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U-Pack Review

Leading Long-Distance Moving Container Service
U-Pack is a highly rated moving container company famous for its low-cost moving cubes and flexible services. In our in-depth U-Pack review, we’ll explain how the company works and how it measures up to the competition. We’ll cover everything from U-Pack’s cost to its policies, reputation, and more.

    Most Competitive Pricing

    Our Overall Rating88%
    Top Services
    • Long-Distance
    • Interstate
    Updated for June 16, 2021
    • Is Active Active
    • USDOT Licence# 2632086

    Relocating across the country can be costly. Long-distance moves with full-service moving companies can run as high as $12,000. But not everyone needs such a high level of service. Working with one of the best moving container companies, like U-Pack, can be a great way to reduce your moving costs.

    In our review, we’ll take a close look at U-Pack’s:

    • Transparency and customer service policies
    • Moving costs and fees
    • Available moving services
    • Reputation and customer reviews

    If you’re on the hunt for a budget-friendly moving company, U-Pack provides a DIY option with rave customer reviews. We’ve done in-depth research to answer your questions about U-Pack’s services, what it’s like to use its ReloCube moving containers, pricing details, and helpful tips for working with the company.

    Most Competitive Pricing

    4.4
    • Long-Distance Moving Container Service
    • Portable Storage Service at U-Pack Warehouse
    • Negligence & Catastrophic Liability Coverage

    U-Pack Overview

    U-Pack is considered a long-distance moving container company. Instead of hiring a traditional team of movers with a truck, container companies give you the flexibility to pack and store items without the cost of the extra labor. While this may sound like a novel way to move compared to using a full-service moving company, U-Pack has been around since 1997. They’ve built a strong reputation over their 20+ years of experience providing thousands of moves.

    Review Category

    U-Pack Rating

    Industry Average Rating

    In-Depth Review

    Transparency

    100%

    80%

    U-Pack Transparency Review

    Cost

    95%

    85%

    U-Pack Cost Review

    Services

    75%

    75%

    U-Pack Services Review

    Reputation

    100%

    80%

    U-Pack Reputation Review

    Overall

    93%

    80%

    Get A Quote

    Here’s how it works:

    • Drop-Off. U-Pack drops off a storage unit three days before your move so you can pack it up yourself.
    • Pick Up & Ship. Their partner company, ABF Freight, then swings by to pick up the filled container and head to your new home.
    • Unload. Once the container arrives, you have three days to unload it before it is removed.

    While this does save money, packing a container by yourself is not for everyone. Here are a few crucial pros and cons to know about the company before we dive in deeper:

    Pros

    • $600 less on average than the industry standard
    • Highly positive reviews from customers
    • Flexibility for short and long-term storage
    • Ample liability coverage options
    • Available in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Canada

    Cons

    • Does not handle local or intrastate moves—only moves of 150+ miles across state lines
    • Customers handle loading and unloading on their own
    • No long-term storage available on site

    Can U-Pack Move Me?

    Save time and get the answers you need right away with a free quote from U-Pack.

    U-Pack vs Competitors

    Here’s a quick look at U-Pack compared to some of its biggest competitors:

    U-PACK PODS 1-800-PACK-RAT International Van Lines American Van Lines

    Quote

    Free Quote Free Quote Free Quote Free Quote

    Free Quote

    Local

    No Yes Yes Yes

    Yes

    Long-Distance

    Yes Yes Yes Yes

    Yes

    Transparency Rating

    100% 95% 90% 95%

    100%

    Cost Rating

    95% 95% 95% 100%

    100%

    Services Rating

    75% 85% 85% 100%

    100%

    Reputation Rating

    100% 100% 95% 90%

    80%

    Overall Rating 93% 93.7% 91.2% 96.2%

    95%

    U-Pack Transparency

    Our U-Pack Review: 100%

    Industry Average: 80%

    It’s not uncommon to worry about scams when hiring something as important as a moving company. Luckily, U-Pack has received top marks for reliability, communication, and transparency about pricing.

    We’ll walk you through the free quote process so you know what to expect:

    Getting a Quote

    One thing we love about U-Pack is its easy estimate process. Enter your origin, destination, and the size of your home, and U-Pack will provide an instant estimate. You don’t even have to enter your email address.

    Once you start your reservation, you have the option to make changes to your moving and delivery preferences. Past customers have also reported success working on the phone with a representative for specific company offers.

    Once you lock in the price with a credit card, there are no hidden fees. But your price can change if you update your moving needs before your move date.

