The Best Moving Container Companies of 2022

By Sarah Horvath

If you need to move long-distance but you can’t afford the assistance of a full-service moving company, you might want to consider a moving container company. Moving container companies help you save money on your moving process while also avoiding the hassle that comes with driving a moving truck. But with dozens of moving container companies operating throughout the country, how can you be sure that you’re working with the best team for your needs? Read on to learn everything you need to know about the best moving container companies of 2022.

The 5 Best Moving Container Companies

Our top recommended moving container companies of 2022:

Compare The Best Moving Container Companies

Company Website Our Take Our Rating BBB Rating Cost
Allied Van Lines Click here Most Vehicle Shipping Options 9.4 A+ $750 to $4,500
U-Pack Click here Most Widely-Available Container Service 9.3 A+ $1,200 to $2,200
PODS Click here Best for Local Moves 9.2 B $225 to $7,600
1-800-PACK-RAT Click here Best Containers 9.0 C+ $2,600 to $5,600
U-Haul U-Box Click here Best for International Moving 8.8 C+ $1,400 to $5,800

Allied Van Lines

Most Vehicle Shipping Options

  • No hidden fees
  • Vehicle shipping is NOT outsourced
  • GPS tracking

our rating9.7

Why We Recommend Allied Van Lines

Allied Van Lines is a full-service moving company that specializes in household and commercial long-distance relocation. Although the majority of their moves are cross-country or long-distance, Allied is also an excellent moving company for local moves or moves just across state lines. They recently added a new service to their repertoire called “Allied Express,” a container service specially designed for small-scale moves. These moves utilize steel containers that are delivered right to your door, and Allied can move them anywhere in the country you need them to go.

This is a convenient and affordable way to move the contents of a studio apartment or even a one-bedroom home, depending on the total volume of goods you would like to move. Allied Express is the only full-service moving company offering storage and moving container services with movers that will do the packing and unpacking for you. You don’t have to load the container or unload it at your new home — Allied professionals will handle all the heavy lifting.

Pros & Cons of Allied Van Lines

Pros Cons
●       Each move is assigned its own personal moving coordinator

●       Allied staff will pack and unpack your container for you

●       In 2020 and 2021, Allied was awarded Best Customer Service Providers by Newsweek

●       Claims department can be difficult to get ahold of

Services Offered

You can currently book the following add-on options through Allied Van Lines:

  • Packing services and unpacking services
  • Fragile-only packing
  • Storage for in-transit items
  • Arrangement of long-term storage units
  • Shipment tracking
  • Furniture disassembly and reassembly
  • Auto and boat transport
  • Basic liability coverage
  • Full-value coverage

How Much Does Allied Van Lines Cost?

The specific price that you’ll pay for your moving container service will vary depending on the total size of your home and the distance you’re traveling. View the table below to learn more about what past customers paid for services from Allied Van Lines.

<250 miles 500 miles 1,000 miles 2,000 miles
Two-bedroom home $1,800 to $4,500 $2,400 to $5,400 $2,700 to $5,700 $4,400 to $7,400
Four-bedroom home $3,300 to $6,000 $5,700 to $8,700 $7,500 to $10,500 $10,900 to $13,000

State Availability: 50 States

U-Pack

Best Overall Container Service

  • 240 locations nationwide
  • “Pay for what you use” pricing
  • 3-day grace period for loading/unloading

our rating9.3

Why We Recommend U-Pack

U-Pack is a moving container service that has been in business for 25 years. They focus solely on moves using portable storage containers,  and they are one of the most experienced companies when it comes to container navigation and logistics. You can get an upfront online quote for the moving container or containers you need for your situation, and you can book entirely online. Maybe you’re a college student moving into a dorm room, or maybe you’re a family with children relocating a three-bedroom apartment or home — no matter what your needs, U-Pack’s team can help by providing multiple container options.

U-Pack has their own proprietary weatherproof shipping containers called ReloCubes. They are about six by seven by eight feet in size, and they occupy a small parking space. If you decide you would like to use ReloCubes for your moving experience, you can book as many as you need. If you’ve got a larger amount of stuff to move, you can also choose a moving trailer. Instead of charging by weight, U-Pack charges you only by the square footage of the moving trailer that your items occupy. Once you’ve selected your preferred moving container, a U-Pack driver will perform the drop-off step of the process. You can then DIY pack and load the container, and when you’re ready, the driver will pick up your container and whisk it off to its destination.

