U-Box vs PODS vs U-Pack: The Ultimate Moving Container Smackdown

Overall opinion: In the ultimate moving container smackdown between U-Box, PODS, and U-Pack, we know who we’d book: U-Pack. U-Pack offers fast shipping and excellent national coverage, all backed by logistics from the experienced freight company ABF.
Their pricing is super transparent and generally beats the competition for medium-distance moves. The only downside is that U-Pack isn’t available for local moves.

We ranked U-Pack amongst the top moving container companies—see how it stacks up against other container moving companies. We’ve picked our favorite for the best moving container company, but we’ve also compared a lot of information so you can pick your favorite and book your move with confidence. Read on for the ultimate moving container smackdown.

We ranked U-Pack the #1 container moving company 
Thinking about using a moving container for your next move? You’re in good company. Moving container companies are among the top choices for movers, especially those who need storage. 
With several reputable companies to choose from, it can be hard to pick the best one for your needs. Especially since many of them offer great experiences — like Kyle’s move experience with PODs and Jason’s with U-Pack.
That’s why we created this comparison of U-Pack vs. U-Box vs. PODS. Drawing on our years of experience helping thousands of movers, we’ll show you which moving containers are best for different needs.

Moving Container Companies at a Glance

U-Pack, U-Box or PODS vs a full-service moving company? For the budget-conscious mover, there’s no contest there.

Container moving companies offer a fantastic service: the ability to save money by DIY-ing some of your move, but without having to drive a giant moving truck anywhere.

Container moving and storage companies will most often deliver the containers to your home so you can pack your belongings yourself. That means you’ll save the money it would have cost to have professional movers pack for you. The container companies then handle the huge logistical hassle of shipping the containers to your new address, where you can unpack them. No truck rental needed!

It’s no wonder container companies have fast become a large part of the moving industry — they offer a great middle-of-the-road solution for homeowners who don’t want to shell out for a full-service move, but also can’t or don’t want to have to drive a truck or haul a trailer to their new home.

But with all that growth comes a lot of competition. People have tons of choices for container moving companies—how do you possibly pick the right one?

U-Box vs PODS vs U-Pack: Cost for Services

Cost is a major factor for most people when choosing a moving container company. Let’s take a look at average U-Box, U-Pack, and PODS costs and how they compare.

Cost for a Local Move (< 100 miles)

U-Box cost PODS cost U-Pack cost
1 bedroom $150 – $600 $200 – $400 Not Available for Local Moves
2-3 bedrooms $300 – $700 $300 – $650 Not Available for Local Moves
4-5 bedrooms $300 – $800 $300 – $800 Not Available for Local Moves

Cost for a Medium-Distance Move (< 250 miles)

U-Box cost PODS cost U-Pack cost
1 bedroom $450 – $1,000 $450 – $800 $900 – $1,300
2-3 bedrooms $700 – $2,000 $750 – $1,900 $1,100 – $1,700
4-5 bedrooms $800 – $3,000 $900 – $2,100 $1,200 – $1,900

Cost for a Long-Distance Move (Cross-Country)

U-Box cost PODS cost U-Pack cost
1 bedroom $1,200 – $3,500 $2,000 – $4,000 $1,500 – $2,500
2-3 bedrooms $2,500 – $4,500 $3,000 – $4,900 $2,400 – $3,900
4-5 bedrooms $4,000 – $7,000 $5,500 – $7,600 $3,500 – $6,600

Here’s why you should take these prices with a grain of salt (and why we’re not declaring a winner on cost): Average costs are not necessarily reflective of what a move will cost with any of these companies.

Many factors go into calculating the price for a moving quote. Because of this, the only way to get a price estimate that’s accurate for your move is to take your specific information to each of these companies and get an individualized quote.

You should always shop around and check out multiple movers anyway, and we think U-Box, PODS, and U-Pack are all worth getting a quote from, just to know what your options are.

For more info on pricing and budgeting for your move, check out our moving estimate calculator.

