Home > Moving Resources > PODS vs U-Pack: Services, Cost & More [2022 Review]

PODS vs U-Pack: Services, Cost & More [2022 Review]

We’ve created a comprehensive PODS vs U-Pack comparison article to help you choose the best company for your upcoming move.

    Moving container services offer a unique and affordable way to move to your new home without paying for a full-service moving team. If you’ve spent any time researching moving container services, you may already be familiar with PODS and U-Pack, two of the largest names in the industry. While both companies offer similar services, the best choice for your needs might vary depending on the size of your home, where you’re moving, additional services you need to schedule, and more.

    In this guide, you’ll learn:

    • The history of PODS and U-Pack
    • What to expect when you hire a moving container service
    • Both companies’ pricing, areas served, container options, and other additional features
    • Customer reviews and sentiments
    • Additional moving services you may want to consider for your upcoming move

    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')

    Most Competitive Pricing

    U-Pack

    4.7
    • Long-Distance Moving Container Service
    • Storage at Secure U-Pack Facilities Nationwide
    • Two Container Sizes (8' and 27')

    Summary

    No time to review our entire PODS vs. U-Pack review? You can view a summary of each company’s strengths and weaknesses using the tables below.

     

    Pros Cons
    U-Pack
    • Availability of moving trailers provides you with more customizable square-footage usage
    • Quick, simple, and straightforward online quote system
    • Very transparent pricing with no hidden fees
    • Online tracker allows you to see where your shipment is as you wait for it
    • Moving time estimates provided when you get a quote
    • Does not provide service for moves totalling less than 150 miles
    • Limited add-on services available
    • Provides only three days to load and unload container
    PODS
    • Very flexible moving process with minimum of one-month rentals
    • Full refunds available so long as you cancel by 4 pm local time on the day before your delivery
    • Storage and transportation available for local moves
    • Expanded range of services can be scheduled on your behalf
    • You must book your move at least six weeks in advance
    • Required to call a representative to receive your quote; must endure multiple upselling pitches before getting pricing, which can be frustrating
    • Pricing drastically increases during the spring and summer seasons

    What is a Moving Container Company?

    Most people think of renting a moving truck when they picture the most affordable way to move. While you’ll spend less money moving with a truck rental, this option isn’t viable for everyone. For example, if you don’t have a driver’s license or an auto insurance policy, you cannot use a moving truck to move homes. Even if you have a license, you might not feel comfortable operating such a large vehicle.

    A moving container company provides you with an affordable alternative to renting a moving truck and providing your own transportation services. Both PODS and U-Pack operate in a very similar manner, as they are both moving container services. You’ll go through the following basic steps when you rent your moving container.

    • Make your booking: Both PODS and U-Pack allow you to get a quote for most moves online. Simply enter a few details on your move size, the date you want to move on, and where you’re headed, and you’ll be able to view your moving container options and pricing information. If the pricing works with your budget and the right sized container is available, you can book your move online.
    • Load your container: When your moving date arrives, your moving container company will deliver a weatherproof moving container to your property. From here, you’ll provide all of your own packing and loading services, which helps you to save money on the cost of moving labor. Both PODS and U-Pack provide you with multiple days to complete the loading process, so you can feel free to take your time and spread your loading process out between multiple sessions. This can make a moving container service ideal for anyone looking for a more leisurely moving process.
    • Wait for the container to be picked up: When you’ve finished loading, your moving container service provider will return to your property to pick up the container, which is now loaded with your things. The moving container company will then transport your container to your new property. Depending on where you’re moving, this process may take as little as two days or more than ten days.
    • Unload your container: When your container arrives, you’ll then unload your moving container into your new property. Like during the loading process, your moving container service will provide you with multiple days to complete the unloading process, allowing you to take your time getting settled into your new home.
    • Wait for the container to be picked up: When you’re finished unloading, your moving container company will come to your property to pick up your container. If you prefer to have more time, most moving container services also allow you to extend your container rental. This essentially provides you with on-site storage for as long as you need.

    PODS and U-Pack are two of the best-known moving container companies in the industry. Though both companies have well-established reputations and long histories of completing moves across the country, there are a few areas where these container services differ—and the right choice for your needs might vary depending on your move and your preferences.

    What is PODS?

