SMARTBOX Review: Pricing and Services (2024)

Here’s the bottom line: SMARTBOX is a portable storage and moving company similar to PODS, and we think it’s one of the best moving container companies out there. While the company offers discounts for military members and college students, they’re generally more expensive than competitors like U-Pack or PODS. Their limited availability may not make them the best option for all long-distance moves.

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moveBuddha logo iconrating starstarstarstarstar 3.9 / 5

89% of users select this mover

Thanks to their discount programs, SMARTBOX Moving and Storage is a decent fit for college students and anyone hunting for a good discount. If you can fit just about all of your belongings in a small space and don’t mind a DIY-style move, SMARTBOX could be a good fit.

We appreciate SMARTBOX’s overall price point, storage solutions, and timeliness. Here’s a quick snapshot of their average pricing to give you a better idea.

Origin Location Destination Number Of Containers Estimated Price
Cleveland, OH Atlanta, GA 1 $1,479
Atlanta, GA Charlotte, NC 1 $1,174
Los Angeles, CA Las Vegas, NV 1 $1,749

So, how does this budget container company stack up against other moving options and container companies? In this guide, we’ll weigh the pros and cons of using SMARTBOX and share real customer reviews to help you make an informed decision about your move.

Pros & cons of SMARTBOX

  • Serves 50 major cities nationwide, from Richmond to Dallas
  • Discounts for college students and military members
  • Offers free lock and key for long-distance moves
  • Only pay for the space you use
  • Provides weatherproof covers onsite and in transit
  • Containers don’t have wheels (they’ll always require a forklift)
  • Minimal insurance coverage
  • Only available in 23 states and select cities
  • Only one container size

Key takeaways

  • SMARTBOX (USDOT#2933347) is an affordable option for local and long-distance moves, provided you live in one of the 23 states they serve.
  • We generally recommend SMARTBOX to cost-conscious consumers who are eligible for military and college student discounts.
  • Moving with SMARTBOX can save you money compared to full-service companies, but you’ll need to do all the packing and loading yourself or hire third-party labor help.

Jump to the SMARTBOX review section that you’re looking for:

How much does SMARTBOX cost?

Local moves for one container cost around $300, while long-distance moves cost around $1,060 for one container. If you want to store your stuff, SMARTBOX charges $89/month for on-site storage and $69/month for warehouse storage after the first month (which is free), plus a $99 delivery fee.

As always, move pricing depends on many factors, but this chart will give you a general idea of SMARTBOX pricing.

Type of move One bedroom 2-3 bedrooms 4-5 bedrooms
Local (0–150 miles) $200–$400 $300–$700 $400–$1,000
Long-distance (<250 Miles) $400–$1,000 $650–$2,000 $1,000–$2,500
Cross-country (250+ miles) $2,500–$5,000 $3,000–$6,000 $4,000–$8,000

Pricing depends on how many containers you book. Use the following chart to estimate the number of SMARTBOX storage containers you need.

Number of bedrooms Square feet SMARTBOX containers needed
Studio apartment <600 1
One bedroom 600–1,000 1–2
Two bedroom 1,000–1,500 2–3
Three bedroom 1,500–2,000 3–4
Four bedroom 2,000–2,800 5–6

SMARTBOX tries to keep their prices down by building their containers out of wood instead of metal. There’s a slightly greater chance that your items will arrive damaged in a less-sturdy wood container, so you have to weigh whether the price break is potentially worth a damage claim.

However, SMARTBOX’s transparent pricing and price-match guarantee still make them a respectable option for customers in the right conditions. While SMARTBOX is sometimes the cheapest option, we always recommend requesting at least three moving container quotes to get a fair idea of pricing.

Use our moving cost calculator to request multiple free quotes and find the best moving company for your budget.

Featured SMARTBOX reviews

SMARTBOX is a budget moving pod company. So, what are the pros and cons of going with a budget company?

