U-Pack vs. U-Box: Which Container Moving Company Is Right for You?

Overall Opinion
U-Pack
A+
moveBuddha Rating
Overall Opinion
U-Haul U-Box
B
moveBuddha Rating
Overall opinion: If we were moving, we would choose U-Pack over U-Haul U-Box if possible. U-Pack has great customer service and transparent, competitive pricing, plus some of the fastest shipping times in the industry and great national coverage, even .u pack best moving company
U-Pack is our first pick for practically every situation, and we stand by this so much, we put them at number one on our best moving containers list. That said, U-Pack and U-Haul’s moving container services are remarkably similar –– they both allow you to cut costs by doing some or all of the moving labor yourself without worrying about driving clunky moving trucks.
It’s sort of a half-DIY move—you do all the packing, but none of the driving.But when it comes to U-Pack’s and U-Box’s moving services, containers, and costs, there are differences you have to take into account before you choose the mover that’s right for you. We did the legwork and put together a comprehensive comparison of the two companies with reviews. Read on to see what we found out.

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

A great place to start when comparing two companies is with the pros and cons of each. Here’s what we love and what we hate about each moving company, plus all the other upsides and downsides you might want to consider.

U-Pack pros and cons

What we love: U-Pack has some of the most transparent pricing we’ve seen among moving container companies. It explains exactly what you’re paying for and has a no-hidden-fees guarantee, plus has a pay-only-for-the-space-you-use policy for its largest moving containers, ensuring you have all the space you need without overpaying.

What we hate: U-Pack offers long-distance moves only. If you’re moving locally, our #1 choice for container moves isn’t available, which is a huge bummer.

U-Pack Pros U-Pack Cons
  • Generally less expensive than a full-service moving company
  • Transparent pricing
  • Easy-to-use website where you can get an instant quote
  • Fast container delivery with an online tracker
  • Add-on moving services are available when you book
  • Multiple container sizes and a large moving trailer available with a pay-for-the-space-you-use policy
  • Someone else handles driving/shipping so you don’t have to
  • Great service coverage, even in rural areas
  • Competitive pricing on 100- to 250-mile moves
  • Monthly storage
  • Sells packing supplies
  • Stricter cancellation policy than some companies (canceling within a week of your move could mean steep fees)
  • No local moves
  • Tend to be more expensive for cross-country moves
  • 27-foot trailers are tough to park and pack because of their size
  • Onsite storage isn’t offered, and you only get up to three business days to pack and unpack your containers 

Learn more about U-Pack through our moving experiences:

Read our full U-Pack review.

U-Box pros and cons

What we love: U-Box is less expensive than a lot of other portable storage container movers in many circumstances, and it gives you a truly customizable experience where you can add on options like loading services from third-party companies, or keep your move totally DIY to keep the cost down.

What we hate: U-Box containers just don’t stack up to the competition’s. They’re made of plywood, so we don’t trust them to be totally weatherproof. Plus, some users wrote in reviews that the containers broke during transit.

U-Box Pros U-Box Cons
  • You can haul the containers yourself on a trailer or leave the driving to the pros if you’d rather
  • 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
  • You can get a free moving estimate online
  • Prices often cheaper than full-service movers and other moving container companies
  • International moves are available to just about any shipping port
  • Provides local and long-distance moves
  • 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 our 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 offered 

Read our full U-Haul U-Box review.

U-Pack vs. U-Box: Services and availability

Most container moving companies operate with the same basic business model. They deliver containers to your old address and you pack your stuff into the containers, then the company handles driving or shipping them to your new address so you can unpack them there. That’s pretty much how moving with either a U-Pack Relocube or U-Haul U-Box works, but the companies both do more than that.

Here is what U-Pack offers compared to U-Haul U-Box.

U-Pack U-Box
Moving
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 to purchase
Free cancellation or modification

(Up to the day of your move)

Here are the places U-Pack and U-Box serve.

U-Pack U-Box
Available in the U.S.? All 50 states and Puerto Rico All 50 states
Available in Canada? Yes Yes
Available internationally? No Yes (you can ship a U-Box to almost any international port)

U-Pack services and availability

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

Like many moving container companies, you can add professional labor to your reservation for an extra fee, but it’s not 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. 

Compared to U-Haul, U-Pack lacks some flexibility in this area. For example, you’ll only have three days to load your container, whereas U-Box allows you to hold onto the container indefinitely. If your new home isn’t ready or you simply need storage, U-Pack will store the Relocube at its secure facility, but the company double underlines that their storage is not climate-controlled, which can leave valuable goods vulnerable to damage. 

U-Pack also isn’t as easy to book at the last minute, which shouldn’t be much of a concern if you’re able to plan your move in advance. 

Not sure where you stand yet? Check out U-Pack vs the alternatives.

U-Haul U-Box services and availability

U-Haul has 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. This allows them to offer competitive last-minute availability at its many convenient locations. Their strong demand also allows them to accommodate last-minute changes or cancellations without much penalty. 

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

The flexibility of U-Box is another big plus. While U-Pack only allows you to hold onto your storage containers for the time it takes to load them, U-Haul U-Boxes can be kept on your property, delivered to your new home, or securely stored at a U-Haul facility of your choosing.  

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

While U-Pack offers similar services to U-Box and both have large service areas with great availability, their containers are one of the key differences between the two. Here’s howU-Pack Relocube containers compare to U-Box.

U-Pack U-Box
How many container sizes are available? 2 1
What are the container sizes? 5’10” Relocube
27’ trailers (only pay for how much space you use)
8-foot
Storage available for all container sizes? Yes Yes
Cubic footage available? 305–1,800 cf 280 cf
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’s containers are made of treated plywood and come with a cover to help protect them from the elements.

Wood is obviously not nearly as durable as metal, and there are plenty of online reviews from people who used U-Box and had the containers arrive at their final location 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?

U-Pack and U-Box both offer a budget-friendly alternative to full-service movers. But keep in mind that both companies allow you to customize your move, which can affect the price. There are also so many other factors that go into pricing a move — starting and ending locations, time of year, size of the move, gas prices, etc. — that the average prices we’ve compiled below may not be representative of what your final cost will be.

Before judging either of these companies based on their prices, you should get a personalized quote that’s accurate for your moving needs so you know for sure who can offer you the best price. And remember that when it comes to moving pods, the cheapest is not necessarily the best — you should hire the company that gives you the best services to fit your needs at a fair price.

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

Cost for a local move (< 50 miles)

U-Pack Price U-Box Price
1 bedroom Not available for local moves $150–$600
2-3 bedrooms Not available for local moves $300 – $700
4-5 bedrooms Not available for local moves $300–$800

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

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

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

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

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

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

But don’t let an article on the internet make a decision this huge for you. Before hiring any moving company, you should research multiple options to find one that fits your needs and your 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.

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

FAQs about U-Pack vs. U-Haul U-Box

Can you fit a couch in a U-Box?

Yes, you can fit a couch in a U-Box. U-Boxes are designed to fit common household goods, including furniture, mattresses, and boxes. A U-Box is generally big enough 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. Its internal dimensions are 5′ 10” x 6′ 10” x 7′ 9”. You can rent more than one if necessary or size up to the 28-foot moving trailer, where you’ll 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 across the board, but it’s always a good idea to shop around and compare quotes until you find the best value for your desired services. 

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

It costs between $1,200 and $7,000 to use a U-Pack for a cross-country move. Your cost depends on how many Relocubes you rent or how much space on a moving trailer you use, plus the distance, insurance coverage, and any additional services you select. 

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