U-Box vs PODS vs U-Pack: Meet the Competitors

Besides a pricing comparison, you should look at the pros and cons of each storage container company when making your decision. Here are some key pros and cons to consider when deciding which container service to use for your move.

U-Haul U-Box Pros and Cons

Read our comprehensive review of U-Haul U-Box here.

What we love: U-Box is a product of U-Haul, and there’s hardly a moving company on the planet that has the same amount of experience and trust behind it as U-Haul. We love that U-Box has a ton of optional add-on services in addition to its rental trucks so you can keep your move as DIY as possible, or create something that’s between a DIY move and a full service one. U-Box containers have competitive prices, so for the budget conscious, it’s a great option to check out.

What we don’t: You only get one container option with U-Box, and of all the container companies we’ve reviewed, U-Box has the worst containers. They only come in a single size (small), so you would need to rent several containers to fit all your possessions. In addition, they’re made of treated plywood instead of metal, which gives us concerns about how durable and weatherproof they are.

U-Box Pros U-Box Cons
  • You don’t have to drive a huge U-Haul truck or haul a trailer if you don’t want to
  • U-Haul pioneered DIY moves, and it’s one of the biggest and most experienced brands out there
  • You only have to pay for the containers you use—you don’t have to pay for extras that you don’t end up using
  • You can save even more by packing/unpacking at a U-Haul facility instead of having containers dropped off and picked up
  • It’s easy to get a quote on their website
  • Prices generally beat out full-service movers and other container movers
  • U-Box is one of the only container moving companies that can help you with an international move—they  can ship to just about any port
  • They only offer one container size, and it’s much smaller than what you can get at other container moving and storage companies. For example, you’d need at least 6 containers for a 4-bedroom home
  • There have been reports that the plywood boxes can easily break in transit. We’re also not confident that their plywood is as weather-resistant as metal
  • U-Box doesn’t offer great online support options—in most cases, you’ll have to pick up the phone to talk to a service representative

PODS Pros and Cons

Read our comprehensive review of PODS here.

What we love: Every PODS reservation is for a minimum of 30 days, which means you can take your time packing and unpacking, or take advantage of free storage on your property or in one of their facilities. Plus, their cancelation and modification policies give you a ton of flexibility to take your time or change your moving timeline. With three different sizes of containers, it’s easier to find a portable storage container that matches your packing needs. PODS storage facilities are available in each state where PODS operates, great for both short-term and long-term storage.

What we don’t: PODS containers are extremely popular — a little too popular. As a result, they often sell out of containers up to six months ahead of time, especially if you’re trying to book a move during peak moving times, like weekends or during spring and summer.

  • Usually less expensive than hiring full-service movers
  • Flexible change and cancelation policy offers full refunds if you need to change your plans
  • 30-day minimum rentals allow you to take your time packing and unpacking
  • Your PODS can be moved right away, left on your property as storage, or stored in a facility
  • Three container size options
  • Locations in most states, as well as Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom
  • 30 days of storage included at no extra cost
  • Local and long-distance moving and storage options
  • Protection plans offer various levels of insurance coverage
  • Online quoting, booking, and shipment tracking
  • Military discount
  • The PODS website doesn’t offer all the information you may need, so you might have to call for service
  • Long-distance quotes aren’t available online
  • Most bookings have to be made by phone—there’s no online option
  • Availability can be limited for last-minute moves and during peak moving season because PODS often sell out far in advance
  • Need space to park container
  • Pricing can be higher than other storage container companies

U-Pack Pros and Cons

Read our comprehensive review of U-Pack here.

What we love: U-Pack may not offer as many container sizes as PODS, but you can rent a 27-foot trailer and only pay for the space you use, which guarantees you’ll have enough space but still get the best possible price. For smaller moves, you can rent U-Pack containers (called ReloCubes) instead of a moving trailer. Storage is also available for U-Pack ReloCubes. Best of all, you can handle pretty much everything online!

