Zippy Shell vs PODS: Comparing Costs, Service, and Quality

Overall Opinion: While Zippy Shell and PODS offer very similar services, we think PODS just edged out Zippy Shell because of its more flexible packing and unpacking options, wider variety of container sizes, and better customer service.Considering using a moving container for your move? Be sure to check out our list of the best moving container companies.Zippy Shell and PODS are both container moving companies with very similar business models.

Zippy Shell and PODS are both container moving companies with very similar business models. Both companies allow you to rent a container (or multiple containers), which is then delivered to your property for you to pack and transported to your new address, where you unpack it.

While both companies offer 30-day minimum rentals that include storage, PODS is more flexible because you can keep the containers on your property (and store them there, instead of in a storage facility) for as long as you want to. That means you can take your time to pack and unpack the containers. Zippy Shell, on the other hand, only allows containers to stay on your property for up to three business days.

Then there’s the issue of container sizes. PODS offers three different sizes, ranging from 7 feet to 16 feet long. Zippy Shell advertises two sizes — 10 and 15 feet — but in reality, the 10-foot containers have extremely limited availability. PODS’ multiple container sizes mean you’re more likely to find a container that fits exactly what you need.

When gathering information about both companies, we had a few bad experiences with Zippy Shell’s customer service. Overall, we felt that our move would be in better hands with PODS, and it wins this head-to-head.

Read on for a comprehensive comparison of Zippy Shell vs PODS, and if you’d like more information on either company, check out our Zippy Shell moving review, and our PODS moving review.

Zippy Shell vs PODS: Pros and Cons of Each

When comparing two moving companies, it’s important to look at the pros and cons of each. Here are how the best and worst features of PODS and Zippy Shell compare.

Zippy Shell vs PODS Pros

Zippy Shell Pros PODS Pros
  • Street legal containers perfect for city parking
  • Innovative metal cage containers that promote airflow
  • Expedited and guaranteed delivery options
  • Available for both local and long-distance moves
  • Multiple insurance choices
  • Easily add moving labor help
  • Usually less expensive than hiring full-service movers. See PODS cost.
  • Flexible change and cancelation policies so you can get a full refund if your plans change.
  • 30-day minimum rentals mean you can take your time packing and unpacking.
  • Store on property or at a facility.
  • Moving and storage offered separately, or combined in one order.
  • Multiple container sizes available.
  • You don’t have to haul the containers or drive a truck.
  • Available in almost all states and several countries.
  • Moving supplies can be included.
  • Online shipment tracking.
  • Military discounts.

More pros: PODS.

Zippy Shell vs PODS Cons

Zippy Shell Cons PODS Cons
  • It’s hard to find some important information on their website.
  • No online quotes —  you have to call.
  • We had a few bad experiences with their customer service giving us inaccurate information.
  • You can only keep containers on your property for up to three business days.
  • You can only order one container at a time.
  • Their cancelation policy is less forgiving than we’ve seen from other companies.
  • Availability can be limited — Zippy Shell is only in the U.S., and only has locations in 28 states
  • Containers are slightly smaller than competitors
  • Pricing can be higher than competition
  • No online quotes for long-distance moves — you have to call.
  • Some bookings can only be made by phone; there’s no online option.
  • Availability can be limited because they’re so popular — PODS containers are often sold out up to six months in advance, especially during peak moving times (spring and summer).

Fewer cons: PODS.

As you can see, PODS has more pros and fewer cons than Zippy Shell. But pros and cons don’t tell the whole story. To really know whether Zippy Shell or PODS is right for your move, read on for comparisons of their services, prices, container sizes, and more.

Zippy Shell vs PODS: Services Head to Head

What Zippy Shell and PODS offer is very similar. Both are container moving companies, which means their basic business model involves delivering shipping containers to your home, letting you pack them with your belongings, and then transporting them to your new location.

But that’s not all Zippy Shell and PODS offer. Here’s how services from both companies compare.

Zippy Shell PODS
Storage 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 Can be added on as an optional service, sometimes free of charge
Shipment of Containers to New Address

As you can see, what Zippy Shell and PODS offer is very similar. The biggest differences are:

  • PODS allows you to store containers on your own property for as long as you like, while Zippy Shell only lets you keep the containers for up to three business days, then moves them to a storage facility.
  • PODS doesn’t offer professional help packing or unpacking your containers. With Zippy Shell, you can easily add this service when making your reservation, and the company runs frequent promotions that could mean you get packing or unpacking help at no extra charge.

