Home > Moving Resources > 1-800-PACK-RAT vs PODS: Services, Cost & More [2022 Review]

1-800-PACK-RAT vs PODS: Services, Cost & More [2022 Review]

Moving container services can be the ideal solution if you aren’t comfortable driving a moving truck on your own or don't want to pay the steep pricing of a full-service move. In this article, we'll compare two of the most prominent container companies available today. Here's everything you need to know about 1-800-PACK-RAT vs PODS.

    At Pro Mover Reviews, we’ve reviewed hundreds of moving companies across the country. If you’re considering working with either 1-800-PACK-RAT or PODS Moving and Storage, be sure to read our comprehensive 1-800-PACK-RAT vs PODS guide before you book your moving date.

    Best Long Distance Moving Container

    1-800 Pack Rat

    4.5
    • Local & Long-Distance Moving Container Company
    • Storage On Your Property or at PACK-RAT Facility
    • Three Container Sizes (8', 12' & 16')

    Most Convenient Service

    PODS

    4.6
    • Local & Long-Distance Moving Container Service
    • Can Store PODS on Property or Storage Facility
    • Three Container Sizes (7', 12' & 16')

    Summary

    No time to review our entire 1-800-PACK-RAT vs. PODS? Need an opinion on which company you should use quickly?  Read on to view a summary of the benefits and drawbacks that come with using either of these moving container services.

     

    Pros Cons
    1-800-PACK-RAT
    • Includes $10,000 worth of content protection on all long-distance moves
    • Containers made of steel provide superior protection against the elements
    • Can negotiate rates over the phone
    • Not available in all areas
    • Pricing structure can be confusing
    • Not as many add-ons available
    PODS
    • Available throughout the country and in Canada
    • More add-on services available
    • Full refunds so long as you cancel at least 24-hours before your scheduled moving date
    • Long-distance moves must be booked at least six weeks in advance of the date that you plan to move
    • Containers are constructed with a steel frame vs. PACK-RAT’s all-steel construction
    • Only local quotes available online

     

    What is a Moving Container Company?

    If you’re like most homeowners making a major move, you’ve probably been scouring the internet looking for tips that you can use to make your move affordable. While renting a moving truck remains the cheapest way to move long-distance, this option isn’t right for everyone. For example, your auto insurance policy might not cover these types of larger vehicles, or you may not feel comfortable operating one. You may require a commercial moving vehicle with special licensure if you’re moving a very large home. If you don’t have a driver’s license, you cannot rent a moving truck at all.

    Moving container services offer you a blend of affordability and convenience. Moving container providers drop off a large, weatherproof storage container at your current home, where you’ll load it with your things. Most moving companies provide you with multiple days to fully load your container, which can be a major benefit if you want to avoid rushing your move because you’re prone to injuries or you’re moving with an older family member.

    After you complete your packing process, your moving container company will return to your home to pick the container up. They will then transport the container on your behalf to your new home or to a storage unit if your move-in and move-out dates don’t exactly line up. Many moving container services offer online GPS tracking availability that allows you to see where your shipment is in real time. When you arrive at your new home, you’ll have another window of time to unload your things and put your new home together.

    When you’re finished unpacking your container, the moving container company you work with will then return to your property to pick up the container. If you need more time or onsite storage, you can usually book your container for additional time in exchange for a storage fee. Though moving with a moving container service requires a bit more elbow grease when compared to full-service moves, these companies can provide a viable and low-cost alternative to the traditional moving truck.

    What is 1-800-PACK-RAT?

    1-800-PACK-RAT is a portable moving container and storage service that maintains a wide network of moving vehicles, storage spaces, and container types to help you move anywhere in the country. 1-800-PACK-RAT was founded in 2001 when a North Carolina resident who would eventually become the founder of PACK-RAT sketched out a design for a steel storage space that would protect contents from the elements. After connecting with heavy machinery manufacturers, 1-800-PACK-RAT began offering an innovative container moving service that allowed containers to be loaded onto a moving truck without shifting.

    In the years that followed, 1-800-PACK-RAT expanded to more than 50 locations beyond the North Carolina area. Today, the company is able to provide services in most parts of the United States. 1-800-PACK-RAT’s team prides itself on continuously investing in new container options and listening to and responding to as many customer complaints and comments as possible.

