U-Pack vs. U-Box: Which Moving Container Should You Use

We would choose U-Pack over U-Haul U-Box. U-Pack has great customer service and transparent, competitive pricing. It also has some of the fastest shipping times in the industry and great national coverage.

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  • Fast delivery
  • Nationwide
  • 100+ miles moves
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  • Online pricing
  • Small containers
  • Insurance options
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Honestly, U-Pack is the best in pretty much every situation. In fact, they take the number-one spot on our list of the best moving container companies

That said, U-Pack and U-Haul’s moving container services are similar. Regardless of who you hire for the job, you’ll save some dough by handling the moving labor yourself, all without worrying about the hassle of driving a clunky U-Haul truck. It’s sort of a half-DIY move — you do all of the packing, but none of the driving.

While the two services are similar, U-Pack and U-Box differ the most in terms of their containers and costs. It’s smart to do a little research to choose the right mover for you.

But we get that you’re strapped for time, so moveBuddha did the legwork for you. Check out this guide for a comprehensive review of U-Pack vs. U-Box.

U-Pack vs. U-Box: Pros and cons

While U-Pack has our vote, both options have their pros and cons. Weigh the upsides and downsides of U-Pack vs U-Box to find the best option for your move.

U-Pack pros and cons

What we love: U-Pack has some of the most transparent pricing of any moving container company we’ve seen. They explain exactly what you’re paying for and have a no-hidden-fee guarantee.

U-Pack’s largest moving containers come with a pay-only-for-the-space-you-use policy, ensuring you get all the space you need without overpaying.

What we don’t love: U-Pack offers long-distance moves only. If you’re moving locally, you’ll need to choose a different option, like U-Box.

  • Generally less expensive than a full-service moving company
  • Transparent pricing
  • Fast container delivery with an online tracker
  • Add-on moving services are available when you book
  • Multiple ReloCube container sizes and a large moving trailer all available with a pay-for-the-space-you-use policy
  • Great service coverage, even in rural areas
  • Stricter cancellation policy than some companies (canceling within a week of your move could mean steep fees)
  • No local moves
  • Onsite storage isn’t offered, and you only get up to three business days to pack and unpack your containers
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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

U-Box pros and cons

What we love: U-Box is less expensive than other portable storage container movers like PODS. It gives you a truly customizable experience in which you can add on loading services from third-party companies or keep your move totally DIY to keep the costs down.

What we don’t love: U-Box containers just don’t stack up to the competition. They’re made of plywood with a vinyl cover, so don’t expect them to be weatherproof. Plus, some users wrote in reviews that the containers broke during transit.

  • U-Box is a product by U-Haul, one of the biggest and most trusted moving companies out there
  • You only have to pay for containers you end up using
  • You can pack and unpack at a U-Haul facility to save money on delivery and pickup fees
  • Prices often cheaper than full-service movers and other moving container companies
  • International moves are available to just about any shipping port
  • There’s only one container size available, and it’s small
  • Some users report that the containers break in transit, and we don’t fully trust a plywood container to keep stuff safe from the elements
  • For customer support, you’ll probably have to call someone — there aren’t a lot of easy online support options 
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moveBuddha logo iconrating starstarstarstarstar 3.95 / 5
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At A Glance
  • Most locations nationwide
  • Store at your residence or a U-Haul location
  • Available for both local and long distance moves
  • One month of storage included
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U-Pack vs. U-Box: Services and availability

U-Pack and U-Box will get your belongings from point A to point B, but their available services and service areas differ a bit. Let’s compare what it’s like to work with both moving container companies.


Most container moving companies operate with the same business model. They deliver containers to your old address, and you pack your stuff into the containers. Next, the company handles driving or shipping the containers to your new address. You handle unpacking and notify the company so they can pick up the container.

That’s pretty much how moving with either a U-Pack ReloCube or U-Haul U-Box works, but both companies offer more than just moving containers. Here’s a snapshot of how their services compare.

