U-Pack Review: Real Customer Experiences

Bottom line: We love U-Pack! Our readers regularly say they would use U-Pack again. In fact, the company is one of our top recommendations for best moving container companies and is our choice for best overall value on our cheapest moving containers list.

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

At A Glance
  • Long distance moves only
  • Only pay for the space you use
  • No deposit or initial fees
  • Fast delivery time frames
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93% of users select this mover

Chloe participated in our Better Moves Project ahead of her 800-mile move from California to Utah. She had a one-bedroom apartment and she knew she didn’t want to drive her belongings herself.

She was on a tight budget, but she had also heard horror stories about low-cost moving companies and didn’t want to take any risks. U-Pack checked all her boxes.

U-Pack’s competitive prices, shipping model (You load, we drive), and rock-solid reputation appealed to Chloe. The company was the perfect balance between affordability and convenience.

With her move behind her, Chloe gave U-Pack 5 out of 5 stars for pricing accuracy, timeliness, and overall experience.

At moveBuddha, we’ve compiled hundreds of stories like Chloe’s to give readers an accurate picture of real moving experiences.

Chloe’s move was a success by nearly every measure, but there’s a lot you should know before booking with U-Pack.

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 issues when moving with U-Pack.

But first, let’s make sure U-Pack is the right choice for your move.

Pros & cons of moving with U-Pack

  • Typically less expensive than full-service movers
  • Competitive prices on 100- to 250-mile moves
  • Fast delivery times and online shipment tracking
  • Pay only for the space you use with U-Pack’s freight trailer
  • An easy-to-use website and instant quotes for all moves
  • Offers storage services
  • Professionals handle all the driving
  • Services are available nationwide, including in many rural areas and several countries
  • You only get three business days to load and unload your containers
  • No local moves
  • Freight trailers can be difficult to load (they’re eight feet tall inside)
  • Only ReloCubes can be used for storage, and they must be stored at a company facility
  • You’ll pay a fee if you cancel your move within a week of your service date

Key takeaways

  • ABF U-Pack (USDOT#2632086) is an interstate moving company that supplies eight-foot storage containers and 28-foot freight trailers to individuals and families seeking an affordable alternative to moving truck rentals.
  • U-Pack is not a full-service moving company, so you’ll need to hire additional labor if you want help with packing, unpacking, or loading.
  • U-Pack doesn’t service local moves, so you’ll be better off with another moving container company if you’re moving less than 150 miles.

Jump to the U-Pack review section you’re looking for:

U-Pack pricing: How much it costs to move

In June 2022, Ryan and his family moved from Portland, Oregon, to Westlake, Ohio. Before booking his move with U-Pack, Ryan got the following quotes:

Company Container size/estimated weight Cost estimate
Zippy Shell 680 cubic feet $5,009.00
1-800-PACK-RAT 830 cubic feet $5,155.25
U-Pack 864 cubic feet (space on a 28-foot freight trailer) $5,761.00
PODS 835 cubic feet $6,124.74
North American Van Lines (full-service mover) 6,500 pounds $12,612.19

Using a U-Pack trailer wasn’t the cheapest option, but Ryan felt comfortable with the company’s solid reputation, positive reviews, and top-notch customer service.

Despite moving during the peak summer season, U-Pack delivered Ryan’s items on time, on budget, and without loss or damage.

The following table provides a range of estimated costs for moves with U-Pack. However, costs vary based on how much and far you’re moving and whether you use containers or a freight trailer.

Move type/size 1 Bedroom 2-3 Bedrooms 4-5 Bedrooms
Local move N/A N/A N/A
Less than 250 miles $945 – $1,430 $1,075 – $1,665 $1,225 – $1,925
Cross country $1,485 – $2,570 $2,420 – $3,885 $3,535 – $6,635

In addition to guaranteed prices with no hidden fees, U-Pack’s online quotes automatically default to the least expensive option, whether it’s with a ReloCube container or a freight trailer.

You’ll also be able to easily add loading and unloading labor (with the cost and time laid out) during the quote process if you’d rather not do the heavy lifting yourself.

U-Pack’s quotes include the following:

  • Instructions for updating your order if you need to make changes after booking your move
  • A ramp for loading and unloading, load locks, and bulkhead material (with a freight trailer)
  • All applicable taxes and fees

Check out our moving cost calculator to easily compare your U-Pack estimate to other companies.

U-Pack reviews: What customers have to say about U-Pack

Frederick Saia headshot moving with U-Pack

“I would recommend U-Pack with the caveat of making sure you get clear confirmation about loading and unloading locations and availability of door-to-door delivery in your area.

