There is a certain dread related to packing and all that it entails, in terms of the work, the uncertainty and the surprising anticipation of shifting base to a new place. It is for the purpose of such an endeavor that services like U-Pack step in. They are a company that offers packing and transportation services for the luggage, as in the furniture and other household items, for people moving from one place to another. In this article, we look at the quality and range of services they offer and how satisfactory they have been for their customers. At the same time, we will look at covering the measures that they might be taking to improve in certain areas of their functioning.
A company that describes themselves as being non-traditional, in the sense that they give more control to the customer. Essentially, what U-Pack does is that it provides moving services for people looking to shift from one city to another. They transport belonging and furniture of people, usually over longer distances. They are different from the services offered by the rest of the moving industry, as they charge for space and not containers like most others.
If that isn’t enough, they let the responsibility of the packing, loading and unloading of the luggage be taken up by the customer themselves. So it makes the service a lot more affordable, keeping the whole process short by working within a time-frame. Another reason their prices are so low is because they have successfully managed to cut costs by using the empty space in the trailers for commercial transportation.
What Does U-Pack Do?
They describe themselves as being non-traditional, in the sense that they give more control to the customer. To put in a few simple steps:
- They bring the trailer to the assigned place. The customer will be responsible for packing his own things, giving him a chance to save money and time. They will have three days to pack and load the trailer. You will be provided the ReloCube containers, to pack your stuff.
- Note that you will be charged as per the number of containers and amount of space you use.
- At the end of three days, once you have finished loading, they will drop-off your luggage to the new location.
- Once U-Pack reaches the new location with your stuff, you get three days to unload.
Understanding The Services Offered By U-Pack
If you happen to have a lot of luggage and furniture, which is usually the case when the entire family is relocating, you would need the space to load up the stuff. This is when one would require a trailer. The dimensions of the trailer are 324x96x108 inches (length, width, height). The capacity of the trailer is approximately 1,944 cubic feet, which is the space occupied by a 3-4 bedroom house. While they can legally haul 22,500 lbs., you would be happy to know that an average household has luggage weighing only up to 12,600 lbs. The trailer comes with a ramp to help you load your things. You will be charged according to the space you occupy within the trailer once you are done loading. You can secure the luggage with a locking divider wall that will be provided to you.
If your move is on a smaller scale, you would need something smaller and more compact than a trailer. This usually comes into play when the people moving don’t have much furniture. The ReloCube is 5’10” deep x 6’10” wide x 7’9″ high. They are made of steel and aluminium, to ensure maximum safety of your things. If you are opting for these, you would be charged according to the number of ReloCubes you use for your move. In case some of your furniture or luggage does not fit into this, you can opt for the trailer.
Additional Services Offered
U-Pack offers their customers the option of storing their things with them in case of any special circumstances. How it works is, after you load your belongings, U-Pack will keep them in a secure location at the point of origin, in-transit or at the destination, and when you are ready to receive them, it will deliver.
2. Live Load And Unload/Same Day Drop-Off or Pick-Up
In a scenario where you don’t have permission for overnight parking in your locality, the U-Pack services will bring the truck to you and take it back mid-load at the required hour, and bring it back again the next day. This would be the same day drop-off or pick-up. In case of a live load or unload, the driver stays with the truck for a few hours while you do your work.
3. Service Center Delivery
One of the troubles encountered while loading or unloading is the lack of parking space for moving equipment. U-Pack, in this scenario, offers a delivery to a local service center. How it works is, U-Pack will bring its trailer or ReloCube to the service center where the customer will reach with their belongings, either in a car or a rental truck. They will then be loaded into the transport vehicle and be on the way. The same holds for the unloading process. The U-Pack trailer will be waiting at the service center where you will reach with a rental truck or your car, into which your belongings will be transferred for you to carry to your destination.
Things To Keep In Mind
- You are given only three days to load and three days to unload. You have to stick to the time-frame.
- Transit takes 2-5 days. In case you need it to be faster or on a certain date, you have to inform the service providers in advance so that they can make the arrangements accordingly. But this might cost extra.
- In case you need help with the packing, loading or even with unpacking, you can notify U-Pack services and they will get you in touch with the related people, or they might help themselves, if they have that option. This could incur costs other than the pre-decided amount, as it will be considered as an extra service.
- The pre-decided amount, however, includes the cost of the fuel and services of the driver. There will be no hidden costs in this regard.
- Check with the service providers regarding any details that you may be curious about. Get all the information before starting the move. Don’t assume anything and discuss everything.
U-Pack Coverage Options
In the unfortunate event of any damage to your belongings in transit, U-Pack is only responsible for the damage caused directly and by the transit or any other act of their negligence. They are not responsible for damage caused by improper packing, loading and unloading as the company does not undertake these tasks.
