Renting a moving container is far less expensive than hiring a professional moving company, and these portable moving containers give consumers greater freedom regarding their relocation timetables. Clients will immediately have a location to on their belongings before, during, and after their move.
While various moving containers and storage solutions are available, you need to ensure that you are choosing the best possible option for your next move. We have broken down a cost guide for moving containers and have selected the top 5 best moving container companies that provide high-quality services. Continue reading to identify the best moving container company for your next relocation.
Best Full-Service Mover
International Van Lines
- Local, Long-Distance, & Int'l Moving Services
- Licensed Moving Carrier & Broker Nationwide
- Live Chat & 24/7 Customer Service
Best Moving Add-ons
American Van Lines
- Local, Long-Distance & International Moves
- Direct Carrier to All 48 Continental US States
- Storage Options Available
Best for Military Moves
Safeway Moving System
- FMCSA-Licensed Broker Nationwide
- Long-Distance Moving Only
- Packing & One Month Storage Included
Best Insurance Options
JK Moving Services
- Local, Interstate, Local, & International Moving
- 24/7 Customer Support & Great Mobile App
- Low-Interest Financing Available
Most Competitive Pricing
- Long-Distance Moving Container Service
- Storage at Secure U-Pack Facilities Nationwide
- Two Container Sizes (8' and 27')
How Much Does A Moving Container Cost?
Moving containers can vary in price depending on the size, container material, and distance moved. We’ve gathered the average cost for various moving containers and laid them out in the table below.
|Company||Container Size||Container Material||Moving Availability||Price
|U-Haul||8’x5’x7’6″||Wood||Local, long-distance, and international||Local Move: N/A Medium Move: N/A
Long Move: $2,784
|PODS||7 foot, 12 foot, 16 foot||Metal||Local & Long Distance||Local Move: $650
Medium Move: $1,571
Long Move: $3,223
|U-Pack||6’3” x 7′ x 8’4”||Metal||Local & Long Distance||Local Move: N/A
Medium Move: $1,553
Long Move: $2,348
|1-800-PACK-RAT||8 foot, 12, foot, 16 foot||Metal||Local & Long Distance||Local Move: $726
Medium Move: $1,247
Long Move: $3,460
|SmartBox||8’x5’x7′||Wood||Local & Long Distance||Local Move: N/A
Medium Move: N/A
Long Move: N/A
What does it cost to move a moving container?
Once you’ve chosen a moving container the next step in the process is the actual move. From relocating across your property to moving across the country, we break down what you need to know below.
Relocating Across the Property
Depending on where you live, it can cost anywhere between $500 to $1,000.
If you have a moving container somewhere on your property, you will need it (or want it) moved from one area to the next. You’re probably looking at it, thinking you could move it yourself and the truth is, you might be able to.
Even if you take all of your belongings out of the container, it will still be almost impossible to move unless you have the proper equipment; expansive metal rollers, a flatbed trailer with a winch attached, and a high-lift jack. You can slowly roll it to the ideal area if you do this correctly.
Even though hiring someone to move the container such a short distance sounds almost ridiculous, it will save you from possibly destroying your vehicle or yard trying to do it yourself.
Relocating Across the City
Moving companies are available whose sole purpose is to relocate your moving container and make it straightforward. When obtaining a quote, you provide as much information as possible, and they will provide you with a tailored price. You may then decide your budget and work appropriately.
If you already own a shipping container, you’ll need a vehicle with the necessary chassis to transport it across town, and unless you have one, you’re better off hiring someone to do it for you.
You may anticipate spending between $1-4 per mile for this. However, depending on the size of your city, this may differ. A larger city is more likely than a smaller one to have a local enterprise. They’ll charge you extra if you have to bring someone in from out of town.
However, it will be worth it to avoid all of the issues connected with moving it yourself if you lack the necessary equipment and skills, and it will only take a few hours with an experienced person.
Relocating Across the State or Country
You might be shocked to learn that long-distance movements are much the same as short-distance moves across town. The primary distinction is the company you’ll use to transport your container to its new site.
