1-800-PACK-RAT Review: Moving Costs, Service Options

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moveBuddha logo iconrating starstarstarstarstar 4.45 / 5
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93% of users select this mover

At A Glance
  • Barn-style container doors make packing easier
  • Available for both local and long distance moves
  • $10k insurance included with option to purchase more
  • Free lock provided for container door
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93% of users select this mover

Desmond recently got a new job in Ohio, about 2,300 miles from his home in Oregon.

He gathered quotes from full-service movers and moving container companies and even considered renting a truck and doing the driving himself. That said, he ended up booking a container move with 1-800-PACK-RAT.

1-800-PACK-RAT’s competitive quote, sturdy metal containers, and positive online reviews gave Desmond peace of mind that his move would go according to plan. And guess what? It did.

With his move in the rearview mirror, Desmond gave 1-800-PACK-RAT high marks for communication, quote accuracy, and overall experience.

We’ve compiled hundreds of stories like Desmond’s to promote transparency and give readers an accurate picture of real-world moving experiences.

Desmond’s move was a resounding success, but there’s a lot you should know before booking your move with 1-800-PACK-RAT.

In this post, we’ll lay out ways to save money, what to expect on move day (with pictures from actual moves), and tips to avoid common problems when moving with 1-800-PACK-RAT.

But first, let’s make sure 1-800-PACK-RAT is the right choice for your move.


Want to receive $500 to put toward your move? Check out the Better Moves Project to learn how!

Pros and cons of moving with 1-800-PACK-RAT

  • Generally less expensive than full-service movers
  • Local and long-distance moving and storage
  • 30-day minimum rentals with unlimited loading time
  • 8, 12, and 16-foot container sizes
  • Barn-style container doors make loading and unloading easy
  • Containers rest directly on the ground (ramps aren’t necessary)
  • Professionals handle the driving
  • Multiple insurance options
  • Some information isn’t available online
  • You may have to call in and speak with a representative to get a quote and book your move.
  • Services are only available in about 29 states (no international moves)
  • Big fuel surcharges on some long-distance moves
  • No Sunday deliveries

Jump to the 1-800-PACK RAT review section you’re looking for:

Is 1-800-PACK-RAT affordable?

When Batool moved from California to Texas in early 2022, 1-800-PACK-RAT came through with a $3,400 quote for an 8-foot container that was big enough to accommodate the contents of her apartment.

1-800-PACK-RAT’s quote saved Batool hundreds of dollars over the competition and delivered her container on time and within budget.

Before moving from Oregon to Ohio to start a new job, Desmond got the following quotes:

Company/move type Estimated weight/equipment type Estimated cost
Allied Van Lines (full-service) 5,695 pounds $8,337
1-800-PACK-RAT (moving container) 16-foot container $7,048
Interstate Van Lines (full-service) 4,264 pounds $6,670
American Van Lines (full-service) 3,717 pounds  $5,783
U-Haul (DIY) Rental truck $4,119

1-800-PACK-RAT’s quote wasn’t the cheapest, but Desmond liked that

  • The company had a solid reputation
  • They use metal containers
  • Pack Rat delivered his items in custom trucks designed to minimize tipping and shifting.

Desmond could get online quotes with some companies, but with 1-800-PACK-RAT, he called in and spoke with a helpful customer service representative who worked up an estimate and walked him through the moving process.

The following table shows average costs for various move types and sizes with 1-800-PACK-RAT:

One-bedroom 2-3 bedrooms 4-5 bedrooms
Local Move $150 – $500 $200 – $630 $340 – $790
< 250 miles $465 – $910 $660 – $1,900 $1,000 – $3,400
Cross Country $1,200 – $3,800 $2,400 – $4,600 $5,100 – $6,900

Remember that these figures are averages and that your move may cost more than what’s quoted here.

Another note is that your final bill with 1-800-PACK-RAT may include a fuel surcharge that gets assessed after your move is complete. Some online reviewers have complained about being surprised by this unexpected charge, so it’s worth addressing before signing a contract.

However, 1-800-PACK-RAT is one of the few moving container companies that allow haggling. This is a huge plus if you aren’t sure if you got the best deal or have a lower quote from a competitor.

