U-Pack Review: Moving Costs & Service Options In 2019

Not sure if U-Pack is the right choice for your move? See U-Pack services, prices, pros, cons and more to help choose the right solution for your move.

Overall opinion: U-Pack is one of the oldest and largest container moving companies out there. It has multiple container sizes and an awesome pay-for-what-you-use policy with larger moving trailers. However, it’s not available for moves under 100 miles.

See where UPack ranks on our 2019 best container and freight trailer companies list.

U-Pack     4.0 out of 5.0 stars

ABF U-Pack boasts having helped more than a million families move since the company launched in 1997. U-Pack is owned by the massive freight shipping company ABF, which lends shipping expertise to ensure your belongings get safely where you need them to go.

U-Pack has an awesome website that provides instant quotes with transparent pricing. While it doesn’t offer as many container sizes as some of its competition, it has an awesome pay-for-the-space-you-use policy when you rent a large moving trailer.

U-Pack is widely available throughout the U.S., as well as in Canada and Puerto Rico. If you’re making a moderate- to long-distance move, you should definitely get a quote from U-Pack.

There are a few things that put U-Pack behind the competition, though. Its services are not available for local moves at all. If you use the larger moving trailer, it can be difficult to park and pack because of its size. And you have only three days to load and unload your containers.

But U-Pack is a solid option for a long-distance move, and because of its simple website, numerous online features, and extremely transparent pricing, we gave U-Pack four out of five stars. Read on for a comprehensive review.

U-Pack Review: The Good and the Bad

U-Pack offers plenty of services that set it apart from the competition. Here’s what we love and what we don’t about U-Pack, as well as all the pros and cons you should consider before booking this company for your move.

The Good: Extremely Transparent Pricing

Moving is stressful and expensive. Nobody wants to add more stress to their move by discovering hidden costs that drive up the price.

With U-Pack, you don’t have to worry about that. The company is one of the most transparent we’ve seen when it comes to pricing.

When you enter your information online to get a quote, U-Pack defaults to the option that will cost you less, whether that’s multiple small containers, or just using part of a larger moving trailer. In the case of our sample move, it estimated we would need 13 feet of trailer space for a 2-bedroom apartment.

The Good: Extremely Transparent Pricing

There’s an option to add loading and unloading help if you want it (with the cost and time clearly laid out). The quote also includes instructions for updating the estimated cost if we use more or less than 13 feet of trailer space (in this quote, we were instructed to add or subtract $68 per foot as needed).

The quote includes taxes, fuel, and a ramp for loading and unloading. U-Pack guarantees that price — there are absolutely no hidden fees, and what you see is what you pay.

The Bad: No Local Moves

The thing we don’t love about U-Pack is that they only do moves that are 100 miles or more. Wondering U-Pack vs. PODS? If you’re moving locally, they recommend PODS.

The Bad: No Local Moves

U-Pack Review: Other Pros and Cons

Before choosing a moving company, you have to consider all the pros and cons. Here’s our full breakdown for U-Pack.

 

U-Pack Pros U-Pack Cons
  • Generally less expensive than a full-service move.
  • Pricing is extremely transparent with a no-hidden-fees guarantee.
  • Website is easy to use and offers instant quotes for all moves.
  • Fast delivery times with an online tracker.
  • Extra services are easy to add on when you book your move online.
  • Belongings can be moved or stored (or both!).
  • Multiple container sizes available.
  • You only pay for the packing space you use.
  • Someone else transports the containers — you just have to load and unload them.
  • Available in many rural areas and several countries.
  • Offers moving supplies (at an added cost).
  • Canceling within a week of your move means you’ll have to pay a fee.
  • Local moves are not available.
  • Larger moving trailer can be tough to park and pack because of its size.
  • No on-site storage is available, and you only get three days to load and unload your containers.

How U-Pack Works

U-Pack is pretty similar to other moving and storage container companies, but with a few key differences. Here’s what the company offers.

Option 1: U-Pack for Moving

If you’re moving more than 100 miles, U-Pack will likely be an option for you (they don’t offer services for moves under 100 miles).

You enter information about your move online, or you can call and give the info to a service representative over the phone if you’d like. Based on your needs, they’ll offer either a number of smaller “Relocubes,” or a large moving trailer.

If you need more space than what’s offered in a Relocube, but you don’t need an entire trailer, they have an option to rent a trailer and just pay for the amount of space you use.

Your container gets delivered to your old address, where you have up to three days to load it. You can choose to add loading help to your U-Pack order in most locations.

Then, U-Pack ships your container(s) to your new address, where you have up to three days to unload. You can also choose to add unloading help to your order if you want to.

Option 2: U-Pack for Moving With Storage

If you need a little more time between moving out of your old place and into your new one, U-Pack can store your belongings for you in a secure, climate-controlled facility. Storage fees are charged by the month and cannot be prorated. Storage rates vary by location.

While some other containers companies allow you to store your belongings onsite, that’s not an option with U-Pack. And while you can build storage into any long-distance move, local storage is not always available. If you’re looking for local storage (for example, during a remodel or renovation), quotes aren’t available online, but you can call U-Pack to see what options you may have in your area.

Getting a Quote and Booking with U-Pack

One of the things we love most about U-Pack is how easy it is to get a quote and book online. By entering some basic information about your move — your starting and ending zip codes, how many rooms you need to move, and a range of time for when you’re planning on moving, the company can provide you with an instant quote.

It’ll default to the option that costs less for you, whether that’s using smaller containers or part of a large moving trailer. If you’re using part of a trailer, it offers space calculators to estimate how much space you’ll need, but allows you to adjust the price if you end up using more or less of the trailer.

