U-Pack 2023 Review: Costs & Services

Best Overall Value
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Best Overall Value


      moveBuddha rating
Licensed Insured
  • Long distance moves only
  • Only pay for the space you use
  • No deposit or initial fees
  • Fast delivery time frames
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Bottom line: We love U-Pack! Customers regularly say they would use U-Pack again on their next move. U-Pack has maintained a high rating on our best moving containers list for years. Read this full review to see if U-Pack is the right company for your move.

Chloe was moving from California to Utah and started looking for moving solutions to ship her one-bedroom apartment 800 miles.

She needed to stay within a tight budget but didn’t want to drive a truck. Chloe also heard horror stories about low cost moving companies and didn’t want to take any risks.

U-Pack’s competitive prices, “You load, we drive” shipping model, and rock-solid reputation appealed to Chloe.

U-Pack 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.

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

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
  • Multiple container sizes – ReloCube containers and freight trailers
  • Belongings can be moved, stored, or both
  • Professionals handle all the driving
  • Services are available in many rural areas and several countries
  • You only get three business days to load and unload your containers
  • No local moves (PODS is a better option if you’re moving less than 100 miles)
  • Freight trailers can be difficult to load (they’re 8 feet tall inside), and parking can be an issue due to their size
  • Only ReloCubes (not freight trailers) 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

Still not sure if U-Pack is the right choice for your move? Check out our U-Pack competitor section to see how U-Pack compares to other container moving companies.

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

Is U-Pack’s pricing competitive?

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 with no 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 how 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 clearly 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

Is U-Pack cheaper than PODS? If you’re moving a small shipment less than 250 miles, PODS may be the less expensive choice. However, U-Pack is often cheaper on larger moves because of its freight trailer option.

How U-Pack stacks up against the competition

moveBuddha Score 5      
  • Fast delivery
  • Nationwide
  • 100+ miles moves
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% of users select this mover

moveBuddha Score 4.8      
  • Unlimited storage
  • 3 container sizes
  • Nationwide
Check prices Website

% of users select this mover

moveBuddha Score 4.45      
  • Price matching
  • 10% discount
  • Local/long dist.
Check prices Website

% of users select this mover

moveBuddha Score 4.2      
  • Park on street
  • Labor available
  • Small moves
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(888) 947-7974

% of users select this mover

moveBuddha Score 4.0      
  • 4-5 Bdrm Houses
  • Nationwide
  • No local moves
Check prices Website

% of users select this mover

Container moving companies all offer different options. Depending on the requirements of your move, U-Pack may not always be the best choice. Let’s take a look at the different companies.

U-Pack PODS 1-800-PACK-RAT Zippy Shell Moving Place
Container sizes 6-foot ReloCube and 28-foot trailer 8, 12, and 16-foot containers 8, 12, and 16-foot containers 10 and 15-foot containers 28-foot and 53-foot trailers
Loading times Three days each for loading and unloading Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Various options allow for up to three days each for loading and unloading
Move types Moves over 100 miles only Local and long-distance moves Local and long-distance moves Local and long-distance moves Moves over 250 miles only
Storage availability Only ReloCubes can be used for storage, and they can only be stored at a company facility (not climate controlled) Yes, at your place or theirs (not climate controlled) Yes, at your place or theirs (some 1-800-PACK-RAT storage facilities are 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)

To recap:

  • PODS is best for long-term storage, on-site storage, and local moves
  • U-Pack is an excellent option for larger moves because freight trailers have tons of space
  • If parking space is a major concern, consider Zippy Shell’s street-legal containers
  • Pack Rat, PODS, and Zippy Shell all allow for unlimited loading time
  • U-Pack only handles moves over 100 miles, and Moving Place only does moves over 250 miles
U-Pack PODS 1-800-PACK-RAT Zippy Shell Moving Place
Average local move cost* Not available for local moves $200 – $800 $150 – $790 $190 – $750 Not available for local moves
Average long-distance move cost* $900 – $6,600 $450 – $7,600 $910 – $6,900 $500 – $7,000 $1,100 – $4,700
Coverage area All 50 states, Canada, and Puerto Rico About 45 states About 29 states About 29 states Continental U.S.

*These figures are averages based on data from moves of various sizes and distances, so please be aware that your actual cost may be more or less than what’s listed here.

Want more information? Check out these head-to-head container company comparisons:

Customers choose U-Pack for affordability and to avoid driving

JannaWith competitive prices, a large national coverage area, and more than two decades of experience, it’s no wonder that so many customers choose U-Pack over the competition.

We love U-Pack because Better Moves Project participants like Janna (a Broadway musician who recently moved to New York City) consistently rave about the company’s transparent pricing and accurate moving quotes.