Pros & Cons of U-Pack

Pros Cons
●       You can pack up your things at your own pace

●       Get a quote instantly and save $25 when you book online

●       Avoid the hassle of driving a bulky moving truck yourself

●       Positive online reviews overall

●       Only three days to load and unload your storage containers

●       No local moves; only moves of 200 miles or over

Services Offered

You can currently book the following moving services through the team at U-Pack:

  • Long-distance container moving services
  • Limited offsite storage

U-Pack only offers service on moves that cover more than 200 miles in distance. If you’re moving more locally, you may want to consider a U-Pack alternative like PODS.

How Much Does U-Pack Cost?

View the table below to learn more about what past customers paid for services from U-Pack.

<250 miles 500 miles 1,000 miles 2,000 miles
Two-bedroom home $600 to $1,600 $1,200 to $2,200 $1,600 to $2,600 $2,100 to $3,100
Four-bedroom home $800 to $1,800 $1,800 to $2,800 $2,800 to $3,800 $4,100 – $5,100

State Availability: 50 States

PODS

Why We Recommend PODS

PODS is a moving and storage service all based on, you guessed it — pod-like containers. PODS is one of the best moving container companies out there, and you can use your container for many different purposes. Like U-Pack, a driver will come and drop off your PODS container, and then you have the freedom to pack and load on your schedule. If you need temporary at-home storage, you can also request a PODS container to be parked in your driveway or on your street. PODS offers a safe and secure option for you so that you’re not separated from what you need, but your things don’t have to stay inside your home.

PODS also offers temporary storage options at their local storage facilities. You can simply pack up your PODS container and they can hold it for you at their secure facility until you need your items again. You can access them at any time. Finally, PODS can move your container almost anywhere, whether you’re simply moving to a different town down the road or you’re undertaking a cross-country move.

Pros & Cons of PODS

Pros Cons
●       If you need help moving or packing, PODS can connect you with local companies you can hire, and that goes for vehicle transport as well.

●       Transparent online moving quotes

●       Small, medium, and large container sizes available

●       Offers military discounts

●       Service quality can vary by location

Services Offered

You can currently book the following moving services through the team at PODS:

  • Long-distance moving container service
  • Local moving container service
  • Storage solutions
  • Packing and loading assistance
  • Vehicle shipping
  • Moving supplies

How Much Does PODS Cost?

Most customers who move with PODS can expect to pay between $225 and $850 for local moving services and between $450 and $7,600 for long-distance moving services. Use the table below to learn more about what you might expect to pay for your move with PODS based on past customer pricing.

<250 miles >250 miles
Two-bedroom home $750 to $1,900 $900 to $2,100
Four-bedroom home $3,000 to $4,900 $5,500 to  $7,600

State Availability: 50 States

1-800-PACK-RAT

Why We Recommend 1-800-PACK-RAT

1-800-PACK-RAT has been in the moving container business for almost two decades, and much like PODS, they offer storage services and moving services using their steel moving pods. 1-800-PACK-RAT offers three different portable moving container sizes: 8-foot, 12-foot, or 16-foot. If you’re moving into a dorm room or a studio apartment, the 8-foot container should be able to handle all your items. If you need to move more, 1-800-PACK-RAT’s 16-foot containers are designed to hold three or four rooms full of stuff. If you have any questions about your service area, insurance options, or moving schedule, you can reach out to the friendly and savvy customer service representatives just by making a call.

While you can use 1-800-PACK-RAT for local moves and long-distance moves, they also provide storage options. Their containers are air- and watertight, and they have barn-style doors with easy-to-use locking mechanisms for your convenience. You can use one of their safe and secure storage facilities, complete with climate control. You do need to give them notice a day or two in advance if you’d like to access your storage pod — they will transport it from their secure warehouse to a well-lit and easily accessible local storage facility.

Pros & Cons of 1-800-PACK-RAT

Pros Cons
●       Helpful space calculator online to help you determine the size and number of containers you need

●       Insurance plan included

●       Flexible rescheduling and canceling policies

●       Only available in 29 states, but the website says you should always attempt to contact them to see if they can make a move work for you

●       No deliveries available on Sundays

Services Offered

You can currently book the following moving services through the team at 1-800-PACK-RAT:

  • Local moving container service
  • Long-distance moving container service
  • Storage options
  • Moving supplies
  • Packing and loading assistance

How Much Does 1-800-PACK-RAT Cost?