    PODS (short for “Portable On-Demand Storage”) was one of the first moving container services to take a chunk out of the moving industry. Many moving container services refer to their rental containers as “pods” because the term has become interchangeable with the words “moving containers.”

    PODS was founded in 1998 by Peter Warhurst, the owner of a small family-run storage service, in order to expand his business’s availability to more customers in different areas. Warhurst invented both the PODS container as well as a patented hydraulic lift system that allows drivers to easily load and deliver containers without putting their team members at risk of physical injury due to overexertion.

    Today, PODS is one of the largest moving container services in the country, operating throughout both the United States and Canada. In addition to providing affordable residential moving and storage services, PODS also supports construction moves and corporate relocations.

    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')

    What is U-Pack?

    U-Pack is a long-distance moving container service that uses the same method of operation as PODS. Unlike PODS, U-Pack features both moving containers (which it refers to as “ReloCubes”) as well as moving trailer options. U-Pack was founded in 1997 to provide homeowners with a more affordable way to move long-distance. In 2011, U-Pack celebrated its 500,000th move.

    In addition to residential moving services, U-Pack also offers assistance with military moving, moves for senior citizens, and student dorm moving. You can also hire U-Pack to tackle your corporate relocation or a small move of only a few items.

     

    Most Competitive Pricing

    4.7
    • Long-Distance Moving Container Service
    • Storage at Secure U-Pack Facilities Nationwide
    • Two Container Sizes (8' and 27')

    Container Options

    U-Pack’s primary moving container option is its ReloCube. Each ReloCube measures 6’3” x 7’ x 8’4” from the exterior and includes about 308 cubic square feet of space inside the container. Though U-Pack does not offer multiple ReloCube sizes, you can schedule multiple ReloCubes to arrive at your property, ensuring that you have enough space to pack everything in your home. Each individual ReloCube can hold up to 2,500 pounds of household goods, and most pieces of furniture will fit inside without a problem.

    If your furniture won’t fit inside a ReloCube or you’re looking for a larger container, U-Pack also offers moving trailers. Moving with a U-Pack moving trailer is similar to moving with a ReloCube—U-Pack’s team will drop off your trailer at your property, you’ll load it, and their team will transport it to your new home. U-Pack’s pricing for its trailers is based on the number of linear square feet used instead of weight. This means that if you’re moving only a small home, you won’t spend as much money as someone moving a four-bedroom property.  

    PODS offers multiple container sizes, which allows you to easily choose the one that fits your home size. Currently, available container sizes are as follows:

    • Small: PODS’ small moving containers measure 8′ x 7′ x 8′ and provide you with 402 cubic square feet of storage space. PODS says that this size container is comparable to a 5’x10′ storage unit or 10′ rental truck. The company recommends this size container for college students, one-bedroom or college-aged apartment dwellers, and anyone looking to downsize when they move.
    • Medium: PODS’ medium-sized containers measure 12′ x 8′ x 8′ and provide you with 689 cubic square feet of storage space. PODS says that this size container is comparable to the storage area that you would be able to take advantage of if you rent a 10’x10′ storage unit or 15′ rental truck. The company recommends this container size for anyone who lives in a home with two to three rooms’ worth of belongings that they need to transport. Note that the medium container is only available for local moves.
    • Large: PODS’ largest containers measure 16′ x 8′ x 8′ and provide you with 835 cubic square feet of storage space. You can visualize the size of this container by thinking about the size of an average parking space in 3D. This container is comparable to a 10’x15′ storage unit or a 20′ rental truck. PODS recommends this container size to anyone who lives in a larger home—a single unit can support about three to four rooms’ worth of belongings.

    Not sure what size container is right for you? PODS also offers a number of video guides to help you visualize what exactly fits in each container.

    Pricing

    One of the major benefits of working with a moving container service over a full-service moving team is that getting a quote is significantly less time-consuming. Most movers will be able to claim their quotes from PODS and U-Pack in just a few minutes using their online quote system. This provides you with a more efficient system that you can use to get the best price on your move. Though pricing is available almost instantly with PODS, you’ll need to give their customer service team a call to confirm your rates.

    To help you get a better idea of what you might expect to pay for your move with both PODS and U-Pack, we collected a few sample quotes for moves of varying lengths and summarized them in the tables below. Each move was requested with six weeks of notice for the container service. Read on to see what we found—and to estimate the price that you might pay for your moving services based on the size of your current property and the distance you’re traveling.