Either way, your moving container charges will be based on the following factors:

  • The size and number of containers you use
  • The distance between your old and new residences
  • Whether you need moving, storage, or both
  • Your distance from a Pack Rat facility (if you need offsite storage or are making a terminal-to-terminal move)
  • Whether you add coverage, purchase moving supplies, or labor
  • How flexible your moving dates are
  • Your negotiation skills

How 1-800-PACK-RAT compares to the competition

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  • Price matching
  • 10% discount
  • Local/long dist.
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moveBuddha logo iconrating starstarstarstarstar 4.8 / 5
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  • Unlimited storage
  • 3 container sizes
  • Nationwide
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moveBuddha logo iconrating starstarstarstarstar 5 / 5
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  • Fast delivery
  • Nationwide
  • 100+ miles moves
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moveBuddha logo iconrating starstarstarstarstar 4.2 / 5
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  • Park on street
  • Labor available
  • Small moves
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moveBuddha logo iconrating starstarstarstarstar 4.0 / 5
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  • 4-5 Bdrm Houses
  • Nationwide
  • No local moves
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Choosing the right moving container company is all about making head-to-head comparisons and weighing the pros and cons of each service provider.

Desmond and Batool were cost-conscious shoppers, but they also considered factors like container options, loading times, and service area before selecting 1-800-PACK-RAT.

We always suggest getting a quote from 1-800-PACK-RAT, but they’re not the best option for every customer.

The following table shows how 1-800-PACK-RAT stacks up against other industry leaders.

1-800-PACK-RAT U-Pack PODS Zippy Shell Moving Place
Container sizes 8, 12, and 16-foot containers 6-foot ReloCube containers and 28-foot trailers 8, 12, and 16-foot containers Ten and 15-foot containers 28-foot and 53-foot trailers
Loading times  Unlimited Three days each for loading and unloading  Unlimited Unlimited Various options allow for up to three days each for loading and unloading
Move types Local and long-distance moves Moves over 100 miles only Local and long-distance moves Local and long-distance moves Moves over 250 miles only
Storage availability Yes, at your place or theirs (some 1-800-PACK-RAT storage facilities are climate controlled) You can only use ReloCubes for storage and store them at a company facility (not climate controlled) Yes, at your place or theirs (not climate controlled) Yes, but only with 15-foot containers at a company facility (all Zippy Shell storage facilities are climate controlled) Temporary storage for up to three months, but only at a company facility (unspecified)


  • 1-800-PACK-RAT, PODS, and Zippy Shell customers enjoy unlimited loading and unloading time
  • Zippy Shell’s street-legal containers work well when parking space is limited
  • PODS is best for long-term storage, on-site storage, and local moves
  • U-Pack is an excellent option for larger moves (freight trailers have tons of space)
  • U-Pack only handles moves over 100 miles, and Moving Place only does moves over 250 miles

Here’s how 1-800-PACK-RAT compares to the competition regarding local and long-distance move costs and national coverage:

1-800-PACK-RAT U-Pack PODS Zippy Shell Moving Place
Average local move cost* $150 – $790 Not available for local moves $200 – $800 $190 – $750 Not available for local moves
Average long-distance move cost $910 – $6,900 $900 – $6,600 $450 – $7,600 $500 – $7,000 $1,100 – $4,700
Coverage area About 29 states (about 200 million Americans) All 50 states, Canada, and Puerto Rico About 45 states About 29 states Continental U.S.

Got lots of “stuff”? Check out Desmond’s large container in the image below.

Still not sure if 1-800-PACK-RAT is right for you? Check out these container company comparison posts:

Customers choose 1-800-PACK-RAT for affordability and to avoid driving

With competitive prices, multiple container sizes, and more than 20 years of experience, it’s no wonder 1-800-PACK-RAT earned a spot on our Best Moving Container Companies list.

We love 1-800-PACK-RAT because Better Moves Project participants like Batool generally have positive experiences (that’s her loaded container on the left). In addition, moving containers are usually less expensive than full-service movers, and DIY moves aren’t for everybody.

Batool didn’t want to drive a clunky moving van when she and her sons moved from California to Texas.

1-800-PACK-RAT recommended an 8-foot container based on the size of her apartment, and her $3,400 quote was hundreds less than the competition. In addition, her customer service representative answered her questions and walked her through the entire moving process before she booked her move.