    Best Long Distance Moving Container

    4.5
    • Local & Long-Distance Moving Container Company
    • Storage On Your Property or at PACK-RAT Facility
    • Three Container Sizes (8', 12' & 16')

    What is PODS?

    Many customers are not aware that the word “PODS” is an acronym that stands for “Portable On-Demand Storage.” PODS is one of the most well-known moving container services in the industry and is largely responsible for bringing public awareness to the concept of container moves. PODS has become so well-known that some moving professionals even use the phrase “pod” and “moving container” interchangeably.

    Peter Warhurst founded PODS in 1998 to expand his family’s small storage business to more parts of the country. Warhurst designed the first PODS container and patented a hydraulic lifting system that makes it easier for drivers to load containers. This invention helped drivers prevent some of the most common back and muscle injuries sustained while moving. Today, PODS is one of the largest moving container services in the industry, operating in a variety of industries throughout the United States and Canada.

    Most Convenient Service

    4.6
    • Local & Long-Distance Moving Container Service
    • Can Store PODS on Property or Storage Facility
    • Three Container Sizes (7', 12' & 16')

    Container Options

    1-800-PACK-RAT’s primary product is its portable moving containers. The company currently offers three size choices for both local and long-distance moves.

    • Small: 1-800-PACK-RAT’s small container measures 8.5 x 7.2. x 7.8 ft and provides about 404 cubic feet of space. This container usually holds about one to two rooms’ worth of belongings and can support a total load of up to 4,000 pounds. 1-800-PACK-RAT recommends this size for college students moving into a dorm or small apartment and any other small moves.
    • Medium: PACK-RAT’s medium container measures 12 x 7.8 x 7.5 ft. and provides about 620 cubic feet of space. This container usually holds two to three rooms’ worth of household goods and can support a total load weight of up to 6,000 pounds. The moving container service recommends the medium container for small home and apartment moves.
    • Large: The most popular container size for household moves and long-term storage, PACK-RAT’s large container measures 16. x 7.8 x 7.5 ft and provides you with about 830 cubic feet of space. This size container supports about 6,000 pounds worth of household goods, the same as the medium container. PACK-RAT recommends this size container for anyone moving three to four rooms’ worth of furniture.

    1-800-PACK-RAT prides itself on providing all-steel containers, which the company claims better protects your things from the elements during the shipment process. Your delivery also includes a patented level lifting mechanism that ensures that your things do not shift when they are being loaded onto the moving truck and ground-level loading that anyone can easily handle without incident. Need more space than any single container provides? No problem—1-800-PACK-RAT will provide you with as many containers as your unique move requires.

    Like 1-800-PACK-RAT, PODS offers three options for moving container sizes. These containers are similar in size and load to PACK-RAT’s options.

    • Small: PODS smallest moving container measures 8 x 7 x 8 ft and provides you with 402 cubic square feet of storage space. The company recommends this size container for smaller moves, like a studio space or a dorm room.
    • Medium: PODS medium container measures 12 x 8 x 8 ft and provides you with 689 cubic square feet of storage space. Medium-sized containers are only available on local moving services, which you must take into account when you plan your move. This size of container is recommended for anyone who needs to pack up and move two to three rooms’ worth of household goods.
    • Large: PODS large container measures 16 x 8 x 8 and provides you with 835 cubic square feet of storage space. PODS recommends this container size to anyone who lives in a large apartment or a small home—a single unit can support about three to four rooms’ worth of household goods.

    PODS containers are constructed with a steel frame—they are not full-steel like those offered by 1-800-PACK-RAT. However, they also offer a roll-up opening mechanism which helps you save space because doors do not need to be opened outward for access. This can make PODS a better choice for anyone with a very limited area where they can place and use their moving container.

    Pricing

    One of the reasons why so many homeowners choose to use a moving container service over a full-service moving team is that pricing tends to be lower, as you provide your own packing and loading services. Both 1-800-PACK-RAT and PODS allow you to request a quote online but do not offer instant pricing options like other moving container services, such as U-Pack. Pricing for your move with a container service will vary depending on two primary factors:

    • The total distance that you’re traveling
    • The size and number of containers that you use

    Other factors that will influence pricing may include the total weight of your containers, any additional services that you book when you need to move, and how much notice you provide your container service with before you leave.