Local businesses, in general, are unable to make such changes. Instead, seek a long-distance trucking moving company. If you purchased your container from a local moving company, contact them to see what it would take for them to do it. Worst case scenario, they won’t perform it, but they may propose a moving company who can.
Like moving across town, these movements cost roughly $1-4 per mile, depending on the size of the container. Your schedule, on the other hand, is different. A cross-town relocation may just take a few hours, while a cross-state or cross-country move may take several days to a week, or even longer.
Below is a summary of pricing depending on the container type and how much you are moving.
|1 Bedroom||2-3 Bedrooms||4-5 Bedrooms +|
|Truck Rental||$1,800 – $3,000||$2,400 – $3,500||$3,700+|
|Freight Trailer||$1,500 – $2,500||$2,100 – $3,200||$3,300|
|Moving Container||$1,500 – $3,500||$1,500 – $4,500||$6,300+|
|Moving Company||$1,500 – $4,500||$4,000 – $7,300||$8,200|
There are a lot of factors that can impact the cost of your move with a moving container, like:
- The size of the transfer: the more items you move, the more expensive it will be. Simple as that. A one-bedroom apartment will cost at least $1,500 to ship nationwide. More significant movements might cost substantially more.
- Supply and demand: are you moving to a bigger and busier city? Quotes are likely to be higher in high-demand locations.
- Access issues: If parking or bringing a large vehicle up to your house is difficult, your moving alternatives may be limited. Moving companies will usually charge more in these situations as well.
- Time of year: The peak season in the moving industry runs from mid-May to early September, and you should expect to pay 30-40% more to move during this time.
- Bulky items: Hot tub? A billiards table? Gun safe? Yes, particular objects are challenging to move and will incur additional costs.
- The country’s region: if you’re moving to a rural area far from a major highway or close to a US border, it’ll probably cost you a bit extra.
- Relocate dates: the beginning and end of each month are more in demand and more expensive to move. Weekends are typically more costly.
Shipping a container around the world necessitates more than one mode of transportation. Container ships can move thousands of containers simultaneously, but cargo planes cannot.
Because of these factors, shipping a container worldwide is significantly more complicated. Your container is transported to a shipping port by truck, rail, or a combination of the two, where the container will be placed onto a container ship for international travel.
Depending on the port’s configuration, it will disembark from the ship and be loaded into a truck or rail. You should budget for trucking on both ends.
You should also remember that you will be required to pay customs charges when you transport goods over international borders. Depending on what you are shipping and what you want to do with it after it arrives at its destination, you may also need to engage with a customs broker.
Because shipping a container worldwide is a complex procedure, you should call international carriers to acquire prices.
A professional business should be able to provide you with shipping estimates and information on the rules of the nation to which you’re transporting it.
What to consider when transporting moving containers internationally
Here is what you should consider when moving internationally:
- Price: Get at least three estimates from three separate moving companies (whole or partial-service).
- Moving Company Names: Make sure you gather the names of all moving companies involved and who will receive the container at the destination.
- Insurance: Insurance includes both corporate and shipping coverage. You should ensure that both are fully insured. Insurance is better to have and not need than need and not have.
- Staff: Determine if the team is permanent or temporary. Temporary workers (1099 employees) frequently don’t know each other, increasing the danger of damaged belongings. A company that knows their employees are more likely to have relationships with their employees and, in turn, receive loyalty and quality employees.
- Storage: Determine whether or not the target organization has on-site storage. If you don’t, you’ll have to pay a fee for each day the container is left there, which may rapidly add up.
- Method: What approach will they employ? Is it truck-to-container or direct-to-container, do they utilize a crane, have security, and so on?
Importing Moving Containers
What if you’re bringing a container from another country to the United States? You will still need to engage with the global shipping business.
It’s not cheap; however, some of the cost of importing products is determined by what you’re shipping and how much you have.
The global shipping index fluctuates regularly, but it soared between summer 2020 and 2021. The international shipping index was a little over $6,000 in 2021. Nevertheless, importing from Asia to the United States might cost more than $7,000.