I was moving between states, and storing the items in the terminal state for about two months at a freight center location used by U-Pack. The delivery of the storage container to that center took 12 days from time of pickup after I loaded it. 

I probably would not use this option if money were not an object, though, and instead would hire full movers to do the work. But if you’re looking for a storage container option on a budget, U-Pack is a good option.” -Freddy S.

Shiri headshot form her move with U-Pack

“I have never overseen a move greater than 10 miles, so I didn’t know what to expect or anticipate.  I chose U-Pack since they were the most budget-friendly option and had consistency good reviews for customer service. I think I may have been able to save some money, but ultimately, I believe with U-Pack I got my money’s worth.

U-Pack sent a text messages with a link to my “move plan” which included the details of the move from when they would drop the ReloCubes off at my original location, when they would pick them up, and the approximate date they would arrive to my destination.

I liked how U-Pack handled the majority of the process. They provided me with a tracking number but it wasn’t working when I tried to pull it up, so I wasn’t certain of the timeframe I was working with.  However, every time I called the local dispatchers, they answered promptly and assisted. They were prompt in delivering the containers and there was no damage.” – Shiri W.

“I got quotes from 10-15 companies including United Van Lines, Mayflower, International Van Lines, American Van Lines, Nationwide Moving, Moving APT, Northstar, Moving Connections, PODS, U-Haul, and Allied Van Lines. I picked U-Pack because of their decent prices and I felt I could trust their process — there would be no surprise bills and the timeline was appropriate as far as picking up and delivering my items to my destination. 

I would recommend U-Pack and use them again thanks to their great customer service. I was able to track my cubes each day using a tracking number provided to me on move day and could see where my items were at the end of a business day. The move went exactly as planned and that is why I chose Upack because I wanted a moving experience with as little possibility of unexpected changes as possible.” – Chloe D.

U-Pack offers a wide variety of services

U-Pack’s moving services span a variety of needs. These include door-to-door residential moving services for homes of all sizes. Different from professional movers, you’ll have to do some of the work yourself. They’ll drop off a container, you pack and load it, and then U-Pack comes to pick it up and drop it off at your new home. From there, you’ll do the unloading and unpacking. It’s a hybrid move option that can help save money, but requires more time and effort on your part.

U-Pack’s services include:

  • Portable storage container (ReloCube): Ideal for smaller moves and long-term storage at a U-Pack facility
  • 28-foot freight trailers: Ideal for large long-distance moves
  • Moving supplies: While the company doesn’t pack for you, you can purchase moving supplies from them directly

With either the trailer or ReloCube option, you’ll have to pack, load, and unload yourself unless you hire third-party help. However, the company does offer the convenience of professional drivers so you don’t have to worry about the actual logistics of transporting your belongings to their new location.

Keep reading to dive deeper into U-Pack’s services.

Relocube and freight trailers

Let’s take a look at the differences between the Relocube and freight trailers:

ReloCube Freight trailer
Capacity Studio apartment 3+ bedroom home
Best for Smaller moves and locations with limited parking Larger moves
Types of moves Long-distance only (more than 100 miles) Long-distance only (more than 100 miles)
Storage available Yes, but only at a company facility No
Internal dimensions 5’10” x 6’1″ x 7’9″ 27′ x 8′ x 9′
Interior volume 305 cubic feet 1,800 cubic feet
Container material Metal Metal
Weight limit 2,500 lbs 22,000 lbs

ReloCube
Janna chose a ReloCube container because she was only moving the contents of a small apartment. Ryan went with a freight trailer because he was moving the contents of a 2-bedroom home that wouldn’t fit in a ReloCube, and he liked that he’d only pay for the space he used on the moving trailer.

If you’re on the fence between a ReloCube and a freight trailer, remember that containers are easier and safer to load and unload because they sit directly on the ground.

Freight trailers have far more interior space, but they’re 8 feet tall inside, which means loading and unloading can be tricky, and you’ll need to use a walk board (provided by U-Pack) because deck height is 48 inches.

logistics tracks
Some customers considering freight trailers worry that their items will get mixed in with other shipments, but this is rarely an issue. U-Pack provides load locks and plywood to secure each shipment behind a bulkhead. The image below shows how Ryan’s household goods were secured after everything was loaded onto the trailer. The metal item on the floor is the walk board that U-Pack provides with each trailer move.

loaded trailer

Storage

U-Pack can store your belongings at a secure facility if you need storage between moving out of your old place and into your new home.