    In order to help you estimate what you might pay for your moving services, we collected pricing information from both PODS and 1-800-PACK-RAT for a variety of move sizes and distances. Check out the charts below to see what we found and estimate what you might expect to pay for your service. All pricing listed below was gathered about eight weeks in advance of service and includes transportation and one month of storage services.

    Richmond, VA to Harrisburg, PA (219 miles)

    PODS pricing

    Small container Medium container Large container
    $1,265.42 Not available $1,471.28

    1-800-PACK-RAT pricing

    Small container Medium container Large container
    $262.67 + $2,078 ($2,340.67) Not available $295.31 + $2,330 ($2,625.31)

     

    1-800-PACK-RAT divides its pricing into a monthly container fee and a transportation fee, listed on each quote respectively. 1-800-PACK-RAT requires you to put a $500 deposit to lock in your pricing.

    Richmond, VA to Kansas City, MO (972 miles)

    PODS pricing

    Small container Medium container Large container
    $1,983.41 Not available $2,544.43

    1-800-PACK-RAT pricing

    Small container Medium container Large container
    $262.67 + $2,782.00 ($3,044.67) Not available $295.31 + $3,571.00 ($3,866.31)

    Richmond, VA to Las Vegas, NV (1,978 miles)

    PODS pricing

    Small container Medium container Large container
    $3,201.58 Not available $4,281.52

    1-800-PACK-RAT pricing

    Small container Medium container Large container
    $262.67 + $2,417 ($2,679.67) Not available $295.31 + $3,054.00 ($3,349.31)

    As you can see, we received consistently lower pricing from PODS on smaller moves, while we got the best prices for a long-distance move from 1-800-PACK-RAT. Remember that these are just a few examples of quotes you might receive from each company. Your price might vary widely depending on your unique situation. It’s impossible to know how much you’ll pay for your containers before you get a quote.

    The following is an example of what you might pay for a local move with each company. Keep in mind that local move availability may vary depending on where you live.

    Richmond, VA to Mithlothian, VA (14.5 miles)

    PODS pricing

    Small container Medium container Large container
    $248.00 $258.00 $278.00

    1-800-PACK-RAT pricing

    Small container Medium container Large container
    $159.00 + $69.00 ($228.00) $179.00 + $69.00 ($248.00) $199.00 + $69.00 ($268.00)

     

    Availability

    PODS is available in all 50 states. 1-800-PACK-RAT offers service centers in the following states:

    • California
    • Colorado
    • Connecticut
    • Florida
    • Georgia
    • Illinois
    • Indiana
    • Kentucky
    • Louisiana
    • Maryland
    • Massachusetts
    • Michigan
    • Minnesota
    • Missouri
    • New Jersey
    • New Mexico
    • New York
    • Nevada
    • North Carolina
    • Ohio
    • Oklahoma
    • Oregon
    • Pennsylvania
    • South Carolina
    • Tennessee
    • Texas
    • Utah
    • Virginia
    • Washington
    • Washington, D.C
    • Wisconsin

    If you don’t see your home or destination listed, you may still want to give PACK-RAT a call. Their customer service associates may be able to arrange a combination of moving container and truck services to fit your unique needs.

    Both PODS and 1-800-PACK-RAT are available for local moving services and allow you to get a quote and book online for local moves. Long-distance moves require you to contact a representative for pricing.

    Services Offered

    Though you’re likely moving with a moving container service because you want to save money on your upcoming transportation needs, you might still want to schedule additional services alongside your container rental to help you save time. You can view a list of extra services offered by PODS and 1-800-PACK-RAT below.

    1-800-PACK-RAT

    • Packing and unpacking services
    • Extra moving assistance provided through HireAHelper
    • Moving supplies
    • Extended storage options
    • Insurance options to protect both the moving container itself and your belongings

    PODS

    • Packing and unpacking services
    • Loading and unloading services
    • GPS tracking
    • Long-term and short-term storage solutions
    • Moving supplies
    • Advanced protection plans beyond required protections
    • Business storage
    • Vehicle transportation

    It can be helpful to write down a list of services and add-ons that you’re willing to pay extra for before you book your move. If you have multiple add-on services you want to request, PODS might be a better choice for your needs. If you’re only focused on getting your container where it needs to go, 1-800-PACK-RAT might be a better option.