If you need to estimate the cost of an import for budgetary considerations, you may use this free application.
Customs tariffs, inspection costs, and quarantine fees are all factors to consider. Customs duties are unavoidable, so factor them into your budget before proceeding.
Furthermore, while less than 5% of containers arriving in the United States are inspected, if anything gives U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) grounds to perform an examination, your shipping moving company will charge you an additional fee to cover the expense.
CBP has many requirements you must complete before you may import something into the nation, as well as a laundry list of fines if you don’t. In addition to evaluating your goods, CBP examines your documentation for signatures, marks, and other items before allowing your shipment through.
This is why working with an international shipping moving company is your best bet. They may save you a lot of time and money in penalties and hassle with your imports, and they know who to contact at CBP to make sure everything is in order.
Companies that provide moving containers
Now that you have a general idea of cost for moving containers, you need to be confident in the one you choose. We’ve selected the top 5 best moving container companies that offer high-quality services.
Some of the top moving container companies are:
- Smart Box
U-Pack is a leading moving container company and is at the top of our list for a reason. This company provides the ultimate DIY process for your move. Their moving containers are the most cost-effective for long-distance moving, with an anticipated transit time of seven to nine days compared to other businesses in the industry.
It provides the most cost-effective move nationwide and out-of-state moving pods services with higher quality. U-Pack is an alternative to consider if you can’t afford a full-service mover but want to save money while still getting the same level of convenience.
Why We Recommend U-Pack
The moving company offers a sound monitoring system for shipments that you can use on their website by entering your unique tracking number and checking the status of your pods.
U-Pack provides interstate moving services throughout the country for individuals who don’t want to pay for a full-service mover but want some of the same convenience. U-Pack has the best overall costs of any portable moving container company.
Regardless of where you reside, the U-Pack ReloCube may assist you in completing your long-distance relocation. U-Pack is one of just two moving storage container companies mentioned here that has locations in all 50 states.
Portable on Demand Storage is one of the most well-known moving container and storage providers, providing various container solutions to suit your needs.
PODS has numerous creative designs of pods for both short and long-distance travel to make your relocation more pleasant. They have lower prices than many moving companies we looked into in the same category.
You may move on an order by selecting the best container that matches your relocation from their available container selections, including 16-foot, 12-foot, and 7-foot containers. PODS’ quotes for huge containers are significantly lower than those of certain other moving companies.
For example, their 16-foot container is perfect for 3- or 4-bedroom residences, for which other moving companies may charge up to double the PODS price.
However, the shipment is slower than other moving container businesses and does not include loading and unloading services.
Why We Recommend PODS
PODS has the most affordable pricing for local relocation. Only U-Pack can equal PODS’ pricing for transfers under 150 miles. Only PODS can match it for moves under 500 miles.
We chose PODS as one of our best short-distance moving companies. Regardless of the high prices connected with the quality of the container, PODS is still one of the finest solutions for transfers under 500 miles.
PODS charges roughly $60 less per room for relocation under 500 miles than the average of the moving companies we looked into.
SmartBox is perfect for a compact relocation, such as a one-bedroom apartment or a college dorm room. It is the smallest among the top five moving and storage container moving companies on our list. Its containers are typically modest (about 5 x 7 x 8) and designed to fit a one-room flat.
If you’re a college student looking to move, SmartBox is the ideal alternative, especially if you’re on a tight budget.
The business offers a price-matching policy for a modest relocation. However, if your relocation is enormous, seek an alternate moving company on our list that meets your needs.
Why We Recommend Smart Box
This container moving company has been chosen as the finest when it comes to price matching. Although it is not the most significant moving and storage container business on our list, it has a lot to offer if you reside in one of the areas it serves.
Although SMARTBOX is now available in only 23 states and Washington, DC, we feel its price matching and comparable service alternatives will entice you to try it if its location is closer to you.
