If you’re looking for the perfect combination of affordability and convenience, consider working with a moving container service. Moving container companies offer more affordable pricing than full-service companies without all the hassles that come along with renting a moving truck.
Both Zippy Shell and PODS are well-known moving container services, having completed thousands of moves all around the country. Our Zippy Shell vs PODS guide will help you compare each company’s:
- Container options
- Customer reviews
- Extra services
Most Convenient Service
- Local & Long-Distance Moving Container Service
- Can Store PODS on Property or Storage Facility
- Three Container Sizes (7', 12' & 16')
No time to review our entire Zippy Shell vs. PODS review? Get a quick idea of what you can expect from both service providers using the pro and con summary below.
What is a Moving Container Company?
If you’re like most homeowners, you’re probably trying to stick to a strict budget when moving to your new home. In many cases, cutting costs can mean foregoing a professional moving team and renting a moving truck or van. While this is the most affordable way to move, there are plenty of reasons why you might not want to drive a van yourself.
A moving container company offers you a unique blend of convenience and affordability when planning a moving process by taking some of the stress of transportation off of your shoulders. When you book a move with a container service like Zippy Shell or PODS, you’ll go through the following basic steps.
- Book your move: Most moving container services allow you to get a quote for your move online, over the phone, or by email. This system allows you to be clear on pricing before booking your moving date. If the price you’re quoted works with your budget, you can confirm your moving date.
- Load your container: While you’re waiting for your moving date to arrive, you’ll pack up your home on your own time. Though many container services will offer you the option to hire professionals to pack your things, most customers choose to pack themselves in order to save money. When your moving date arrives, you’ll load your container with your things. Depending on the moving container company you’re working with, you might have the option to hire third-party labor services to load your things on your behalf. For example, PODS provides you with free referrals to licensed and insured labor services when you book your moving date.
- Head to your new home: Your moving container service will handle delivering your moving container (and all of your household goods) to your new property. All you need to do is head to your new property with your family. Most container services will provide you with a date or window of time when you can expect your things to arrive.
- Unload your container: When your container arrives, you’ll unload it and put your things away in your new home. The amount of time you’ll have to unload everything will vary depending on the moving container company you’re working with. Your moving container company will come and pick up your container when you’re finished.
Moving container services aren’t just convenient—they’re also significantly more affordable than hiring a full-service moving company.
What is Zippy Shell?
Zippy Shell is a unique moving container service designed to accommodate smaller moves, especially where parking is premium. Unlike other moving container service providers, Zippy Shell’s containers attach to the hitch of a trailer and have a license plate. This makes the company’s containers legal to parallel park on the street, which can be a major benefit if you live in a dense urban area. Though Zippy Shell can only store your container on your property for a maximum of three days, you can request that the company return the container at any time should you need access to your things while in transit.
Founded in Australia in 2007, Zippy Shell was one of Oceania’s first moving container services. In 2010, the company expanded into the United States, opening Zippy Shell USA, LLC. In 2018, the company merged with fellow moving container company 1-800-PACK-RAT to provide an enhanced range of services and availability.
What is PODS?
PODS (short for “Portable On-Demand Storage”) was one of the first companies to bring the idea of moving container services to the public. Founded in 1998 by Peter Warhurst, the company was originally designed to expand availability for Warhurst’s small family-owned storage business. Today, PODS is available throughout the United States and Canada, offering three container sizes to help facilitate both residential and commercial moves.
PODS’ most unique feature is its patented hydraulic lift system, which can be found on all loading vehicles. This lifting mechanism comes with benefits for both the customer and the PODS employees. Employees don’t need to worry about overexerting themselves when loading their containers, while customers can load their things without the container shifting during transit. These features make moves with PODS safer and less likely to result in damage.
Zippy Shell offers one container size, which is legal to park on the street, because they are equipped with the proper license plating.
- 15-foot: Zippy Shell’s 15-foot unit can hold about two to three rooms’ worth of furniture.
Though Zippy Shell’s website indicates that a 10-foot unit is also available, we were informed by a representative that this size container is no longer in use.
Each of Zippy Shell’s units can support a total load weight of about 4,500 pounds. Unlike most moving container companies, you cannot book more than a single Zippy Shell unit at a time. This can make the company’s options unsuitable for moves of larger properties.
PODS offers multiple container sizes, allowing 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. The size of this container is similar to a 5’x10′ storage unit or 10′ rental truck. This size container is most popular for single-item moves, studio space moves, and college dorm or apartment moving.
- Medium: PODS’ medium-sized containers measure 12′ x 8′ x 8′ and provide you with 689 cubic square feet of storage space. The size of this container is comparable to a 10’x10′ storage unit or 15′ rental truck and can hold two to three rooms’ worth of belongings. Medium-sized containers are only available for local moving processes.
- Large: PODS’ largest containers measure 16′ x 8′ x 8′ and provide you with 835 cubic square feet of storage space. This container is comparable to a 10’x15′ storage unit or a 20′ rental truck. Each large container holds about three to four rooms worth of household goods.
Unless you live in a high population density area, we recommend working with PODS over Zippy Shell for most moves. PODS containers can be stored on your property for up to a month without incurring additional charges, while Zippy Shell’s may only be in place for up to three business days. PODS containers are also fully enclosed, which provides you with more protection for your things over Zippy Shell’s cage-like structure.
As is the case with most moving companies, moving container companies base their pricing primarily on two major factors.
- The distance you’re traveling: As a general rule, you can expect to pay more for your moving container service the further you’re traveling away from your current zip code, as increased travel time increases expenses on the end of the moving company.
- The total size of your home: If you’re moving a larger home, you may need to rent a larger container to comply with FMCSA weight regulations during your move. Moving a larger property costs more than moving a smaller home.