    Customer Sentiment

    You should never work with any type of moving company that doesn’t have an established online presence. You can easily find reviews of both 1-800-PACK-RAT and PODS on multiple third-party review sites, which indicates that these companies have long standing reputations and have completed services with hundreds of customers.

    1-800-PACK-RAT’s reviews are average. On third-party review site Trustpilot, customers awarded PACK-RAT an average of 3.3 out of 5.0 stars. However, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) gave PACK-RAT a C+ grade, and the company is not currently BBB accredited. BBB customers gave PACK-RAT an average ranking of 1.25 out of 5.0 stars, and the BBB notes that this company has more complaints than what is considered average in their industry.

    Customers who had a positive experience with 1-800-PACK-RAT complimented the company’s customer service team, which they said provided them with straightforward pricing for their move. Customer service representatives were clear in explaining all charges associated with the move and proactively responded to pricing questions and negotiations.

    [1-800-PACK-RAT] matched all of the criteria we needed: Large and robust containers, cross-country shipping, reasonable prices. Our experience was excellent. Everyone we interacted with was professional and accommodating… — Christopher B., 4/24/2020, 5.0 stars, BBB.org.

    My experience with Pack Rat was excellent. Starting with the ordering process, the customer service rep was super helpful and explained the process and the costs in detail. The pod drop off and pick up were super easy and the delivery drivers on both sides were great. The drop off on the destination side was exactly on time. I would definitely recommend Pack Rat. — Trustpilot user “Christi,” 6/25/2021, Trustpilot, 5.0 stars.

    While customers who worked with PACK-RAT found their customer service representatives knowledgeable on pricing, the same cannot be said for their estimated deliveries. A large majority of customers who reported a negative experience with 1-800-PACK-RAT complained that the company could not adhere to its scheduled delivery date and failed to contact customers to let them know that their shipment would not arrive on schedule.

    … Delivery issues-I was supposed to receive my shipment on 11/6/2021, but I have a new delivery date of 11/18/2021 and I am not sure about what to expect next. No one in customer service have been able to help in this regards. — Sathish M., 11/08/2021, BBB.org, 1.0 stars.

    …So here we are the 16th of October, still no POD. It was to be delivered…[on] the 22nd of Sept., from CA to TX. It didn’t leave CA till the beginning of Oct!. It was scheduled to arrive to me on the 12th, then with 4 hours to spare it was rescheduled to the 16th. Today, once again it was rescheduled to the 22nd of Oct… — Daun B., 10/16/2021, BBB.org, 1.0 stars.

    PODS reviews are also varied, but they lean more towards the positive than 1-800-PACK-RAT. BBB customers awarded the company an average rating of 1.07 out of 5.0 stars. However, customers on Trustpilot reported overall positive experiences, awarding the company an average rating of 3.8 out of 5 stars.

    Like PACK-RAT, PODS is currently not accredited with the BBB. However, the BBB has awarded PODS a B+ grade. This may indicate that PODS is more honest in its advertisement and is more likely to provide a satisfactory resolution when customers report an issue.

    Customers who were happy with their PODS experience complimented the company’s commitment to providing a high level of personal service. Positive reviews frequently indicate that the company was transparent in its delivery estimates and that customer service representatives were easy to talk to.

    Every date I scheduled with PODS from drop off of POD to pickup of POD to delivery of POD to the final pick up of empty POD was done on my date requested. None of my items were damaged and not one single glass item was broken! — Carrie Y., 01/28/2022, BBB.org, 5.0 stars.

    Efficient, courteous, and on time throughout deliveries, pickups, storage and final delivery…highly recommend! — Trustpilot user “Sheryl,” 01/14/2022, Trustpilot, 5.0 stars.

    Customers who were not satisfied with their PODS experience regularly complained that team members did not communicate with one another, which resulted in customers receiving different estimates and instructions depending on who they spoke to.

    When we first called pods we told them the specific area we were moving to and they told us that they could deliver to that area. When we called months later to get our pod delivered they told us that the area we had moved to is not a location they deliver to. — BBB user KB,” 01/22/2022, BBB.org, 1.0 stars.