    Reservations & Contracts

    Unlike a full-service moving company or truck rental, U-Pack is very clear about the costs for its interstate and cross-country moves. Without add-ons like packing, supplies, and loading labor, you know exactly where your money is going.

    The reservation form breaks down your guaranteed price in detail, including:

    • Your contact information
    • Drop-off address
    • Moving date
    • Delivery date options and estimated arrival in business days
    • Number and size of ReloCube containers
    • Add-on services like liability insurance and guaranteed arrival date

    Pay for What You Use

    One of the best details about U-Pack pricing is that you only pay for the space and containers you use. If you overestimate the space you need and never fill a ReloCube or part of the container, you won’t be charged for using all of it. Use U-Pack’s space estimator to get started.

    You are only charged for your move after the designated ABF U-Pack driver picks up your container and confirms the space used.

    Communication & Expectations

    U-Pack’s straightforward pick-up and drop-off process means there are fewer opportunities for things to go wrong compared to working with a full-service mover. Many U-Pack reviews praise the company for its clarity and customer service. While there are a few reviews that mention mishaps like delayed shipping or incorrect drop-off locations, the majority of the sentiment is positive.

    Important Policies

    Here are some key policies you should know about your move with U-Pack:

    • Schedule. Since timing is a bit more flexible than using full-service movers, U-Pack offers two options: 1. Estimated arrival of your container for delivery to your new home, or 2. Exact delivery date for an extra fee. If you choose the second option and your container doesn’t arrive on the guaranteed move date, you are reimbursed 100% of your transportation fees.
    • Parking. Customers must clear overnight parking with their city before the container arrives. There must also be at least a 40 X 10 X 14 foot space for the length, width, and height of the trailer and ramp.
    • Storage. U-Pack does not charge you for long-term storage unless you need it—which is a huge plus. Add months of storage during your quote process either in a ReloCube or a trailer. The container cannot be kept in the original parking space, however. It is instead stored at a local service center until you need it back. You will not have access to your items while stored.
    • Do-Not-Pack List. U-Pack includes a list of items to avoidwhen packing your pod. Items on the list are either flammable, combustible, explosive, or perishable. It also includes delicate items like antiques, plants, and of course, pets.
    • Cancellations. You can cancel your move with U-Pack up to 7 days before your moving date. After seven days, you will be charged a $50 fee or $150 if you cancel on the day of your move.

    Most Competitive Pricing

    4.4
    • Long-Distance Moving Container Service
    • Portable Storage Service at U-Pack Warehouse
    • Negligence & Catastrophic Liability Coverage

    U-Pack Cost

    Our U-Pack Review: 95%

    Industry Average: 85%

    It’s easy to break down the price of your move by requesting a free quote on U-Pack’s site. Typical pricing for U-Pack moves range anywhere from $700 to $5,000, depending on a number of factors, as outlined below.

    U-Pack Cost Factors

    • Size of Your Move. When you start your quote, the website will ask you how many bedrooms you plan to move. In the next step, you have the choice to increase or decrease how much shipping storage you think you’ll need. Remember, you only pay for the space you use in the container, so there is no harm in ordering more space and leaving it empty.
    • Moving Date. Busy season or popular dates can increase the cost of your move. If your quote is high, call a sales representative to speak about the benefits of shifting it a few days in either direction.
    • Distance. U-Pack only handles moves over 150 miles across state lines. The further away your move, the more you will pay. In the final stage of your quote, switch to “terminal-to-terminal” delivery to have your ReloCube or container delivered to a local service center for a lower price.
    • Insurance. Basic catastrophic liability coverage comes with your plan at no extra cost. This includes coverage of $3.00 per pound, per piece—up to $7,500 per ReloCube or $60,000 per trailer. Basic services do not include carrier negligence. For an additional fee, you can increase your plan to include carrier negligence.
    • Premium Services. Premium services like long-term storage, auto shipping, exact date delivery and more can increase your overall cost.

    U-Pack Pricing Examples

    We requested a few quotes on their site to give you a sense of U-Pack’s pricing:

    Moving From/To

    Distance Home Size Cost

    Miami to Atlanta

    664 miles 2 BR $1,287
    Miami to Dallas 1,310 miles 2 BR

    $3,165

    Miami to Los Angeles

    2,732 miles 2 BR $4,121
    Miami to Atlanta 664 miles 3 BR

    $1,655

    Miami to Dallas 1,310 miles 3 BR

    $3,327

    Miami to Los Angeles

    2,732 miles 3 BR $5,307
    Miami to Atlanta 664 miles 4 BR

    $1,971

    Miami to Dallas

    1,310 miles 4 BR

    $4,086

    Miami to Los Angeles 2,732 miles 4 BR

    $5,479

    Note: These estimates may not reflect the actual cost of your move. To find out what your move will cost, simply request a free quote.

