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U-Pack vs. PODS

Compare services, costs, availability and reviews

Profile picture of Kathryn Parkman
by Kathryn Parkman ConsumerAffairs Research Team
family packing moving boxes into car

U-Pack and PODS are two storage providers that offer door-to-door delivery and storage services for movers across the country. Both offer packing and loading services, storage containers, delivery and more. This guide will explore the differences and similarities between the two companies.

  • How U-Pack and PODS are similar: Shipping containers are delivered directly to your door, giving you the option to load at your leisure or store with the company until your new residence or business is ready. Pricing is based on the required distance and container size, with neither company requiring a down payment.
  • How U-Pack and PODS are different: U-Pack offers more transparent pricing, with easy online quotes with the press of a button. PODS provides personalized quotes over the phone with a representative. U-Pack is available nationwide and offers full-size trailer options. PODS is available for local and long-distance services, while U-Pack specializes in long-distance moves.

PODS vs. U-Pack: a side-by-side comparison

U-Pack and PODS are both moving companies that offer storage containers and delivery services, but neither offers in-house packing and loading services. You can request a free quote from either company to see which is right for your needs and budget. For more information, read about what to know about moving quotes.

pods logou-pack logo
Shipment optionsSmall to large containersReloCube or trailer
Average cost*$349 to $2,999$500 to $2,500
Deposit required
Offers packing services
On-site storage
Customizable insurance options
Local moving services
Available in all states
Customer satisfactionRead reviewsRead reviews

*As of publishing

pods logoSmall to large containers$349 - $2,999Read reviews
u-pack logoReloCube or trailer$500 - $2,500Read reviews

About U-Pack

U-Pack is a convenient long-distance moving service that provides shipping containers and trailers that you load for storage or long-distance transport. Choose your equipment and U-Pack will drop it off, giving you up to three days to load your items. U-Pack picks up the trailer or ReloCube and takes it to your new address or to one of its service centers for storage.

U-Pack does not offer local moving services.
  • Moving services: U-Pack delivers a storage container or trailer to your address, then picks it up and transports it long-distance to any state. You can ship from door to door or save money by loading and/or unloading at one of U-Pack’s more than 240 service centers. U-Pack can store your belongings at a service center if your new home isn’t ready.
  • Packing options: U-Pack doesn’t offer packing services, but it can refer you to Moving Staffers for hourly help with loading or unloading.
  • Availability: U-Pack services all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. There are more than 240 U-Pack service centers across the country.

U-Pack pricing

U-Pack's pricing is based on the type of equipment you choose (ReloCube or trailer), the amount of space you need, whether you want door-to-door service, the distance and locations of the move and the move date. Free quotes are available over the phone and online. For example, moving a two-bedroom home from Cincinnati, Ohio, to Providence, Rhode Island, will cost between $2,000 and $3,500, depending on how many ReloCubes or how much trailer space you use. No down payment is required, and your card won't be charged until your belongings are on the move. You can cancel and get a full refund up to seven days before your move; otherwise, U-Pack charges a cancellation fee.

What we like about U-Pack

As of publishing, U-Pack has an overall satisfaction rating of 4.1 out of 5 stars, based on 12 ratings. Happy customers seem to like the “pay for what you need” pricing model and friendly customer service. “I don't think they are a typical moving company as I had to load up the truck they provided and [drove],” according to a verified reviewer in Oregon. “But they were the least expensive and arrived on-time and provided us with plenty of time to load and unload."

About PODS

PODS, which stands for Portable On Demand Storage, delivers storage containers to your property and allows you to load them on your schedule, then schedule a pickup for transport to storage at a PODS storage facility or to a different address. You can also keep the container on your property for at-home storage. PODS will move your container across town or long-distance.

PODS is available in most states.
  • Moving services: PODS delivers 7-, 12- and 16-foot containers that you can pack for local or long-distance moves or storage at a PODS facility. Services are available for both residential and commercial customers.
  • Packing options: PODS works with three companies to connect customers with local help for packing and loading. Expect to pay an hourly rate. You can get as little or as much assistance as you need.
  • Availability: PODS is available in 46 states, including Hawaii. It also has locations in Washington, D.C., and parts of Canada. The company currently does not offer service in Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia or Wyoming.

PODS pricing

According to the company, the cost to rent a portable container for a local move is between $349 and $549, while the price for a long-distance move costs from $999 to $2,999. Pricing is based on the size and number of the container(s), the distance of the move, the season and the length of time you need the container(s).

For the most accurate estimate, call PODS for a free quote. No deposit is required. PODS doesn’t charge you until seven days before container delivery. You can cancel for a full refund up to 24 hours before your delivery.

What we like about PODS

As of publishing, PODS has an overall satisfaction rating of 4 out of 5 stars, based on 1,367 ratings. Happy customers seem to appreciate the professional delivery drivers and reliable service. “They bring your pod on time and pick up whenever you're done with it. It's easy and convenient,” according to one verified reviewer in Florida.

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    Bottom line: Which is better, U-Pack or PODS?

    Either company can work as an alternative to a DIY move. Both U-Pack and PODS deliver storage containers to you for loading then pick them up and transport them. Both also offer storage at their own facilities. As a general observation, it seems U-Pack is more affordable for long-distance moving and storage, while PODS is better suited for those moving locally. For more moving resources, check out our ultimate moving checklist or read about how to avoid moving scams.

    Compare more moving container companies

    If you still aren’t sure which company is right for you, compare moving container companies below. Read reviews and complaints to learn more about typical customer experiences.

    u-haul logo1-800-pack-rat logo logoclutter logocolonial van lines logo
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    by Kathryn Parkman ConsumerAffairs Research Team

    As a member of the ConsumerAffairs Research Team, Kathryn Parkman believes everyone deserves easy access to accurate and comprehensive information on products and businesses before they make a purchase, which is why she spends hours researching companies and industries for ConsumerAffairs. She believes conscious consumption is everyone's responsibility and that all content deserves integrity.