Luckily, Batool could save money, leave the driving to professionals, and hire movers to help load and unload during her move.

Getting a quote and booking your move with 1-800-PACK-RAT

Batool and Desmond appreciated how easy it was to get a quote and book their move with 1-800-PACK-RAT.

Some customers don’t like calling in and speaking with a representative to get a long-distance moving or storage quote.

However, our take is that this person-to-person communication is beneficial because it allows you and your representative to address important move details that sometimes get overlooked with online quotes.

Wherever you fall on the issue, here’s how the quote process works:

  • Head to 1-800-PACK-RAT’s website
  • Enter basic information like your origin and destination locations and move date
  • Select whether you need moving, storage, or both
  • Enter a promo code if you have one (check the Current Offers page for up-to-date deals)
  • Click the blue GET A QUOTE button
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moveBuddha logo iconrating starstarstarstarstar 4.45 / 5

89% of users select this mover

At this point, 1-800-PACK-RAT will let you know whether services are available in your areas based on your zip codes. If not, you may get redirected to U-Pack instead.

If you’re moving locally, you may be able to continue the quote and booking processes online, but you’ll need to call in if you want to use an 8-foot container or a mix of container sizes.

Otherwise, you can review rental, transport, and delivery fees for 12 and 16-foot containers and choose how many you’d like to reserve. You can finish your reservation and pay online if you’re happy with your options and prices.

On long-distance moves, you’ll get a reference number and have to call in to get your quote and complete the booking process.

Customer service representatives are available at the following times:

  • Monday to Saturday – 8 AM to 10 PM EST
  • Sunday – 9:30 AM to 6:30 PM EST

1-800-PACK-RAT’s cancelation policy is a bit hazy, but you shouldn’t be hit with fees unless your plans change at the last minute. We found a reference to the cancelation policy in their FAQs, which stated that customers who cancel their order within five days of initial delivery might be subject to a cancelation fee.

If you’re moving or storing items with 1-800-PACK-RAT and may need to cancel your order for any reason, you should address this with a representative early on.

1-800-PACK-RAT has three convenient container sizes

1-800-PACK-RAT offers 8, 12, and 16-foot containers, all of which feature rugged steel construction and weatherproofing to move or store your items with peace of mind.

Desmond needed a 16-foot container because he was moving the contents of a 3-bedroom, 2,000-square-foot home. On the other hand, an 8-footer was sufficient for Batool because she lived in a moderately furnished apartment.

Let’s take a look at the differences between containers.

8-foot 12-foot 16-foot
Capacity Studio/small apartment 2-3 rooms of furniture 3-4 rooms of furniture
Popular usage College students Apartments Single-family homes
Types of moves Local & long-distance Local moves only Local & long-distance
Storage availability Yes Yes Yes
Internal dimensions 8’3″ x 7’3″ x 6’10” 11’10” x 6’11” x 7’7″ 15’10” x 6’11” x 7’7″
Interior volume 404 cubic feet 620 cubic feet 830 cubic feet
Container Material Metal Metal Metal
Weight Limit 4,000 lbs 6,000 lbs 6,000 lbs


  • 1-800-PACK-RAT uses only metal containers
  • You can choose from 8 and 16-foot containers for local and long-distance moving
  • 12-foot containers are available for local moves only
  • 8-foot containers are great for college students and small apartment moves
  • 12 and 16-foot containers work well for multi-bedroom apartments and homes

How moving and storage work with 1-800-PACK-RAT

Moving with 1-800-PACK-RAT is a snap.

Here’s how it works:

  • They will deliver your empty container(s) to the residence you’re vacating
  • You take as much time as you need to load it or hire local movers to help
  • When you’re container is loaded, call 1-800-PACK-RAT and schedule a time to have it picked up
  • 1-800-PACK-RAT will transport your container to your new home or apartment
  • Once it arrives, you can take your time unloading it or hire movers to help
  • When it’s empty, call in and schedule a time to have it picked up

If you’d rather not do the heavy lifting, you can hire moving labor through partner company Hire A Helper and have your car shipped door-to-door with Mr. Car Shipper. Just make sure to mention that you’re a 1-800-PACK-RAT customer to get any applicable discounts.

When storage is required, you can store your container at a secure, climate-controlled facility or on your own property for as long as you like.