SMARTBOX currently has 1.4 out of five stars on Trustpilot, although most of these SMARTBOX reviews are more than five years old. One customer said the service was actually pretty good, but they had a hard time getting past the wooden containers, which they didn’t think were very secure or weather-proof. Another customer loved SMARTBOX’s lower pricing, but agreed that the containers weren’t up to snuff.

Keep in mind that most people who leave reviews have an ax to grind — especially in the moving industry — so take negative reviews with a grain of salt. When in doubt, check out real customer experiences from our Better Moves Project participants to get a more balanced idea of what it’s actually like to hire SMARTBOX.

Real customer Marilyn tells all in her SMARTBOX review

moveBuddha reader and Better Moves Project participant Marilyn shared exactly what she thought of SMARTBOX after hiring them for her move from Seattle to Chicago.

SMARTBOX quoted Marilyn $3,466 for two storage containers when she and her husband moved in July 2022. She requested quotes from several moving companies — both full-service and moving container companies — but ultimately went with SMARTBOX because of their competitive pricing, overall value, open availability, and convenient quote process.

Marilyn especially liked how she could get a quote online. Marilyn was able to book and reserve her containers immediately after requesting an online quote, so she jumped at it when the estimate fit her ideal budget. Marilyn wanted to do everything online, but you can call the SMARTBOX phone number toll-free at ​​1-87-SMARTBOX (1-877-627-8269).

Here’s how her quotes stacked up against each other.

Moving company Move type Estimated cost
Jordan River Moving and Storage Full-service $5,756
Move Happy Full-service $3,600
SMARTBOX Moving container $3,466
U-Pack Moving container $2,601

Marilyn chose SMARTBOX because it was easy to request a quote online, and they had a lot of availability to accommodate her last-minute cross-country move. While it wasn’t the cheapest of all the quotes she requested, she felt it was the best value for her money.

moveBuddha icon
Marilyn's Move with SMARTBOX
Marilyn and her husband recently hired SMARTBOX to move their household goods from Seattle to Chicago. Getting an online quote was a piece of cake, and SMARTBOX had more dates available than some of the other service providers on our Best Moving Container Companies list. This was a game changer for Marilyn since she had only three weeks to plan her move.
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Read The Full Story

Their moving containers arrived right on time on moving day and Marilyn was able to load everything within six hours with the help of her husband and friends. SMARTBOX picked up her containers after she finished packing.

After the grueling loading process, Marilyn wanted to add unloading help to her delivery in Chicago. SMARTBOX helped her set up service with Two Men and Truck. It added about $400 to her total costs and was well worth it.

SMARTBOX wasn’t the best about proactive communication while transporting her items, but Marilyn could request updates when she reached out.

It took 10 days for her items to arrive in Chicago and just 90 minutes to unload everything up three flights of stairs and into her new home. Marilyn paid for everything using a credit card and left a cash tip with her moving help.

“SMARTBOX’s quote for two moving containers was right on the money. I didn’t have time for long-winded sales pitches or surveys, so I really liked the easy online quotes. I’m pleasantly surprised that everything turned out so well, especially considering our last-minute move.” —Marilyn

What services does SMARTBOX offer?

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moveBuddha logo iconrating starstarstarstarstar 3.9 / 5

89% of users select this mover

SMARTBOX serves more than 60 million customers across 100 locations in the U.S. While they’re only available in 23 states, they offer a range of services, including:

