If you’re moving long-distance, booking a container rental service such as PODS (Portable on Demand Storage) is a viable alternative to a full-service moving company. PODS is one of the most well-known moving and storage options in the United States, allowing you to rent its portable containers to load and unload on your time line. We’ve broken down PODS’ benefits, drawbacks, services, and more to help you determine if it’s the right company for you.
Fast Facts About PODS
- Founded: 1998
- State availability: 46 and Washington D.C.
- Service model: Self-service
- Standout service: Rental of mobile moving and storage containers
Benefits and Drawbacks of PODS
PODS provides flexible solutions that give you the time to pack and unpack on your schedule. However, it doesn’t offer prorated rates if you use the container for less than one month of storage.
➕ Delivers a moving container to your home
➕ Has transparent pricing information on its website
➕ Provides flexible moving options that allow you to operate on your schedule
➖ Doesn’t have prorated pricing for less than 30 days of pod use
➖ Doesn’t provide international moving services
PODS provides flexible, nontraditional moving services that allow more customization than a traditional moving company. The company drops off a container at your current home when you’re ready, and you can keep it as long as you need so that you can load and unload the pod at your own pace. The company will then drop off the container at your new home and pick it up when you’re done.
PODS moving containers come in three different sizes for you to choose from:
PODS’ containers are steel-framed and weather-resistant. They feature a roll-up door that provides extra room to pack your items while giving ground-level access. PODS even lets you hold onto your keys during the move to provide additional peace of mind.
It’s important to note that the 12-foot container is only available for local moves. You can also visit the PODS website to see a chart that helps you determine which container is best for your needs.
PODS City Service
If you’re moving within a major city, PODS provides specialized city moving that connects you with a team of experts familiar with driving on city streets and will stay with your containers as you load and unload, protecting you from having your items stolen or lost. PODS City Service is available in the following areas:
- Los Angeles
- New Jersey
- New York City
- San Diego
- San Francisco
- Washington, D.C.
PODS is available for commercial and business moving. PODS for Business can help arrange transportation logistics for your company and deliver storage containers on-site or place them in a storage facility.
PODS doesn’t directly offer moving labor, but it can connect you to third-party services in your area that assist with loading and packing.
While PODS won’t ship your vehicle, it can connect you with one of its preferred car shipping services.
PODS is available in 46 states and Washington, D.C. PODS is unavailable in Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, and Wyoming. Although it doesn’t have physical locations in Vermont and West Virginia, PODS can service locations in some areas of those and neighboring states. Additionally, PODS provides moving container and storage services in Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom.
PODS storage units start at $149 per month, plus container delivery and pickup fees, which average $74.99 per month.* PODS calculates your moving cost based on your location, how many containers you need, the time of year you’re moving, and whether you’ll store your container at your property or need it in a PODS storage center.
PODS doesn’t require an up-front deposit for booking, and payments aren’t due until seven days before delivery. PODS offers full cancellation if you contact the company three days before your first container is delivered. You also need to call before 4 p.m.
Since PODS containers are rented month-to-month, you can add more time with it if needed for an additional monthly fee. However, there is no prorated pricing if you want to use the pod for less than 30 days. PODS also provides a 10% discount for active, retired, and veteran military members.
*Cost data via PODS.
What Homeowner Reviews Say About PODS
After reading numerous reviews, we found that PODS’ customer feedback is mostly positive across multiple review platforms. Many of the positive reviews we read stated that the container was well-built, durable, and easy to move items in and out of. Several others commented on the drivers’ professionalism and the straightforward pricing information.
Most of the negative reviews we read about PODS mentioned issues with customer service, long phone wait times, unhelpful representatives, and missed delivery dates.
Here’s a sample of what we found reading customer reviews online:
“Our move was from Boise, Idaho, to Fresno, California. Our pods were delivered and picked up on schedule every step of the way. All drivers we encountered were professional, friendly, and courteous. We strapped everything down as recommended by PODS. Our items were all intact with no damage. I could not be more satisfied.” —Sandra via Trustpilot on July 9, 2023
“The process was clearly explained and happened exactly as it was explained. The POD was easy to load and unload. Nothing moved or was damaged in transition. The timing needed to load, transport and unload was spot on! Pleasure doing business with PODS.” —Kim via Trustpilot on July 5, 2023
“They dropped off the POD four hours after the given window. It wouldn’t be a big deal, but they didn’t give me an update until two hours after I was expecting the container. On top of that, when I finally got the container, I couldn’t get it open, and no one could come back for several days. I had movers scheduled, and this really ruined the plans we had.” —Kendra via Trustpilot on June. 24, 2023
“Everything is great until you need to access your pod. They require a 24-hour notice. Their chat feature [is terrible]; they constantly disconnect, so you can’t get far. Then, you experience a 15-minute hold to speak with someone who tells you that you’re just outside the 24-hour window. If PODS would only get their chat feature working properly or hold time under control, I could have given them a 72-hour notice. It’s stupid for their reps to want to make a point about their 24-hour window when they don’t provide the service that allows paying customers to provide that.” —Art Camacho via Trustpilot on May 19, 2023
How PODS Compares to the Competition
Review the table below to compare our top recommended full-service moving providers.
|Star Rating||BBB Rating||Link|
|International Van Lines||B||VISIT SITE|
|American Van Lines||A||VISIT SITE|
|Moving APT||B||VISIT SITE|
|JK Moving||A+||VISIT SITE|
|North American||A+||VISIT SITE|
|United Van Lines||A+||VISIT SITE|
PODS is a top choice for local, interstate, and long-distance moves, especially if you plan to pack and unpack your items. PODS provides flexibility and reduces moving stress. You can also count on it for straightforward pricing information and to take the hassle of driving your items in a moving truck off the table. Before making a decision for any move, we recommend requesting free quotes from at least three full-service and self-service moving companies to find the best provider for your needs.
Which PODS container size should I choose?
The best container size for you will vary depending on your home’s size and storage needs. An 8-foot PODS container is a smart choice for a studio or one-bedroom apartment that is usually at or below 500 square feet. A 12-foot container works best for small apartments, such as those between 500 and 800 square feet, or two to three small bedrooms.
A 16-foot container, meanwhile, works well for large three- or four-bedroom homes up to 1,200 square feet. If your space exceeds 1,200 square feet or you have additional items to store, you may need to get more than one pod.
Can I load my car into a PODS container?
No, PODS doesn’t allow your vehicle to be loaded into a container. However, it can connect you with a car transportation service to bring your vehicle to its new home.
How are PODS containers moved?
PODS containers are moved via a hydraulic level lift system called “PODZILLA,” which gets the container onto a truck. This process helps keep your items contained while in transport. The PODZILLA system needs approximately two parking spaces worth of room to lift the container.
Does PODS offer protection coverage?
Yes, PODS offers protection coverage. You can select between content protection for your container and the contents inside or protection for just the container itself. If your homeowners insurance policy covers your items, you may want to only add protection for the physical container.
How We Chose the Top Moving Providers
We researched and analyzed dozens of full- and self-service moving companies and formulated a moving review methodology based on several factors, such as 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 company and determined whether they provide ballpark estimates or binding quotes. Finally, to determine reputation, we evaluated companies based on their rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and their overall score on Google Reviews.