Just keep in mind that:

    • Currently, only ReloCubes can be used for storage
    • ReloCube containers must be stored at a company facility (they can’t be stored on your property)
    • U-Pack storage facilities aren’t climate-controlled
    • You won’t have access to your items like you would if they were stored onsite or at a mini-storage facility (this is a deal-breaker for some customers)
  • Storage options are limited on short-distance moves
  • Storage fees are charged by the month, vary by location, and can’t be prorated
  • You won’t be able to get an online quote if you need local storage, but you can always call U-Pack to see what options are available

Compared to PODS, which offers multiple container sizes, onsite storage, and local moving services, U-Pack usually isn’t the best storage option.

Moving supplies

Cheap moving boxes come in handy on DIY moves, but used packing material isn’t always easy to come by and may not adequately protect your most fragile items.

Thankfully, U-Pack customers can easily add the following packing material and moving supplies to their orders online:

  • Moving blankets (furniture pads)
  • Packing paper, bubble wrap, and foam wrap
  • Packing tape
  • Stretch wrap
  • Mattress/furniture covers

Insurance

U-Pack provides catastrophic liability coverage at $3 per pound up to $60,000 per trailer and $7,500 per ReloCube.

This is included in every reservation and covers your belongings in the case of:

  • Trailer or ReloCube fire
  • Trailer overturns
  • Collision
  • Complete theft of the trailer or ReloCube

You can also purchase optional coverage from U-Pack to insure your belongings against loss or damage in the case of carrier negligence liability. There are several insurance tiers available.

Cost Coverage Maximum
$75 $1 per pound $20,000 per trailer or $2,500 per ReloCube
$125 $2 per pound $40,000 per trailer or $5,000 per ReloCube
$175 $3 per pound $60,000 per trailer or $7,500 per ReloCube

Since some homeowners and renters insurance policies cover household goods during a move or while in storage, it’s a good idea to check with your insurance agent before purchasing additional coverage through U-Pack.

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moveBuddha logo iconrating starstarstarstarstar 5 / 5
Check prices Visit Website

93% of users select this mover

At A Glance
  • Long distance moves only
  • Only pay for the space you use
  • No deposit or initial fees
  • Fast delivery time frames
read our full review
Check prices Check prices

93% of users select this mover

How U-Pack stacks up against the competition

moveBuddha logo iconrating starstarstarstarstar 5 / 5
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  • Fast delivery
  • Nationwide
  • 100+ miles moves
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moveBuddha logo iconrating starstarstarstarstar 4.8 / 5
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  • Unlimited storage
  • 3 container sizes
  • 10% discount
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moveBuddha logo iconrating starstarstarstarstar 4.45 / 5
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  • Price matching
  • 10% discount
  • Local/long dist.
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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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U-Pack is a competitively priced DIY solution for long-distance moves, but it may not be the best option for long-term storage or local moves. Let’s compare U-Pack to two of its competitors: PODS and U-Haul’s U-Box.

U-Pack vs. PODS

PODS is also a competitively priced moving container company, but it edges U-Pack out by servicing local moves. That said, U-Pack has locations in all 50 U.S. states. PODS isn’t available in Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

PODS has U-PACK beat in container sizes. With U-PACK, you only have the eight-foot container option or the 28-foot freight trailer. PODS offers three container sizes to accommodate moves of all sizes.

In short, choose PODS over U-Pack if you need more than the eight-foot container but less than a freight trailer. It’s also a better consideration for moves of less than 150 miles.

U-Pack vs. U-Haul U-Box

While U-Pack may be available in all 50 states, its actual number of locations doesn’t hold a candle to U-Haul U-Box.

Everyone knows U-Haul. Chances are you can drive by one in every major city and many rural areas, and you can’t say the same for U-Pack.

U-Pack has two size options compared to U-Box’s one eight-foot container. But U-Box is likely better if you need long-term storage due to its location convenience and last-minute availability.

Both companies offer similar third-party assistance for packing, unpacking, and moving labor. However, U-Pack’s overall reputation tends to fare better than U-Haul.

Company BBB score State availability Container sizes
U-Pack A+ 50 8 feet, 28 feet
PODS A+ 43 8 feet, 12 feet, 16 feet
U-Haul U-Box A+ 50 8 feet

How moving with U-Pack works

U-Pack’s website provides instant free quotes, and transparent pricing, and adding storage to your order is a snap.

Once you get your quote, you can book online immediately or hang onto your reference number for future use if you’re not ready to commit. Don’t forget to ask about discounts for students, seniors, and active military personnel.