1-800-PACK-RAT’s pricing varies widely by location; local moves may cost less than $500 or as much as $2,000, while long-distance moves may range from $1,000 to $6,000 or more. View a summary of what past 1-800-PACK-RAT customers paid for their services using the table below.

<500 miles 500 to 2,000 miles >2,000 miles
Two-bedroom home ~$2,600 ~$2,950 ~$3,600
Four-bedroom home ~$3,550 ~$4,690 $5,600

State Availability: 29 States

U-Haul U-Box

Why We Recommend U-Haul U-Box

U-Haul is a name known all over the United States, as they are ubiquitous in almost every U.S. town and city. Many of us experienced with moving, whether locally or long distance, recognize them as one of the easiest truck rental companies to work with, as you can drop off the moving truck at your destination. However, U-Haul also provides a moving and storage container service with its U-Boxes. The amazing thing about these weather-resistant containers is that you can load and use them at your own pace, you can get as many as you need, and they can be delivered virtually anywhere in the world.

You can take as long as you need to load the containers, and when you’re ready, U-Haul can drive them to your destination or ship them anywhere you need them to go. These boxes can hold up to 2,000 pounds and they are over 250 cubic feet in area. Each U-Box can hold between one and one and a half rooms of items. They’re perfect for moving into a dorm room or studio apartment, and they’re great when you want to avoid the hassle of transporting your items yourself, but you still want control over how your items are packed and loaded.

Pros & Cons of U-Haul U-Box

Pros Cons
●       Offers door-to-door delivery

●       International shipping

●       Month-to-month rental available with no contractual obligations

●       Easily get a free quote online

●       There have been complaints that the containers aren’t as well-made as competitors

Services Offered

You can currently book the following moving services through U-Haul:

  • Moving truck rental
  • Local and long-distance moving container service
  • International moving container service
  • Moving supplies
  • Assistance arranging moving labor services

How Much Does U-Haul U-Box Cost?

Use the table below to get a general idea of what you might pay for your service from U-Haul U-Box depending on your unique move.

<50 miles >50 miles
Two-bedroom home ~$1,400 plus delivery cost ~$4,300 plus delivery cost
Four-bedroom home ~$2,000 plus delivery cost ~$5,800 plus delivery cost

State Availability: 50 States

Why Trust House Method

  • 24 key factors analyzed
  • 1,000+ relocation services parsed
  • 1,000+ customer reviews analyzed

House Method’s Experts collected and analyzed 25 critical data points across multiple companies to identify what makes a great moving company in the eye of the consumer. Our reviews team used this data to assess over 40 moving providers for services provided, relocation costs, and national availability to provide unbiased reviews so homeowners can confidently navigate key decisions about their next move.

What To Look For In Moving Container Companies

When you’ve decided that you would like to use a moving container company for your storage unit needs or for your move, there are a few things you should keep in mind so you can narrow down your options. These days, there are more moving and storage container companies than ever before — meaning that you can afford to be picky when you choose your service provider. Here are a few things to look for when you choose a moving container company.

  • Competitive pricing: Within the moving and storage container company world, there’s no doubt that these companies are more affordable options than full-service moves and they can even be more affordable than some DIY moves when you add costs up. However, when you’re choosing which container company to go with, you should get quotes from at least three different companies. Not only will this allow you to get an average cost amount; it will also let you see which company offers you the best deal for your requirements. It’s worth noting that PODS and 1-800-PACK-RAT are quite competitive with each other, and they will often price match against each other.
  • Customer reviews: With easy online booking in most cases and no-contact pick-up and drop-off services, convenience is a huge factor when choosing moving container companies. With this convenience and online platforms come massive opportunities for customers to review the companies and rate their experiences. These companies we mentioned above as well as other moving container companies that might be unique to your area will have dozens of online reviews you can use to help you make your choice. Be sure to choose a company with mostly positive reviews across multiple platforms.
  • Availability: Sometimes if a moving container option seems too good to be true, it might be. Nationwide availability isn’t something that is a given with moving and storage container companies — even the best of the best on our list have limited availability. Always check which ones are operational not only in your area but in the destination you’re headed.

What Costs Are Involved With Moving Container Companies?

You can usually get an easy quote online with many moving container companies because you’re paying for the area of the container you’re using. However, understanding how moving container companies price your move can help you better understand when you’re getting a good deal. The following factors will play major roles in your moving company’s price calculation process.