Two types of insurance coverage is provided:
- Catastrophic Liability: This is in case your ReloCube catches fire or suffers from water damage or any other act of god that adversely affects your property. You could get a coverage of up to $7500 per ReloCube in this case.
- Carrier Negligence Liability: This is the situation where there has been damage to your property in transit. In that case, the compensation you get would depend on the coverage you may have opted for. If you had opted for the no-charge coverage, the compensation you would receive would be 0.10x (the weight of the damaged items). The coverage amount is calculated per pound per item. On a coverage of $7, you would receive an amount of $1x (weight of item) and a maximum of $2500 per ReloCube. The most expensive coverage, that is $175 will give you a compensation of $3x (weight of item) and a maximum of $7,500 per ReloCube.
Pros and Cons of U-Pack
- The pricing strategy of ‘pay for what you use’ is a customer’s dream and has been U-Pack’s unique selling point since its inception.
- It has been around since 1997 and claims to have helped move over a million families.
- The website is extremely easy to use and gives instant quotes when it comes to going to a default option that is the lowest priced as per your requirements. If you ask us, that is a very clear pricing strategy that the customer can easily understand.
- There are no hidden costs. The charges for the driver and the gas are a part of the quote. You will not be surprised with having to pay extra money later on.
- The website does provide the option of enlisting help for loading and unloading. This would be included in the quotation given, if selected.
- U-Pack is very widely available, even in parts of Canada and Puerto Rico, making the service easily accessible for many.
- Guaranteed fast delivery, which comes with an online tracker.
- Moving supplies will be provided by the company, at a cost of course.
- The option of storage is given, should the customer require it.
- U-Pack is owned by ABF, a freight shipping company. One can count on their expertise seeping into U-Pack to get your belongings safely to you, without any damage.
- It has firmly established itself as the best option for moderate to long-distance moves.
- The biggest drawback of the company is that it is not available for local moves or moves within 100 miles.
- There is a cancellation fee involved if you cancel the services within a week of your move
- Parking is always an issue.
- While its modern approach is commendable for its affordability, it cannot be denied that things would be a lot easier if the entire packing was done by professionals. Things would move, literally and figuratively, a lot faster affording a lot more convenience. It would be an excellent addition to the company’s profile if they added this as part of their service, optionally of course, for those who prefer it.
How Much Does U-Pack Cost?
To put it simply, the price of the entire service offered by U-Pack is almost $600 less than the mean price of the moving industry. The average move would cost a little above $2,500. To quote a range for the pricing, it could be as low as $750 to as high as $4,600 for a whole four-bedroom house.
The price is also affected by the distance travelled. To gain more perspective, a two-bedroom house would cost $1620 to travel some 500 miles and $2,730 to cover 2,000 miles. Another quote would be the price of shifting the average of a 1-room apartment over 500 miles is $1,080 and over 2,000 miles is $1,560. The price for those distances respectively for a 3-bedroom house stands at $2,260 and $3,830.
See also: How Much Does it Cost to Move
These prices are significantly lower than their competitors in the industry and there is a noticeable difference, even from their nearest competitor. It will make you happier that there is a 25% discount on online reservations. Know that the price is affected by the number of ReloCubes or space in the trailer, the date of moving and the distance you are travelling.
In case of a cancellation, if it happens with more than seven days to spare, no fee will be charged. If cancelled within seven days, a fee of $50 is charged and in the event of it happening on the moving day, you should keep $150 ready as compensation.
There are a few things, however, that could affect the final price. A change of the moving date or location, parking fines, keeping the equipment for longer than agreed, customs fee, etc. It would help you be better prepared if you discuss such predicaments in advance with the company.
U-Pack Reviews & Ratings
A perusal of the website read with a prior knowledge of the company’s reputation will give us a rough idea of what to expect from hiring them for the moving process. Let’s take the time to look at some of the reviews left by customers, to understand the practical deliverance of the quality of their services.
We checked Yelp and MyMovingReviews.com and here we noticed that the reviews were detailed. The websites have a rating of 3.5 and 3.6 respectively, which we would consider to be above average. While there are certainly more positive reviews than negative ones, the takeaway from them is that keep checking up on them during the delivery, have an emergency back-up plan ready and check the container or trailer for leaks and holes or any other damage before loading your stuff in it. That being taken care of, you can sit back and relax because there is a 99% chance that you will receive their best service.
Also, considering how widespread U-Pack is and how long it has been around, it shouldn’t be hard to find people who have used the service. Talk to them personally before making a decision. After all, you will be shipping your entire life.
U-Pack as a moving company has been in the market for a little over two decades and enjoys a stellar reputation among its many peers. In fact, this is one of the few companies that has tried to come up with innovative ideas to keep themselves on the affordable side. Should you hire them, ask them every possible question in the book and also ask them if there is something else that you should be asking. With that being said, there’s every reason for you to consider them for your move of any kind.
See also: U-Pack vs PODS