After reserving your moving dates and equipment, you can modify your quote up to the day before your containers are scheduled to be delivered. Unfortunately, you could pay steep fees if your plans change and you need to cancel your reservation.

Here’s what to expect if you have to cancel your move with U-Pack:

  • You’ll get a full refund if you cancel more than seven days before your scheduled service date
  • There’s a $50 fee if you cancel within seven days
  • There’s a $150 fee if you cancel within 24 hours of your scheduled drop-off date

Even the most straightforward moves have many little details, and U-Pack goes to great lengths to ensure nothing gets overlooked.

After booking his ReloCube move from Garden City, New York, to Weeki Wachee, Florida, with U-Pack, Steve received several helpful emails that included the following:

  • Parking requirements for his ReloCube container
  • A video tutorial with packing, unpacking, and loading tips

An email confirmation that included his origin and destination addresses, contact information, container type, and service dates

Moving with U-Pack couldn’t be easier.

Here’s how it works:

  • Your empty container or freight trailer gets delivered to your current address
  • You have up to three days to load it. You can add loading labor with your order at most locations.
  • If you need storage, U-Pack takes your ReloCube container to a secure storage facility
  • If storage isn’t needed, U-Pack delivers your container or trailer to your new home or apartment
  • You have three days to unload it yourself, or you can hire movers on your own or through U-Pack to help

On his relocation from Oregon to Ohio, Ryan hired loading and unloading labor and left the driving to the professionals at U-Pack.

U-Pack trailer

On his 2,400-mile cross-country move, Ryan’s household goods arrived in Ohio in just 13 days, and Steve’s things were delivered in just nine days on a 1,110-mile move.

That said, delivery windows vary based on when you’re moving, the distance between your old and new residences, and whether you use containers or a freight trailer.

U-Pack ReloCube containers and freight trailers are generally waterproof, but this isn’t always true. Steve discovered that a small amount of water had leaked into the front of his U-Pack moving container at delivery. Nothing got wet, but he suggests placing sensitive items toward the back just in case.

The best way to determine if your belongings will be safe from water damage in transit is to walk into the container or trailer and check if you can see light shining in from the outside. If outside light is visible, water can get in, and your items could suffer water damage if it rains.

Steve was impressed that each of his U-Pack drivers asked where he wanted his container placed and which way he wanted the doors to face to make loading and unloading as easy as possible.

Before moving into her new apartment, Janna had to hire movers to pick up her items from the U-Pack service center in New Jersey because New York City regulations prohibit doorstep moving container deliveries in Manhattan. This inconvenience wasn’t U-Pack’s fault, but it’s worth considering if you’re moving to Manhattan.

U-Pack is perfect for people who want a quality but budget-friendly DIY moving experience

U-Pack is worth considering if you’re moving more than 100 miles.

We found that U-Pack is especially competitive on moves in the 100- to 250-mile range, and the company is perfect for customers who:

  • Can load and unload their containers within three days
  • Want to hire loading and unloading labor and build their own hybrid move
  • Live in rural areas that other companies don’t service
  • Are moving to Canada or Puerto Rico

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.

In their Better Moves Project surveys, Janna, Ryan, and Steve said they’d use U-Pack again because the company came through with accurate quotes, transparent pricing, on-time pickups and deliveries, and good communication and customer service. There were minor issues on each of their moves, but they all felt like U-Pack provided a solid moving value.

Not sure a moving container company is right for you? Check out our picks for the best long-distance moving companies to learn more about your full-service moving options.

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89% of users select this mover

FAQ

Where will U-Pack drop off my items?

U-Pack uses moving containers to transport your belonging. They’ll drop the container off in your driveway or on a parking lot or street nearby. They can’t deliver items to driveways with more than a 5% grade or slant. it’s also important to make sure you get parking permits if your city requires them. If you’re having your belongings delivered to a storage unit, talk to the on-site manager to arrange a time and date for the delivery.

What is the minimum mileage for U-Pack?

U-Pack has a minimum mileage of 150 miles. It doesn’t handle any local moves.

What does U-Pack do with your items?

U-Pack transports your items to their destination location after you load them. If you have a delay between your current housing and your new arrangements, you can store your Relocube indefinitely. You can store your freight trailer for up to 120 days.

What are the different sizes of U-Pack?

U-Pack offers two size options: the eight-foot Relocube container and the 28-foot freight trailer. If you don’t need the whole freight trailer, you’ll only pay for the space you need.

Does U-Pack offer insurance coverage?

Since U-Pack requires you to pack and load items yourself, they do not cover damage as a result of poor packing. They do offer carrier negligence liability and catastrophic liability coverage for your items.

 

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