    The day we were expecting the delivery at our new home, it did not show, and in calling customer service we were informed that delivery had been cancelled due to an unsigned disclosure and that the POD hadn’t left the warehouse, 1000 miles away. They claimed there had been one email alerting us of the disclosure (I do not see this email anywhere) but in logging into my MyPods there is no form to sign, and it still showed the delivery date that we had previously scheduled. — Trustpilot user “Stephanie,” 12/31/2021, Trustpilot, 1.0 stars.

    1-800-PACK-RAT vs. PODS: Which is Right for You?

    Between PODS and PACK-RAT, which option is best for your move? The answer may vary depending on your individual needs. For example, if you’re looking for extra services and availability in every state, PODS can be the best option for your needs. If you’re only focused on getting the highest-quality containers, you might have more luck with PACK-RAT.

    No matter which company you choose, you’ll have no idea how much you’ll pay for your service until you get a quote. We recommend requesting a quote from both PODS and 1-800-PACK-RAT at least six weeks in advance of your move to ensure that you’re getting the best possible prices on your services. You have no idea how much you might be able to save until you know all of your options.

    Best Long Distance Moving Container

    1-800 Pack Rat

    4.5
    • Local & Long-Distance Moving Container Company
    • Storage On Your Property or at PACK-RAT Facility
    • Three Container Sizes (8', 12' & 16')

    Most Convenient Service

    PODS

    4.6
    • Local & Long-Distance Moving Container Service
    • Can Store PODS on Property or Storage Facility
    • Three Container Sizes (7', 12' & 16')

    Our Methodology

    At Pro Mover Reviews, we are committed to providing our readers with comprehensive and unbiased information on each provider that we review. Our methodology is a step-by-step process that ensures we maintain your trust through transparency and data that is backed up through routine check-ins. Our staff has spent hundreds of hours reviewing dozens of local, long-distance, and international moving companies to bring you our recommendation for the best moving companies in the US. We then narrowed down our findings based on criteria that we find to be the most helpful for you to choose the best moving company for your needs.

    Our Rating Categories:

    • Company Transparency
    • Pricing + Cost
    • Services Offered
    • Overall Reputation

    While there are many sites out there that compare movers, we believe our rigorous standards give us more insights into company performance and better data to share with our community.  For each moving company we check for:

    • Confirmed Licensing with the DOT
    • Updated & Verified Business Registration
    • Real & Recent Consumer Reviews
    • Industry Ratings and BBB Complaints
    • Accuracy of Online Quotes
    • Services Provided & Total Service Area
    • Pricing & Services vs. Competitors

    From here we created a comprehensive, 100 point, rating scale based on the following factors:

    • Moving services (25): Companies that offer more flexibility in their services are rated higher.
    • Coverage of services (5): The more items a moving company can handle, the higher the score.
    • Pricing (25): We compare this to the industry average when rating pricing.
    • Trustworthiness (25): We comb through hundreds of reviews and check on BBB ratings to determine the trustworthiness of a company.
    • State availability (5): Finding a moving company in your state can be a challenge depending on where you are located. The more states covered, the higher the score.
    • Customer service (10): Is this moving company responsive? Do they respond quickly to issues that are brought to their attention? Are they helpful in answering questions? All of these factors are considered when rating customer service.
    • Additional benefits (5): Moving companies can sometimes offer special promotions or deals when contracting them for a move. The companies with the most benefit scored higher.

    Of the dozens of different moving companies that we’ve reviewed, we’ve broken down the best interstate and long-distance movers in Indiana. To keep our ratings and data current, we have a full-time researcher who collects (and regularly updates) more than 100 specific data points from each company to help us compare them on key factors such as coverage, cost, service, and dependability. This list is ever-changing, as companies will update policies and procedures, and we will change our information accordingly.

    1-800-PACK-RAT vs PODS FAQs

    Is a pod cheaper than a moving company?

    Yes. PODS is less expensive than hiring a moving company because you’re providing your own loading and packing services.

    What is the average cost of PODS moving?

    According to pricing data from PODS’ team, the average customer pays between $349 and $2,999 for their move with PODS. Long-distance movers pay more than local movers.

    What should you not pack in a pod?

    You should not load any type of material that might pose a danger to PODS’ team, including toxic chemicals, gas, waste, lawnmowers, motorized vehicles, and oxygen tanks. PODS also recommends that you do not keep heirlooms, cash, important documents, or valuable items in your container to ensure that they are not damaged during transportation.