    Paying for U-Pack

    A credit card is required to hold your reservation, but you are only changed after the container is picked up. This allows the company to determine how much space was actually used.

    The charge itself can be paid with the original card or by PayPal and must occur before the container arrives at your new home. The company does not accept cash or checks.

    Extra Fees

    While the company is relatively straightforward, there are a few things that can affect your final price after receiving a quote, including:

    • Using more space than expected
    • Changing your date or move address
    • Parking issues or fees
    • Delayed loading/unloading of the container by the customer
    • Misuse of equipment or leftover debris in the container

    Who is U-Pack Best For?

    Based on their price structure, U-Pack is ideal for customers who are comfortable doing all the loading and unloading on their own. The company will recommend trusted packing or loading companies, but it is not included in the U-Pack price. Those looking to save money on long-distance moves will love U-Pack’s price flexibility.

    U-Pack Services

    Our U-Pack Review: 75%

    Industry Average: 75%

    U-Pack is not considered a full-service company. For services like packing, unpacking, and loading the truck, you’ll need to hire an extra set of hands or do it on your own.

    Allowing the customer to pack and unpack the container themselves lowers the final cost, especially for long-distance moves. Here’s an overview of the services that U-Pack does provide and how it all works:

    Broker vs. Carrier

    U-Pack is considered a broker, because it doesn’t own its own fleet of moving trucks. The company pairs up with ABF freight to pick up the shipping containers and drive them to your location. It does, however, manage the whole process from start to finish. Unlike other moving brokers, where you will typically work with a third-party, you will work with U-Pack throughout the entirety of your move.

    Long-Distance Moves Only

    U-Pack only handles moves of more than 150 miles that cross over state lines. They do not provide local or intrastate moving services. The basic service includes:

    • Drop-off of ReloCube container
    • Pick up three days later
    • Transport to your new home
    • Removal of container after three days

    You are responsible for loading and unloading the container within the three-day pick up and drop off windows.

    ReloCube vs Trailer

    When you request a free quote, use the online tool to determine how much packing space you’ll need. U-Pack offers two main options:

    • U-Pack ReloCube: a sturdy storage pod that can fit up to one room of items
    • U-Pack Trailer: a sturdy storage trailer that can fit 3-4 rooms of items

    Rent multiple ReloCubes or a large trailer depending on price efficiency and the size of your home.

    Long-Term Storage

    If you need to keep your items in storage longer than the moving window, U-Pack does offer a monthly storage option for a premium charge. Storage with U-Pack costs $150 per 30 days per container in a non-climate controlled space. Your belongings will be stored at a U-Pack facility, not your home. Additionally, you will not have access to your items while they are in storage with the company.

    Premium Services

    U-Pack offers a number of add-on and premium services, which you can select to best meet your needs:

    • Transit & Arrival: Choose between standard transit of 5-7 business days or upgrade to guaranteed 3-day arrival for an extra fee.
    • Monthly Storage: Add 30 days of storage for $150 if you need to keep your packed items in a local storage center in between moves.
    • Certified Weight Ticket: For an extra fee, U-Pack can provide a weight ticket of your container, typically necessary for military moves.
    • Insurance: You can upgrade your insurance to cover negligence at multiple coverage levels depending on your needs.
    • Auto Shipping: Customers are contacted by a sales rep to set up this service with a trusted company.
    • Online Reservation: Save $25 off your quote when you reserve online.

    U-Pack’s Strengths

    U-Pack  really shines in the DIY moving market. It does not claim to offer help with loading or unloading your items, and it does not provide extra services like packing. However, its long-term partnership with ABF Freight means you don’t have to worry about unreliable transport of your items or unexpected costs along the way.

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    U-Pack Reputation & Customer Reviews

    Our AVL Review: 100%

    Industry Average: 75%

    U-Pack has been operating for over 20 years. They’ve kept their system simple for years. As of 2017, they’ve completed over 1 million moves.

    Since U-Pack does not own a fleet of moving trucks, it partners with ABF Freight, an award-winning trucking company that is highly trusted in the transportation industry.