In order to help you get an idea of what you might expect to pay for your moving container services with both Zippy Shell and PODS, we requested quotes from each company for a few different moves. Each quote was requested eight weeks in advance of the date we told the company we wanted to move on. View the tables below to learn more about what you might expect to pay for your moving service based on the distance you’re traveling and the size container you use.
Boston, MA to Pittsburgh, PA (533 miles)
|PODS small container||PODS large container||Zippy Shell 15’ container|
Boston, MA to Orlando, FL (1,300 miles)
|PODS small container||PODS large container||Zippy Shell 15’ container|
PODS is available throughout the country, able to provide services in all 50 states as well as internationally in Canada and the United Kingdom. While Zippy Shell services are only available in 28 states, the company partners with 1-800-PACK-RAT to enhance container service availability. If Zippy Shell isn’t currently able to offer service where you live, we recommend getting a quote from 1-800-PACK-RAT by clicking here.
If you’re looking to save money on your move, but you also want to enjoy an easier and more straightforward moving process, you might want to consider choosing a moving container service with optional add-ons. Add-on services will increase the total cost of your move but can make it easier to be out of your home by a specific date. Explore the optional add-on services you can book with each provider below.
- Monthly storage services
- Loading and unloading services
- Expanded protection plans
- 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 offers more options for customizing your moving service. You may want to take this into account if you’re planning a last-minute move or you’re moving for work and have a corporate allowance to use.
Reviews of Zippy Shell are overall negative. On third-party site Trustpilot, customers have awarded Zippy Shell an average rating of 1.5 out of a total possible 5.0 stars, which is lower than average compared to other companies in the moving industry. On the company’s BBB profile, customers awarded Zippy Shell an average rating of 1.0 out of a possible 5.0 stars. However, the BBB has awarded Zippy Shell an A+ grade, which indicates that the company may have fewer complaints than other moving companies and be more responsive to complaints. Zippy Shell is not currently accredited with the BBB.
Customers who had a positive experience with Zippy Shell routinely complimented the company’s customer service team, which they say was attentive and proactive in responding to all of their questions. However, customers who reported a negative experience with Zippy Shell complained about a range of issues, the most common of which include damaged shipments and hidden fees.
Great experience moving with ZippyShell. Truly professional and an outstanding crew! The crew chief Nyles and members Jon and Seth were quality movers and very respectful. They moved everything carefully and with thought and still moved swiftly. — Bill W., 07/16/2021, Trustpilot, 5.0 stars.
My biggest regret about our cross country move is choosing zippy shell. They are extremely disorganized and dishonest. They charged us fees that we were not told about before hand, over charged us for things and then I had to spend MONTHS chasing them down, and to top it off they sent us a damaged shell to put our belongings in and assured us it would be fine and guess what? Almost the ENTIRE shell full of contents was destroyed in the move!! — Alison A., 02/04/2022, Trustpilot, 1.0 star.
Reviews of PODS skew more positively when compared to Zippy Shell’s. Trustpilot users awarded PODS an average rating of 3.8 out of 5.0 stars, while BBB users awarded PODS an average rating of 1.08 out of 5.0 stars. Though the BBB does not accredit PODS, the independent organization has given PODS a B+ grade. It’s important to note that the BBB is not a government organization, so ratings might be subjective depending on user feedback and each location.
Customers who reported a positive review with PODS regularly complimented the timeliness of the delivery teams. Multiple customers stated that they were pleasantly surprised with PODS’ attention to detail, which extended from their customer service team to the delivery professionals who visited their new property. However, some customers complained about miscommunication between management and customer service teams, which resulted in scheduling changes without the knowledge of the customer.
Every person who handled our pod whether on the phone or in-person was extremely helpful during our cross country move on last minute notice. Thank you! — Trustpilot user “Cameron,” 01/17/2022, Trustpilot, 5.0 stars.
I placed an order with a promo code that wasn’t applicable, then when I called to change my service where it was applicable, I asked about the code and was told it was applied. I was then charged full price. Upon trying to get a partial refund, I’ve been ignored for months, finally got a hold of someone who told me that they won’t honor it since it wasn’t part of the order. — Glenna F., 02/05/2022, BBB.org, 1.0 star.
Zippy Shell vs PODS: Who Wins?
During the moving process, the last thing you want is to be stuck with a company that ends up making your move more stressful than it has to be. If you’re still deciding between PODS and Zippy Shell, we recommend beginning your search for the right moving container service with a quote from PODS. PODS offers a few unique benefits over Zippy Shell, including:
- More container size choices
- More accurate information on website
- Larger range of add-on services
- Better overall customer reviews
Not sure if Zippy Shell or PODS is right for you? You might also want to consider getting a quote from other competing moving container companies like U-Pack and 1-800-PACK-RAT. We recommend that you get a quote from PODS, PACK-RAT, and U-Pack before booking your moving date to ensure that you’re getting the most advantageous pricing possible.
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.
Zippy Shell vs PODS FAQs
What size are Zippy Shells?
Zippy Shell currently only offers a single container size, the 15-foot trailer. Zippy Shell’s team says that this size container can comfortably hold two to three rooms’ worth of furniture. If you’re looking for a larger option because your home is more heavily furnished or larger, you may want to consider choosing the 16’ container available from PODS.
Does Zippy Shell move to Hawaii?
Yes, Zippy Shell currently offers services in Hawaii.
Is Zippy Shell cheaper than PODS?
When we requested pricing information from both PODS and Zippy Shell, we found that Zippy Shell’s pricing was more affordable in most circumstances. However, PODS and Zippy Shells pricing structures are comparable, which means that you may want to spend a little more to get the quality assurance that comes with PODS enclosed containers.