What we don’t: U-Pack only accommodates long-distance moves. If you’re moving under 100 miles, you’ll have to go to a competitor. You also don’t get as much time to load and unload your belongings as you would with other companies.

U-Pack Pros U-Pack Cons
  • Less expensive than a full-service move
  • Extremely transparent pricing with a guarantee that there will be no hidden fees
  • Clean, easy-to-use website that offers instant quotes
  • Fast container delivery with an online tracker
  • You can add on extra services when you book your move
  • Stricter cancellation fees mean you’ll pay steep fees if you cancel within a week of your scheduled move
  • No local moves of less than 100 miles
  • Tend to be more expensive for cross-country moves
  • 27-foot trailers can be tough to park and load because of their  size
  • You only get three days to pack and unpack your containers, and onsite storage isn’t currently offered

U-Box vs PODS vs U-Pack: Services and Availability

One of the most important things to compare between moving companies is what services they actually offer. That will show you which one is the best fit for your own moving needs, since every move is unique.

Here’s how services offered by U-Box, PODS, and U-Pack stack up.

U-Box PODS U-Pack
Storage at a Facility
Storage on Your Property
Storage Between Destinations During a Move
Delivery and Pickup of Containers
You Pack the Containers
Professionals Pack the Containers Available as an add-on service Available as an add-on service Available as an add-on service
Limited Time to Pack Containers

(Up to three business days)

Shipment of Containers to New Address
Insurance Included
Insurance Available to Purchase
Free Cancelation or Modification

(Up to the day of your move)

(Up to the day before your move)

When it comes to value-added services, U-Box and PODS have some noteworthy perks. They offer storage on your own property, unlimited packing and unpacking time, and flexible modification or cancellation of your booking—all services U-Pack does not offer.

You’ll also need to consider each company’s availability. After all, if they don’t serve the area where you live, you’ll have to choose a different company. Here are the service areas for U-Box, PODS, and U-Pack.

U-Box PODS U-Pack
Available in the U.S.? All 50 states In 44 states+ D.C. All 50 states and Puerto Rico
Available in Canada? Yes Yes Yes
Available internationally? Yes – you can ship a U-Box to almost any international port Yes, in Australia and U.K. No

While U-Pack doesn’t operate outside the U.S. and Canada, it does serve Puerto Rico, something many moving companies don’t offer. And U-Pack’s 50-states coverage extends to many rural areas where it can be difficult or expensive to get other container companies to do drop-offs and pickups.

U-Pack vs PODS vs U-Box: Container Contest

When booking a container company, one of the biggest considerations should be the containers themselves. This is the category where clear winners and losers start to emerge in our ultimate moving container smackdown. Here’s how the three companies compare.

U-Box PODS U-Pack
How many container sizes are available? 1 3 2
What are the container sizes? 8-foot 8-foot



5’10” U-Pack Relocube
27’ trailers(only pay for the space you use)
Storage available for all container sizes? Yes Yes Yes
Cubic footage available? 257 cf 402-835 cf 308-1,944 cf
Container material? Treated plywood Metal Metal

Obviously at the bottom of the list in terms of container quality is U-Box, which only offers small, plywood containers. Compare that to multiple sizes of steel frame containers you can get from either PODS or U-Pack, and there’s really no competition.

While we love that PODS offers three different container sizes, that’s still not as flexible as U-Pack’s policy that you can rent a 27-foot tractor trailer and only pay for the space you end up using. This guarantees you’ll have enough space for everything you own, and that you won’t pay for any space you’re not using. There’s no better deal than that in this industry.

U-Box vs PODS vs U-Pack: Which Company Is Right For You?

Our pick for the best container moving company out there is U-Pack, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right choice for you. These are all solid, trustworthy companies. During your move planning process, it’s a good idea to get a free quote from all three of them and compare their moving services and customer reviews to fully understand what they have to offer.

If you’re ready to start comparing, you can get instant quotes from multiple movers you can trust, right here at moveBuddha! With a solid price comparison and knowledge of what each moving container company can offer, you’ll be able to make the right choice for your move.

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