If you’ve ever moved before, then you know what a stressful ordeal it can be. And this is true whether you’re moving to a different home in your neighborhood, or scheduling an out-of-state move.
Many people are torn between whether to pay for the convenience of hiring full-service movers or trying to save some money and manage the entire move themselves. Hiring a full-service moving company is expensive, but doing everything on your own is a lot of work.
Fortunately, there’s an alternative for anyone who wants to save money, but outsource at least part of the move. Moving and storage container companies let you rent a moving container and pack up your belongings on your own timeline.
Once your container is packed up, the company will store your belongings for you and move them to your new home once you’re ready. If you’re interested in pursuing this option, here are the eight best moving container companies to consider.
U-Pack is an out-of-state moving service, and it’s perfect for anyone who wants an affordable way to move long distances. The company doesn’t require an upfront deposit to schedule the move, and you only pay for the space you use.
Once you schedule your move, U-Pack will deliver the empty moving container to your home. You’ll have three business days to pack everything up, and then once you’ve finished, the company will drive the container to your new home. From there, you’ll unload your belongings.
U-Pack offers a 100% Customer Satisfaction Guarantee. This guarantee reduces your transportation costs by up to 100% if your shipment fails to arrive on the guaranteed date.
- No deposit required to schedule the move
- You only pay for what you use
- High-quality, safe moving equipment
- Experienced, professional drivers
- The company is available in all 50 states
- The company doesn’t do local moves
- No assistance loading the moving containers
- Large families may have to use multiple containers
- Only 3 days to load and unlock
- Requires a minimum move of 150 miles
Portable On Demand Storage, or PODS, provides portable storage containers to help you transport your belongings. It’s an excellent choice for flexible local and long-distance moves. You have the option to choose from a 7-foot, 12-foot, or 16-foot container. All their moving containers are weather-resistant and feature roll-up doors that require less space to open in your driveway and offer ramp-free loading.
You can use PODS whether you’re moving out of state or simply cleaning out your garage. Its pricing is upfront and transparent with a month-to-month rental option. PODS calculates the value of your movables after placing an order with them. In most states, PODS encompasses $10,000 in contents protection for every order, with each plan featuring a $100 deductible.
PODS will deliver the container to your home, and you can take as much time as you need to load everything up. If you don’t want to do all the heavy lifting yourself, PODS can connect you with local packing or loading companies.
Once you’re finished loading the PODS container, PODS will keep it in storage for as long as you need it. Once you’re ready to move, the company will drive the container to your new home. While PODS is available for local and out-of-state moves, it has no physical location in several states, including Alaska, Wyoming, Vermont, Montana, North Dakota, and West Virginia.
- Choose from three different container sizes
- Take as long as you want to load your container
- PODS can refer you to moving companies
- Offers contents protection coverage
- Not available in all 50 states
- You have to call the company to finalize your quote
- Transit times can take longer
U-Box by U-Haul is a household moving company that provides affordable moving and storage containers. It’s famous for its low prices and small container sizes for small moves. Each U-Haul U-Box measures 96″ x 60″ x 90″ (or 257 cubic feet), which can hold up to 2,000 pounds of belongings.
U-Haul has a wide range of delivery and storage options, including U-Haul drop off & pick up, full-service delivery & loading, self-delivery, or the ability to bring your items to a U-Haul location to offer more flexibility.
The service is available in all 50 states for local and out-of-state moves with more than 20,000 locations across the U.S. and Canada. With U-Haul’s flexible cancellation policy, you can cancel or modify your moving schedule without incurring any penalties. Notify U-Haul 24 hours before the scheduled drop-off about any changes to your moving schedule, and you will get your full deposit refunded.
U-Haul also provides a pay-per-container policy that allows you to pay only for the moving containers you use. This is especially useful when you’re unsure how many containers you need for your move. Order the approximate number of moving containers you think you need. U-Haul will not charge you for containers you don’t use and refund you the difference.
To get started, you’ll fill out a form on their website, letting them know where you’re moving to and from and the expected dates of your move. The company will then contact you with a quote for the cost of the service. Once you’ve paid the deposit, U-Haul will deliver your storage container. If you want moving assistance, the company will help you pack up your belongings as well.
- Available in all 50 states
- Available for local and out-of-state moves
- The company offers affordable insurance plans
- You can request packing assistance as well
- Only pay for what you use
- Customers have to pay an upfront deposit
- The company uses wood moving containers, which are less durable
1-800-PACK-RAT provides service to customers across the United States and Canada. The company offers 8-foot, 12-foot, and 16-foot storage containers, making them especially useful for long-distance moves.
Unlike other moving container companies, 1-800-PACK-RAT offers only all-steel containers which are sturdy, high-quality, and weatherproof to keep your belongings safe during transit.
They offer two different plans for content protection; basic and silver plans. The basic plan costs $9.99 and acts as a damage waiver plan which only covers any damages to the container, not your belongings, while in your possession.
The silver plan includes the basic plan coverage but adds protection for your goods within the container. You can have up to $75,000 of security on your household items and personal goods while your container is in the company’s possession or at your home with a $100 deductible for all losses.
One of the best things about 1-800-PACK-RAT is that 30 days of storage is included in your quote for free. This could be a huge help to anyone who has a gap between when they have to move out of their current home and when their new home will be move-in ready.
If you need more time for packing and unpacking, you can extend the rental period for another 30 days for an extra cost. The company also offers assistance with loading and unloading through Hire-A-Helper to make your moving stress-free.