  • Local moves: If you’re moving to a different apartment in town or less than 150 miles away, SMARTBOX could be a money-saving option for a local move. Some people will even order a SMARTBOX container to store household items during a remodel or renovation.
  • Long-distance moves: Professional moving consultants will work with you to coordinate transport for local or long-distance moves by a licensed and bonded shipper.
  • DIY moves: Looking for a budget option? The DIY route is the cheapest option, but you’ll be responsible for loading and unloading containers. Most SMARTBOX locations don’t offer labor to help with packing and loading, which is why their costs are so low.
  • Moving labor help: Select locations allow you to add packing, loading, and other assistance to your reservation, but this isn’t available across the board.
  • Corporate relocation: If you’re relocating for work, SMARTBOX could be an affordable way to move out of your current home or apartment.
  • Commercial moves: Businesses of all sizes use SMARTBOX’s portable storage units to transport or store things like equipment, furniture, and excess inventory. This is also a smart option for storing seasonal items, equipment for annual tradeshow events, or construction materials.
  • Military moving program: SMARTBOX provides government, military, and Personal Procured Move (PPM) services. Active military members are also eligible for military discounts.
  • Self-storage units: SMARTBOX will transport portable storage containers to their temperature-controlled facilities for short or long-term storage. They can transport up to eight portable storage units in a single trip, keeping your belongings together on the truck or warehouse.
  • Moving supplies: SMARTBOX is a DIY moving option (read our comparison of professional movers vs. DIY), so you’ll need to bring your own boxes, tape, furniture pads, and other supplies. If you need more moving supplies, you can always order them through the SMARTBOX site, which links to Available products include protective wrapping, moving boxes, tape, and kit packages based on the number of rooms you need to move.
  • Insurance coverage: All long-distance SMARTBOX container rentals include a minimum of $5,000 in protection for your belongings, but they don’t offer insurance coverage for local moves. Ask your sales agent how much coverage SMARTBOX can offer for your move, since this can differ by customer.

How does SMARTBOX stack up against the competition?

SMARTBOX is a budget-friendly option that rolls transportation and storage into one service. As long as you’re okay with doing the heavy lifting yourself, you could save a few hundred bucks with SMARTBOX.

moveBuddha logo iconrating starstarstarstarstar 4 / 5
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  • Affordable pricing
  • Offers car shipping
  • No hidden fees
Check prices (352) 322-2920

% of users select this mover

moveBuddha logo iconrating starstarstarstarstar 4.8 / 5
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  • Unlimited storage
  • 3 container sizes
  • 10% discount
Visit Website

% of users select this mover

moveBuddha logo iconrating starstarstarstarstar 4.45 / 5
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  • Price matching
  • 10% discount
  • Local/long dist.
Check prices Visit Website

% of users select this mover

moveBuddha logo iconrating starstarstarstarstar 5 / 5
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  • Fast delivery
  • Nationwide
  • 100+ miles moves
Check prices Visit Website

% of users select this mover

moveBuddha logo iconrating starstarstarstarstar 4.2 / 5
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  • Park on street
  • Labor available
  • Small moves
Check prices Visit Website

% of users select this mover

Plenty of customers go with SMARTBOX because of their affordable rates, but they aren’t the right fit for all moves. Let’s see how they compare to some of the other best moving container companies in the biz.


PODS is a moving container company that’s available in nearly every state, excluding Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming. Like SMARTBOX, they offer container transportation and storage.

However, SMARTBOX makes their containers out of wood, while PODS makes them out of metal. This is a cost-cutting measure for SMARTBOX, but in reality, some customers have complained about the state of their wood containers. We haven’t seen nearly as many PODS customers complaining about the quality of their containers. 

Price dollar sign dollar sign dollar sign dollar sign
moveBuddha logo iconrating starstarstarstarstar 4.8 / 5

89% of users select this mover

It’s also important to note that PODS containers come in three sizes, while SMARTBOX only offers one container size. That might not make a difference for small moves, but if you’re transporting more stuff, going with a bigger PODS container might be cheaper than booking multiple SMARTBOX containers.

Most container moving companies like PODS roll pickup and delivery into the cost of service. However, SMARTBOX charges separate $99 pickup and delivery fees. That isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker, though, especially since they spell that out pretty clearly in their estimates. Still, double-check your estimates to make sure you’re making a true apples-to-apples comparison between these container moving companies.

If we had to choose between SMARTBOX vs. PODS, though, PODS would be the winner. Their better-quality containers and national coverage make them a better fit for most moves.


U-Pack is a highly-rated moving container company for long-distance moves. In fact, they only do long-distance moves, so if you’re moving locally, SMARTBOX is probably the better option.