    U-Pack Google, BBB & Yelp Reviews

    Like other companies, U-Pack reviews vary from location to location. Even so, U-Pack has received an above-average number of positive reviews from past clients.

    As of October 2021, the company had the following reviews:

    • U-Pack Google Reviews: Varies by location
    • U-Pack Yelp Reviews: Varies by location
    • U-Pack BBB Reviews: A+ rating, 4.14/5 stars (231 reviews)

    Read a U-Pack Testimonial

    U-Pack Made It Easy
    IVL Testimonial
    Lenora's International Van Lines Review
    Easy to book, flexible and priced right. Every single person I spoke to was extremely helpful and kind. I was amazed at how helpful everyone was. Moving is stressful. U-Pack made it easy.

    U-Pack Customer Feedback

    Here are some of the most common compliments and complaints for U-Pack:

    Common Compliments

    Common Complaints

    Schedule flexibility

    Attentive communication

    Great quotes and value

    Expert service

    Last-minute pricing issues

    Delivery delays after pickup

    Damaged items due to carrier negligence en route

    Let’s take a closer look at these compliments and complaints by examining some real customer reviews:

    Customer Service & Communication

    Many customers that tackled large-scale moves were pleased with their U-Pack experience.

    For example, one client from Yelp outlined a complex move from Florida. The ReloCubes were easy to book, arrived on time, and made it to their new home in 14 days—the beginning of their predicted window. The customer was also able to track their process online from the quote to the moving day.

    It’s important to note that of the few negative reviews in the category, the most consistent complaint regarded last-minute cancellations.

    Value

    It appears that many customers are attracted to U-Pack for their cost-saving flexibility. Money does come up a lot in reviews, almost always in a positive light.

    For example, Alan S. on BBB reported, “Not only was the price a fraction of what I am used to paying, but the customer service was outstanding and the drivers I dealt with were first-class experts.”

    Other customers were pleasantly surprised to have their prices matched, lowered for making small changes, or significantly lower than its competitors.

    Efficiency

    Outside of scheduling issues, which we’ll go into more below, customers raved that U-Pack is:

    • Easy to book
    • Quick to drop off and pick up the containers
    • Ready to answer questions or address concerns

    Since the company does not handle packing or loading services, general efficiency doesn’t play as large a role in the reviews as other companies.

    Handling with Care

    It’s hard to find any complaints about damaged items that don’t involve third parties occasionally hired by U-Pack for certain areas of the country. In most cases, reviewers were impressed that there were not damaged or disturbed items when the truck arrived.

    If you are concerned about fragile items or a particularly long move, the extra liability insurance is worth the cost for the rare instance of damage.

    Reliability

    The largest issue we spotted in the reviews was a delay in receiving packed shipping containers after pickup. Several customers on Google and Yelp mention that the driver missed the delivery window by several days.

    On BBB, we noted a customer complaining that their cube had yet to arrive. The customer noted, “I was told 3-5 business days to transport our belongings from St. Louis to Phoenix. It’s going on 8 business days and our belongings aren’t delivered.” In this case, BBB shows that U-Pack responded to the customers’ concerns with an update on their shipment and offered compensation for the missed delivery window.

    Even so, many other customers have praised the company for maintaining pick up and drop off schedules according to plan.

    U-Pack FAQs

    Is U-Pack cheaper than PODS?

    If you’re moving long-distance, U-Pack is a great way to save money. However, since PODS handles local moves at a comparatively low price, U-Pack will often recommend switching over if you don’t meet the minimum mileage requirements.

    How big is a Relocube?

    Relocubes measure 5’10” deep x 6’10” wide x 7’9″ high and carry up to 2,5000 pounds. The website’s FAQ section notes that Relocubes can fit:

    • One room of items
    • Any standard-sized mattress
    • Box springs
    • Chest of drawers
    • Dining room sets
    • Sofas between 83″ and 92″ depending on whether it can be stood on its side

    Can I park a Relocube in a city?

    ReloCubes and trailers can be dropped off in any U-Pack-available city as long as you meet the parking measurement requirements. You should always check with your local parking administration. In many cases, you will need to purchase a permit for long-term parking within a city.

    Get a Free U-Pack Quote

    If you’re looking to cut costs of a cross-country move and have the manpower to load and unload the container yourself, U-Pack is a dependable and time-tested business. However, we always recommend comparing quotes from at least three moving companies to get the services and rates for your needs.

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