    Philadelphia to Albany (198 miles)

    PODS pricing

    Small container Medium container Large container
    $1,575.40 Not available $1,914.85

    U-Pack pricing

    5’ trainer 15’ trailer Full trailer
    $1,432 $1,582 $1,732

    We were informed that ReloCubes were not available for this moving route.

    Philadelphia to Miami (1,011 miles)

    PODS pricing

    Small container Medium container Large container
    $2,821.93 Not available $3,570.97

    U-Pack Pricing

    One ReloCube Two ReloCubes Full trailer
    $2,737 $4,091 $5,626

    A maximum of two ReloCubes can be scheduled for this moving route.

    Philadelphia to Salt Lake City (2,038 miles)

    PODS pricing

    Small container Medium container Large container
     $3,153.46 Not available  $4,896.95

    U-Pack Pricing

    One ReloCube Two ReloCubes Full trailer
    $3,957 $5,936 $6,625

    A maximum of two ReloCubes can be scheduled for this moving route.

    PODS pricing does not include local taxes but does include mileage, limited liability insurance protection, and a one-month unit rental, which will be kept directly on your property. U-Pack’s pricing is all-inclusive—the price you’re quoted is the price you’ll pay. However, U-Pack only provides you with a three-day loading window and a three-day unloading window. If you need more time, you’ll need to schedule storage services through the company—which will increase your final price.

    Availability

    U-Pack is available in all 50 states as well as Puerto Rico. However, U-Pack only provides service for long-distance moves that total at least 150 miles. PODS is also available in all 50 states and does not have a minimum mileage requirement for travel.

    Services Offered

    If you’re thinking about working with a moving container service, you may want to add the convenience of extra services. Extra services from PODS are issued through third-party providers, but company representatives can assist you with your scheduling. Currently, you can schedule the following add-on services to complement your move with both companies.

    U-Pack

    • Guaranteed arrival dates
    • Short-term and long-term storage rental
    • Insurance upgrades to cover negligence beyond what’s required by law
    • Automobile shipping
    • GPS tracking

    PODS

    • Packing and unpacking services
    • Loading and unloading services
    • GPS tracking
    • Long-term and short-term storage solutions
    • Moving supplies
    • Protection plans
    • Business storage
    • Vehicle transportation

    As you can see, PODS can assist you in providing a wider range of services, which may be particularly beneficial if you’re looking for extra help scheduling assistance for your move.

    Customer Sentiment

    Third-party reviews of U-Pack are split between multiple sites. While the Better Business Bureau (BBB) community views U-Pack favorably. Rating the company with an average of 4.15 out of 5 stars. However, Trustpilot users reported that they were less satisfied with the service they received from U-Pack, awarding the company an average of 1.7 out of 5 stars.

    U-Pack is accredited by the BBB and maintains a BBB grade of A+. This is the highest possible verification level from the BBB, which may indicate that U-Pack is more proactive than competitors when adequately responding to consumer complaints.

    Customers who were happy with the services they received from U-Pack frequently praised its flexibility. Homeowners who needed to cancel their move indicated that they had no problem doing so—and that U-Pack’s team members were also flexible in keeping their pricing consistent when they rescheduled.

    …Each driver called me before drop off to make sure I was ready. I even had to move the location last minute and there was no problem at all. The drivers were very nice. I would definitely use again and recommend! — Mylia M., 05/10/2019, BBB, 5.0 stars.

    This company is fantastic; professional, friendly, and great with communication. I had a move cancelled multiple times due to title issues from the seller and our home falling through; these folks kept my original quote, worked with me to reschedule (multiple times), and ensured my move was executed best as possible. — David A., 09/29/2021, BBB, 5.0 stars.

    While customers were happy with U-Pack’s flexibility, they were frustrated with their estimated delivery times. Negative reviews of U-Pack indicate that multiple customers were promised that their shipment would arrive at their home by a specific date, only to have the container show up significantly later.

    Very late, days late to pick up, weeks late to deliver. I was told 8-10 days, at day 12 I was told it would be another 4 [days] until my property would be delivered. I do not recommend using U-Pack. — Timothy D., 10/22/2021, BBB, 1.0 star.