  • Distance: As we mentioned before, some companies (like U-Pack) charge for the surface area you use regardless of the weight of your belongings. However, all moving container companies charge by the mileage of your move. The average across the nation is about $3 per mile for larger shipping containers, but be aware that some companies may offer discounts for long-distance moves or for senior or military moves.
  • Renting versus moving: The moving container cost for rental (so you can take your time packing or use it for storage, whether at a facility or in your driveway) and the cost for transporting it are two different things. In the case of using the container for moving, you must add the cost of shipping (which is normally several thousand dollars) to your rental cost.
  • Seasons: Your mileage cost can rise dramatically depending on when you choose to schedule your move. Spring and summer (typically the months of March to mid-August) are the busiest and most expensive moving times, mostly because the weather is conducive to long-haul drives and children are out of school. If you schedule your move during the off-season and during a weekday, you can avoid extra costs that movers tack on due to seasonality.

Final Thoughts

Working with a moving container company can be an ideal solution if you’re moving on a tight budget and you don’t have many rooms to transport. While moving container companies are a more affordable alternative to full-service moving companies, pricing between competitors may still vary significantly. We recommend getting a quote from at least three competing moving container services before booking your move date to be sure that you’re getting the best possible pricing.

FAQs about Best Moving Container Companies

How much does it cost to move a shipping container?

In the U.S., the average industry cost for moving one shipping container is about $3,000. This cost doesn’t factor in the weight of each shipping container or the mileage — it’s just an average, and it refers to the shipping containers that are 16 to 18 feet long. Smaller residential moving containers are more affordable to move long-distance. 

Should I use a moving container company for an international move?

If you’re staying within North America and moving to Canada, you typically won’t have much trouble moving in a container. But if you’re looking to move overseas, you can also consider a moving container company as one of your moving options. International moves with shipping containers begin at around $1,500 depending on the size, weight, and destination, and the costs rise from there. Be advised that if you use a shipping container company to move overseas, the primary method of transport is by ship, and this is the slowest form of international shipping.

What items should you avoid packing into a moving container?

You shouldn’t put anything flammable or hazardous into a moving container, like paint or paint thinner, car batteries, vehicles of any kind, aerosolized chemicals, firearms, or lighter fluid. You should also transport sensitive documents and valuable items yourself, such as delicate antiques, jewelry, heirlooms, and electronics.

Can you transport a car inside a moving container?

You typically cannot move a car inside a moving container. However, companies like PODS and U-Pack have networks of local and national companies that they can connect you with that do provide vehicle shipping. Allied Van Lines is known for having excellent vehicle shipping options, as they do not outsource to third parties, and they will provide you a rental car free of charge if your vehicle shipment is late.

Do moving container companies allow pet transport inside moving containers?

Absolutely not. Animals are one of the things not allowed to be transported in a moving container, along with perishable foods and hazardous chemicals.

House Method Rating Methodology

At House Method, our primary goals are to be a reliable source of information and to be totally transparent to our readers. With that in mind, we’ve developed the following formula to render objective ratings – on a scale of 10 points – for the moving companies we review.

  • Transparency (3.0): Communication and being fully straightforward regarding company policies and licensing are incredibly important. A given mover’s willingness to display these, to supply quick quotes, and to provide clearly-worded moving contracts all factor into the three points within this single rating criteria.
  • Cost (2.5): A mover’s cost relative to industry averages, as well as accessibility to cost data play a role in the customer experience as much as anything else. We know that being sure of what you’re paying – and being confident that you’re not overpaying – will ultimately make for a positive move. We’ve weighted cost factors accordingly in our ratings.
  • Customer Service (2.0): Establishing an easy line of contact with your movers during the booking process or during the move itself is a huge asset for any moving client. The stress of moving, in general, can be greatly eased by knowing you can talk to a licensed professional whenever you need to, which is why we’ve listed this as a key rating category. This is where customer reviews come into play; since the majority of complaints stem from poor customer service, feedback from BBB, Yelp, Google, and other review platforms factor into this criteria.
  • Services Offered (1.5): This rates lower on our priority list than many would think, simply due to the fact that many movers provide a similar line of services. However, breadth of service offerings does still vary to a degree.
  • Customization Options (1.0): Having the autonomy to fully customize your move should rate highly on any moving checklist. Here, we’ve taken moving package customization ability, as well as pricing for more involved add-ons. Steep pricing for such services can provide something of a soft barrier for clients looking to add to their move, and we’ve taken this into consideration.

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