Best Moving Container Companies (2024)

By Sean Donnelly Updated January 29, 2024

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Renting a moving container is a great way to stage a DIY move while allowing a professional to transport your belongings. Container moves offer price points that are a bit higher than moving truck rentals but lower than full-service moves. Further, container rental companies often provide access to add-on services and packing supplies. Here, we’ve outlined our top choices for the best moving container companies. You should get quotes from at least three providers to establish cost and service expectations before booking.

Did You Know?

388 movers requested and received a free no-obligation quote from one of the above companies in the last 30 days.

 


 

The Best Moving Container Companies

The best-rated moving container companies include:

 


 

If you’re still considering a full-service moving company, we’ve listed the best moving companies here:

 


 

Best Overall Container Provider: 1-800-PACK-RAT

Fast Facts:

What We Like

1-800-PACK-RAT is our pick for the best overall container moving company. It has a more limited service area than some of its competitors, but it offers weather-resistant, all-steel storage containers in three sizes.

The capacities of 1-800-PACK-RAT’s containers can easily accommodate most smaller moves without requiring customers to rent more than one. As a bonus, no money is due until 48 hours before your scheduled delivery window.

Cost

You can get pricing estimates from 1-800-PACK-RAT online. Simply input your origin and destination zip codes, then select your desired containers, delivery date, and storage terms, and you’ll get a bottom-line price. When you book through this provider, you won’t have to pay anything up-front.

Services Offered

Containers from 1-800-PACK-RAT are offered for long-distance and local moves, plus on-site and secure storage. If you live within 100 miles of a 1-800-PACK-RAT storage facility, you’ll have access to the moving and storage options it provides. Its 8-, 12-, and 16-foot container options measure up favorably to its competitors and cost less than a full-service move with a major van line. The provider also offers tiered content protection plans with its steel containers if you’re moving valuable items.

Read more: 1-800-PACK-RAT Review

 


 

Best for Large Moves: U-Pack

Fast Facts:

What We Like

U-Pack is one of the foremost companies for DIY moves of all sizes, offering both container and trailer rentals. It provides fewer size options than other container providers but makes up for this with its large trailer option and speedy shipping.

U-Pack exclusively provides long-distance moves with its 27-foot moving trailers and 8-foot ReloCube storage units. ReloCubes can fit most single rooms or studio apartments, while the trailer option can fit most three- or four-bedroom homes. U-Pack also offers a “pay for what you use” pricing structure, ensuring you never pay for more space than you need.

Cost

U-Pack’s quote process is streamlined and straightforward. Like most container movers, you’ll only have to provide your origin and destination cities and the size of your home to get a ballpark estimate. Such estimates are typically accurate since volume and distance are the only factors taken into account.

Services Offered

U-Pack only services long-distance moves of 150 miles or more. Each service center provides streamlined pickup and delivery services at your old and new home with three-day windows at each end for loading and unloading. In addition, you can book moving labor assistance through its partnership with Moving Staffers.

 


 

Most Straightforward Pricing: PODS

Fast Facts:

What We Like

PODS–or Personal On-Demand Storage–is the premier name in the DIY moving industry. It offers three weatherproof container sizes for moving and storage needs and is a go-to choice for on-site and climate-controlled storage services.

With locations throughout most of the United States, PODS provides a streamlined moving process from container delivery at your old home to unloading at your new residence.

Cost

PODS’ quote process is similar to those of other container providers. Aside from offering an estimated range of $349–$549 for local moves, PODS will provide you with accurate cost information for long-distance and multicontainer rentals when you submit basic information about your move online. All container rentals come with 30 days of storage and include pickup, drop-off, and transportation fees (if applicable).

Services Offered

PODS provides local and long-distance moving assistance plus short- and long-term storage solutions. Its 30-day rental period with all container rentals makes it easy to load and unload at your own pace, regardless of your needs. All services provided have competitive pricing and flexible cancellation policies if your plans change. Note that any PODS order for moving or storage must be canceled by 4 p.m. local time three business days before your scheduled delivery date.

 


 

Best Access to Add-On Services: Allied Express

 Fast Facts:

What We Like

Allied Van Lines is a full-service moving company that has more than 500 locations spread across 50 states. While Allied provides professional movers for most of the relocations it takes on, it also offers a portable storage container option called Allied Express.

Allied Express advertises itself as a direct competing option to PODS. As the name suggests, Allied Express is an expedited moving option for smaller to mid-size moves and is primarily offered for long-distance relocations. If you book with this provider, you’ll be treated to its breadth of industry experience, which lends more peace of mind to clients during the moving process.