    Terrible! Our cube came in 3 weeks late and once it arrived nearly $1500 worth of furniture and equipment was damaged and glasses that were bubble wrapped in boxes broken. — Trustpilot user “Bee,” 11/12/2021. Trustpilot, 1.0 star.

    Reviews of PODS are also mixed. BBB customers reported overall negative experiences with PODS, awarding the company an average rating of 1.07 out of 5 stars. However, customers on Trustpilot reported very different experiences—on Trustpilot, users awarded PODS an average rating of 3.8 out of 5 stars.

    PODS is not currently accredited with the Better Business Bureau, and the BBB has awarded PODS a B+ grade. This indicates that PODS may not be as responsive or accommodating to unsatisfied customers compared to U-Pack, which is both accredited and highly rated.

    Customers who reported that they were satisfied with their PODS experience had tons of praise for the company’s moving staff and loading teams. Many customers reported that the PODS team members they worked with were not only friendly but also considerate, careful with belongings, and proactive during delivery.

    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! Very impressed! The PODS drivers were all very friendly and gave us a 20-45 minute notice when they were getting near. — Carrie Y., 01/28/2022, BBB, 5.0 stars.

    Managing a move across the country was made very easy by working with PODS. Easy to schedule, manage and update via their website. Very friendly and helpful as we changed our plans, # of PODS needed, and sizes several times. Highly recommend using them! — Trustpilot user “Kris,” 01/16/2022, Trustpilot, 5.0 stars.

    Customers who reported that they had a negative experience with PODS expressed frustration with overall mismanagement of the company. Reports of multiple instances of disorganization and miscommunication are customers’ most frequent complaint about PODS. Though customer service representatives and drivers were regularly praised for their friendliness, multiple customers reported that they were told different instructions and prices each time they called the company. Customers blamed this mismanagement on a lack of cohesion between PODS’ billing, customer service, and delivery teams.

    The driver never showed up the day they were supposed to drop off the container. No heads up from the driver or PODS representative that scheduled the drop of date. We had to reschedule one week later for the next possible drop off. Pods never addressed the issue. Pods then charged us $400 for dropping off the Container a week later. Even thought it was their driver that never showed up. — Fuad S., 01/14/2022, BBB, 1.0 star.

    I got a call from my wife that a POD had been dropped off in our driveway – we had not ordered one. After calling, talking to 2 people, getting disconnected, then calling [and] speaking to two more people, I was told that they couldn’t contact the people who dropped it off – they couldn’t tell me who was supposed to receive it – and they couldn’t help me. I was told to hire a tow company to take it away. — Stephen O., 01/11/2022, BBB, 1.0 star.

    Get Your U-Pack and PODS Quote Now

    Our team recommends that you get a free, no-obligation quote from each one of our recommended moving service providers and moving container services before you book your moving date. Every moving company uses its own formula to decide what you’ll pay for your move—which means that it’s possible to find ten completely different prices from ten competing moving companies on the exact same move. Taking just a few minutes to request multiple quotes from competing moving services can end up saving you hundreds or even thousands of dollars by the time you finish your move.

    Most Competitive Pricing

    U-Pack

    4.7
    • Long-Distance Moving Container Service
    • Storage at Secure U-Pack Facilities Nationwide
    • Two Container Sizes (8' and 27')

    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.

    PODS vs U-Pack FAQs

    Which is cheaper: PODS or U-Pack?

    As a general rule, U-Pack’s containers tend to be more affordable than PODS because they offer a range of customizable trailers that you can use to only pay for the exact amount of space you need. However, keep in mind that U-Pack does not support local moves and only offers three days for loading and unloading.

    Are PODS better than movers?

    PODS can be better than hiring a team of movers if you’re looking for the most affordable price on your moving services. Though you’ll need to put in a little more work when you move with PODS, doing so can end up saving you money on your move.

    What is the average cost of PODS moving?

    According to data from the PODS team, the average cost of a local move with PODS is between $349-$549, while the cost of a long-distance move averages $999-$2,999. You’ll pay more if you’re moving during the spring or summer season.

    How long can you keep a storage pod in your driveway?

    The answer to this question will vary depending on where you live and the company you work with. Both PODS and U-Pack allow you to schedule additional time with your storage container if you need more time to unload. However, your HOA might have stricter regulations on how long you can have a storage unit in your driveway. If you live in an area with an HOA, be sure to ask about your community’s specific rules.