Storage unit 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
Limited time to pack containers

(Up to three business days)

Shipment of containers to new address
Insurance included
Insurance available for purchase
Free cancellation or modification

(If canceled more than seven days before your move)

(Up to the day of your move)

As you can see, subtle differences between U-Pack and U-Box could affect your move.

The biggest ding against U-Box is its limited size and capacity, but you can remedy this issue by renting more than one. If you overestimate your total space, simply call to have the remaining boxes picked up and keep the rest on your property as long as you need.

We do like U-Box’s flexibility. While U-Pack only allows you to hold onto your storage containers for three days, you can keep U-Haul U-Boxes on your property, deliver them to your new home, or securely store them at a U-Haul facility of your choosing.

U-Box allows you to hold onto the container indefinitely, but U-Pack doesn’t. If your new home isn’t ready or you simply need a storage solution, U-Pack will store the Relocube at its secure facility. Still, storage isn’t climate-controlled, which leaves valuable goods vulnerable to damage.

Both U-Pack and U-Box are moving container companies, so you’re on the hook for labor. Some customers add professional labor to their reservation for an extra fee, but this isn’t automatically bundled into the reservation. When you make a reservation, you’re getting the bare bones, which is exclusively the delivery and pickup of the actual storage unit.

There are some upsides to bundling labor with your container booking, but we recommend just going with a full-service mover if you’re paying for labor anyway.


U-Pack and U-Box mostly serve the same areas, although they differ the most when it comes to international coverage.

Available in the U.S.? All 50 states, Canada, and Puerto Rico All 50 states
Available in Canada? Yes Yes
Available internationally? Yes, but only in Canada Yes (you can ship a U-Box to almost any international port)

Overall, U-Pack narrowly beats out U-Box in a few key areas, like included insurance at no extra cost and service to Canada and Puerto Rico. This makes up for U-Pack’s limitations in international shipping, onsite storage, and local moves.

U-Haul U-Box containers have unbeatable availability. While U-Pack technically services the same area (except for international shipping), you can’t drive through any town in the United States without seeing at least one U-Haul facility.

U-Haul locations are everywhere, so they offer pretty competitive last-minute availability just about anywhere. There’s a lot of demand for U-Haul, so they can accommodate last-minute changes or cancellations without penalty. We can’t say the same for U-Pack, which charges cancellation fees within seven days of your move date.

U-Pack vs. U-Box: How the containers compare

U-Pack and U-Box have a lot of similarities, but their containers are what really set these companies apart. Here’s how U-Pack ReloCube containers compare to U-Box.

How many container sizes are available? 2 1
What are the container sizes? 308 cubic-foot Relocube

1,944 cubic-foot trailers (only pay for the space you use)

257 cubic feet
Storage available for all container sizes? Yes Yes
Container material? Plywood with weather-resistant cover and steel frame Treated plywood

It’s important to note here that while it’s pretty standard in the industry to use metal containers (and the majority of container companies have only metal containers available), U-Box containers are made from treated plywood and come with a cover to protect them from the elements.

Wood is obviously less durable than metal. It’s no surprise that plenty of U-Box reviews say the containers arrived damaged. This is a huge factor for our review, since keeping your belongings safe should be a top priority for a moving company.

U-Pack vs. U-Box: How much does a move cost?

Both U-Pack and U-Box are budget-friendly alternatives to hiring professional movers.

If it’s a local move you’re looking for, U-Box is the only game in town. The smaller the size of your move (and the fewer boxes you reserve), the more you’ll save.

For medium-sized and cross-country moves, U-Box costs more. If you’re looking for a better deal, you’ll likely save more on a long-distance move with U-Pack.

With that said, both providers offer customized moving quotes, so the price will differ depending on how far you move and how many containers you book. So many other factors influence the cost of your move, including:

  • Starting and ending locations
  • The size of the move
  • Gas prices
  • The time of year

Before judging either of these companies based on their prices, you should get a personalized quote that’s accurate for your moving needs to know who can offer you the best price. You can get an online quote through the company or use our moving cost calculator.