It’s simple to add optional extras to your move, like loading/unloading help, moving supplies, or insurance. Prices for all of these are clearly displayed before you add or book them.

You can book right away online, or hang onto the reference number for your quote and call in. Discounts are available for some people, like students and active military.

Once you book your move, you can make modifications to it at any time up to the day your containers are scheduled to be delivered. Unfortunately, if your plans change and you need to cancel your reservation, you could end up paying steep fees. If you cancel more than seven days before your scheduled reservation begins, there are no fees and you’re eligible for a full refund. If you cancel within seven days, there’s a $50 fee. And if you cancel within 24 hours of your scheduled drop-off date, there’s a $150 fee.

U-Pack Container Sizes and Availability

U-Pack offers two types of containers: Small, 6-foot “Relocubes” and large, 28-foot moving trailers.

Relocub Moving Trailer
Capacity Studio apartment 3+ bedroom home
Popular Usage Smaller moves, locations with limited parking Larger moves
Types of Moves Long-distance only Long-distance only
Storage Available Yes Yes
Internal Dimensions 5’10″x6’1″x7’9″ 27’x8’x9′
Cubic Footage 305 cf 1,800 cf
Container Material Metal Metal
Weight Limit 2,500 lbs 22,000 lbs

All of U-Packs containers are made of metal and completely weatherproof. U-Pack Relocube sits against the ground, which makes them easy to pack; they’re also easy to park and can be good options for people who don’t have enough parking for a larger moving trailer.

While the moving trailer is a more cost-effective option, it can be difficult to park because of its size. It can also be tough to pack because of its 8-foot interior height.

One of the great things about U-Pack is how widely available it is. There are U-Pack facilities in all 50 states, as well as in Canada and Puerto Rico. The company has a wider service area than many of its competitors, which means if you live in a rural area, U-Pack is likely still able to help you move.

How Much Does U-Pack Moving Cost?

The best way to find out how much it will cost for you to use U-Pack for your move is to head online and get an instant quote. Your cost will depend on a number of factors, including:

  • Your origin and destination
  • Parking availibility
  • The distance between your two zip codes
  • The time of year
  • Availability of the containers you need
  • Whether you add storage

With that said, here are the price ranges we’ve found to be pretty average for U-Pack. Keep in mind these are just averages and you shouldn’t base your moving budget on anything other than a quote that takes into account your own specific moving needs.

1 bedroom 2-3 bedrooms 4-5 bedrooms
Local Move N/A N/A N/A
< 25 miles $900 – $1,300 $1,100 – $1,700 $1,200 – $1,900
Cross Country $1,500 – $2,500 $2,400 – $3,900 $3,500 – $6,600

You can pay for your U-Pack move via credit card or PayPal.

If you choose a credit card, you’ll enter that information at the time of booking. When it’s time to pay, you have the option to use the credit card on file or enter a new one.

If you choose PayPal, you’ll receive an invoice via email once your move is in transit. You can then pay that with any of PayPal’s payment options — bank account, debit card, or credit card.

No matter which payment option you choose, your move must be paid for in full before your items will be delivered to their final destination.

Need Moving Supplies? U-Pack Offers Those Too

U-Pack really takes the stress out of moving by offering the option to add on just about any moving supplies you may need. For an additional cost, you can add any of these supplies to your reservation:

  • Moving blankets
  • Furniture pads
  • Bubble wrap
  • Packing paper
  • Packing tape
  • Stretch wrap
  • Mattress/furniture covers
  • Foam wrap

What About Insurance for U-Pack?

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 overturn
  • Collision
  • Complete theft of the trailer or Relocube

You can also purchase optional, additional coverage from U-Pack to insure your belongings against loss or damage in the case of carrier negligence. 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

Be sure to check your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy before purchasing U-Pack’s insurance — some policies protect your belongings during a move or in storage.

U-Pack Reviews: Are They Reputable?

U-Pack has been in business since 1997, so this is far from a fly-by-night operation. When it comes to moving pods reviews, it’s always a mixed bag — moving is stressful and people tend to blame the moving company for anything that goes wrong.

Before booking a moving company, it’s always a good idea to read through online reviews to see what kinds of problems (if any) others have had. Try searching for “U-Pack reviews Yelp,” “U-Pack Reviews Google” or “U-Pack Reviews Reddit” to see what’s out there. Keep in mind, however, that people can leave reviews for every individual U-Pack branch. Some locations might be more professional than others, so look into the facility that’s closest to you for the best idea of what to expect.

The same goes for Better Business Bureau pages — there are individual pages for all individual U-Pack locations. Some are accredited, and some aren’t. U-Pack BBB reviews vary by location. But a scroll through the results for U-Pack locations on the BBB website shows a lot of “A” and “A+” ratings.

U-Pack Reviews: Are They Reputable?

According to our research, the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has seen one complaint against U-Pack in the last four years. A single complaint made in 2019 alleged the company had problems with deceptive business practices, prices/estimates, and shipping documents.

Our best advice is to take online reviews with a grain of salt, but carefully research your local U-Pack facility, since quality can certainly vary by location, even though U-Pack is an established and generally reputable organization.

Is U-Pack Right for Your Move?

If you’re moving long-distance, you should definitely check out U-Pack and get a quote to compare with other providers.

U-Pack is great for people who are moving between 100 and 250 miles (we found great pricing compared to the competition for that range of distance). It’s also perfect for people who can load and unload their containers quickly (within three days) or want to easily add hired loading/unloading help to their reservation.

It’s also a great fit for people who live in rural areas because U-Pack’s coverage area is so extensive. If you need to move in Canada, or between the U.S. and Puerto Rico, U-Pack is probably a great option for you.

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

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