And remember, you don’t need to move to take advantage of 1-800-PACK-RAT’s convenient storage services. They’re great for seasonal on-site storage and home renovations too.

You’ll pay a monthly fee for as long as you need storage. Charges vary by location, but we recently saw storage charges of $180 per month per container in the Chicago area and $230 per month per container in Denver. If you store your belongings in one of Pack Rat’s facilities, there will be additional fees for having your containers dropped off and picked up.

1-800-PACK-RAT offers moving and storage services (and discounts) for military families on the move too.

All active and retired service men and women get a 10% discount with 1-800-PACK-RAT with the code MILITARY10.

Need moving supplies? 1-800-PACK-RAT has what you’ll need

1-800-PACK-RAT customers can order moving supplies and packing material online and have everything shipped directly.

Prices are competitive on everything from boxes and packing paper to furniture pads and bubble wrap.

Here’s everything you need to know:

  • Free shipping on orders over $35
  • Orders placed before 4 PM EST generally ship the same day
  • Most deliveries occur within 1 to 3 business days
  • Special move kits include everything you’ll need to start packing
  • Other available items include locks, mattress bags, and moisture absorbers

1-800-PACK-RAT’s online reputation

1-800-PACK-RAT has been in the moving container business since 2002, and customers like Desmond and Batool generally have positive experiences.

Reviews for 1-800-PACK-RAT vary because customers can rate individual franchises on various websites like Google, Yelp, and TripAdvisor, and many locations have their own Better Business Bureau (BBB) pages as well.

If you’re considering 1-800-PACK-RAT, we suggest searching the BBB and review pages for your local facility and the corporate headquarters.

In the last few years, the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has received relatively few complaints for a company as large as 1-800-PACK-RAT. Of the complaints, most related to issues in the following areas:

  • Shipment documents
  • Estimates/final Charges
  • Pick-up and delivery
  • Loss and damage
  • Claim settlement
  • Deceptive business practices

How insurance works with 1-800-PACK-RAT

1-800-PACK-RAT doesn’t include insurance with container reservations.

This means that you’re responsible for damage to the container while it’s in your possession or on your property. To protect yourself against costly mishaps and accidents, you can purchase liability coverage for $9.99 per container per month.

The company also offers the following Silver Plans that include waivers and various coverage levels to protect your belongings while they’re being moved or stored.

Is 1-800-PACK-RAT right for your move?

1-800-PACK-RAT is worth considering whether you’re moving locally, to another state, or need offsite storage during a home renovation.

The company’s moving and storage services are available to approximately 200 million Americans, and Better Moves Project participants like Desmond and Batool choose 1-800-PACK-RAT for the following reasons:

  • Accurate quotes and competitive prices (containers are usually less expensive than full-service movers)
  • Generally positive online reviews
  • 30-day container rentals
  • Unlimited loading and unloading time
  • Multiple container sizes
  • Short and long-term on and offsite storage
  • Customers can easily add moving labor, automobile transportation, and moving supplies to their orders
  • Various insurance options

Ready to reserve a container with 1-800-PACK-RAT?

If so, price-check their quote against the competition, ask about their cancelation policy, and address costs (like fuel surcharges) that may not be in your estimate.

When choosing a moving container company, it’s important to check all your options, compare prices, and get instant quotes from multiple professional movers you can trust.

The verdict – do customers think 1-800-PACK-RAT is worth it?

In his Better Moves Project survey, Desmond gave 1-800-PACK-RAT 4 out of 5 stars for overall experience.

A few items got damaged during a container delivery mishap. Still, Desmond admitted that he was partially to blame because he didn’t rent enough moving blankets for the crew to pad everything adequately.

Either way, the damage was minimal, and Desmond felt like he got a good bang for his buck with 1-800-PACK-RAT.

Batool’s had a few more issues on her move, the biggest of which was ineffective communication while her container was in transit.

In addition, the delivery driver in Texas arrived so late in the day that Batool had to reschedule the movers she’d booked for the following day. However, Pack Rat delivered Batool’s container within the agreed-upon delivery window, and her quote was right on the money.

Despite these relatively minor issues, Batool had a generally positive moving experience with 1-800-PACK-RAT too, and she’d consider using them again on a future move.

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