And remember that when it comes to moving pods, the cheapest isn’t always the best. You should hire the company that provides the best services to fit your needs at a fair price.

The costs below should give you a general idea of pricing, but it’s always best to request a quote for your specific move. Pricing factors change all the time, and a free quote will give you the best idea of what to budget.

With that in mind, here are the average prices for moves with U-Pack and U-Box.

Cost for a local move (< 50 miles)

1 bedroom Not available for local moves $70-$140
2-3 bedrooms Not available for local moves $210-$350
4-5 bedrooms Not available for local moves $420-$560

Cost for a medium-distance move (< 250 miles)

1 bedroom $900-$1,600 $1,300-$2,300
2-3 bedrooms $1,500–$2,600 $1,300-$3,000
4-5 bedrooms $2,500–$3,140 $2,000-$3,000

Cost for a long-distance move (cross-country)

1 bedroom $1,800–$2,500 $1,800-$3,500
2-3 bedrooms $2,400–$3,900 $2,500-$4,500
4-5 bedrooms $3,500–$6,600 $4,500-$7,000

U-Pack vs. U-Box: Which container company is right for you?

U-Pack is our MVP, but there are scenarios where one moving container company would be better than the other.

Use U-Pack if: 

  • You want insurance included
  • You’re moving long-distance anywhere in the U.S., Canada, or Puerto Rico
  • You aren’t sure how much space you need

Don’t use U-Pack if: 

  • You’re moving locally
  • You want climate-controlled storage

Use U-Box if: 

  • You’re moving anywhere internationally
  • You want unlimited time to load and unload the moving container
  • You want to store the container in your driveway or on your property

Don’t use U-Box if:

  • You’re transporting high-value items
  • You’re doing a large single-load move

Moving containers are still cheaper than paying for full-service delivery, but you’re on the hook for packing, loading, and unloading. You could always hire another vendor for moving help, but if that’s the case, it’s generally easier to go with a full-service moving company instead of a moving container.

Out of these two companies, though, our pick is U-Pack.

But don’t let an article on the internet decide for you. Before hiring any moving company, you should research multiple options to find one that fits your needs and budget. The question isn’t U-Pack or U-Box: it’s PODS vs. U-Pack vs. Zippy Shell vs. U-Box vs. whatever other companies operate in your area.

Check out our moving cost calculator if you want to get a quote from U-Pack, PODS, U-Box, and multiple other movers you can trust.

Other moving containers to consider

As much as we love U-Pack, they aren’t the only game in town. Whether you’re concerned about service areas, pricing, or the containers themselves, these other moving container companies are solid alternatives.


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moveBuddha logo iconrating starstarstarstarstar 4.8 / 5

89% of users select this mover

PODS is ideal for folks who need the convenience of onsite storage and moving containers. They offer 30 days of storage included with all moves, which is plenty of time to move into your new home. U-Pack and U-Box don’t offer such generous storage options. Plus, PODS allows you to store the container in your driveway or at a storage facility.

However, PODS has limited service areas compared to U-Pack or U-Box, so you’ll need a different company in Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, or Wyoming.


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moveBuddha logo iconrating starstarstarstarstar 4.45 / 5

89% of users select this mover

1-800-PACK-RAT has secure metal storage containers, unlike U-Box’s flimsy wooden containers. All PACK-RAT moves include $10,000 in insurance for local and long-distance moves. However, you have to call them to book a move, while U-Pack and U-Box allow you to book online.

PACK-RAT is only available in 29 states and doesn’t offer international moves.

Zippy Shell

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89% of users select this mover

Zippy Shell is a moving container company that offers expedited and guaranteed delivery options, which is perfect for anyone who’s in a hurry. However, Zippy Shell only operates in 33 states and doesn’t offer online quotes.

They also limit you to three days for loading and unloading — tops — so you’ll need to work quickly.