The business may supply up to eight movable pods in a single journey. The company’s website can easily transport a 5-bedroom home, implying that an ordinary home should fit properly in all of its pods in a single trip.
If you need to relocate storage containers and don’t have the time to wait for the driver to make many journeys, SMARTBOX may be the ideal alternative for you.
In the United States and Canada, 1-800-PACK-RAT provides moving and storage container services. Its moving containers are well-built and equipped with extra features to support loads, especially for long-distance transfers.
They come in various sizes for both short and long-distance journeys, including 8-foot, 12-foot, and 16-foot. The moving containers from 1-800-PACK-RAT come with a 30-day storage package.
Why We Recommend 1-800-Pack-Rat
This moving company provides a variety of enticing bargains. A customer care person has asked our other rental bids almost every time we’ve contacted the moving company and has given discounts such as a free monthly rental or decreased transportation charges.
Quality storage facilities provide 24-hour supervision, a car-accessible storage area, and climate control. Several self-storage moving companies don’t give all these services, but 1-800-PACK-RAT does.
1-800-PACK-RAT, like PODS, rents containers with 30-day storage included in the rental price. Even while it is retained regardless of whether you require storage, it is pretty helpful if you do or need to spend some time before packing or unpacking your container.
UHaul is the only company in the category that provides both moving truck rental and portable moving pods, making them more appealing than the competition.
Its moving pods, known as U-Boxes, have assisted many families in relocating their houses and have been rated as the best in the area if you want to save money on your move but don’t want to manage the truck yourself.
Their containers are constructed of wood and are not as massive or strong as other containers. On the other hand, U-Haul is accessible countrywide to handle local and long-distance moves.
Because of its low prices and quick service, U-Haul is at the top of our list. Local moves take one or two days, whereas long-distance moves take roughly 12 days. You have more control over your activity if you drive the container yourself, and you may choose how fast or slow you want to go.
The dimensions of a normal U-Haul U-Box are 95 x 83.5 x 56 inches, which is large enough to move a one-bedroom apartment.
Why We Recommend U-Haul
Except U-ReloCube Pack’s and U-Box, U-Haul is the only other portable moving container listed here available in all 50 states. It’s also accessible in Puerto Rico, Canada, and sections of Mexico.
Customers may go through every step of the quote process online, from beginning to end and acquire all the necessary price information and the tools to pick the best solution for their relocation and budget.
If you are looking to move on a budget, a moving container may be the best choice for you. We’ve broken down the costs associated with moving a container and have provided our top picks for the best moving container companies near you, giving you confidence that your next move may be more stress-free.
What is the average cost of a moving container?
The typical cost to rent moving containers for long-distance moving is around $3,000, prices can depend upon where you are moving to, how many items you are moving with you, and the season you are moving in.
Per the quotes provided by the moving companies listed above, the average cost of the moving container that can hold a single room apartment can be around $2,000, while packing and moving a five-bedroom home or apartment can bring the cost up to about $4,500.
Are moving containers or full-service movers better?
One of the first and most significant considerations you’ll have to make while planning for your relocation is how you’ll move. While there are various options for transporting your belongings from point A to point B, the most common are renting a moving container and moving or hiring full-service movers. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of both solutions.
|Pros | Moving Containers||Cons | Moving Containers||Pros | Full-Service Movers||Cons | Full-service movers|
|Budget-friendly||May need a permit to have on the property||Will pack, load, move and unload your belongings||Typically cost more|
|You can move at your own pace||You have to pack, load, move, and unload everything yourself||Can supply all the packing and moving materials||You have less control over the moving process|
|The container can double as a storage unit when packing or unpacking||You have to find a place to park the moving container||Will minimize the stress and time of moving||You need to spend more time looking for a reliable full-service moving company.|
Why should I choose moving containers over hiring movers?
The main difference between containers versus typical movers is the amount of work you want to perform yourself. Moving containers seem to be less expensive than hiring a moving company, but they require homeowners to load and unload their belongings into the container of their choice. A moving company will be more hands-on and may provide packing services for added convenience, but it will be more costly.