.
PODS doesn’t fall much behind in the line when it comes to having very flexible cancellation policies. You can cancel your moves for free up till the day before your move. However, keep in mind that you have to cancel before 4pm on the day before your move. If you cancel your move after that, you will be charged a cancellation fee.
If you want your moves to be flexible, it is certainly wise to choose either U-Box or PODS. The cancellation policies followed by U-Haul are more flexible but the ones followed by PODS aren’t bad either.
U-Box makes your life super easy because it lets you cancel your reservations even on the day of your move. You will get a full refund even if you cancel your move just a few hours before your move. However, there might be some instances where you will be charged a small cancellation fee but it depends on which location you are dealing with.
The company asks you to notify them of your cancellation plans at least 24 hours before the move but they do accommodate cancellation requests within those 24 hours.
Reasons to Choose PODS
- PODS offers its moving container services at really pocket-friendly rates. Using a PODS container is definitely cheaper than hiring a full-service mover. To add to that, you can also avail of some discounts while moving with PODS.
- PODS containers are very sturdy and are made using a steel frame. This makes them weather as well as impact resistant.
- The 3 sizes of containers offered by this company ensure that you get a variety of sizes to choose from.
- You can keep the container on your property or in the PODS storage facility for free for up to 30 days.
- The company is really innovative. They have come up with a hydraulic lift system called the Podzilla that keeps your containers upright while they are being lifted and keeps the stuff inside them from moving.
- PODS is known for its responsive customer service. You will certainly get all your answers when you get in touch with their customer service representatives.
- PODS has received a lot of positive reviews from its past customers.
- PODS has several locations that are spread out not only in the USA but also in Canada and Australia.
- The insurance plans offered by PODS are very affordable. At the same time, the amount of coverage you can get from these plans is insane.
- The cancellation policy that is followed by PODS is super flexible.
Things to Consider Before Choosing PODS
- You cannot book most of your moves online, even though PODS asks you to do so. You will have to talk to the company representative before you book your moves.
- The website of this company has chunks of information missing from it. You will have to talk to the customer service representative to know more about some things.
- The amount of success experienced by PODS becomes a bane as they are always fully booked. You might have to book your moves about 6 months in advance if you want to move with PODS.
- Their bigger containers might not fit into your driveway or streets, especially if they are particularly small or narrow.
Reasons to Choose U-Box
- Moving with U-Haul is so cheap that it is unbelievable. If you are going for a small move, their low per-container rates will make your day.
- U-Haul also offers a pay-per-use policy which means that you don’t have to pay for the containers that you don’t use.
- The accessibility of U-Haul locations is its strength. U-Haul locations are available absolutely anywhere throughout the nation and in Canada as well.
- They pioneered the online quote system which makes the task of getting quotes and reserving your moves online super easy.
- Their cancellation policies are something to speak of. They let you cancel your moves for free even on the day of the move.
- U-Haul lets you save money by choosing to load and unload your stuff at the U-Haul facility itself.
- All U-Box containers have a latch where you can put your own padlock. This ensures that you and only you have access to your stuff.
- The insurance plans offered by them are really very affordable.
- The company offers you a GPS tracking system. As a result of this, you can track your shipment at all points in time.
- U-Haul also lets you move internationally. Their special international team will ensure that your stuff and you reach the house in the new country safely.
Things to Consider Before Choosing U-Box
- The prices offered by U-Haul aren’t transparent. No doubt that your overall cost of moving will remain low, but there will be additional fees charged to your initial quote at the end of the move.
- Their customer service is rather messy. Customers have reported interacting with confused reps who gave wrong answers.
- U-Box comes in only one size. Although the size is perfect for a small move, it becomes rather confusing to guess the number of containers required for a large move.
- U-Box containers are not made of high-quality materials. They are made of treated plywood. This means that they are not as weather-proof and sturdy as they claim to be.
Which Company is Right for You?
After reading this article, you must have realized that it is not that easy to choose a winner. PODS and U-Box go head-to-head with each other in almost all factors that have to be considered while moving. Apart from the fact that PODS offers metal containers in 3 sizes, there isn’t much difference in what these companies have to offer. Now, which company is right for you solely depends on your unique needs. We recommend that you get quotes from both companies, weigh the pros and cons, and make an informed decision for yourself.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are moving Pods worth it?
Moving pods strike the perfect balance between a full-service move and a DIY move. This kind of move lets you take charge of your own move. You can take your own sweet time to plan, pack and load your containers.
Once that is done, you simply have to wait for your shipment to be delivered to your new house. There is no hassle of driving a moving truck. Renting a moving pod tends to be rather cheap as well. If you ask us then yes, moving pods are worth it.
What is the cheapest way to move long distance?
There are some ways in which you can go for a long-distance move and not wipe out your bank account as well. Consider doing the following things to make your move budget-friendly.
- Reserve your moves well in advance.
- Do most of the work by yourself. Avoid hiring laborers to pack and load your stuff.
- Use second-hand packing and moving supplies (but ones in good condition).
- Move during the off-season.
- Move on the weekdays.
- Get rid of the unnecessary stuff because the lesser the load, the cheaper the move.
Also See: Cheapest Moving Container Companies