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89% of users select this mover

MovingYourself is a new player in the space. They only charge you for the space you use, which is great for anyone on a budget (or if you aren’t sure how much space you need). MovingYourself also offers vehicle shipping.

However, like U-Pack, they don’t service local moves.

U-Box size: How it compares to competitors

Every U-Box ReloCube holds 257 cubic feet, which isn’t a lot of space. If you’re worried about running out of space and don’t want to book an extra ReloCube last minute, see how U-Box compares to the competition to book the right option for your move.

U-Box has the simplest sizing, with just a single option to choose from. Since you only pay for the boxes you use, there’s no need to worry about overpaying — although you might want to book an extra U-Box so you don’t unexpectedly run out of room.

U-Box has the smallest moving containers compared to PODS, Zippy Shell, and U-Pack. You probably can’t fit the contents of a one-bedroom home in there. Even the smallest PODS container can hold nearly double the amount of a U-Box. If you’re after volume, you’re better off with the 16-foot POD or U-Pack’s large trailer.

Company Size options
U-Haul U-Box
  • One size: 5′ 10” x 6′ 10” x 7′ 9” (257 cubic feet)
  • 8-foot: 8′ x 7′ x 8′ (402 cubic feet)
  • 12-foot: 12′ x 8′ x 8′ (689 cubic feet)
  • 16-foot: 16′ x 8′ x 8′ (835 cubic feet)
Zippy Shell
  • 10-foot: 7’ x 7’ x 10’ (420 cubic feet)
  • 15-foot: 7’ x 7’ x 15’ (680 cubic feet)
  • ReloCube: 6’3” x 7′ x 8’4” (308 cubic feet)
  • Trailer: 28′ x 8′ x 9′ (1,944 cubic feet)

FAQ about U-Pack vs. U-Box

Can you fit a couch in a U-Box?

Yes, you can fit a couch in a U-Box. U-Boxes can hold common household goods, including furniture, mattresses, and boxes. A U-Box generally has enough space to hold a king-size mattress, so keep that in mind when deciding how many U-Boxes to rent.

What size are U-Pack containers?

U-Pack offers one convenient container size. The ReloCube’s interior dimensions are 5′ 10” x 6′ 10” x 7′ 9”. You can rent more than one if necessary or size up to the moving trailer, where you only pay for the space you use.

What is the cost difference between U-Haul U-Box and U-Pack?

U-Haul U-Box is generally more affordable than U-Pack, but it’s always a good idea to shop around until you find the best value for your move.

How much does it cost to use a U-Pack for a cross-country move?

Using a U-Pack for a cross-country move costs between $1,800 and $7,000. Your cost depends on how many ReloCubes you rent or how much space you use on a moving trailer, plus the distance, insurance coverage, and additional services.

What is not allowed in a U-Box?

U-Boxes can’t transport:

  • Motorized vehicles like ATVs, lawnmowers, or motorcycles
  • Valuables like jewelry, expensive art, or financial documents
  • Animals or any other living organism
  • Furs
  • Flammable materials, like gasoline or alcohol
  • Hazardous materials like bleach or ammonia
  • Compressed gas like propane or scuba diving tanks
  • Perishables like food or plants
  • Explosives and firearms

Keep in mind that international shipments will have more restrictions. In most cases, you can’t ship food, plants, seeds, tobacco, or medicines.

What size is a U-Box compared to PODS?

A U-Box is about 8’ x 4’6” x 7’. It can hold up to 2,000 pounds in 257 cubic feet of space. PODS containers, on the other hand, come in a range of sizes. They also offer an eight-foot container that holds up to 402 cubic feet, a 12-foot container (689 cubic feet), and a 16-foot container (835 cubic feet).

How big is a U-Box compared to a ReloCube?

The exact dimensions of a ReloCube are six feet long, seven feet wide, and eight feet high, giving you 308 cubic feet of space. This makes the U-Box slightly smaller in terms of length and width, but it’s taller than a ReloCube.

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