Likewise, Ryan liked the flexibility and pay-for-the-space-you-use pricing he got with his freight trailer. He also could build his own hybrid move by hiring movers to help with loading and unloading. His U-Pack quote was almost $7,000 cheaper than one he received from a full-service moving company. While professional movers also include labor, Ryan saved a bundle by using U-Pack.

tire blowout

U-Pack and other container companies also have a big advantage over moving truck rentals: customers don’t have to drive a large and sometimes poorly maintained vehicle. On a recent DIY move from Georgia to New York, Chandra had two tire blowouts. These equipment issues added time, stress, and additional expenses to an already unpleasant move.

Getting a quote and booking a move with U-Pack couldn’t be easier, and while you’re at it, check out our moving cost calculator (a great budgeting tool) and the companies on our Best Moving Container Companies list.

Visit U-Pack’s Frequently Asked Questions page for more information on services, prices, insurance, and more.

Customers love U-Pack’s easy online booking

U-Pack Logo

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 right away 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 any time up to the day before your containers are scheduled to be delivered. Unfortunately, if your plans change and you need to cancel your reservation, you could pay steep fees.

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 lots of little details, and U-Pack goes to great lengths to ensure that nothing gets overlooked.

Steve's items in ReloCube

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


U-Pack customers can choose ReloCube containers or a freight trailer

The U-Pack website is a great resource if you’re trying to decide between a ReloCube or a freight trailer. Let’s take a look at the differences:

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


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

One thing Ryan didn’t like about his freight trailer was that the logistics tracks used for cargo securement were spaced every other foot instead of every foot. This meant he couldn’t strap the bulkhead into place exactly where his shipment ended, and he paid slightly more than expected for floor space he didn’t use.

The cost increase was negligible, but he would have liked to know about it before moving day.

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

How moving with U-Pack works

Moving with U-Pack couldn’t be easier. Here’s how it works:

  • Your empty container or freight trailer gets delivered to your old address
  • You have up to three days to load it, or you can add loading help with your order at most locations
  • If you need storage, U-Pack takes your ReloCube container to a secure company 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 the case. 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 him 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 wasn’t U-Pack’s fault, but it’s worth considering if you’re moving to Manhattan.

U-Pack is an option for storage, too

If you need storage between moving out of your old place and into your new home, U-Pack can store your belongings at a secure facility. 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’s storage facilities aren’t climate controlled
  • You won’t have access to your items like you would if they were stored on-site 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

U-Pack usually isn’t the best storage option (check out their storage policy here) compared to PODS, which offers multiple container sizes, on-site storage, and local moving services.

moveBuddha Score 5      

89% of users select this mover

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89% of users select this mover

U-Pack offers a wide variety of moving supplies

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

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

U-Pack has a great online presence

U-Pack has been a leader in the moving and storage container niche since 1997. Still, moving company reviews can be all over the place because customers often blame service providers for everything that goes wrong.

Reviews vary by location, but a scroll through the results shows that U-Pack has tons of “A” and “A+” ratings with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). 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.

The following is a summary of the categories and nature of the complaints received by the BBB:

BBB Complaint Types Number
Sales or Advertising 3
Collections or Billing 6
Deliver-Related Concerns 34
Warranty or Guarantee 1
Product or Service Problems 29

The following is a summary of the categories and nature of the complaints received by the FMCSA:

Database Listed (Y/N)
Licensing Insurance FMCSA? Yes
Better Business Bureau (BBB) Listed and Accredited

We suggest taking online customer reviews with a grain of salt and carefully researching your local U-Pack facility.

Move with confidence – U-Pack is fully licensed and insured

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, 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

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

Moving container companies typically do not cover damage due to improper packing, normal shifting, mold, or rain. If you want full coverage of your items, a professional moving company might be a better option.

Learn More

Who should consider U-Pack?

U-Pack ReloCube

If you’re moving more than 100 miles, U-Pack is definitely worth considering.

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.

The verdict – do customers think U-Pack is worth it?

U-Pack containers

In a word – yes.

In their Better Moves Project surveys, Janna, Ryan, and Steve all said they’d use U-Pack again because the company came through with accurate quotes and transparent pricing, on-time pick-ups 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 in the end.

If you’re considering U-Pack but still have questions, don’t forget to check out their FAQ page.

There are tons of reasons to use U-Pack for your next move, but you’ll want to consider the following downsides as well:

  • U-Pack only handles moves over 100 miles
  • PODS is usually less expensive than U-Pack on small apartment moves
  • You’ll pay a fee if you cancel a move with U-Pack within one week of your service date
  • On-site storage isn’t available
  • Loading and unloading must be done in three days (each)
  • Freight trailers are difficult to load (they’re 8 feet high inside), and parking can be an issue due to their size
moveBuddha Score 5      

89% of users select this mover

Get A Quote

89% of users select this mover

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