These two companies also differ in their availability. Both are fairly limited, compared to other nationwide container companies. Here’s how their availability stacks up.

Zippy Shell PODS
Available in the U.S.? In 28 states (but partners with 1-800-PACK-RAT to help increase availability) In 44 states
Available in Canada? No Yes
Available internationally? No Yes, in the U.K. and Australia

Zippy Shell vs PODS: How the Containers Compare

How do the containers themselves compare? Here’s what Zippy Shell and PODS offer.

Zippy Shell PODS
How many container sizes available? 2* 3
What are the container sizes? 10-foot*


Storage available for all container sizes? No, only for 15-foot Yes
Cubic footage available? 385-625 cf 390-1,008 cf
Container material? Metal cage Metal
Weight limit? 4,500 lbs 4,200-5,200 lbs, depending on container size

*Zippy Shell advertises 10-foot containers on its website, but that size has severely limited availability. You’ll have to check with your local Zippy Shell location, but it’s likely that only the 15-foot containers will be available.

Zippy Shell vs PODS Cost

When comparing moving companies, the cost is a major factor. Moving is always expensive, no matter what you do. A company that can save you money has a huge advantage over its competitors.

There are a ton of factors that go into pricing a move, but here’s how average costs stack up for Zippy Shell vs PODS.

Zippy Shell vs PODS Cost for a Local Move

Zippy Shell PODS
1 bedroom $190 – $240 $200 – $400
2-3 bedrooms $300 – $630 $300 – $650
4-5 bedrooms $350 – $750 $300 – $800

Zippy Shell vs PODS Cost for a Move < 250 Miles

Zippy Shell PODS
1 bedroom $500 – $920 $450 – $800
2-3 bedrooms $730 – $1,600 $750 – $1,900
4-5 bedrooms $1,100 – $3,100 $900 – $2,100

Zippy Shell vs PODS Cost for a Cross-Country Move

Zippy Shell PODS
1 bedroom $1,800 – $3,900 $2,000 – $4,000
2-3 bedrooms $2,800 – $4,500 $3,000 – $4,900
4-5 bedrooms $5,200 – $7,000 $5,500 – $7,600

As you can see, the average costs for the two companies are very comparable. But keep in mind that with all the factors that go into a move, the only way to know how much your move will cost is to get a personalized quote based on your needs.

You should get quotes from both Zippy Shell and PODS to accurately compare what each company will cost for your move.

Zippy Shell vs PODS: Online Reviews and Reputation

Both Zippy Shell and PODS are established businesses with experience in container moving. Neither is a fly-by-night organization, so you don’t need to worry about getting outright scammed by either of these companies.

With that said, both Zippy Shell and PODS operate under a franchise model, which means every individual Zippy Shell or PODS location has its own page for Google reviews, Yelp reviews, and Facebook reviews. For PODS, even the Better Business Bureau has a different page for each and every franchise location. This makes it tough to get a good overview of these companies’ online reputations and reviews.

Our best advice: Since every franchise location operates somewhat independently, some will be more professional and offer higher quality services than others. You should do your research about which location you’ll be working with if you book a move with either company, and look up reviews and other information about that specific location to get a better idea of whether other movers have had positive or negative experiences.

Zippy Shell vs PODS: Which One Is Right for Your Move?

Overall, Zippy Shell and PODS have similar offerings. We prefer PODS because of its more flexible rental policy and better customer service. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right choice for you.

You might prefer Zippy Shell if you live in an urban area or on a property that doesn’t have a place where you can park a huge storage container. In that case, Zippy Shell’s smaller, street-parking-legal containers might make the company a better option for you.

However, if you need storage on your own property rather than at a facility, PODS is the better choice, since Zippy Shell doesn’t allow that.

You should get a personalized moving quote from both Zippy Shell and PODS if you’re interested in moving with a container company. The price may end up being the deciding factor for you, or maybe one company will have a promotion or special offer that makes it the better choice.

Zippy Shell and PODS aren’t your only choices when planning a move. Compare prices and get instant quotes from multiple movers to compare prices and services.

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