Price dollar sign dollar sign dollar sign dollar sign
moveBuddha logo iconrating starstarstarstarstar 5 / 5

89% of users select this mover

However, coverage matters, too. U-Pack is available in all 50 states, while SMARTBOX is only in 23.

Both SMARTBOX and U-Pack only charge you for the space you use. SMARTBOX only has one container size, while U-Pack offers both ReloCube containers and 28-foot freight trailers. Their moving containers are roughly the same size, although U-Pack slightly edges out SMARTBOX because they offer shipping via freight trailer, too.

Company BBB score State availability Container sizes
SMARTBOX F 23 One size: 8’ X 7’ X 5’
PODS A+ 44 + Washington, D.C. Small: 8′ x 7′ x 8′

Medium: 12′ x 8′ x 8′

Large: 16’ X 8’ X 8’

U-Pack A+ 50 ReloCube: 5’10” x 6’1″ x 7’9″

Freight trailer: 27′ x 8′ x 9′

How moving with SMARTBOX works

To kick things off, visit the SMARTBOX website to request a quote online. Add your ZIP code, distance, and move size to receive an estimate via email. If you have questions, you can always call SMARTBOX for a quote, too.

SMARTBOX might seem like the cheapest option, but it’s always smart to gather at least three quotes. You can use our moving cost calculator to compare your cost estimates. Remember, SMARTBOX offers a price-match guarantee, so don’t be afraid to haggle if you get a better quote elsewhere.

If you like what you see, you’ll sign a contract and pick a delivery date. Since SMARTBOX offers onsite storage, you don’t need to know your pickup date — you have as much time as you want to load, although you’ll pay a monthly storage fee for the convenience.

In the meantime, we recommend carefully packing your belongings before using a SMARTBOX container. Several customer reviews say the containers aren’t very sturdy, so take some steps to protect your belongings. The containers have a vinyl covering to prevent some weather damage, but that won’t stop everything, so use lots of padding and covers.

SMARTBOX will drop the containers off at your designated delivery time. You have as much time as you need for loading, which is great if you need flexibility or want a more chill moving schedule.

If you aren’t moving into your new home immediately, SMARTBOX can hold your household goods at a climate-controlled storage facility until you can access them. One customer had their items at a facility for more than two years.

Once you’re ready to move on, message or call SMARTBOX to pick up your container. As long as you live in their coverage area, they’ll drop the container off at your new home, where you can take your sweet time unloading. But remember, they charge a monthly storage fee, so if you’re ready to settle in, unpack quickly to avoid paying extra storage fees.

Should you use SMARTBOX to move?

So, is SMARTBOX worth it or not? There’s no right or wrong answer. It ultimately comes down to your specific situation.


  • You want a price-matching guarantee
  • You’re planning a small to medium-sized move
  • You want climate-controlled storage
  • You need flexibility, including extra time for loading and unloading

Don’t use SMARTBOX if:

  • You have strict move dates
  • You’re worried about damage to your items
  • You’re planning a huge household move

Still undecided? Take a look at our picks for best moving companies and best interstate movers to continue your search.


How do you pack a SMARTBOX?

You should pack a SMARTBOX like any portable storage container or moving truck. The fewer empty gaps you leave in the truck, the less room your items have to move around and get damaged. Efficiently use the space and minimize gaps by packing in uniform, square boxes.

Don’t forget to generously utilize packing materials like cardboard, furniture pads, and blankets.

What are some of the things you can pack in a SMARTBOX?

Some of the things you can pack in a SMARTBOX include household goods, appliances, and clothing.

However, you should generally avoid packing the following:

  • Hazardous materials
  • Plants
  • Food
  • Paint
  • Aerosols
  • Flammable items

Contact a SMARTBOX customer service representative if you have questions about what you can pack.

Can you transport cars and other vehicles in a SMARTBOX container?

No, you can’t transport cars or other vehicles in a SMARTBOX container. SMARTBOX offers one container size: 8’ X 7’ X 5’. The container has a maximum capacity of 3,000 pounds. The average car weighs about 4,200 pounds, so most vehicles are too big.

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