1-800-PACK-RAT’s storage facilities are equipped with 24-hour surveillance, and they’re climate-controlled and vehicle-accessible. So you can rest assured knowing that all of your belongings are safe.
- Three different container size options
- Available across the U.S. and Canada
- Secure storage facilities
- Great option for long-distance moves
- Not available in all 50 states
- You’ll have to call the company to finalize your quote
SmartBox is one of the most affordable options on this list, and it’s great for local moves, long-distance moves, storage, and corporate moves. This moving container company offers a price-matching guarantee to ensure that you always get the best deal.
Their moving containers are suitable for handling small, one-bedroom, or studio apartment moves. However, SmartBox allows you to rent as many containers as you need for larger moves, and you won’t be charged for any unused containers.
The company does use wooden storage containers covered with a weatherproof canvas and only offers one sizing option measuring 7′ x 5′ x 8′. But SmartBox is still an excellent option for anyone looking to move on a tight budget.
While SmartBox offers an affordable moving option, it has few locations across the U.S. Keep in mind, if you are relocating long distances, you will need a SmartBox site on both ends. Unfortunately, you can’t use this company if there are no SmartBox locations where you are moving from or relocating to.
- Affordable moving option
- Pricing matching guarantee
- Great for local and long-distance moves
- Wooden storage containers
- Only one sizing option available
- Not available in all 50 states
ZippyShell offers flexible moving and storage options for customers. It’s an ideal choice for people living or planning to move to an urban setting. Its moving containers come in two sizes. The smaller container measures 10″ X 7″ X 7″, ideal for handling one to two rooms of household items.
The larger container measures 15″ X 7″ X 7″ and can comfortably handle two to three rooms of household items. The company will handle your local or long-distance move, and 30 days of storage is included in every quote. You are given three days to pack and unpack your container.
ZippyShell’s storage options are what really make it stand out. Its containers are “street legal” with wheels and license plates, making them easy to park in street parking spots. You can request mobile or on-site storage, and your belongings will be kept safe in a secure, temperature-controlled storage center.
ZippyShell offers an easy booking process and several additional insurance options for convenient and safe moving. The company also allows staggering delivery, letting you split your container delivery. You can order two containers but have them delivered on different days.
- Available for local and long-distance moves
- 30 days of storage included in every quote
- Option to add on movers at an additional charge
- Allows you to stagger your deliveries for more flexibility
- Containers are on the smaller side
- Not available in all 50 states
Go Mini’s offers one of the most flexible rental policies of anyone on this list. You can rent the moving containers weekly and store your belongings at your home, at an outdoor facility, or an indoor Go Mini’s facility. They have more than 200 locations across the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
The shipping containers are made of galvanized steel, and you can choose between a 12-foot, 16-foot, or 20-foot container. However, the company is only available for local moves, so if you’re moving long distances, you’ll have to find another option.
- Flexible rental policies
- Flexible storage options
- Secure, steel storage containers
- Containers are available in three different sizes
- Allows for weekly rentals
- The company is only available for local moves
Moving Place is another excellent moving container company that provides a good mix of affordability, convenience, and quality. Moving Place rents out 52′ freight trailers with moving pads, dollies, and straps. This makes the company’s services ideal for long-distance moving.
Moving Place asks you to pack and unpack your belongings yourself like other movers on this list. You get one week to load and unload your belongings before being charged for additional time. Moving Place also can handle moving your vehicles.
Unfortunately, Moving Place has no options for local moves. They also aren’t able to provide instant quotes online. To get a free estimate, you will need first to fill out a form on their website.
- Excellent customer service
- Affordable pricing on freight trailers
- Fast long-distance delivery times
- You can also ship your vehicle
- No online quotes
- No local moving options
What is the Best Moving Container Company?
All eight of the moving container companies outlined in this article would make a good choice for your next move. The one you pick will really depend on your situation and the features you’re looking for.
It’s important to consider the flexibility of the moving container company you’re considering choosing. Do they make you pay an upfront deposit and do they require you to call them to receive a service quote?
You also want to think about the quality and size of the moving containers. If you’re just packing up an apartment and moving 10 minutes away, then this may not be a huge consideration for you. But if you’re packing up a five-bedroom home and moving across the country, this should be a significant factor in your decision.
Container Moving Tips
Moving is tedious and time-consuming. Preparing in advance will make the process less stressful and smoother. Here are moving tips to help you prepare for your move:
Create a Checklist
While making a checklist seems tedious, writing your to-do list ensures you commit to it and avoid missing critical moving steps. Some of the things you can include on your checklist include:
- Contact the moving company to schedule the drop-off and pick-up times
- Order packing materials
- Itemized list of items you need to pack
Set a Budget
Relocating is one of the most expensive things you can do. And without a proper budget, you may end up spending much more than expected. If you establish and stick to a budget, you will choose an affordable moving company and save money over the long term.
Moving prices are different from one company to another. By comparing quotes from various moving container companies, you will guarantee that you will get the best price. You may even find a moving company willing to lower their prices, thereby reducing your overall moving costs.
There is no better time to declutter than when you are moving. If you don’t need something, you can toss, sell, donate, or recycle it instead of paying to move it. Items you no longer need will be expensive to drag along since more containers will have to be rented to carry them.
Acquire Packing Supplies
A lot of money can be spent on packing supplies. Look around to see which company can offer you the best price on moving supplies. You may even find local businesses that regularly dispose of boxes.
Moving container companies are a great way to save money on your next move. These companies are less expensive than full-service movers but save you from having to do everything on your own. Make sure you consider all your options and choose the company that is the best fit for your situation.