Cost

You’ll have to fill out a quote form online to find out your moving container cost. In our experience, moving quotes from Allied Van Lines are generated quickly. When ordering a shipping container from this provider, your quote will include labor for loading and unloading and storage in a secure facility.

Services Offered

Allied Express is a solid intermediate option between a full-service move and a DIY container move—you’ll have the security of a long-standing full-service mover with the convenience of a portable moving container. Allied offers guaranteed delivery at both your origin and destination locations, moving labor included with your rental, and a reimbursement of $75 per day in the event of late container delivery.

Read more: Allied Van Lines Review

 


 

Most Widely Available: U-Haul U-Box

Fast Facts:

What We Like

U-Haul U-Box is one of the most widely available container options for a range of moving needs. While U-Haul is a viable option for moves of almost any size, U-Box’s dimensions make it a better choice for college students and local movers in busy urban environments.

Most U-Haul moving and storage centers serve as retailers that can offer add-ons and moving supplies aside from moving truck and container rentals.

Cost

U-Haul U-Box advertises that its online quotes are all-inclusive and have no hidden fees. U-Boxes cost around $200 for initial rental periods—which include one month of storage—along with pickup and delivery. Additional months of storage cost up to $100 per unit per month.

Services Offered

U-Haul is nominally a DIY moving marketplace and company. It offers moving trucks and U-Boxes for all sizes of DIY moves. An added benefit is that it partners with HireAHelper. Through this service, you can hire individuals to complete add-on moving services, such as packing, unpacking, loading, and unloading.

 


 

How to Pick a Container Moving Company

When you get quotes from any moving and storage container company, there are a few factors you should consider before choosing one to ensure a positive moving experience.

Service Offerings

If you aren’t looking to stage a total DIY move, then added services are important. Most container providers can refer you to a local mover if you need labor for help with loading and unloading. Additionally, some providers—such as Allied Express—can offer car shipping and international moving services.

Customer Reviews

Even if a moving container provider has a positive overall reputation, reviews for its individual branches and locations will vary. Before booking, look into customer feedback for locations near your origin and destination to ensure your service quality expectations and moving needs will be met.

Size Options

As illustrated above, different moving container and storage companies offer different container sizes. Some providers only offer a single container size, while others offer three or more options. Most container providers also offer cost calculators online to ensure that you rent the correct container for your needs.

 


 

What Factors Influence Your Container Move’s Cost?

Moving container providers have a few core factors that affect moving quotes and price ranges. These are the following:

These prices are far more straightforward than any estimate you’ll get from a full-service moving company. Even when you opt for a container for a cross-country move, there are fewer determining cost factors.

 


 

Our Recommendation

As is the case with any upcoming move, we recommend getting several different quotes before you decide on a moving company. This can range from looking at our best moving companies for your full-service local or long-distance moving needs to getting estimates from the container providers listed here. We suggest considering 1-800-PACK-RAT and U-Pack for your moving container needs. If you need expedited long-distance service with moving labor included, then Allied Express is probably the best choice for you.

 


 

How We Chose the Top Container Moving Companies

We researched and analyzed dozens of full- and self-service moving companies and formulated a moving review methodology based on a number of factors, including package options, pricing, and reputation. We also identified customer pain points based on customer-review analysis, proprietary consumer surveys, and interviews with former and current moving professionals.

Speaking directly to a representative at each company, we determined the number of package options available, the coverage provided, the types of moves available (long-distance, local, and international), and any extra perks offered, such as mobile apps, moving checklists, and 24/7 customer service.

We also gathered pricing data from each of the companies and determined whether they provide ballpark estimates or binding quotes. To determine reputation, we evaluated companies based on their rating with the Better Business Bureau as well as their overall score on Yelp.

Container Moving Company FAQ

What can’t I move in a moving container?

Most container providers have lists of items that you should not pack. These include the following:Flammable chemicalsGasoline, oil, or any fuel sourceBatteriesToxic cleanersFertilizer and live plantsPerishable food items

Do all container rentals come with a month of storage?

Many moving containers’ initial rental terms include a month of storage in the price. Typically, you can store your unit(s) on-site or at a secure facility. However, moving your unit to an off-site storage facility could lead to added transportation costs.

Can I purchase additional insurance for any move?

Most container companies will provide some added insurance coverage options. However, note that many insurance plans have clauses that exclude heirlooms and personal documents. If you’re moving an antique or high-value item in a moving container, you should consider hiring movers to crate or specially pack them before moving.